Here’s a method of reliving your mis-spent youth riding 350LC’s, without the dealing with problems. John Nutting attempts a contemporary conversion based upon an XSR900 triple.
For those who enjoy the large hedonism of racing around on a 350LC Yamaha however can’t now deal with the weedy handling, here’s the remedy– a Velocity-Moto Yamaha XSR900 based 900LC.
Created by Surrey-based legend Fast Bikes factory, racer, and contractor, Hag Hughes, the 900LC catches the appearance of the popular two-stroke twin, unlike a lot of the so-called ‘lawn constructs’ that are popular today. It’s based upon the XSR900, Yamaha’s retro-styled variation of the three-cylinder MT-09, with a bodywork package that can either be fitted by the owner or defined when the bike is purchased brand-new.
And I need to state that the variation I experimented with, that included additional portions of the design and efficiency bling, was whatever that made the Elsie fantastic, and more besides, in a contemporary bundle.
For Hag, who’s been constructing delicious racers and track-day devices for several years, the job seems like a labor of love and integrated his existing service– called Velocity-Moto. com — of using technique bike parts with his experience of producing graphics and signs for posters and structures.
“We raced 350LCs in the ’80s and were genuine criminals,” states Hag, “however nowadays the bikes have their constraints.” So to regrow the LC idea in such a way that allows riders to relive the dream, he created a brand-new tail fairing and side panels in GRP for the XSR900 and used his abilities in the style and production of decals that record the ideal appearance.
The body set consists of a remodelled seat and rear light, a handlebar fairing and a carbon-fibre console that simulates the 350LC’s and accepts the XSR900’s single instrument. To my surprise, the leading and side panels that confine the fuel tank are the initial aluminium styling products, however since the decals are so skillfully created, the bigger size still appears like an LC’s tank, which is a style icon in its own right.
Likewise consisted of is a Tom satnav that nestles in the left-hand console, and is triggered by a mobile phone, and the vestigial front indications.
Not having actually ridden the unmodified XSR900 I can’t pass judgement on its feel, however, the 900LC was for me practically as healthy as it might be for anything as much as banzai freeway blasts. The flat ‘bar, cosy seat and footrests matched the cutaways in the tank’s side covers like a well-fitted match.
It catches the appearance and character of bikes from the late ’70s and early ’80s to excellence, with none of the contemporary patterns for the unavoidable angular Alien, Mad Max or Transformer deals with. Park the 900LC anywhere and on-lookers are pleased to see what is a standard bike and after that some.
The 900LC is so devoted to the design of the RD350LC that when I took the bike to Yamaha UK’s base in close-by Woking, marketing supervisor Jeff Turner was gobsmacked.
“The XSR900LC has actually completely recorded the feel and appearance of the initial 1980 bike,” he stated. “The percentages and detailing of the parts truly work well to produce a maker that appears to have the very same appearance as an RD350LC. Extremely smart and genuine homage to the renowned bikes it takes its motivation from.”
Hag has actually been scheduling Yamaha dealerships to offer the 900LC, allowing financing offers to be provided together with a factory guarantee, the very first of which was Woking Yamaha. For existing owners of the XSR900, the body package costs $2795 AUD sometimes of publishing, with $15600 for the paintwork.
However, it must be apparent that the deep blue 900LC envisioned is a platform for more than simply the body package, with a series of efficiency and managing goodies provided by Velocity-Moto. com.
The XSR900 it is based upon is a great maker, including a three-cylinder 847cc 12-valve engine that with a 120-degree crank and stabilize shaft is smooth and refined, have a look at Pommie’s test on Yamaha Australia’s custom-made Kenny Roberts XSR here and our XSR evaluation here. The engine includes functions like consumption ports with uneven geometry, ride-by-wire throttle control and an option of riding modes that alter the power curve, together with traction control. The clutch has slip-and-assist, which is stated to assist when altering down strongly through the six-speed box and allows a lighter action at the handlebar lever.
Introduced in 2016, the XSR900 has a more highly-specified chassis than the XSR700 twin and includes a die-cast aluminum-alloy frame and rear fork, and an inverted telescopic fork. Wheel sizes are what you ‘d anticipate, 17-inch cast-alloys front and rear, with double front rotors and radial four-piston calipers utilizing ABS.
With a peak power of 115bhp at 10,000 rpm on tap, there’s more than prompt sufficient to keep you hectic as much as the useful aerodynamic optimum of about 130km/h. In stock trim, the XSR900 is tailored for 240km/h, so at the 110km/h legal limitation, the engine’s singing along at an unwinded 4700rpm.
