Yamaha RD350LCOut of 22 possible motorcycles, the Yamaha RD350LC topped the list for the most popular bike of the 1980s in the UK.
The two-stroke RD350LC topped a poll put together by two known UK motorcycle outfits – Bennetts – a motorcycle insurance specialists – and Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, a leading motorcycle publication across the pond.Over 300 motorcycle enthusiasts were polled ahead of the second annual Isle of Man Classic TT 2014 presented by Bennetts, which has a 1980s theme in memory of 26-time TT race winner Joey Dunlop.The bikes in the poll were selected by Bike Social’s Marc Potter and Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Editor Bertie Simmonds.Speaking of the bike, Bennetts reports the “Yamaha RD350LC – widely regarded as the bike that was responsible for the rebirth of the two-stroke – rolled off the production line for the first time in June 1980. The Race Developed Liquid Cooled (RDLC) machine managed to establish a truly global fanbase up until production was ceased in 1995, and it’s unsurprising that it secured 19% of the poll’s votes.”Taking second with 13 percent of the vote was the the Honda RC30 (VFR750R), which was followed by the Suzuki RG500 in third with 9 percent of the vote.It was a tough decision, though, considering the pole featured Kawasaki’s original Ninja – the GPZ900, the Suzuki Katana 1100, and the Suzuki GSX-R750.Speaking of the winner, Simmonds says: “It’s no real surprise to me that the RD350LC is the number one 1980s classic motorcycle. It sums up the generation and decade really – it was an affordable, exciting machine, often a rider’s first ‘big’ bike and as such has a place in many hearts.“In second the Honda RC30 was one of the most successful homologation road and race bikes built for the World Superbike series in the late 1980s and today is a real collectible with prices starting above £10,000! As is the Suzuki RG500 – with the RD another two-stroke! It seems we miss the smell of two-stroke oil and the performance that a stroker provides.”Potter also commented: “The 1980s brought some real exotica like the Honda RC30 and Yamaha OW-01 but Yamaha’s RD350LC was the bike that brought performance to the man on the street. It seems that everyone who was into bikes in the Eighties has their own LC story. It’s the bike that’s launched a hundred racing careers and is a very worthy winner of our Classic TT poll.”Practice for the Isle of Man Classic TT 2014 presented by Bennetts is currently underway, with the races set for August 23-25 August. Many notable names are there, including 11-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop, and the man closes to Dunlop’s TT record – John McGuinness, who has 21 wins.The event’s highlight – The Bennetts 500cc Classic TT Race – will take place on Saturday, August 23, at 12.30, with the newly-created “Mike Hailwood Classic TT Trophy’”awarded to the winning single cylinder 500cc machine.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.