From early 2011 until late 2019, I crisscrossed the lower 48 in search of weird, wonderful and rare motorcycles that were destined to head overseas. If Abhi abides, maybe Bike-urious will feature a longer story on a grey-exporters experiences in the future. I learned a lot not only about buying bikes during those eight years and 400,000 miles, I also learned a lot about the different parts of this United States.
I could tell you about knowing exactly what you might find as you rolled into one neighborhood compared to another – exceptions abound but the rules pretty much played out as you expected. One of the rules I learned was about all the cool stuff tucked away in shops, garages and basements in the Upper Midwest. I had heard that back in the mid 80s and 90s that is where one found all the good musical gear, the original Fender tube amps and Tele’s, leftovers of teenage rock dreams of 25 years prior, kids long gone, kids nowadays not interested.
Anyways, I found good bikes there, most kept in great condition as they only came out for a few months a year. This Yamaha RD250 is listed as 1972 but I think it is a 73 model by my research, no matter it looks to be not only a nice low mile survivor but a great deal and the seller the kind of guy I used to love to buy bikes from. I never had one of these early ones but did find myself trying to run from the cops on a 1977 RD400 in my early hooligan days – the beginning of my love affair with two strokes. The RD250 (Race Derived) was the start of a long line of bikes that later on became the liquid cooled LC, the RZ250 in Japan, the RZ350 we got in the states and the mighty RZ500, all the later bikes sporting Yamahas YPVS, more power, better handling and great paint schemes. The seller says this bike has been sitting since 1982, has low original miles and just needs some minor brake work.
Find this 1972 Yamaha RD250 for $3,000 in Rockwell City, Iowa here on Craigslist.