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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I dumped a bunch of pics from my little RD350 2 stroke build over the last couple years, I'm going to half-ass document it here. Follow along to see some sketchy ass shit turn into a pretty cute and very fun little bike.

Here's the bike as I picked it up in summer of 2017, I traded a basket case KX250 and $500 for it!

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And here it is this fall, the day I sold it, after two rebuilds in the winters of 2019 and 2020:

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7,137 Posts
Nice work, dude!

Excellent choice of mods.

Hope you got a good price. Unmodified LCs in good shape are worth big bucks these days.

6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I had a different phone a few years back with some other pics of the original repairs but they're long gone afaik.

When I got the bike the kickstart was stuck, the problem was the small gear on the back of the clutch basket which engaged with the kicker was broken. I fished the chunks of gear out of the bottom of the case, fixed it with a used banshee basket, cleaned up the carbs and got it running half decent.

I could tell the bike had been in a tumble at some point by some scars and the subframe was pretty tweaked. I straightened the frame using some big giant straps and a comealong between two trees. (This I need to find the picture of) It was pretty hilarious but it worked perfect and now the bike was pretty straight.

I rebuilt the brakes after that and took the bike for a few boots on the old rotten tires sipping fuel out of an inverted jug hanging off the bars.

The tank was fucked beyond repair, I spent a while trying to repair it using various methods before I finally gave up and decided to just buy a better tank. But finding a new one of those took me a very long time and at this point I still hadn't found one.

Anyway at that point it was the winter of 2019 and I was pretty horny over this little bike, and decided to bring it inside and start cleaning it up and get it running crisp and put it on the road.

So it all got tore down and started putting one piece back at a time after either a good hard scrubbing and a squirt of paint.

Which is about where these pictures begin.

About the same time I decided to ditch the gay old mikunis everyone loves so much and just put on a set of carbs my simple brain can figure out. Ebayed a nice pair of good ol Keihin puker 28s from a pair of newer KX100s and blasted them, rebuilt, and put on some ****** velocity stacks.

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Starting to look cute at this point:

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Picked up some cheap tires and shot the wheels in black because I always thought polished ridges on colored wheels was 🤮:
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I picked up these used Jim Lomas GP pipes from a dude down south, these were a great deal but were still pretty dear. From now on we make our own, fuck that. Despite the costs though I was super pumped about these. In the pic you can also see some pegs I fiddled with to fit inside the stock gigantic rearsets, they even clicked up.
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Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point:
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And here we are, in spring of 2020, on the day I first started it with the new carbs and pipes and all that work:
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And here we are, snow is gone, and I finally have a gas tank! This was the start of an awesome summer for me!

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nice work, dude!
Excellent choice of mods.
Hope you got a good price. Unmodified LCs in good shape are worth big bucks these days.
Thanks for the compliments... means a lot coming from you, your build was really inspiring when I was getting turned on to the idea of modding this one.
I did really good on it. I kind of wish I didn't sell it because I never got to finish it the way I envisioned it. My plan was to keep on it this winter and do the usual banshee motor build and a complete tear down, coating and refinement thing. But I had a throbbing rager for a property and needed to come up with the dough, and this bike was the easiest thing I owned to turn into a pile of cash. The property didn't work out and so I'm a bit salty that I gave this up but in the end it funded a few other flip projects, a nice new TIG and a couple more bikes... so it's all good! 🤙

6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's a pic of the bike and my dead dog Kawi 😭:

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The old stock rear shock was a horribly bouncy piece of shit deathtrap and I couldn't afford a nice Nitron or YSS upgrade but I just so happened to have this Ohlins shock from an Ducati 900SS on the shelf, so I figured I might as well use it, it couldn't be any worse. And as a bonus the 900SS had a straight non-leveraged suspension linkage and the spring was progressive, so it might even be perfect. So I took the spacers out of the eyes, carefully drilled them to accommodate the LC's shock pins, rammed it in and cut the fender to clear the reservoir all ape-like with an exacto knife in the summer heat.

What I was left with was a great improvement. A bit firm but felt much, much more confident in the turns and also had the benefit of raising the ass end about an inch, which decreased the rake and all together made the bike much more nimble and in contrast it handled very nice. As far as I know I'm the first to give this shock a try.

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Had an incident where I left a side cover on my car and drove off. Found it a few weeks later crushed in the ditch. So I bought these side covers and a tail piece from some dude who welds in sandals in some 3rd world country and well, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. The side covers were pretty shit and the tail was so shit it was unusable. So my dreams of having a carbon bodied LC on the cheap were crushed and I decided to just paint them.

