If you like two-wheelers of the pedal-powered kind, you probably know about Reynolds 853 tubing. It’s a seamless, air-hardened and heat-treated steel tube with a high strength-to-weight ratio. It’s not something you often see pressed into service on a motorcycle frame, and this 1974 Yamaha RD350 custom is the first of its type to be built in the USA.
It’s the work of master craftsman Steve ‘Brewdude’ Garn, who built it for the Ton-Up exhibition at Sturgis. The featherbed-style frame weighs a mere 20.8 lbs (9.4 kg) compared to the 52 lbs of a stock RD350 frame.
The rest of the bike is pretty impressive too. Garn rebuilt the two-stroke motor with a new crank, Wiseco Pro-Lite pistons, Banshee reeds, 34mm Lectron carbs, RZ350 chambers and an MSD ignition system. It now pumps out around 60 hp compared to the 35 hp of the stock motor.
The tank and front end have been lifted from an R5, with Hagon shocks bringing up the rear. The 18” aluminum D.I.D. rims were spoked by Buchanan’s, and are shod with Avon Roadrider rubber.
As well as the frame, Garn crafted the bars from 853 tubing, finishing them off with Pro Taper grips. There’s an Acerbis light up front, and custom-fabricated LEDs at the back. The seat unit is from Hotwing Glass.
The RD350 tips the scales at just 243 lbs (110 kg), which is about the same as a 250cc motocross bike. Fairly obvious where the name ‘Streak’ comes from, isn’t it?
Images by Michael Lichter Photography.