Author Topic: The Making Of My 79' Yamaha RD400F "Daytona Special"  (Read 18449 times)

Rick Barnes

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 987
    • View Profile
The Making Of My 79' Yamaha RD400F "Daytona Special"
« on: January 23, 2012, 11:03:17 PM »
Figured I would show off the building of my RD400F from the day I got it. Hope you enjoy the pics  8)

I won the bid on E Bay, and went to Durango to pick it up that next weekend. I wanted one from the moment I first saw one, and now I was the proud owner of a Daytona Special! The guy I bought it from is a top notch guy, and I now consider him a friend. Here it is proudly riding in the back of my truck at the top of Red Mountain Pass:


Here it is fresh out of my truck. She is a beaut!:


I had it for about a year before I started on it, but once I started, I never looked back:



Touching up the frame, and milling off the stock foot pegs mounting bosses flat to attach my own rear set brackets:


Got the goodies back from the powder coaters. Pro Powder Coating rocks!:



A few pieces re attached. New bronze and stainless bushings in the swinger, new Progressive Magnum shocks, and new tapered steering bearings. Not to mention all new nuts and bolts:


Wheels done with new bearings, new Bridgestone BT45's, and fresh paint:


And since necessity is the mother of invention, I felt it was necessary to have me a platform to work off of, so I built one. I also wanted it to be able to hold a fully accessorized Gold Wing or Harley, so I built it tough:



Oh yeah!


Its a roller!


I wanted  industrial looking brake rotors, so after a light sandblast, I had them anodized with a clear "hard" anodizing, giving it the grey/titanium look:


Next up was time for rear sets. Got me a set of Tarozzi universal's, and fabbed me up some brackets. I made the brackets out of 1/2" T6 plate, and used basic wood working tools in my shop. Carbide bits cut aluminum with no prob:



After powder coat, and on the bike:


Next was the motor. The stock 400F crank's were know to be weak, and prone to breaking, so I scored a standard 400 (76'-78') crank, I sent it off along with my cases to SCR in California. Scott Clough is one of the most respected and talented two stroke guys in the world, and one heck of a guy too! I had him match port the top case, and re build my crank. The crank got his best treatment of total re build with truing, balancing, and welding:




Of course the bottom end got all new bearings and seals. A little bit of Yamabond, and some time behind a torque wrench...voila! I gots me a shiny fresh bottom end. (and yes, you are seeing the old cracked neutral switch, and yes, I did get a new one):


The stock seat just wasnt going to cut it for me, so why not design one myself? Ok, I will:


And after Duncan and Sons got done:


New NHK steering damper needed something to attach to, so I made the mounting plate and spent the $$ for a Pingle bracket for the forks:


New Pro X pistons, and bore job from Top End Performance, and my top end is done:



Needed to fit a kicker for the rear sets (stock one wouldnt clear the brake lever), so I slightly modified a RZ350 kicker (compliments of Eric):


Time for some custom expansion chambers. Long story, but Dave V. made me up the awesome pipes. We used the head pipes off of the set of FPP's I had, and we tacked it together whilst fitting them to the bike. This allowed us to get the chambers tucked really tight up underneath. I then welded up the stingers, and fit a set of Spec II F-1 cans:



I finally built up enough courage to install my fancy MZB electronic ignition....well, my buddy and hero John Dyson helped me, he is a genius, not to mention he can read German (iggy instructions were half in German):




Welp, supose I aught to paint something? Ok, I did :) I hate to say it, but I am not really a fan of the white/red 70's Yamaha livery, so I had to go black. The stripes are painted in, not decals:



And all together. For those of you with eagle eyes, yes the turn indicators are factory Beull ones, I just could not bring myself to use the 1979 stock Yamaha indicators on this bike:


Painstakingly applying some custom brushed aluminum decals I had made at Buds Signs. Took a couple hrs to apply since I am so anal about this sort of thing, it cracked up Josh that I spent so long doing it:


