Sorry everyone, my hosting company went down while LA experienced power outages
In the meantime, Paul Moeller had written in, and I've been meaning to get back to him:
Lawrence, I found your website searching through google and I wanted to drop you a line and ask a few questions. My dad has one of these babies sitting in his shed, probably the exact same one as you have. It's a 1972 Yamaha 350 R5 that needs a lot attention and I would like to be able to give it the tlc it needs. I just have a few questions for you? Are parts easy to come by? I don't really have that much experience with engines but I am mechanically inclined and love a challenge. There is a chance that the engine needs some work, and do you think that with the help of some online materials and book help an engine overhaul could be done by a novice? I am looking forward to exploring your site more and thanks for putting it out there for everyone to see.
Sounds a lot like my situation... I love everything automotive or motorcyclic in nature, but don't have much experience doing things myself. I just didn't have the space to work on my stuff that much - rowhome living did limit what I could accomplish on my own. I do enjoy the challenge though, and have jumped in feet-first by buying this bike and attempting to do everything myself. At least I could chain the bike up on the pavement while it was being worked on, and wheel it inside during the winter.
I did however take the bike to a licensed HD mechanic to look her over just to make sure nothing major needed to be done... apparently all that was needed after 20 years of storage was a good carb cleaning! So in my case I was lucky. Just a little tinkering got her legal and back on the road.
However, the bike isn't doing so hot at the moment. Seems the battery is not charging while running, so I need to find those gremlins and get rid of 'em. I have been busy buying a house and moving for the past few weeks, but the new place has a garage (!) so I anticipate a lot more work getting done in the near future!
I started my R5 site as part scrapbook, part experiment, and mostly placeholder for all the links I found while combing the internet for R5 stuff... you see, there was no one site that had everything all together. I think that's why it's become so popular.
Anyways, it seems there's a whole mess of R5s out there, and a pretty good helping of spares and aftermarket parts to keep 'em going. Even New Old Stock! There are also a lot of manuals (factory originals and reprints as well as independent books) still out there. A simple search for "R5" on eBay
came up with a handful of stuff, and you can even keep looking for the later RDs, as much of the stuff is interchangeable... then there's a bunch of shops that cater to the early Yammys, and those links are to the left. A couple of the bigger ones that I've seen many a person reccommend are Moto Carrera
. Another good source for finding stuff is by asking around on mailing lists (Yahoo! R5
and Yahoo! RDS
) and forums (like USA 2Strokers
). The good news is these bikes are available, there are plenty of parts new and old, and prices are on the cheaper side...
So, I say, if I can do it, you can do it - what are you waiting for? The support is out there... get that stinker back on the road!