BMW Motorrad Spezial

Twinline Motorcycles’ sleek Yamaha RD350 custom

Yamaha RD350 custom
In the early 70s, the Yamaha RD350 set the motorcycling world on fire. It was light, rapid and unforgiving: in the right hands, it could comfortably see off a 750. In the wrong hands, it was a one-way ticket to the hospital.

This restored and customized RD350 is the work of Seattle-based Twinline Motorcycles, and known as Project Goldhead in honor of the rare DG cylinder heads. According to shop owner Ian Halcott, the customer “walked into our shop with a basket case RD350 and about $5,000 in trick parts from Moto Carrera, [Ron] Chinoy and others, and asked us to make a cafe racer. So we took him up on it.”

Twinline shaved as much weight off the already light bike as possible and focused on detail work, from cross-drilling the brake rotors, fitting stainless steel brake lines and Brembo parts, and adding Bridgestone Battlax BT45 tires.

“I hid the wiring under the seat pan because the Chinoy electronic ignition is huge,” says Ian. “The fender is an Airtech TZ and the tank is stock …we have not dyno’d it yet, but it’s happy to pull the wheel off the ground any time you desire. This bike is fun to ride and very thirsty!”

Image by Todd Blubaugh.

  • So small yet… so big! Love the exhaust, must sound incredible.

  • This is the nicest 2-stroke I’ve seen. Extremely well done.

  • pg

    Not much of a fan of the black gold, but this is a very well done bike.

  • wow, this is sexy as hell!!! super clean and the gold fits the period look.

  • Scarcat

    That’s easily one of the sexiest 70’s Cafe racer pain jobs I’ve ever seen. Love the work!

  • i was lucky to see this in person. Here are some additional pics:

  • Scarcat

    As I said … easily the sexiest paint job I’ve seen of a cafe racer I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for the additions pics Hoyt.

  • Great bike. I had two 75′ RD350’s and some of those parts came from Moto Carrera!!!! Great shop.

  • Mukund

    Hey Folks,

    Ron Chinoy saw this post and has offered to supply his latest ignition system which is much smaller for free to the owner. Do get in touch with him through his where there are posts on this bike


  • Dan

    Got a few pics from the Seattle show last year as well. Really a good looking build up close, and one of the highlights of the show in my opinion.


  • Absolutely sweet little bike! Nicely done!

  • To see more photos from the Goldhead shoot pls visit

  • Ian is in my motorcycle crew (Knuckle Busters). Awesome to see that he made this list. This past October, I was lucky enough to see this horse in person, and even ride side-by-side with Ian up and around Lake Washington. It’s definitely a screamer. Even MORE pics:

  • Just looking at that bike makes my head feel light and gives me those butterflies in the stomach feeling.
    This bike should have been the first one on your list.
    Who ever the owner is he must be one nice bloke with tons of good Karma, that he gets to own such a cool bike.
    The attention to details is awesome.
    Be it the Paint or the Exhaust or the Ignition. This guy has gone out of his way to get the best.
    Makes me feel 18 again.
    This has got to be one of the coolest Cafe Racers Ive ever seen.
    Here’s looking forward to you guys building many more like this one.