The Yamaha RD350 opened a portal that fuelled our affinity towards sports motorcycle in India. In 1983, when it was brought to our shores, except for a few components such as the absence of front disc brakes, the RD350B matched the ones sold abroad on paper. However, the tale on the streets was a different one.
In today’s time, finding a fully functional RD350 at a price that won’t cut a hole in your pocket, is a forlorn hope. But what caused this? What changed in the past decade back that didn’t happen since 1989 when Yamaha pulled the plug on it? Perhaps it’s the sudden realization of what the bike was close to four decades and qualifies to be insane, even today.
As these bikes grow old, a few of them underwent restoration while the rest benefited from restomods and both scenarios boiled down to just one question: How much modification is too much modification? That brings us to the bike in hand. What you see here, is surprisingly an RD350 that has been reworked as a brat café racer by Dehradun-based Moto Exotica.
Plenty of the bike has been changed to give it a classic yet modern silhouette. Custom made parts on the bike includes a handcrafted leather seat and a larger tank. The chassis has been tweaked, adding more strength alongside a new swingarm.
It gets an all-new front fascia supplemented by the custom handcrafted front fender and CNC milled triple clamp and bottom connector. It sports a sparkle blue paint with gold pinstripes. The modified RD350 comes with hand-welded stainless steel dual exhaust with an expansions chamber, providing improved low-end and mid-range torque.
It features a single-pod instrument cluster and comes with a round headlamp. On the front, the bike gets an upside-down fork while the rear boasts an adjustable mono-shock. The front disc gets 4-piston radial callipers while the stock rear drum brakes have been replaced with a modern disc brake setup. The bikes sit on an uprated set of 18-inch wire-spoke wheels which is interestingly wrapped in knobby tires.
At the heart of it is the same 347-cc air-cooled, two-stroke, parallel twin engine that produces a maximum of 30 bhp at 6750 rpm and a peak torque of 32.3 Nm through a 6-speed transmission.