Our man Mackenzie tracks down a 250LC for his next project: a Pro-am race replica!
Niall Mackenzie to replica his replica RD Pro-am…
Ever since I got involved with Chris Herring from the Circuit of Wales and IDP Moto in resurrecting the RD LC Pro-am series back in 2015 I’ve had a constant hankering to own a Yamaha RD250LC. My success in the original series featuring the 350cc model inspired me to restore one a few years ago, so now I’ve clocked up a couple of 250cc Pro-am wins I felt it was time to track down my beloved Elsie a little sister. I remember the 250 version being the first LC to land on these shores in the early summer of 1980 and although I didn’t own one I rode my mate Stewart Rae’s bike on a number of occasions at the Pines Chippie in Denny. I actually preferred the punchy performance of his brother Alistair’s white Suzuki X7 but the LC had more top-end and looked much more sleek and sophisticated. At the time I decided to wait for the 350 giving me more time to work flat-out, save up and avoid signing up for some steep finance. It was frustrating though as all my mates were having lots of fun in the sun while delivery dates for the 350s got later and later. I eventually collected mine in the September from Bill Fleming Motors in Glasgow and was given a Bell Star 2 helmet from Yamaha as compensation for the delay. The day I picked it up Stewart and Alistair asked for a go but I told them to get lost (only joking!). The now iconic status of these bikes coupled with significant publicity generated by the Pro-am revival has seen prices constantly rise over the past decade so I was well aware there are no cheap 250LCS about. I briefly considered
building one from parts but after checking even the cheapest ebay prices I could see that would never work. Initially I was looking for a decent, complete bike to restore but then got thinking why not build a Pro-am rep? It honestly had no bearing on the matter but I noticed Bennetts recently ran a competition to win a replica of my race bike from 2015 where the winner sold it on the same day he picked it up for £5k! Building a replica would also mean I didn’t have to pay top dollar for a UK registered bike with matching chassis and engine numbers plus it mattered less if things like centrestands, mirrors and lights were missing. With this in mind I decided to set an upper limit of £3000 and get trawling. Two weeks later I handed over £2900 for a tidy white/red 1980 German import without matching numbers and unregistered. The vendor from Coventry claimed it had undergone a practical restoration and it had all the necessary paperwork to easily get it road legal. Curiously, this ebayer also mentioned his reason for selling was because he had suffered a life changing incident. Now over the years I’ve met some unusual people on ebay. I’ve had scary Romanians show up at midnight in their Romanian truck to collect gym equipment, I’ve had garden landscapers literally lob a Yamaha TTR 125 sideways onto a tipper full of garden rubbish, however, the best was the large lady that came to pick up a Raleigh Chopper frame – on a Raleigh Chopper. Without a word of a lie she travelled by train from Milton Keynes up to Burton on Trent, then rode 11 miles from the station to my house, strapped the parts on her bike and then rode off again on a rainy winter’s night. I was concerned so checked on her the next day to find she missed her train and slept in the station. Unbelievably, she came back a month later on the same bike for more parts, absolutely mental.
This is what Niall is aiming to create: a Pro-am 250LC.
The Old Trout loves his Elsies.
Clean, neat and tidy: the LC, not Niall. “I’ve loved being part of the resurrected Pro-am series on identical RD250LCS so decided that I wanted to build one just for myself.”
Crisp, clear clocks.
Yup! This has been resto’d.
Tanks are often duff: not this one.