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A pic at the drag races. The bike was completely badly set up for this and pathetically slow but I made some new friends here and the whole experience was so awesome, it led me to build a big boy's drag bike.

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Unfortunately all that fun came at a price, and I had to take her home and rip her tits off for a top end rebuild. The bike was on the original bore and was suprisingly not bad. But all those burnouts and wide open ripping all over town had put the nail in the coffin for the OEM top end.

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I decided while I'm in there getting my compression back I might as well crisp it up a bit further by modifying the squish to a more optimal clearance. I made some crude drawings of this torque plate and had a local machine shop spin it up for me while my cylinders were out for boring.

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Then I sent them back and had this groove cut into the head to fit these Viton o-rings. I just picked an o-ring I could order from Motion Canada and used one of those fancy online calculators to get the specs for the groove with this type of fitment. Doing this cut my squish clearance down to a little over 1mm which was nearly ideal.

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Ofcourse I'm not sophisticated enough to run water jacket o-rings so I just smear goo on it:

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After that I slapped it back together and adjusted the timing a bit and she was snap crackling and popping like never before:

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Rode out the rest of the fall of 2020 like this, and started collecting parts for the winter.

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got this stuff for a song off some poor cuck's wife who was forcing him to part out his 749R:

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The setup was totally different in the Ducati but to adapt this was easy as shit. Those Attack Performance triples just unclamp from the stem, so I used it as stock and made some drawings to reduce and taper it to match the RD/RZ tapered steering bearings. I sent it to the machine shop and they hooked it up. I cant seem to find a pic of the finished product.

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And I bought this Aprilia swingarm on ebay and a Duke 690 rear wheel from a dude in the UK.

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Around the same time I got this RC8 front wheel from some scooter crackhead in the UK and put some nice new tires on the wheels. A set of wheel spacers were required but I don't seem to have a pic of that process. Lucky for me the rotors landed in the caliper slots. A bit offset towards the center but worked none the less.

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Then I decided to adapt the poor old oem clocks to the fancy triple:

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now the front end was starting to look pretty neat so I started working on the big issue, being that the swingarm is gigantic and the wheel is not and the frame definitely is not.

So I picked up a scrap piece of melamine with one good straight edge and made a shitty little jig:
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Then I took it to a big bandsaw and ripped a 2" section out of the middle:

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Tacked with a few dots of super glue for mockup, it was starting to make sense now:

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As if that wasn't unthinkable enough, I still needed more room. So I made room by spreading it out and poorly welding in a 15mm spacer on top and a 20mm spacer on the bottom. The spacers had a plug in them that stuck in either side of the tubes. Looks like shit but it worked and I didn't die so 🤷‍♂️

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Pretty ugly job but at this point spring time was rolling around and I was too fuckin amped to get back on the road to worry about it.
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Then I shimmed the front end and frame off the ground to set my desired rake angle and turned to the shock mounts. This took a lot of doodle fucking around and stoner theories on how to calculate the leverage on the spring vs the old setup and how much sag to expect and all that. In the end I overestimated and the whole setup sat a bit high. If I were smarter I would've done this with the adjustable eye on the shock set in the upper middle of the range but no instead I did this with it fully collapsed and when it was done I just had to live with the higher rear end.

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And then finally had it boogered up by a local shop:
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And so now we're here, suspended by our own suspension, very exciting!
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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I wanted to use that fancy brembo clutch master cylinder so I did this little hydro clutch conversion using a KTM SXF slave and a hunk of aluminum. I had to extend the clutch pushrod to meet up to the ball on the slave. To do this I just cut a chunk off another pushrod and put it down the hole first, followed by a ball, then the oem pushrod.

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I made some adapter plates to use these old ZX6R rearsets I had left over from another project.

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No fancy tools here...

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I thought it was a pretty slick idea but by the time I had finished tapping all the holes I was sick of it and wished I had just made 2 lol. I never did adjust the pegs after I set them up the first time. Plus the more holes you drill into a thing the more holes you will have off center :LOL:

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Little melty soak on the rearsets

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And a little bit of time on the belt grinder smoothing my brackets, and I was pretty happy with the results

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Around this time I had gotten my seat back from the very talented Dustyn Bustos, who I think might have lurked here once upon a time...

