Tagged: RD400

Super-Clean Custom: 1977 Yamaha RD400 for Sale

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Front

So hands up if you think the whole cafe racer thing is played out! I do love the democratic nature of the café racer movement, the democratic nature. You can spend as much or as little money as your imagination allows, and build your dream using any brand machine you want. But the thing that makes is so cool is the exact thing that makes it so cliché: everybody with a battered old bike, a hacksaw, and some flat-black spraypaint can get in on the action.

But, every once in a while, a bike comes along that shows just how the whole thing got legs again. And this cool, relatively simple Yamaha RD400 is one of those bikes.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Tank

By the late 1960’s, Japan had proven that it had the engineering expertise to take on the established brands from Europe and America and was busy crushing them under their heel in terms of sales. They were inexpensive, featured sophisticated engines, and were much more reliable than their rivals. But the one area where they generally couldn’t compete was handling: bikes like Kawasaki’s Z1 were very fast in a straight line and merely competent in the corners, while their H1 earned a reputation for being downright treacherous. For most street riders, that was fine, and Harris, Spondon, and Rickman could whip you up a new frame if you really needed to go around corners.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Engine

But there were some notable exceptions to this, and Yamaha’s line of middleweight two-strokes combined playful, two-stroke punch in a lightweight package that made it the ride of choice for backroad-burners and aspiring racers: while heavier than the track-only TZ, it featured that bike’s racy geometry, strong brakes, and a six-speed gearbox. Worry-automatic oil-injection helped keep two-stroke hassles to a minimum.

1977 Yamaha RD400 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Yamaha RD400 Custom for Sale

This 1977 Yamaha RD400 custom is a real head turner!  People will stop you all the time to ask about it!  This was professionally built by Motohangar in Vienna VA.     The bike was completed in June of this year.  Bike is a total, ground up restoration and performance modded machine.  It was a feature story on the Pipeburn website on June 16th 2014.    It was also featured on Yamaha USA’s Facebook page where they called it “a masterpiece.”  If you search it online you will see that it has been re-posted to dozens of enthusiast websites around the world.  Take a minute to check out the feature story on Pipeburn where the builder details the build process and there are lots more photos.    

Bike has fewer than 100 miles on it since rebuild and is absolutely immaculate.  Starts beautifully and sounds like two-stroke heaven due to the hand built Jim Lomas race pipes. Pat at Motohangar has built a number of show stopping bikes over that last few years, including the best in show “Honduki” bike.

This bike has been described as a 70’s LeMans style resto mod due to its stunning paint and graphics.  Everything was completely disassembled and rebuilt and repainted–engine cases are beautifully detailed, frame is freshly painted, wheels were blasted and painted, new seat pan and tail section custom built (oil filler relocated to top of tail section)  custom LED tail light fabricated, neutral and oil warning lights relocated into top triple.

Vintage Smoke rearsets–which include a Brembo rear caliper, Jim Lomas pipes, clip on’s, Frank’s fork tubes, new Dunlop tires, new Assault rear shocks, new chain, new brakes, cross drilled rotors– the list goes on.  This bike is far superior to a brand new RD.

This bike is very fast and responsive to the throttle.  It will put a smile on your face every time!  It sounds like a crazed pack of hornets coming down the road!  Seller has current Virginia title.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Rear

Very clean and striking, this is the kind of custom that emphasizes the original bike’s style, while doing its own thing. The taillight is very cool and nicely done, if a bit overstyled, and I love the warning lights integrated into the top triple. I assume the “MH” on the engine is for “MotoHangar”, although I could do without that particular detail…

1977 Yamaha RD400 Tail

At $6,300 with the reserve met and a couple days to go, I’m very curious to see what this goes for. If this stays anywhere in that range, someone’s getting a serious bargain for a very classy, one-of-a-kind motorcycle.


1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side

Another 1977 Yamaha RD 400

1977 Yamaha RD400 For Sale

I see a lot of RD350’s and 400s for sale. Maybe a new one everyday. Almost all of them say they are rare and gonna go up in value due to the  rarity and cult following.  To me these are one of the most common rare bikes I see. I couldn’t find a solid number or proof of production numbers from Yamaha but the general consensus is that there was about 17,000 RD400C’s and 14,000 RD400D’s. I wouldn’t put those numbers in the “super rare gonna be worth a million dollars some day” category but those numbers are pretty low. The fact that every time I look up classic sport bikes for sale I see one of these shows me they’re not all that rare or every single one of them is for sale at any given point. Having said all that I do love these bikes. There was a add that Yamaha ran in the 70’s that was an apology to all CB750 riders that had just lost a race to the 350cc powered RD. It went on to say you’re not alone, a lot of 750 riders had also been beat and they shouldn’t feel bad for spending more for a slower bike because they weren’t alone. I love that add. It had some 750 rider with his head all hung low and stuff. haha. I’ve added the ad for reference.

1977 Yamaha RD400 For Sale on eBay


The seller has a pretty good description of all the aspects of the bike and a video.

