I bought my Yamaha RD250F, registration MHK 210V in March 1980. Gleaming and brand new. The bike looking fantastic in the now iconic yellow with black racing blocks colour scheme. I was a proud young man as I rolled away gingerly from the forecourt of Mistley Garage. They later moved to Colchester and became T K Cope Motorcycles. They remain a Yamaha dealer to this day
In the Beginning
To think it cost me just £920. Sounds like nothing now but it was a huge outlay for me then. It wasn’t long before I set to on making a few modifications: Allspeed expansion exhausts, a chopped rear mudguard and a slimmed down front guard.
Fresh faced 17 year old. Yamaha RD250F on spannies! Who could wish for more?!
Three years of fun followed, but it was time to move on and the RD was sold in 1983 to a local mate called Kelvin Westall.
Doing the Rounds
He had his wicked way with her for a couple of years, before a Paul Shaw took it on in 1985. Twelve months later, the RD was then passed onto another mate called Robby Robinson 1986. Nearly forty years on I can’t recall dates and prices to be honest.
However, I do know when Robbie had the RD he refurbished it a little: New box-section section rear swinging arm, rear sets and a cut down seat. He enjoyed it this form for a decent stint, before, in 1991, selling to another lad in the local circle called Glen Woodham. He lived in sunny Colchester.
Lost in the Mists of Time
One or two more people I knew or knew of had the RD after him. Peter Broom for example around 1992/93. Finally the last time it was spotted was by Kelvin down London way. The once stunning yellow and black RD was now painted plain old black.
Then fast forward twenty years. I still love RDs and the memories that particular example created for me and my friends. They were so typical of so many Yamaha RDs at that time. Bought, then thrashed, crashed and abused.
One evening I randomly put up a post on the RD group Facebook page appealing to see if anyone knew where my old friend MHK 210V was now. To my amazement a guy called and said that he had the frame and the V5 registration document!
The poor old RD had been stripped for spares but was still clinging on!! I had no choice did I? A deal was made and before I knew it I was on my way to south London to pick the frame up. My old friend was coming home!
Blood, sweat and tears
The RD was last on the road in 1999 as far as I could tell. Two years of work followed just to find the parts to put it back together. But the RD is complete again!
43 years on and RD and I are ready for action once more!
The Crackle of expansion pipes is as evocative now as it was then!
Martin Newlyn fabrications came up with these ones for the rebuild
The bike had four more owners between 1993 and 1999. So if anyone out there in the RD world (or beyond) used to own her, please get in touch. The bike was probably in and around South London then?
Anyway I was owner #1 and now I am owner #11! Smoke on dudes! I’m 17 forever!
Story: Alan Knight
Editor: Tony Donnelly
Pictures: Alan Knight
Based on a thread originally posted here: