A modernized “Elsie” with a dyno-proven 103.7 bhp!
The Yamaha RD350LC was the successor of the RD400, featuring the same bore and stroke as the original air-cooled RD350 (64x54mm) but with liquid cooling and a significant power boost, making 46-49 horsepower in stock trim. With the introduction of Yamaha’s YPVS power-valve system, the bike would evolve into the RD350YPVS, sold as the RZ350 in the US market.
Still, the original “Elsie” was no slouch, destined to become something of a cult classic:
“Easily able to outfox machinery many times it capacity, and power, with a combination of stunning acceleration and sharp handling, the LC quickly built a reputation as the street-racer to be on.” –Classic Motorbikes
Enter our friend Alan Phillips of Two Stroke Heaven, whose RD400 restomod we recently featured. Alan is a dyed-in-the-wool two-stroke fanatic whose love affair with street smokers began early. In fact, at the age of just 19, he owned a 450cc LC — an utter weapon capable of embarrassing much larger machines.
Years later, enlisting the help of tuning legend Mark Dent (Performance Fabrications Ltd), Alan set out to build a giant-killer for the ages:
“I wanted to build the most powerful LC, which would top 100 rwhp…. The highest specification known to man.”
We’ve seen some two-stroke hot rods in our day, but the build sheet on this LC tops anything we’ve seen on the RD platform. Braced frame, BST carbon wheels, full Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, bespoke wiring room with internal routing, and much more.
Then here’s the 465cc tuned engine, sporting Athena barrels, a 10mm stroker crank, lightened flywheel, Performance Fabrications pipes, and more — good for a dyno-proven 103.7 bhp! As you can imagine, the riding experience is nothing short of crazy:
“I would describe this as the equivalent to riding a box of dynamite. This bike pulls your arms off in every gear all the way up to 135mph.”
Yamaha RD350LC Restomod: Owner Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
1983 Yamaha 350LC — now 465cc.
• Why was this bike built?
I wanted to build the most powerful LC, which would top 100 rwhp.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The highest specification known to man.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
I have spent £55k on this beast — this includes all of the R&D over the years. This includes many engine rebuilds, etc. The bike is hand-built and here are some of the mods:
Braced frame, BST carbons, full Öhlins, Brembo mono block calipers with master cylinder. 38mm Air Stryker carbs, Ignitech ignition, Performance Fabrications pipes.
Light FW and tuned engine. Athena barrels, 10mm stroker crank, Nova gearbox, lock-up clutch, V-Force reeds. Airbrushed paint by Padded Cell Race Paints, quick shifter. Harris rear sets.
Stock Co race clocks, Domino quick throttle. Bespoke wiring loom with all internal cables. Harris yokes, race chain and sprockets. Mad Biker radiator with red hoses.
BSB quick-release back wheel. Titanium bolts and spindles, Brembo race discs, pads, race coils.
Many other parts, etc.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
I would describe this as the equivalent to riding a box of dynamite. This bike pulls your arms off in every gear all the way up to 135mph. It was geared for 155mph which is crazy. I had to gear it down.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The whole bike is exceptional and put together by Mark Dent at Performance Fabrications. Now that we know what we know, we probably could put this 104-bhp package together for £25k – £30k.