1977 Yamaha RD 400 Runs awsome
sweet original paint /few bruises
17687 original miles
everything works ,lights,gauges,signals,switches

This bike is a appreciating classic rare toy
dual disc brake model

Low miles on this fun and fast 2 stroke
fresh tune up with plugs,points,oil change and filters

* List of new**

* DG expansion chambers
* Dual sport tires (2)
* Brakes pads front and rear
* K&N air filter
* carbs rebuilt and rejetted for pipes
* battery

Selling with no reserve Bid to own it

Title in hand


What is up with those tires? They make me want to take it trail riding. Anyway, IMO his starting bid price is about what the bikes consistently sell for so I don’t expect it to sell for much more than that but I’ve been wrong before and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again.


Click here to so the auction.



1978 Yamaha RD400

Wanna get into classic sports bikes on the cheap? This little RD400 would be a good gateway in. Very clean with the  period correct parts to give it the perfect amount of extra performance. The seller is short and to the point so I will be too.

1978 Yamaha RD400 For Sale on eBay

Here’s his description.

Yamaha Motorcyle RD in Pristine condition.

New battery
Gold anodized DG Heads
Spec II chambers 
KN Air Filters
Steering Stabalizer, (not yet installed you will have to install)
Fresh tune up all fluids changed
Rear Sets
Runs great, award winning at local shows.  A thumbs up from Jay Leno, who saw this bike in person. 
Downsizing my toy box. 
No known oil leaks
Own a piece of history and childhood. 

I like how he sneaks Jay Leno, Childhood and no oil leaks in there. He’s like a surgeon with his words. Seriously though, this bike is great and should go for a fair price that an average guy could afford. If you’re going to ride this a bunch and don’t need it to be a totally stock bike, change the wheels. The wheels on these bikes could be cut into pieces and used as boats anchors. I agree they look the part but they weigh a ton. Other than that the bike is a very neat and sporty piece of Classic Sport Bike history


Yamaha RD400 with TZ Parts Fitted

Post RD350 and pre RD350LC, the RD400’s rubber mounted, stroked engine produced 40hp and had a top speed of 106 mph. This lightweight machine was said to lift the front wheel when entering the power band straight out of the show room. I personally have no experience with wheelies because they’re dangerous so I wouldn’t know 😉

See it for sale on Portland Craigslist for $3200

Here’s a quote from Cycle Guide 1977.

If there’s one word that describes the Yamaha RD400 series, the word is intense. The all-disc brakes are intensely powerful, an RD tradition since the motorcycles were disc/drum 350s. The RD Yamahas have always been quick steering motorcycles, thanks to a 52.5-inch wheelbase, 27.5 degrees of rake, 4.3 inches of trail, and a wet weight of 379 pounds. This kind of motorcycle isn’t really guided into and manipulated through a corner; rather, RD Yamahas simply dart into the entry and out the exits.

This quote alone would have had me driving to the dealership helmet and goggles in hand. One of the reasons classic sport bikes interest me is the twitchy uncertainty of experimental machines. There’s no traction control or soft entry into power bands, it’s on or off. That’s why this RD400 grabbed my attention. All the peaky power of the 70’s two stroke with late 80’s suspension to help keep you on the road, or track, which this bike looks like it’s spent some time on. Take a look at those tires…..scrubbed. The 38 mm flatslides with no idle circuit might be tough for street riding but I’m up for the challenge. With the TZ250 front end, Ohlins on the rear and TT500 swing arm this bike’s got be a good “ride to work during the week and hit the track on the weekend” ride. The ultimate 70’s smoker.

The seller is to the point with no B.S.

1976 Yamaha RD400, 18k, recent top end rebuild with Wiseco pistons, Professional paint original red, perfect no rust gas tank,
Parts from a 1988 TZ250;
Forks and tripples
Front and rear wheels
dual front brakes
38mm Mikuni flatslide carburetors, no idle circuit
Thumb choke

Other modifications include; DG pipes, new front rotors, RZ350 reeds, Rearsets with GP shift, TT 500 aluminium swing arm, Ohlins rear shocks and springs, Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa Pro tires, Hella H4 headlight, CBR 1000 rear brakes, Solo seat, Clear Washington title

Clean this bike up a little and ride it to your next bike night. Tape the headlight and take it to the next track day, it’s you choice.


Brand New: 1979 Yamaha RD 400 Daytona Special with 1 mile!

For Sale: 1979 Yamaha RD 400 Daytona Special with only 1 mile!

In the late 1970s there was only one major motorcycle manufacturer still importing two-stroke streetbikes into the United States. Yamaha, with a long and storied racing history, kept the RD series of parallel twin smokers alive until 1979. With emissions awareness and enforecement on the rise, it became impossible to certify these two strokes in the US with current technology. Thus, the Yamaha RD400 Daytona Special – named to commemorate their dominance of that venue in GP racing – was destined to be the last of the factory two strokes.

