3 YAMAHA RD350LC

‘ When I first saw an LC, I knew I just had to have one’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature - NIALL MACKEN­ZIE FOR­MER 500GP & 250GP RIDER, THREE-TIME BSB CHAM­PION

“I’ve rid­den fac­tory Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki 500GP bikes and my favourite twostroke re­mains the RD350LC. When I saw a blue and white LC in MCN some­thing told me I had to have one. I ac­tu­ally en­tered my first ever race on that very LC, but the Pro-am se­ries was my spring­board to suc­cess.

“I got a full-time ride in the Pro-am in 1982. I fin­ished run­ner up, but it was enough to get me no­ticed. It was an amaz­ing se­ries – free rac­ing, free bikes and £500 to win! Con­sid­er­ing an LC cost £1000, that was a lot of money and cer­tainly made you try harder. The fact that as an am­a­teur you could beat a GP star was an­other bonus.

“You had to be the last of the late­brak­ers and also an­tic­i­pate when the two-stroke mo­tor’s power band would kick in, so it was good prac­tice for GPS. It was also pretty fierce rac­ing. Peo­ple talk about rid­ers hit­ting each other’s kill switches, pulling on their num­ber boards and other slightly dirty tac­tics in Pro-am rac­ing and it cer­tainly did hap­pen. Down the straights we used to pull on any­thing we could reach to gain an ad­van­tage and kill switches were al­ways fair game – I re­mem­ber rid­ers used to lie flat on the bike with their feet on the seat to gain an edge.

“Be­fore I owned an LC I never re­ally con­sid­ered you could make a ca­reer out of rac­ing bikes, but six years af­ter buy­ing one I was sit­ting on pole po­si­tion astride a fac­tory Honda NSR500.”

Macken­zie came back in 2015 to race an LC again. He won...

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