Practical Sportsbikes (UK)
Norbo Lea is Mr LC, with an inventory of NOS parts to shame any main dealer, and proven pattern parts to fill the gaps where supply has dried up. See rdlccrazy.co.uk. Equally importantly, his website also hosts the RD LC Crazy UK 2 Stroke Forum. Here you will find the shared wisdom of Yamaha liquid-cooled two-stroke fanatics.
“The first thing I’d say to anyone buying a bike, any bike, is join the forum, the club, the Facebook group, wherever the information is,” says Norbo, who himself owns 48 bikes, not all of them RD LCS. “This is doubly important if you haven’t owned or restored one before. The RD LC Crazy UK 2 Stroke Forum is one of the few forums that’s still super busy with hundreds of users daily..
“Although the prices of two-strokes have continued to rise, that doesn’t point to a shortage of bikes. There were a lot coming in from Germany and Switzerland for a while, and there always seems to be a ready supply of half-done projects where people have run out of money, time or enthusiasm. There are probably more LCS on the road now than there were back in the late ’80s when so many had been crashed, stripped and proddie raced.
“When it comes to parts, there is plenty of genuine stuff that’s still available. A lot of that is down to their continuing popularity. When something is discontinued and there’s a demand for it, someone will start making it.”
Norbo has had bodywork remade in the UK and is also supplying new fuel tanks. “A lot of poor quality tanks came from India. They fitted poorly and if you looked inside them you could see bits of MIG wire poking through the seams,” he says.
So what does it cost to buy and restore an LC? Norbo does some quick mental arithmetic: “People can, and do, spend up to £10k – but that’s on bikes with everything OE – I mean genuine new centrestands fetch £500. You can build a brilliant bike to ride for a lot less.”
“There always seems to be a supply of half-done projects where people have run out of money, time or enthusiasm”