Modern Classics: Hot RD350LC stars in new mag

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This stunning, modified, Yamaha RD350LC is one of the stars of Practical Sportsbikes – a new sister magazine to MCN launched this week.

Crispin Fuggle’s 350LC/RGV hybrid has just been finished. It’s so fresh, in fact, it’s not yet been run in. But if it goes half as good as it looks it’ll be a belter. 

Crispin was bitten by the LC bug in 1985. He was 17, had just passed his test and was tearing around Kent on a 350LC. “It had Microns, a Pro-Am fairing and bellypan and Boysen reeds. I thought they’d make it quicker,” he remembers.

“I loved that bike. I had all sorts after that – RGs, RGVs, supermotos, superbikes – but in 2002 I came full circle and bought an LC. My R1 was too fast for the road, I was about to be a dad, so an LC was the obvious choice.”

This is his second since then. The first is near standard. This, as you see, is not. “It was a right lash-up when I got it. I bought it off eBay. The seller said it was immaculate, but when I got there his idea of immaculate turned out to be different to mine. But I had my rose-tinted glasses on and bought it.”

It was a horror. “The swingarm spindle was held in by 5mm of weld, the engine was full of stray bolts, and the frame was so butchered I had to buy another. It was a death trap.”

Built with the help of Simon Thompson from 70s-80s Restorations, this 350LC is a delicious blend of old and new(ish). It retains the classic 4L0 lines with its tank, panels and motor, while making the most of RGV250M usd Kayaba forks, wheels, brakes and swingarm. “I knew how I wanted it to look.”

The pipes are one-offs, handmade by Simon. “They’re my favourite part of the bike, by far, and they sound great,” says Crispin. Unsurprisingly the motor isn’t stock either. Stage 2 Bob Farnham barrels fuel through 34mm Mikunis off a TZR250. “I want it to be fast, but it’s got to be reliable too. There’s no point if I can’t ride it.”

Crispin wanted a bike that makes him smile every time he opens the garage. He’s achieved that, but he’s thinking about LC number three already. “Once they’re in your blood, that’s it. I’ve got the bug now, that’s for sure.”

Read more about Crispin’s bike in the new Practical Sportsbikes, on sale Mar 3.

Luke Brackenbury

By Luke Brackenbury