Site hosted by Build your free website today!

R D Articles

YAMAHA RD 200 1975

Yamaha's first purpose-designed 200 was the CS3 of 1971, and the CSS of October 1971 was the last, with its squared-off cylinders and heads combining black and aluminum finishes. The main changes lay in the frame, still an open cradle but with two supplementary tubes linking the rear loop to the steering head.
Improved Brakes
The braking was improved by adopting the front wheel of the DS6 250; the shocks had exposed springs, and the fork was a copy ofthe Italian Ceriani. And, with a newborn interest in ergonomics, the ignition key was moved from the tank top to between the instruments.
"Torque Induction"
The mechanical revolution came with the RD ("Race Developed")models of 1973, available in 125, 200, 250, and 350cc displacements. All shared the same style and an innovation that would become widely developed: automatic intake valves(but still using ports controlled by the piston skirt)that inspired the mysterious "Torque Induction" motif on the the side panels.This technology, which involved a total of seven intake and exhaust ports, was mostly a matter of publicity but was, however, always used on the 250 and 350 catalogue racers. The RD200 developed more power below 4000 rpm, and apart from the cylinder heads, the engine was new (though the crankcase joint was still verticle). The model was made until 1980 with annual updates: new, angular lines in 1978 and alloy wheels in 1979. It was one of the last bikes in Japan to be fitted with a front disc brake. That was in 1975, although it was only available in 1976 in some export markets.


Engine: 195cc (52x46mm)air-cooled twin cylinder
Power Rating: 22hp@7500 rpm
Valves: two-stroke; automatic intake valves in the cylinder
Fuel System: two 20mm Tekei carburetors
Transmission:5-speed, chain final drive
Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm with twin spring/dampers (rear)
Brakes: twin-leading-shoe drum (front); drum (rear)
Wheels: 18 inch (front & rear)
Weight:256 lb
Maximim Speed: 87 mph
Externally identical to the RD125, the RD200 fell between two categories and was overshadowed by the RD250.
(©MCMXCV Edito-Service S.A.)

YAMAHA RD200 - 1973

Forging a reputation

Though it was overshadowed by the visually similar and faster RD250, the exciting RD200 was one of the bikes that helped to make Yamaha's name for small-capacity two-strokes in the early 1970's. Despite its small engine, the RD was great fun to ride.
Developed in Grands Prix
The RD200 appeared in 1973, as Yamaha was set to win its fourth successive 250cc World Championship. The Japanese firm's expertise in designing two-stroke parallel-twins was demonstrated in this roadster. Its engine featured Yamaha's latest tuning aids--a reed-valve induction system and new seven-port cylinder design, together termed Torque Induction by Yamaha.
Electric-Start sophistication
The 195cc air-cooled motor was fitted with an electric starter and sat in a single-downtube steel frame that held slender forks and twin rear shocks. The twin-leading-shoe front drum brake was rated particularly powerful at the time, especially considering the narrow front tire fitted as standard. With a claimed peak power rating of 22 hp at 7500 rpm, the Yamaha was good for a genuine 90 mph and cruise at 70 mph. But there was little power below 5000 rpm, so the motor had to be kept spinning with frequent use of the five-speed gear box. Despite typically crude suspension, the RD could be thrown through corners at impressive speeds, partly due to its light weight. On longer journeys, the little Yamaha rapidly became tiring. But for riders who wanted an exciting bike at a budget price, the RD200 had plenty to offer.


Engine: 195cc (52x46mm)air-cooled twin cylinder
Power Rating: 22hp@7500 rpm
Valves: reed-valve two-stroke
Fuel System: two 2X20mm carburetors
Transmission:5-speed, chain final drive
Suspension: telescopic forks (front); twin shocks (rear)
Brakes: drum (front); drum (rear)
Wheels: 18 inch wire (front & rear)
Weight:255 lb
Maximim Speed: 90 mph
The RD200's pleasant, rounded styling was shared by several other Yamaha two-strokes in the early 1970's, including the slightly faster and even more popular RD250.
(©MCMXCV Edito-Service S.A.)

Smokey Roads Home
Trips Photo Album
RD on the Drag Strip & 2 Stroke Photos
Fellow 2 Strokers
Sign, Sign