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Yamaha RD250F Restoration Part 5

8th June 2016

Yamaha RD250 Bike stripped no seat

Hello and welcome back to Alex's Blog - which has been hi-jacked for a few weeks by Adrian from our Oakmere store. He is undertaking a restoration of a 30 year old (and some!) Yamaha RD250 F - if you haven't read any of the previous blogs about this you can start here.

"With all the electrical components back on and working, I was starting to make real progress. I still hadn't sourced a front mudguard or exhaust system as these were just too badly damaged to be repaired. This was something I was very soon going to have to sort out. A quick look on Yamaha forums and owners club forums put me back on track and the exhausts that I eventually decided upon were the J Lomas ones which you will see shortly. Having seen these in the flesh on similar machines I liked the look, shape and more importantly, the sound!

Yamaha RD250 Front lights Yamaha RD250 rear light

Yamaha RD250 Bike stripped no seat

As you can see above, I decided to check out the seat which was in a very sorry state. I just prayed that the base was still solid, as again, these are irreplaceable. Luckily for me, it was. To preserve the seat for the rest of it's life I treated it to an exterior metal paint which promised a rust free existence for the seat. 

Yamaha RD250 old seat cover

Yamaha RD250 seat base pre treatment

Yamaha RD250 seat base cleaned and treated

Yamaha RD250 the finished seat

As you can see from the pictures the finished product turned out very well and I was really pleased with it. After all, you don't know how these after market parts are going to fit and the seat cover fitted a treat, exactly like the original. Happy days. The hinges and locks and other furniture were all OK after a quick sand down and paint or polish. After all this the seat was ready to go back on. At this point I was feeling very pleased with myself and turned my attention to the rusty tank I mentioned in my earlier blog.

This had rotted in places - making it extremely tricky to fix. It had to be fixed as I had searched and searched and there was none available. Anywhere. I began the painstaking process of firstly removing the original graphics, then grinding out the rotten pieces and welding in new metal. Removing the original graphics was particularly difficult as they were brittle and baked on with thirty year old glue so they literally came off in tiny 10mm chunks - and that is if I was lucky. Obviously the rotten part of the tank was right on the detailed crease, so after welding the new piece on, it then had to be hammered in ready for re-sculpturing. 

Yamaha RD250 damaged tank

Yamaha RD250 Tank ready for re-sculpting

So re-sculpturing began. This is done by applying body filler in layers. If not done properly this can look horrendous. So I took great care and time carefully applying layer upon layer , sanding it down, then putting another layer on and sanding it down. Slowly but steadily I was building up that bottom seam, until eventually I was happy that it matched the other side of the tank exactly. When I was happy that this was the case, I applied a thin layer of primer. A thin layer will show, instantly, any mistakes or flaws. As I took such great care this didn't happen to me. 

Yamaha RD250 Tank re-sculpted

I primed the tank completely as the whole of the tank was going to be resprayed and new graphics were going to be applied. In fact I decided that all the coloured panel work was all going to have to be repainted. So every piece was flatted and primed.

Yamaha RD250 Tank before and after
Check out this before and after above.

Yamaha RD250 panel flatted

Yamaha RD250 panels primed

The top coat of paint I couldn't do myself to a professional petrol-resistant standard so this was going to have to be sent away. But who to choose to do it? Who could I trust with this monumentous task? There are plenty of guys out there who talk the talk, but could they walk the walk?" 

And that's it for another week but he will be back next week for the next excerpt!

In the meantime in the world of J&S Accessories Ltd we have a brand new Klim Blade Gore-Tex jacket that features a Gore-Tex 2 Layer Performance shell for only £299.99.

Klim Blade Gore-Tex now in stock

Until next week,

Alex