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quicklimegirl

Vintage 2-stroke bikes

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quicklimegirl
Any vintage 2-stroke fans on here? One day in early 1977, I was standing outside the main gate of my Kaserne (base) waiting for the Straßenbahn wishing I had my own transportation. In front of the base was a used car dealer. I saw a bike under a cover, which is how I stumbled onto what was arguably the best handling bike of the era. A '73Yamaha Rd350 Euro model (blue & white in pic). I bought it for $650, fell instantly in love, and never have fell out of love with the little smokers. When I bought my FZ07 last Friday, that brought the current M/C count to 11. Of these, my only other modern, 4-stroke is my '03 Z1000. I love it, but with over 113,000 on the clock, I wanted something in the wings for if/when it goes. This also allows my BF and I to finally start taking multi-day trips without having to carry extra oil. I wanted something light & quick revving like the smokers, and  something that also didn't need a new top end every 15K. So now with the FZ I'm set, especially since I've yet to put together all the $$$ I need to rebuild the top ends on some, & top & bottom on the others.
 
In any case, here's a couple of my first loves in the MC world. The other two are a '76 RD400 and an '85 RZ350 Kenny Roberts special:
 
 
 
 
 
RZlftside2.jpg
 
RD400.jpg
 
RD350_Germany.jpg
 
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faffi
I cannot claim to be a two-stroke fan - I like engine braking - but I still enjoy many of the ring-dingers made over the decades. I mate used to have an Elsie 350 and my brother owned the last edition of the RG250 Gamma at some stage. Both incredibly light and nimble, but hard to ride for me since I usually don't hit the brakes much, and the engines disliked steady state cruising. But as a third bike in the shed I could see myself own a smoker some day.

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bornagainbiker
My first street bike was a 1972 Yamaha RD 250, and in 1977 I owned an RD 400.  Those were some of the lightest, best handling and quick little street bikes ever made.  I loved the little smokers for their eagerness and flickability.  They were also a breeze to work on and rebuild.  IMHO, modern bikes would do well to emulate their simplicity and performance.
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johnakay
I've had several two strokes from 350 rebel ,t500,gt500 and also one BSA bantam D7.
this is my last last two stroke sadly sold on..
 
 
johnnyuk1.jpg
 
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norcal616
 
0b5ddb003f636f9a3b212dbd2a43ac52_funny_things_funny_stuff.jpg
 
Currently helping my best buddy rebuild a KX500 and 2 CanAm dirt bikes(it's been 5yrs and maybe got 1 bike probably 75% done ?)
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quicklimegirl
I cannot claim to be a two-stroke fan - I like engine braking - but I still enjoy many of the ring-dingers made over the decades. I mate used to have an Elsie 350 and my brother owned the last edition of the RG250 Gamma at some stage. Both incredibly light and nimble, but hard to ride for me since I usually don't hit the brakes much, and the engines disliked steady state cruising. But as a third bike in the shed I could see myself own a smoker some day.
Funny you should mention lack of engine braking as a reason not to like 2-strokes....I'm just the opposite!  I find it a bit disconcerting, bordering on annoyance, dealing with it when I switch back to the Z (and now the FZ) after riding one of my smokers.  To me it feels like the continuity of the line I'm taking -- especially on downhill twisties -- is interrupted by dealing with the force of the engine braking. It always takes a bit getting used to again. Geez, you'd think that after riding on the road for 40+ years I should be used to it enough, but the freewheeling smoothness on a smoker is what I know and love the best.  I shudder at the thought I may have to give up riding them because my knees, especially the R one may soon no longer allow me to kickstart them.   The very light weight and flickability of the FZ may well be as close as I can come to replicating the feel of a well sorted RD400 or RZ350. 
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faffi
Sad to hear abut your knees - know all about protesting joints and know it's no fun. Hope you'll be able to enjoy your smokers for some years still - you can always stand by the side of the bike and kick with your left leg.
 
When it comes to preferences, it is funny how people vary. I hate that modern cars have so little engine braking as well. I could tune my old Volvos for more or less engine braking by adjusting the amount of air let in on trailing throttle. I set them to no air, which made their engine braking strong enough that I had to use throttle to get them down 8% declines in top gear, or they would slow. That's something I really enjoy with electrical cars, that you can almost hit brake power with regeneration. Luverly :)

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firstyammerha
Good article in this months CycleWorld by Kevin Cameron talking about KTM reviving the street going two stroke with placement of the fuel injector in the transfer port and closing up the timing of the opening/closing of the exhaust and transfer ports. I forget how they were handling the oiling of the engine.

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firstyammerha

Another good article in this months CycleWorld about Gray Market two stroke bikes being imported in larger numbers due to changes in a U.S. law. They're gonna be expensive though.

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r1limited

Maybe coming soon on Saturday

 

SUPER SECRET Shhhhh
 

elmer_fudd.jpg

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