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Then I made some spacers for the upper shock mount and swingarm... no lathe here just careful drilling of bar stock and shaving on the belt sander.. does the trick

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Took mere minutes to debaucher this tail tray to french the tail light in a bit

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And then I started trying to wrap my head around the undertail pieces

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I made a drawing based on my little cardboard cock and then used a very large saw at work to draw it straight and symmetrical onto a piece of aluminum

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Then back home cut it with some big snips and hand bent it to fit. I stuck the wiring back in place with some rivets and bolts.

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Then I bent up a couple pieces of flat bar to hang onto the plate and turn signals

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And like Bob's your gay uncle, the tail was finished

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Now back onto the issue of wheel and chain alignment, this shit way too tight

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And we needed this yuge 18.6mm offset sprocket to even get into the ballpark:

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Then I paid a real genuine backwoods ******* type guy to stick it on his century old lathe and trim about 5mm off the sprocket carrier to get inline and away from the inside of the swingarm. His eyes were crooked but the cuts were straight and it only costed me 20 bucks!

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But the problems didn't stop there, we were now hanging a chain and sprocket out so wide that it was interfering with the clutch cover, so I simply removed everything that touched

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Then I took the part that got cut off and fashioned it into a little guard with a spacer behind it, and now everything was lined up and in the clear :cool:

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now I still had a rear axle that was way too long, so obviously you would cut it and rethread it to suit your nut and be done with it. but I was getting tired of paying for lathe work so I decided to approach the problem backwardsly

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Turned out a bit cockeyed but it did the job
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Then there was double trouble with the oem kickstand. Not only did it not reach the ground anymore due to the jacked up rear end, but it also interfered with the shift linkage

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I found a kickstand from an old CBR954 I parted out, and used it as a donor for all the kickstandey knobules

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An old pivot axle from a KZ750 would serve as the scrotum

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The angle of the dangle is inversely proportionate to the beat of the meat

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And after a bit of tweaking the kickstand was done

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok so rear brake caliper hanger. I didn't leave myself very much room at all so I went about this a bit differently

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Now the clearance was so tight I actually had to relieve some material for my rotor bolts to pass through, else they would hit

To do this I wagered my fingers and did something I don't reccommend anyone do ever

I don't have a CNC mill and I sure as fuck wasn't about to whittle it with a grinder so I bolted a 1" dowel to my drill press and used it as a pivot point so I could run my plate under a fat endmill

A couple test cuts proved my theory plausible:

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Now this was pretty scary I have to admit, but it worked, and it actually cut pretty clean until I exited my cut and the very thing I feared most happened and the piece started flailing wildly out of control.

But I was safe and so was the piece except for some scarring in the channel, so I finished it off with a bevel by doing the same process, but this time with a countersinking bit

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Choppy chop

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A bit more FeTtLiNg and it was looking pretty ok. I had to face my fears once again and feed the piece into the endmill to evacuate some material to clear the pads

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Now I needed a way to secure it, so I tried to find a way to run a torque arm or somehow bolt it into a slot in the swingarm but it was just too tight to get anything in there. So against the better judgement of everyone I consulted on this matter, this is how I went about retaining the bracket to stop it from spinning freely

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
At this point the suspension and wheels were tight, front brakes were set up and I was so horny to ride this fucking thing

I couldn't find a suitable clevis for the rear brakes so I made a little link out of a piece of handguard mounting clamp

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Good enough for this impatient guy
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Ran a piece of old brake line from something and hung my pipes and that was about it for the rear brakes

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6,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And so finally I was able to kick it the fuck out of the shop and into the daylight again for the first time this spring.

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Back home leaking manly racing juices

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I rode the tits off it like this for a couple weeks, tightening bolts and adjusting things day by day.

Yes that is a zip tie holding my exhaust up.

My ol lady was longing for a ride though

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So back in the shop it went, and I started on some passenger pegs. I used the OEM pegs that were on it before and attached them to some sticks

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The old mounting hole from the RD pegs would serve as a pipe hanger. Eyeballed and stuck on right there in the yard

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At this point the bike was fucking filthy and I was pretty much in love with it so I brought it back inside to tidy some things up

Little squirt of paint on the new passenger pegs

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And I was getting pretty sick of the two red dog boners hanging off the back of my bike so I put them in for melt in oven cleaner and shined them up a bit.

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Repacked the pipes, received an aluminum rad and hit the body panels with another bad paintjob, but it was an improvement for sure. Semigloss black to help hide the imperfections

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