YAMAHA RD350LC/YPVS

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - The 1990's -

If a sin­gle bike could sum up the 1980s it’s Yamaha’s RD350LC. The Elsie ar­rived in 1980 as the per­for­mance 2T for a new gen­er­a­tion. The pu­rity and econ­omy of the new RD’S lines mark it out as one of best look­ing bikes ever built.

Both 250 and 350LC and later YPVS mod­els sold by the boat load. Noth­ing else of­fered so much per­for­mance per pound. A bastard file and a steady hand could eas­ily ex­tract more. LCS were raced, thrashed, crashed, nicked, ringed, tuned and mod­i­fied in equal mea­sure. At one point they were (in)fa­mously the UK’S most stolen ve­hi­cle. Fast, flat­ter­ing to ride, easy to work on and fix, they were the ev­ery­man sports­bike.

Many other 2T sports­bikes ap­peared, from scalpel-like 250 race reps to the blue riband class repli­cas, but none of them got close to the pure plea­sure and ex­cite­ment of an LC. Even now, 40 years on, firm’s like KTM with its RC390 and even Yamaha it­self with the MT-07 and MT-09 are try­ing to re­cap­ture the essence of the LC, such is its en­dur­ing im­pact and ap­peal. But a barely sim­i­lar four-stroke fac­sim­ile will never be a match for the mighty RD-LC.

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