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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, perhaps I don't truly belong here yet since I don't have my hands on an FZ09 but seriously wanting one bad as per my introduction....but that said, I'm wondering if there are any folks here who, like me, first fell in love with street riding via (now vintage) 2-stroke street bikes....especially the arguably best-handling bikes of the era, specifically the 1973-1979 Yamaha RD350 and RD400. I also have a couple RZ350s, the later water-cooled, advanced version of those bikes.

While I'm really excited about the prospect of getting the FZ09, I've been riding the smokers more and more lately due to getting tired of the extra weight of my only modern bike, an '03 Z1000. They're so much less taxing to ride than the Z lately......I've been doing rides like Vancouver, WA to Oakridge, OR., a 500 mile R/T on my RD400, for example. Here are some of my smokers:









 

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Wow, nice collection! Only 2 stroke I have ever owned was a 2006 Yamaha Blaster. I loved that thing. I wish two strokes were still around.
 

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Yes, I have owned many 2-strokes, mostly off-road models from Yamaha, Ossa and Bultaco. The only on-road 2-strokes were a Cimatti 160cc and a Suzuki T350.
 

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Only dirt 2 stroke for me, Honda 250. My Dad had one of those RD400, never got to ride it. Till this day he claims it's the fastest bike he's ever ridden.

BTW, he hasn't been on the Niner yet. I'm sure his claims will cease about the RD.
 

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I had several of the RD's back then.One 250, and sort of one 350, but so many parts changed it was like several bikes...they were giveaway cheap. If you paid 300.00 , for a used one, you did not try hard enough. Especially when everyone was flocking to the , cough..cough.."superior" four stroke offerings from Honda. They were sooo fast. I know if you looked at a dyno chart, it would appear nothing special, but these bikes felt FAST at 60 mph. Actually, for those who never knew them, it was very possible to hop them up to run with four strokes in the 750cc range. Thats without ever going above 350'cc''s. Plus, you could rebuild the engine in an afternoon.

The smell of Klotz oil...Its like white cake mix.

Look at this random dyno chart. http://buildandclick.com/assets/images/RD350LC-DYNO.png

Notice the power gained vs the rpm's.......Check out the part where it gains 20 hp in 1000 rpm's. The chart really does not account for time, though, and it would gain 1000'rpm before you could snap your fingers. It felt fast in the same way an amusement park rollercoaster feels. Although, nowhere close to fz09 power, it handed you 60-70 hp before you knew it was there.

I always wanted the 1984 Kenny Roberts Special edition, but never got around to it. Dummy.

I saw TWO rd500lc's at The Rock Store, last summer. Was busy trying to make a plan to ride one of those out and leave my bike in its place.

My dirt bike is a 2006 yz 250 with an Eric Gorr big bore 295cc kit. Scary/terrifying power.

No, no..I dont miss them, or tend to carry on about the past...not me. I'm a look forward type of guy...

Honest, I'd trade my Ninja 1000, straight across, for a 1984 Kenny Roberts Special edition. I need to make this a higher priority because even thinking about it gives me that feeling in my stomach.
 

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:)My first 5 bikes were smokers
yamaha '67 YL-2 (first bike)
suzuki '78 RM80
honda '81 CR125
suzuki '75 GT550 (first street bike)
yamaha '83 RZ350
Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Car
 

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I started on the street with an R5 Yamaha, graduated to RD350's, lastly the $995 RD400 deal. I loved those bikes having a 2-stroke motocross background. I would forsake 4-strokes if they brought out low emission direct injected 2-srokes.

I never plan on owning a classic bike. I rode a tricked out RD400 with the intention of buying it a few years back. It felt so ratty compared to my modern hardware that it stole some of the fondness of my memories. I will keep my old memories and make new ones on the latest greatest stuff.
 

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While slightly off topic, it's worth mentioning that this discussion is also big in the snowmobile industry. The EPA and other agencies are all over the 2-stroke engine. Yamaha has already gone to an all 4-stroke line up.

The other manufactures are trying to avoid it. I do love my 2-stroke snowmobiles but I will admit they blow out a lot of smoke and oil.

The same thing happened with outboards. I bought a new Yamaha 2-stroke engine for my boat, only to see it outlawed the following year on my favorite river.

I wonder when motorcross will be the next victim?
 

