Yamaha RZ350 Restoration- page 2


The engine had been rebuilt just a few hundred miles ago (with receipts from the previous owner), so after cleaning and painting, I checked the pistons/cylinders visually from the exhaust ports and everything looked really good. All the seals looked good and no leaking, seeping or other problems. Now we are ready to start reassembly.

engine ready to be installed

engine ready to be installed

We start by reassembling the swingarm and rear linkage. All the bearings and bushings were cleaned and re-greased.

Assembling the swingarm, shock and linkage

Assembling the swingarm, shock and linkage

Next rear wheel-

right side- back on a wheel!

right side- back on a wheel!

The steering head bearing were badly dimpled and notchy so I installed a set of tapered bearings-

Corroded brake disc bolts and severely dimpled steering head bearing race

Corroded brake disc bolts and severely dimpled steering head bearing race

tapered roller bearing for the steering head
tapered roller bearing for the steering head

front end and forks back on...

front end and forks back on…

Rolling Frame

Rolling Frame

Now its time to install the engine, wiring harness, exhaust, etc. It goes a lot faster in the pictures than it did in real life! I took lots of time to check and make sure everything fit properly and had the right clearances. The exhaust pipes were especially tough since they were old and probably didn’t fit all that well when they were new. I cleaned the wiring harness with purple power cleaner and the plugs with brake clean spray and they came out looking almost brand new. Lots of time and old toothbrushes!

Motor installed

Motor installed

super clean wiring and electronics
super clean wiring and electronics

Trying to get the pipes to fit properly...
Trying to get the pipes to fit properly…

with the pipes and mufflers
with the pipes and mufflers

Now we start on the body work and paint… most of the plastic was in decent shape and I had a couple of sets of tails and side panels so I took the worst of them and bead blasted all the old paint off and filled the grab-rail holes since I didn’t want the rail on the bike. All the stripes were measured with a caliper so they could be reproduced accurately.

filling and sanding...

filling and sanding…

 

measuring stripes...

measuring stripes…

 

In white epoxy primer

In white epoxy primer

white base and pearl...

white base and pearl…

laying out the stripes for the red

laying out the stripes for the red

tank getting ready for red...

tank getting ready for red…

RZ350 tank with red and white painted on

RZ350 tank with red and white painted on

Tail with red and white...

Tail with red and white…

Before I started all the body work, I measured all the stripes and distances between the various colors so I could accurately reproduce the original paint scheme. On the original panels, the bike is a mix of paint and decals. Most of the red was real paint but the blue stripes were vinyl and a lot of the pearl white between the colors was vinyl. I measured the tank stripes, side panel stripes and logo decals with a caliper and sent the dimensions off to my friend at Tapeworks Graphics in North Carolina. The original blue is not a metallic but I wanted a little more pop so I picked a color that matches the original but has a fine pearl in it. He made the decals for me and I went to work installing them…

Blue Yamaha RZ350 graphics

Blue Yamaha RZ350 graphics

Blue stripe on side panel...

Blue stripe on side panel…

It is really important to get the white stripe between the red and blue the correct thickness or you will instantly notice that things don’t look right or match up properly. This was especially hard on the gas tank since i had a pretty thick vinyl stripe that needed to make several compound curves-

gas tank with blue stripe

gas tank with blue stripe

RZ350 tank side view...

RZ350 tank side view…

tank with the YAMAHA logo

tank with the YAMAHA logo

Jump to Page 3