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Author Topic: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$  (Read 1575 times)

Offline AimlessMoto

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Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« on: May 30, 2017, 23:41:54 »
As many of you know I just picked up a 1976 RD400 in Geneva Green... basically a mouse-house for 10+ years under a tarp outside. Ive got it stripped down to the point that I know it's worth fixing up... good compression, 100% complete, no glaring issues...

My conundrum is on what to do with it. I'm a perfectionist... which is why I stay away from restorations and stick to resto-mods instead... Custom paint, graphics, etc... chop the frame... you get the idea. BUT, this is a unique bike, a good candidate for resto, but it needs a frame-up, nut-and-bolt resto... I'm talking strip the paint and start over.

I, personally, would like to paint what needs it.. leave the tins and accesories as they are and just get a solid rider/survivor out of it... BUT... part of me wants to chop it.

At this point, I dont know if its a keeper or a flipper, so the least amount of investment is preferred... I paid $200 for the bike and it needs $250 in parts before I even start to tear it down (gaskets, seals, m/c rebuild kits, grips, mirrors, brake pads, hardware, battery, etc...) And who knows if it wont need pistons, rings, points, condensor, oil pump... etc once its gotten into... and I know it will eventually need tires, brake lines, and other rubber parts as well...

So, lets say I get into this for $1200 price of the bike included... in a worst-case scenario.. and it still hasnt been painted, or been customized or hopped up... just maintained, repaired, running and roadworthy... would I get my money back?

Another worry is that 2strokes may be outlawed in a few years..  lol.

I know im thinking myself into a circle here, but lend me some direction.

Everyone says "its yours, do what you want with it" but is this more of an investment piece, or a blank canvas?

Thanks in advance!


Offline AimlessMoto

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Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 23:48:10 »
Pics...

Offline julian.allard66

  • Posts: 279
Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 02:54:23 »
Hard to say, if you want to make money you're probably better off breaking it and selling the parts, turning it into a ride able bike you'd be happy to sell on could cost a fortune.

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Offline SONIC.

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Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 09:12:20 »
IMO you'd easily get 1200 back out if you went that route.
Hell if you're patient you could almost get that now. It's a very desirable bike.
I bought one for 350, rebuilt the engine and got it running (poorly I might add) , didn't do anything else and sold it for 1000. And that was the first guy that called.

Cleanup and paint costs almost nothing assuming you're doing the work.
If you're paying someone to do the work then go ahead and sell it as is and pocket a few hundred bucks.

Offline AimlessMoto

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Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 10:15:19 »
IMO you'd easily get 1200 back out if you went that route.
Hell if you're patient you could almost get that now. It's a very desirable bike.
I bought one for 350, rebuilt the engine and got it running (poorly I might add) , didn't do anything else and sold it for 1000. And that was the first guy that called.

Cleanup and paint costs almost nothing assuming you're doing the work.
If you're paying someone to do the work then go ahead and sell it as is and pocket a few hundred bucks.

True, all the work will be in my shop, in my spare time... Geneva Green paint costs a pretty penny... but if I spray it myself itll save a ton.

I think im overthinking this...haha.

Offline AimlessMoto

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Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 10:18:15 »
Hard to say, if you want to make money you're probably better off breaking it and selling the parts, turning it into a ride able bike you'd be happy to sell on could cost a fortune.

Sent from my SM-T560 using Tapatalk

I will never part out a saveable bike in the name of money... but I will double-down a bikes worth to get it where I want it.

But is the bike itself worth it? I have $1000 all-in to my KZ400 build and feel I would be lucky to get that back... so Im going to daily it until I either break it or someone wants to give me what I want out of it.


Offline SONIC.

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Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 10:23:29 »
Luckily this is a very desirable bike, you'd have no problem moving it when you want to.

Offline Garc

  • Posts: 18
Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 11:51:40 »
Been looking for one of these or H1/H2 nonchalantly for a few years so you stole the bike in that condition.  I would do a mild port job, oil inj. delete, and make it look and perform exactly how you want it. 

Desirable?  Not many people have 2T knowledge and the youth to enjoy something like this anymore.

*Disclaimer-I'm all or nothing on the throttle so a variable oil ratio pump is nothing but a possible failure mode.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 11:56:29 by Garc »
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Offline J-Rod10

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Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 11:59:52 »
Been looking for one of these or H1/H2 nonchalantly for a few years so you stole the bike in that condition.  I would do a mild port job, oil inj. delete, and make it look and perform exactly how you want it. 

Desirable?  Not many people have 2T knowledge and the youth to enjoy something like this anymore.

*Disclaimer-I'm all or nothing on the throttle so a variable oil ratio pump is nothing but a possible failure mode.
I run pre mix in mine. Be my luck the oil pump fails in the middle of a ride, and some friction welding occurs.

Offline AimlessMoto

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Re: Where to go with an RD400 and not lose my a$$
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2017, 12:13:15 »
Ok, im feeling better about doing what I want with this bike.


To those of you who oil injection delete... what mix do you run? 30:1? 35:1? My dad told me to do the same thing... "If you're gonna run it... just run pre-mix!"