Living in a bubble
SOME BIKES are so precious that exposing them to the dirt and potential hazards of the UK’S roads is not an option. Restorer Steve Jackson has taken that a stage further with his Yamaha RD500LC – not only has he never ridden it in the 12 years he’s owned it, but it exists in its own bubble.
Despite the fact it’s been expertly restored, you’ll notice it’s missing some components... like the tank and plastics. “The bodywork is so precious I haven’t put it on yet,” laughs Steve. “To be fair it was very fragile even when the bikes were new – the bodywork tends to crack around the mounting points. I’ve actually got two new, NOS sets of bodywork which would go for about £4500 each, and I don’t want to damage them.”
The overall value of the bike is one of the reasons Steve’s so precious with it. “I bought it in 2005 for £1500. In the last two years prices have risen dramatically – I’ve seen them go for £14,000. Parts prices are crazy as well. Rear mudguards in good condition can cost up to £400.”
With the Carcoon bubble creating a perfect, dust-free environment, there’s no chance of this RD500LC ever being a barn find. “I’ve never ridden it – I know that’ll sound strange to some people but I can’t even bring myself to start it,” says Steve. “I’ve collected a lot of RD500LC stuff over the years and one day I’d like to set up my own museum.”
For RD500LC resto advice, turn to page 62