A brief history of RD 350 sold in India

The moment you say the word ‘Rajdoot’ in India, the first thing that comes to your mind is the doodh-wala (milkman). Rajdoots have long been, and continue to be, associated with the rural sector of India where the machines are known for their ruggedness over the unpaved roads of rural India.But this is not about that version of the Rajdoot. What it is about, is one of the fasted air-cooled street bikes ever to have been manufactured. Read on!

This version of the “Rajdoot” (though essentially a re-badged Yamaha) was the best two stroke India ever produced. The RD 350 sold in India was the Indian version of the RD 350-B that was sold overseas.The flagship model was a top of the line High end Torque road ripper, capable of speeds up to 160 km/h and with an acceleration of 0-60 km/h in 4 sec. This bike is easily the fastest bike ever to be launched in India.

The RD was an excellent mix of power and handling but failed in the Indian market. This was due to its low fuel economy, which was a no-no in the cost conscious market. To try and woo the market, the manufacturers released a more muted version that “gave” more kms to a litre. It strategy never worked and the RD was phased out in India.

The RD however never lost its glamour and to this days commands a loyal fan following and enthusiasts in India swear that they need to wait very long before anything manufactured in India catches up with it.

No wonder this bike is amongst the top 10 bikes of the century (Ranking by Cycle World, USA). An RD is an RD; don’t even compare it with anything else!!

Go to the specifications of the Yamaha RD 350.