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Those are some beautiful bikes my friend. Certainly brings back some great memories for me. I had a couple RZ 350's 85/86 and an 85 RZ 500. The 500 was in spectacular condition when I sold it in 94' for around $2,500 if my memory serves me right. Always kicked myself for getting rid of that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would forsake 4-strokes if they brought out low emission direct injected 2-srokes.

I never plan on owning a classic bike. I rode a tricked out RD400 with the intention of buying it a few years back. It felt so ratty compared to my modern hardware that it stole some of the fondness of my memories. I will keep my old memories and make new ones on the latest greatest stuff.
Obviously I'd love to see a modern edition based on the new technology as linked above, but I'm not holding my breath.

As to your sentiments, mine are about opposite...to me, there is a particular, visceral feel to riding these admittedly primitive bikes that still appeals to me, even with the advent of all the modern technology. One thing that impressed me last year was a reminder that even being 37 years old, an RD400 still can rail. I'm closer to 60 than 50, considerably heavier now than when I first rode these things @ the age of 18. On an annual ride I do to Oakridge, in central Oregon, I was way out on an isolated Forest Service road halfway to my 250 mile destination. I'd forgotten just how tight an upcoming downhill, nearly a hairpin turn was when I came into it too hot. I just told myself to trust my tires, but I was convinced I'd be toast and the little RD wouldn't be able to handle it. I railed on through like it was nothing, coming out of the turn simultaneously laughing and shaking from the momentary fear and adrenaline rush. That reaffirmed to me the soundness of the bike's chassis.

Regardless of what else I own, I'll always love riding these things. I especially like the lack of engine braking on downhill routes, you can't get that with a 4 stroke (except do the slipper clutches help that?)
 

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If you don't want a 4 stroke to engine brake don't close the throttle. ;)

Check out Stoltec in the vender's section, he reflashes the ECU, many benefits including a bit less engine braking to make on/off throttle smoother. Maybe he can do a flash for you with even less engine braking.


PS I'm 57, a bit of hand arthritis etc too.
 

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Almost bought a Canadian RD 350 LC yesterday but the owner wouldn't budge on price and I'm just too stubborn to humor him. The last four months I bought 3 smoker Malaguti scooters... and one mint 86 VFR 700 Interceptor. That makes 8 bikes...2 cars...and an Elio next January. I have no room to park all this stuff.
 

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Almost bought a Canadian RD 350 LC yesterday but the owner wouldn't budge on price and I'm just too stubborn to humor him. The last four months I bought 3 smoker Malaguti scooters... and one mint 86 VFR 700 Interceptor. That makes 8 bikes...2 cars...and an Elio next January. I have no room to park all this stuff.
I have been watching Elio Motors closely. If I could confidently hop up the three cylinder (30 more hp) and upgrade the suspension, I would plop down a deposit. It would make a great commuter for me.
 

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Obviously I'd love to see a modern edition based on the new technology as linked above, but I'm not holding my breath.

As to your sentiments, mine are about opposite...to me, there is a particular, visceral feel to riding these admittedly primitive bikes that still appeals to me, even with the advent of all the modern technology. One thing that impressed me last year was a reminder that even being 37 years old, an RD400 still can rail. I'm closer to 60 than 50, considerably heavier now than when I first rode these things @ the age of 18. On an annual ride I do to Oakridge, in central Oregon, I was way out on an isolated Forest Service road halfway to my 250 mile destination. I'd forgotten just how tight an upcoming downhill, nearly a hairpin turn was when I came into it too hot. I just told myself to trust my tires, but I was convinced I'd be toast and the little RD wouldn't be able to handle it. I railed on through like it was nothing, coming out of the turn simultaneously laughing and shaking from the momentary fear and adrenaline rush. That reaffirmed to me the soundness of the bike's chassis.

Regardless of what else I own, I'll always love riding these things. I especially like the lack of engine braking on downhill routes, you can't get that with a 4 stroke (except do the slipper clutches help that?)
They are close. The problem is that the manufactures used automotive technologies to reduce the R&D cost of 4-stroke emissions development. They have too much invested in 4-strokes to advance 2-strokes and the replacement parts are a huge profit center, much more so that 2-strokes ever were.

Snowmobiles 2 Strokes Engine Technologies | Ski-Doo Canada
 
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