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.