The RD200 was originally known as the CS3, a 180cc parallel two stroke twin with modern accoutrements such as Autolube & electric starter. In 1972 the engine grew to 195cc the model name changed to the CS5E, it was sold with garish purple and white paintwork covering a new stylish bodywork. By 1974 the bike had another paint job (gold), various minor modifications but most importantly the addition of reed valves to the engine, one for each cylinder. The bike was now known as the RD200, the RD (short for race developed) tag was introduced for Yamaha’s entire range of sportier two stroke models. The reed valves improved the low-end engine response, Yamaha called this technical advance Torque Induction.
Yamaha RD200 was an exciting option to consider in 1975, carrying an advanced twin cylinder, 195cc motor that churned out 22 BHP at 7500 rpm and 21.3 Nm at 7000 rpm. These values are better than the present generation 200cc bikes.
For those who think this reason was not good enough to justify the performance, a kerb weight of 116 kg gave it the same advantage that you can get by pushing KTM 200 Duke engine in a Bajaj Discover chassis. Almost 30 kg of less weight than present generation bikes make Yamaha RD200 a great option to own.
At that time, is was priced at $995 (INR 63,100 approx), which roughly equates to $4625 (INR 2,93,435 approx) after adjusting inflation. It came with basic features like drum brakes, twin rear shocks and flat seating for two on offer. Headlight was round while fuel tank measured 11.5 liters.
All this setup helped Yamaha RD200 achieve speeds around 130-140 kmph. If Yamaha brings back exactly the same design with a modern fuel injected engine, it could become an instant hit across various countries of the world. Yamaha RD350, the bigger variant from RD series, is still in demand for its performance centric ride and elegant design.