Yamaha RD350 Police of Ken McCormick

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Category: Stories from the US/Canada
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Tom Craig from Canada sent these pictures from a rare ex-Police Yamaha RD350.

The bike is owned by Tom s brother-in-law, Ken Mc-Cormick in Ontario. (I suppose this is Ken, the proud owner, in rather unfriendly motorcycling weather....)

yamaha rd350 police

 

We dug it out last weekend (it was hidden behind a bunch of XS1 projects) and twe ook some pictures before winter set in. (Do you see the early Yamaha XS1F on the background??)

yamaha rd350 police

The bike was bought by a previous owner at an auction in Brazil and before he took possession the police lights etc were removed hastily(snip, snip)

yamaha rd350 police

These special switches also used on other Police Yamaha's in the 1970's.

yamaha rd350 police

Ken has all the documents to support this. Hopefully I took enough pictures to display the obvious differences from a standard RD.

yamaha rd350 police

Sorry not to have checked date; I just assumed it was 1973 by the tank decal. That is correct, but as the Police bikes weren often part of a large order, it is possible that it is produced later.

yamaha rd350 police

While visiting a vintage race meeting at Mosport this summer Ken struck up a conversation with Stan Nicholson, apparently they knew each other and when I saw the picture of Stan on his Yam on your site (Ken is on the frontpage with his Yamaha TD2(B) production racer) I thought of Ken and his odd Yamaha and paid a visit to him with my camera in hand.

Differences: Tank is larger than stock, (European size 16 litres)

yamaha rd350 police

The flashers are mounted on the fork top not to the headlight. The rear ones are also at an odd angle.

yamaha rd350 police

White faced instruments, with a very optimistic speedometer.... 140 mph means 224 km/h....! Can you imagine a fully dressed police man travelling as fast as a production racer with this thing ?? And with side-bags and a huge fairing? Either Yamaha was very optimistic or they did it to scare those poor Brazilians who looked at the bikes when they were parked somewhere!

yamaha rd350 police

yamaha rd350 police

Police stuff- crash bars, fairing, small box behind seat, solo seat is missing saddlebags.

(I remember these saddle bags available as normal accessory also for the XS1F !)

 

Some of the changes from stock that I know could well be common in another Market? Oh yeah, when I scratched some of the white paint all I found underneath was more white paint.

Yes, that is correct, they were not over-painted. Yamaha made them as a pure Police bike.

The pictures are taken at Ken McCormicks' home here in Ontario Canada. Tom Craig, Canada

 

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