'77 RD 400-Balls Deep: Smoking By Spring


Build bikes to ride, not to look at!
Hey guys, I've been a long time lurker on here and just convinced my bro-in-law that this was the right and only site he should post his H2 build on http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=32683.0 and so I figured i would take the same advice and do the same. My build is not going to be as extensive as his as i seem to spend more time working on other peoples projects more than my own. Plus add family into that and work, then life gets busy.
Anyways, so i've always been into vintage bikes of all walks since acquiring my first Lambretta when I was 15 and having it rebuilt in time to get my license at 16. I've had a ton of bikes since then and am here now to share the build of my beloved '77 RD400 of the last 13-14 years. In 2000 I rebuilt the bike in its current state and have done nothing to it but put gas in it and beat the crap out of it til about a year ago when one of my chambers caught fire when i had the bike at full song and so I parked it to "clean it up" and "rebuild the top end only". Well here i am now, BALLS DEEP!!!

So the plan is to have this done by spring. Here's what i am starting with:


Stock RD 400.
It's for sale or trade. Clean inside. comes with cap, but no petcock. $75 or trade for caliper side fork tube and caliper for '76-78 RD400
Cool beans. Gotta love the RDs. I wish I had some spare fun money for the tank... Maybe if its still floating around when I do.
im in. im guessing you have another tank already, but ill trade my fiberglass tank for your steel one.
So the plan was to just rebuild the engine, but here's where I'm at since getting balls deep: first i tried out a GS400/450s tank but I think it looks way better on Trev's build than mine:

I wanted something a little more vintage and came across this at Paris, Ont rally/swap a couple of years ago and at $80 I was sold but not sure for which bike. Benelli 125/250 tank NOS:
So I'm not 100% sold on the tank yet. I will have to modify it to fit and suit the bike. I do like how it sits higher than the stock tank but wish it was a bit longer.
So the first seatpan I made didn't quite work/ flow well with this tank as it sits on the frame rails:


So I made a new one. Still gotta figure out what I want to do about the tail section:




Got some donated FZR600 rearsets (thanks Trev) The holes didn't line up with the stock passenger peg mount, but I was able to cut it in half and make it work:


And they feel right:
So the one thing that bugs me is when i look at a bike and someone has put on drop bars or clip ons but do not lower their gauge clusters and their clusters stick up like a Vetter windjammer front fairing. Lower your gauges!!! ;)
I ended up keeping the stock tack placing it center as it's the one that matters and going with a 2.25" speedometer off to the side. Also picked up a brand new master cylinder and clutch lever assembly and narrowed the clubman bars by 1.5" per side:

I also picked up a 7" headlight kit that takes a H4 bulb instead of the sealed beam. Turns out my headlight is 6.25" DOH!!! My '77 xs650- 7". My buddies girl's '74 TX500- 7". Who knew?!!!! Anyone local or semi local got a XS 500/650 7" headlight bucket and rim?? :D
So i took some more pic's of where I'm at. Here's the parts I have so far: uprated fork springs and seals, gaitors, steering damper and aluminum fork mount, tapered fork stem bearings, rear shocks (was gonna do remote reservoir, but $$$ was getting a little high for a bike that will only ever be worth $2000 or less), needle bearing swing arm kit, aluminum headlight mounts, LED tail lights W/ signals built in, front signals (i hate the look of signals, but like the function of them. These are bright and i put a penny next to them to show size)

and the engine: RZ350 Wiseco pistons, RZ intakes, RZ reed cages, Boyesen reeds, performance clutch springs, Barnett clutch plates:

RZ reedcages vs. RD reedcages:

So that's where I am currently at. I'll be out in the garage this week, but I will be working on my buddies cylinders and intakes instead. Once their done it'll be full tilt on mine. :D
Just so you know that taillight is pretty much useless as far as safety is concerned. I had it on a build I was working on and you could barely see it in the daytime. I got rid of it because it was like having no brake light at all.
SquadraCorse said:
Just so you know that taillight is pretty much useless as far as safety is concerned. I had it on a build I was working on and you could barely see it in the daytime. I got rid of it because it was like having no brake light at all.

Hmmmmm! Good to know. I did hook up power to it and when i put power to the brake light it was crazy fucking bright. That was in the garage though. I will have to check outside in the sun. Thanks
And while i'm at it, RD400 2R9 cylinder (right) vs. '76-78 RD400 cyl.(left) difference in transfer port size:

And with TZ750 transfer template on top:
So for all of the people that messaged me or were interested in the RD tank.......SOLD!!!!! When I pulled it out last night for the guy I snapped a few pic's. Now I'm not the type to "rub it in" BUT............



That is one clean ass tank!!!! HAHAHAHA!! (had to be done) Still have other bits and bobs from that bike that won't be used in this build. At some point I'll post them in the classifieds section
I got two spare 650 headlight buckets with rims.... What's local for you? Lemme know, I'm in Dundas / Burlington / Jerseyville mostly...
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