Joshua's Indian RD350
By Anthony van Someren - 17 Jun 13
When it comes to two strokes, we know that there is a crowd of you out there who just can't get enough, especially of the infamous RD350. As well as being stupidly quick and light, with a powerband you needed to respect, they also filled the countryside with a ring-a-ding-ding that you could hear across the hedgerows, and even if you missed one zip buy you could see and smell the trail of blue smoke left behind. I can almost smell it now. This backyard RD was built by from Joshua in India, which is special enough in itself, but it's no token world-build, this is a very beautifully put together machine, which we had to share. I grew up spending summer holidays in a car workshop and while most of my peers were getting bicycles for their birthdays I was getting tools or a tool chest to take mine apart - and that's really where the story began. I always had to find out how stuff worked - usually by taking it all apart, and sometimes not being able to put it back together. I was also the the side-kick every time my dad took apart his Royal Enfield for a paint and engine overhaul. My fascination for anything that moved grew and from stealing midnight rides on my dad's bike to finally working as a motorcycle tester for an automotive magazine in India, my two wheels just kept turning. I moved to the US to learn to be a pilot a few years ago but when I got back armed with my license I landed smack bang in unemployment central. I had to find something to do so I started off building my own motorcycle; this Yamaha RD350. In India the fascination seems to be with having stickers and fairings. Sometimes a new model is launched with a new sticker-job as 'all-new'. Other times it's plastics. A little 100cc commuter can sometimes end up looking bigger than a Hayabusa. I decided all this clutter needs to go. We need to understand what it is that makes a motorcycle truly enjoyable, fun to ride, simple, elegant and look the part it's supposed to play. I decided it was time to bring about a change in the motorcycle scene back home. Over here there are a lot of choppers that look the part but they're unrideable, either coz the suspension is screwed up or the 350cc engine isn't powerful enough to lug the added weight of that 300mm tyre down the road. I didn't care if my builds looked half as descent as the chrome chops around, as long as the rider could swing a leg over and feel at one with the machine, and then just go out and ride the damn thing, leaving all their worries behind. Well, Joshua, the bike looks great with it's classic red frame, gold wheels and white bodywork. A machine stripped back to basics with only what is required for speed, including a steering damper, just in case. This tidy little RD wouldn't have looked out of place at Wheels & Waves in Biarritz, the One Show in Austin, Texas, or even the streets of London at the Bike Shed event. Thanks for sharing.