1971Yamaha R5B 350

1971 Yamaha R5B R Front

Daddy to the RD350 from yesterday, the R5B is clearly the earlier bike, with a drum front brake and less 70’s-tastic color and style.  But this was where it began, and the R5B was the “founder of the feast” as it were, the beginning of Yamaha’s famous and successful line of sporting “21-inchers”, named for the 21 cubic inches the class displaced.
1971 Yamaha R5B L Side
The R5B wasn’t more powerful than the 350 that came before it, but the bike’s wider powerband and ability to humble much larger machines in the canyons cemented it’s reputation: the frame’s design was sourced from Yamaha’s own TR2 race bike, and testers of the time loved the “on rails” handling of the bike.  It was no slouch in a straight line either, although the short wheelbase made it a bit of a mono-wheeler at times…
1971 Yamaha R5B Clocks
From the original eBay listing: 1971 Yamaha R5B 350 for sale.

This is a 1971 R5B 350 which was the start Yamaha’s 350 series. The bike has been changed to a cafe style with Vintage Smoke rear sets and pointless ignition. Fairing, bars, mirrors, tank, seat have been changed out. The bore is stock with new piston and rings. The clutch friction plates and springs are new. K & N filter, Y boot,  battery, tires, tubes, brakes, exhaust pipes, rear shocks etc are all new. The seat opens and latches as stock. The carbs and front forks are rebuilt. The bike has 5781 miles on it. I have some stock parts which are included in the sale. Some shippers will allow an extra box to be put on the skid and some don’t so you’ll need to check with the shipper if you want the extras. The bike comes with owner’s manual and service manual and clear title. 

1971 Yamaha R5B Dash

I’m not so sure about the aesthetics of that fairing or those godawful grips: I have a buddy who put this kind of “billet” style grips on his MV Brutale and absolutely hated every uncomfortable mile he put on them.  And I’m not a fan of them for looks on a bike like this either, but they might fetch some money on eBay if they’re not cheap knock-offs.  I’d rip them off and put on some vintage rubber grips or wrap the bars in leather grip tape.  But the mechanical updates look well considered: if you love to tinker, keep your points.  If you love to ride?  The pointless ignition is a worthy upgrade.

Looking these little 350’s and the relatively low prices they command, I’m starting to wonder if a smoky little two-stroke might be in my future…


1971 Yamaha R5B R Side

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1 Response

  1. That’s lovely. Good luck to seller and buyer!