Today’s particular bike is as brand new as one is ever likely to find. Having never been started and showing barely 1 mile on the odometer from being moved around, this is a rare time machine of yesteryear. This bike comes with a blank MSO (meaning that it has never been titled, and therefore in the eyes of most governing bodies is still brand new), has never been kicked over, has a battery that has never been filled with acid, and is sitting on the stock tires with all stock componentry just like you would have found it in a dealership back in ’79!

From the seller:
The title says it all, this is an as new 1979 non restored original unridden bike! I bought it from the original owner who bought it new in 1980, then stored it in his living room until I bought it several years ago. Yes, that is my television above the bike, as its in my living room. This bike has never even seen the light of day aside from loading or unloading. It is pristine, and only as perfect as it came from the factory! There is only one tiny mark in the paint about the size of the end of a ballpoint pen, on the end of the tank. As you can see by the picture next to the pen, it will not even show up. Everything is original, even the battery that has never had acid put into it from the dealership. The original Yokohamas still have the hairs on them, sand all the factory yellow paint marks are in place, as they should be. The tool kit and manual remain untouched in their original plastic wrapping. There are no heat marks, dents, dings or scratches on the exhaust! To my knowledge this bike has never even been started, except bench tested at the factory. Has 1 mile from being rolled into the dealership, out of the dealership, into the 1st owners house, out again, into the warehouse, then intto my house. Original MSO and all factory paperwork come with the bike, new owner will need to fill out the MSO to get a title for the bike . The MSO has never been filled out, so overseas buyers will have no problems at all. I will assist in any way that I can, including storage for a month or so. The other side of the bike is in the same condition, there are no hidden problems! I just didnt want to hurt the bike by moving it without some help, just to get more pictures. Dont fool yourselves, there will not be another opportunity to buy a bike of this caliber. This was the height of two stroke air cooled bikes, and it is a true landmark in motorcycles!

I must admit that I don’t really understand collectors who park a perfectly good motorcycle without riding it. Sure, I’ve owned bikes with low miles before, but that was my fault for not getting out and riding enough. No bike I’ve ever owned has ever been more valuable to me parked than screaming through the gears as the designer intended. Still, when I see a zero or 1 mile bike I am impressed by the restraint of the owner.

The RD400 Daytona Special was the last of a very special line of motorcycles. The DS model will bring in more than the standard RD, simply because it is the pinnacle of the model lineup, contains the latest and greatest features, etc. As a mass produced Japanese motorcycle it does not have quite the collector potential of some Bimotas, rare Ducatis and the like – but make no mistake: this is a very desireable and collectable bike that will hold value in this condition.

As to value, the seller has this bike listed for a cool $15,000. That is more than double what a clean (and improved/modified) RD would normally run – but in many ways the condition warrants the asking price. You do not come across these RD400 DS models often, and this the first ever I have seen with only 1 mile. The seller is open to offers however, so to check out all of the details and plan how you might be the next caretaker of this amazing little rocket, click on the link and jump over to the auction. Special thanks to eagle-eyed reader Rod who pointed this bike out to us!


1977 Yamaha RD400

Like many of you, part of my day is spent cruising around a long list of motorcycle blogs to see what is new and what was old is new again. When I ran across a very well put together Yamaha RD400 I went looking for one to see what was available, the condition you can find them in, and how much my day dreams would cost today. This is what I found.

As you would imagine the RD350 was produced first, and with its success it grew into the RD400. What is unusual is that Yamaha did not just bore out the 350 to get 400, they increased the stoke. To do that they that had to re-tool to create a larger engine case. A very large investment in equipment, one that was not likely recouped as the RD400 may have been at the beginning of the end of 2-stoke sales in the US.

By 1979 the RD400 would produce 30bhp, and with a 6 speed transmission be able to drive the rider and 355lb bike to a top speed of 108mph. Yamaha moved the engine forward in the frame with the RD400. They hoped that this wold keep the wheel on the ground, a problem that a few riders of the RD350 seem to have. While looking for performance information I did run across these guys, who have pushed 86hp out of there RD400 engine, and in a modified frame got it up over 170mph. WOW.

From the seller:

Here it is folks! Last chance at another pretty mint,all stock(except bars)un-molested Daytona Special. I bought this bike in 1989 from second owner with 600 mi. Was my only transpo in bay area for a couple years. Have stored it since. Cases never cracked.Carbs never jetted.Original bars still available for around $100. Never riden in Vegas(too hot,dry). This bike has never been restored, I have replaced paint,battery,tires,brakes,rings,tailight lens,decals,and misc. rubber grommets. Would take very little to bring to museum quality.Vowed to never sell it but other projects prevail. By the way this specimen runs like a champ and is not for the unexperiencd.

I have had a hard time finding any information which makes the Daytona Special special. It appears to have only come in white, and possibly with a fairing. If anyone has some information please feel to free to add a comment. If white is not your color, there is also a red RD400 for sale, and if you are looking for a project, this yellow RD400 looks to need a little TLC.