Hag reckons that regardless of this modern spec within the context of retro-styling, there’s much space for enhancement to the standard XSR900. Despite the fact that the suspension was customized with modified damping compared to the MT-09, the XSR is still lavish and does not have the accuracy, and Euro4 requirements for emissions and sound lead to a throttle reaction that’s dull, especially at the bottom end of the variety.
2 alternatives are provided for uprating the suspension, from either K-Tech or Ohlins. The blue XSR900 revealed included a K-Tech package, in which the internals of Yamaha’s benefit down telescopic fork is changed with brand-new springs and a cartridge damper set-up including adjustability for preload, and damping, both compression and rebound. The rear suspension has a rising-rate linkage that’s the same however the single shock is changed by a K-Tech product.
On the test bike, this was the standard product with preload and rebound-only damping modification, however, a more advanced remote-reservoir variation with complete damping modification is readily available.
The K-Tech-fitted bike has a firmer and well-controlled flight and without changing the geometry the steering is extremely light and responsive. Certainly, there’s a component of a racer in its feel: push the flattish handlebar at speed and there’s a tip of an incipient shimmy, so no surprise that there’s likewise an alternative of a guiding damper. I chose the damper rejected, just due to the fact that I liked the anxiousness of the bike. After all, this is simply the method a 350LC felt, although that was since the frame was so lightweight.
I discussed the firmness of the suspension to Hag. He states it was established for his weight, which has to do with 7kg more than me, so not a surprise there. To include a little bit of rider weight to the front and make use of the waspish percentages of the frame behind the engine, more trendy footrests were fitted that have to do with 25mm even more back and tad greater. There’s space for this due to the fact that the swingarm rotates beyond the frame, so you can tuck your feet in quickly.
The handlebar and hand controls stay stock, however, the instrument console inside the swimwear fairing imitates the initial 350LC clocks well. Above and in between them are a set of lights that flash up as the engine red is reached.
Without having direct experience of the stock bike’s efficiency, I can’t talk about just how much better are Hag’s adjustments, that include an Akrapovic three-into-one exhaust system and a reflash of the ECU, which makes it possible for previously-tested injection and ignition curves to be set up through a laptop computer.
I can state that the exhaust note is, well, fruity with a basal drone that is ensured to signal the neighbours in not simply early-morning starts, and will please those who reckon that a louder-than-stock bike supplies a security margin in traffic.
The efficiency modify truly does offer the XSR900 a substantial quantity of action at lower revs without any unpredictability from a closed twistgrip, a lot so that I more than happy to pull greater equipment the majority of the time. This isn’t bothering to the transmission due to the fact that the motor is so smooth anyhow. Curious as I was to learn what the top-end efficiency resembled I tried on a tidy area of peaceful blacktop.
It’s simple to be traveling a freeway and discover after a brief surpassing squirt that three-figure speeds disappear than a couple of seconds of velocity away. On a back road that is amplified by numerous orders, and the much better suspension is a genuine benefit to get you out of prospective difficulty.
I ‘d figured that the tailoring had actually been reduced to provide much better velocity however assessment of the replacement Talon rear-wheel gear revealed it has the very same 45 teeth as the stock maker.
To get a procedure of the efficiency of the reflashed ECU, Hag took the bike to be evaluated on the dynamometer run by PDQ in Taplow in Buckinghamshire. With the stock exhaust system peak power depended on 119hp, he stated, with practically 125bhp with the Akrapovic.
Cosmetically, the genuine design style of the 350LC is finest replicated by the matt black of the XSR900’s frame and fittings. However, I needed to like the treatment of the light-alloy, which prior to assembly had actually been cut down to the metal and polished to within an inch of its life, followed by (I hope) some clear lacquer.
Other more subtle products consisted of the coordinating colours of the wheels and the vestigial turn songs.
I was shocked by Hag’s take on the 350LC in a modern-day reincarnation. I ‘d seen it initially in a paper and showed up my nose, however in the flesh, and much better still after riding the bike I might see the appeal of styling a contemporary maker like those we ‘d delighted in 30 or 40 years back. Absolutely nothing incorrect with that, especially since the 900LC works so well, and is a useful maker to utilize, though I ‘d choose a less raucous noise.
However, if you like the concept authentically reliving the goon riding days of your wasted youth, the 900LC can serve it up in dollops.