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Author Topic: Free RD finally done again, I think?  (Read 14369 times)

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Offline 76RD400

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Free RD finally done again, I think?
« on: April 20, 2011, 02:20:49 PM »
So here's my story. At a bar in Berkeley Ca. having pints with friends and talking about my 1978 RD400 that I bought new from San Francisco Yamaha.($1200 and 17 years old) All the Yamaha dealers had chambers and cafe parts dripping off their walls. I was crying in my pint(s) on how I regretted selling my bike in 1983 ($1000). A guy sitting next to me asked, Are you interested in an RD? I respond, how much are you asking? He say's free, you just have to get it out of my momís garage. HUH???!!! Free???!!! I got his number and called him the next morning.

His story. He bought a new Chappy Red 1977 RD and wrecked it in 1981(hit curb and bent frame) He buys a Geneva Green 1976 that has a blown engine for the chassis. He got as far as setting his 77 engine in the 76 chassis and then it sat in his moms garage since 1981(last DMV reg and tag)

I picked up the bike the next morning. His mom was happy! Complete bike with DG heads and Mulholland shocks!  Original parts, (2) extra sets of tanks, side covers (Chappy Red and Geneva Green), factory exhaust pipes.  1976 engine that matches the frame. I got it home, oiled the cylinders and rotated it. Checked for timing and spark (used a dial gage that I had bought from Richmond Cycle Gear in 1979 for $39, big bucks back then!) Put in some premix and fired it up! Threw a chain on it, put it on the center stand and went through the gears. Everything worked! Except the seals after it warmed up.

So project "Free RD" began. Tore the whole bike down and decided to build it back as a 1976 Geneva Green with a slight cafe mod. Rebuilt everything  (engine, tranny, brakes, switches, powder coated, Dyna ignition, etc.) Keeping one set of factory original parts just in case?

Done with project "Free RD" for now, but I did pick up a 1985 RZ350 with Toomeys, flatslides, Spec II full fairing and solo seat......hmmmm.......

Thanks to:
-   John at Economy Cycle for all the help, info and parts
-   Ken Brumm (gassed) for the new aluminum swingarm
-   Nick at Blacksmith cycles for the Dyna ignition that replaced my Newtronics that lasted 40 miles
-   Scott Ė racersuprv@bellsouth.net  for the drilled disc. 1 week turnaround from CA. to Georgia and back!










« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 05:32:08 PM by 76RD400 »

Offline sverdfisk

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 02:24:57 PM »
holy fuck! thats a seriously good looking bike! and awesome score as well.

Offline M@

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 02:36:56 PM »
Shockingly perfect.  botm!
76' RD400

Offline SoCal250

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 02:57:01 PM »
That's a great looking bike! Quite a transformation. Well done!
A free bike?!  Ya can't beat that! Some guys have all the luck. What are the odds of a guy sitting next to you at a bar having an RD400? And even more, what are the odds that he wants to give it away?

Love your garage and other toys too. That's a great looking workshop.  :cheers:
Are you still living in the Bay Area (your post mentioned being in a bar in Berkeley)?
91 TZR250R (3XV);  89 FZR400W
79 RD400F Daytona;  77 RD400D - mod project
75 RD250B (350 project);  75 Yamaha RD200B (in boxes)
75 RD125B (stock,<1K mi);  75 RD125B (project: RD/TA200);   05 FZ6
For Sale: 02 Aprilia RS250 Cup
Sold:  85 RZ500N V4



Offline 76RD400

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 03:31:32 PM »
Yeah, still in the bay area. The bar is T-rex in Berkeley. I'm still in touch with the guy that gave it to me. I think it was more of his mom wanting it out of her garage. Funny you say lucky, I came across the matching #s 1970 Corvette in the middle of a full restoration. Just finished the factory color(Marlboro Maroon), all new chrome, interior, new leather seat covers and foam, new brakes, calipers, lines, tires....etc....all boxed up....It was like christmas. I rebuilt the motor and had the transmission rebuilt. Picked up everthing for $7000.

Offline sverdfisk

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 04:09:39 PM »


you remind me of this fellow, just without the lazyness.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 04:13:57 PM by sverdfisk »

Offline retaRD

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2011, 04:10:33 PM »
I need to hang out at your bars. 
74 RD350 Toilet
74 XS650 Workbench
98 Husaberg FE501 REmoTARD

Offline pdxjim

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2011, 06:25:27 PM »
BOTM

Offline jrotten99

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2011, 11:19:16 PM »
very nice bike!

Offline vinyas

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2011, 11:30:52 PM »
well done !!

Offline chrisbee

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2011, 04:30:49 AM »
 :thumbsup: my style of bike.... love it :thumbsup:

Offline RLB454

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2011, 10:05:03 AM »
Great story from start to finish  :thumbsup: Your RD looks absolutely fantastic.
74' RD 250 W/ 350 top
79' RD 400 Daytona Special
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Project bike in the works: 93' Kawi KZ1000P

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Offline 76RD400

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2011, 10:36:43 AM »
Thanks for the positive replies. This site has helped me out immensely with all the info, advice, reviews and discussions that go on. Seeing others projects are awesome as well. Lots of talent on this site.

Offline Premiumjo

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2011, 11:20:26 AM »
Spec-fucking-tacular!  :thumbsup:
Nice work

Offline oxford

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Re: Free RD finally done, I think?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2011, 11:21:01 AM »
The gold swingarm looks great with the green tank.  I am not usually a big fan of the dg heads, but even they look good on that bike.