Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Bridgestone 350 GTO

Mon, March 1st, 2010

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1969–71 Bridgestone 350 GTO
For its time, the Bridgestone was an absolute screamer. It would be sorta fast for a 350cc bike even today—able to beat a 250 Ninja in a drag race, and only a few ticks behind an 883 Sportster (although an RZ350 would beat it by well over a second in the quarter mile).
Better than Kawasakis and Yamahas of the time, but that isn't saying much. Drum brakes are pathetic.
They have that cobby, somewhat confused and disjointed look common to most '60s street bikes, but the scrambler exhaust is cool.
They were built to highly precise tolerances, but the chrome bore meant no over-boring was possible.
Too peaky and punishing for most riding duties, and good luck finding parts.
Kind of funky-cool, and certainly rare, but not too high on my want list.
Bridgestones were designed to be clearly superior to their Japanese rivals. They arguably were, but never sold well—proving that that people won't always pay more for a better quality machine.