Get my arse into gear

It’s been difficult to get myself motivated on the bike front, crap weather, damp shed, cashflow problem… but I kicked myself in the arse this weekend and carried on stripping stuff down.

I got a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that’s required so I printed off the exploded view of the bike and broke it down into thirds, just to give myself some realistic targets.

Rusty RD350 fork stanchions

Rusty RD350 fork stanchions

I spent the weekend on the front third, stripping the forks and seeing what I had. The original fork stanchions were knackered so I managed to buy a decent secondhand pair of forks off of eBay. The replacement forks are off an F2 but they will fit the N1, I’ll get the fork lowers powder coated black (when I get the frame done) because they are silver at the moment.

RD350 F2 Forks

RD350 F2 Forks

They need new bushes and seals but it should work out cheaper than new stanchions for my original forks.

The brake calipers are in really bad shape, they need new seals and a paint job. I had a look around for repair kits and they run at about £20 a side. Whilst pricing these up, I did come across a company on eBay that sell refurbished calipers for £119. I must admit, it looks quite a good deal when I think how much work I’d have to put into them, especially if the pistons (£23 a side) are shot as well.

RD350 Wheels

RD350 Wheels

The original wheels and tyres are knackered, but I did get my hands on a good pair of wheels with tyres a few months back. The brake discs are also good on the wheels and the rear wheel has new cush drive rubbers so I think I saved myself a few quid there.

Cush drive

Cush drive

Once the bike is finished, I’ll reburb the original wheels and either swap them over or sell them on.

Moving further up the forks, I get to the headlight. Now, the bike had a F2 headlight fitted, so I had to track down a N1 bracket which I got off eBay for a decent price, I just need to find a N1 headlight assembly now, I think these are available new, but I’d settle for a decent used item.

Next on the refurb list is the yoke, front brake master cylinder, the clipons, controls and brake line splitter. Time to get out the soda blaster and paint cans!

Back in business!

RD350 N1 Frame

RD350 N1 Frame

Wow! it’s been a long time since I updated my blog. I haven’t been able to find the time to do anything on the bike for a long while. This week, I made sure I found the time!

I’ve put the engine rebuild on hold for the moment. I’ve got everything to put the engine back together and I’ve had a piece of the top crankcase welded back on (picture to follow), I just need to spray the top crankcase black. Unfortunately the weather has turned cold and damp and I don’t have somewhere warm and dry where I can spray paint stuff. As this part is quite visible, I want to make sure it looks good. I’ll scout about for a good place to spray, or maybe have to wait until the weather warms up again.

RD350 swingarm

RD350 swingarm

So, I’ve spent my time stripping the frame down. Everything is now off the frame and it’s ready for blasting and painting. Yep! I’m going to paint rather than powder coat. I just feel that powder coat on an old rusty frame is asking for trouble down the line should moisture get under the coating. At least with paint it will bubble and become obvious that a touch-up is required, that’s my theory anyway :-).

Luckily the frame looks structurally sound, the rust just appears to be surface rust. Obviously I will know more once it’s been blasted.

RD350 swingarm assy

RD350 swingarm assy

Stripped RD350 frame

Stripped RD350 frame

Stripped RD350 frame

Stripped RD350 frame

New crank

Yamaha RD350 YPVS Crankshaft

Yamaha RD350 YPVS Crankshaft

My new crank arrived from Yambits. Seems pretty good. Shame it didn’t come with small end bearings, I will have to order some.

I maybe presuming, but it looks like the crank may have been built up by Grampian Motors. My crank was wrapped in newspaper with Grampian Motors tape holding it together.

Just got to get my crankcase top half fixed and painted (more on that to follow) and I’ll be able

Grampian Motors

Grampian Motors

to put the bottom end back together. It will be nice to be re-assembling something rather than taking stuff apart.

Slight accident

Had quite a few parts turn up over the last couple of weeks and I was going to write up a few posts over the weekend, but unfortunately ended up in Accident & Emergency on Saturday morning with a badly burnt hand.

I was helping my brother-in-law remove the engine from his race car and managed to pour boiling hot radiator water over my hand, not good. Anyway, luckily it was just my hand that got burnt and not our faces, the water was under considerable pressure. A lesson learnt, let the engine cool completely before taking water pipes off, or just stick to bikes :-)

Anyway, with regards the RD, I’ve had a crank turn up, some wheels and tyres (my eBay bargain) and I’ve been checking out the state of my forks. Stay tuned, I will write up some posts covering these bits-n-bobs this week.

Attacking the frame

OK, so I took the plunge and ordered up a new crank, it’s on it’s way :-). I decided to stick with the standard pinned main bearing version rather than the fancy one with ‘O’ rings designed for worn cases. My case looks OK, so all should be good (I hope).

Yamaha RD350 YPVS N1 Frame

Yamaha RD350 YPVS N1 Frame

I spent some time over the weekend attacking the frame. Had the usual problems with rusted bolts, breaking bolts, soft bolt heads etc. but with copious amounts of penetrating fluid, some ingenuity and a few choice swear words, I managed to remove the front end and most of the bits up to the middle of the frame.

The person that invented the Impact Driver should get a medal and the person in charge of metallurgy at Yamaha should be given a new job, maybe as the tea boy at Fukushima.

Exhausted! (my supply of wire brushes)

Yamaha RD350 YPVS Exhaust

Yamaha RD350 YPVS Exhaust

I’ve been painting again. This time one of the exhausts. As you can see in the comparison picture, there was quite a bit of surface  rust to get rid of first. I’ve worn out at least one wire brush and a wire disc for the drill and painted about half a tin of Jenolite onto the rust to keep it at bay. The result isn’t too bad. I kept the road rash on the pipe intact, just to keep some character (and I also didn’t think filler would work on a hot exhaust).

Time to start work on the second pipe. I may see if I can get it sand blasted to save a bit of time (and wire brushes).

New parts

New PartsSome of my new parts arrived yesterday :-).

You don’t get much for £230! but I’ve got all of the seals, gaskets, oil lines a rather expensive thermostat (£38) and a tube of crankcase sealant which came in an interesting box :-) lets hope the product is better than the spelling on the box.

Gasket CementStill working on the crankshaft, I’m really going to have to bite the bullet at some point and drop the cash on a new crank!