KTM 200 Duke with a Yamaha RD350 engine: Fastest Indian bike from the past in a new package

Yamaha RD350 was in its time the fastest motorcycle in India, so much that it was said to be too powerful for something that had drum brakes. Now, Inline3 Custom has fitted the same engine on an even lighter trellis frame of a KTM.

By:March 28, 2018 1:00 PM

Meet RD Duke, a KTM 200 Duke with a Yamaha RD350 engine. The spectacular engine swap done by Chandigarh-based Inline3 Custom Motorcycles combines a Duke’s handling with RD350’s ‘too much power’ on a light trellis frame. Aseem Singh Pawar of Inline3 Custom wanted to restore an old favourite. But if you happen to have a university degree in design, you don’t just restore an old motorcycle, you look for other possibilities. Aseem came up with the RD Duke – a hybrid combining a KTM 200 Duke and the legendary Yamaha RD350.

To someone not very well aware of bike building, just swapping engines may sound like a fairly easy procedure, but doing it was anything but. It took Aseem over three months just to fabricate effective engine mounts.

For his RD Duke, Aseem knew his limitations but stuck with his design and took help from local metal experts to bring his design shapes into sheet metal reality.

The result of the KTM 200 Duke and Yamaha RD350 amalgamation is in truth, staggering. Aseem then decided to takes courses in metal work and hopes to elevate Inline3 Custom to India’s most revered custom bike builders.

The RD Duke needed a list of performance parts which had to be imported from the US. The parts included, US barrels (std size), silicon coated performance pistons, performance crank rods, high-performance pressure plates, hydraulic clutch, VForce 3 Reed valve, VM32 carburetors, K&N filters, DG head, CNC milled clip ons, Jim Lomas SS Expansions and Powerdynamo.

It took a year to build the RD Duke and as Aseem describes to 350cc, it was docile under 7000 rpm but above that mark, it was a hooligan. After all that hard work, it was immense elation for Aseem and he named it Flying Sikh.

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