There are more details on the build, but for the sake of boring you to a slow death, these are just the highlights. So after almost two years in the process of re building this motorcycle, I learned a lot, and had an absolute blast doing it. I basically did everything myself, with the exception of the machine work on the motor, the powder coating, and the seat upholstery. So saying that, my point is that if I can do something like this, so can you! Since the completion of it, I have won two awards: First was bike of the month on a world wide 2 stroke motorcycle forum, and a "Peoples Choice" at a vintage show. I did everything on this bike with the best parts, and would say it is better than when it rolled out of the Yamaha factory in 1979. The only upgrades that I have put in/on it since completing it, is Race Tech Gold Valves in the forks (definitely worth every penny!)

And the fruits of all that labor are rides like this beautiful fall day on 141:



Happy riding  8)








79' Yamaha RD400 Daytona Special "The Daytona"
74' Yamaha RD350 "The Little Hot Rod"...currently under the knife.
02' Aprilia Capo Nord "The Mighty Ape"
93' Kawasaki KZ1000 Police cafe' "Snoopy"


Have a good and Godly day, for what lasting value is a good day if it is not also a Godly day?

Blanketchief

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
    • View Profile
Re: The Making Of My 79' Yamaha RD400F "Daytona Special"
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 01:01:07 PM »
A wonderful record of a great project

JPicard

  • Guest
Re: The Making Of My 79' Yamaha RD400F "Daytona Special"
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 06:45:22 AM »
Rick, Just looking around the net to see who's doing what with RD400F's & saw your post from a couple yrs ago.
I picked one up a few weeks ago & I am in the strip down phase of a rebuild. Your project turned out great & I have similar goals for mine. I picked it up for $250.00 from a guy who had it in a shed for over 10 yrs. I have been trying to find good sources for needed parts, but it seems that critical parts I may need are unavailable. Would you share your sources for parts & the work you had done.

Thanks
Jeff

Rick Barnes

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 987
    • View Profile
Re: The Making Of My 79' Yamaha RD400F "Daytona Special"
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 07:11:10 AM »
Hey Jeff, thanks for the compliment! If you are in the Grand Junction area, you are more than welcome to stop by and check my Daytona out. What parts are you looking for in particular? There are actually several suppliers that have new aftermarket goodies for the RD's, as well as a lot of OE items still available. You got a great deal on yours! Any pics yet?
79' Yamaha RD400 Daytona Special "The Daytona"
74' Yamaha RD350 "The Little Hot Rod"...currently under the knife.
02' Aprilia Capo Nord "The Mighty Ape"
93' Kawasaki KZ1000 Police cafe' "Snoopy"


Have a good and Godly day, for what lasting value is a good day if it is not also a Godly day?

al

  • Guest
Re: The Making Of My 79' Yamaha RD400F "Daytona Special"
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 12:13:33 AM »
Hi Rick, your bike looks incredible and I'm sure incredible to ride.
I stumbled upon your project while searching for restoration info for this bike.
I purchased one about 25 years ago, not in running condition at that time, but all original and intact. It has been in storage since.
I am getting ready to retire and would very much like to restore and ride this bike, while I still can.
Any info, advice, contacts for work and parts, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Rick Barnes

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 987
    • View Profile
Re: The Making Of My 79' Yamaha RD400F "Daytona Special"
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 09:41:51 PM »
Thanks Al, I am more than happy to point you in the right direction and share any info, just ask.
79' Yamaha RD400 Daytona Special "The Daytona"
74' Yamaha RD350 "The Little Hot Rod"...currently under the knife.
02' Aprilia Capo Nord "The Mighty Ape"
93' Kawasaki KZ1000 Police cafe' "Snoopy"


Have a good and Godly day, for what lasting value is a good day if it is not also a Godly day?

jeff

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
building my owe Daytone, rear sets
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2016, 08:18:37 PM »
Awesome project, great work.

Can I please ask where you got the rear sets and were they straight bolt on, cost?

Cheers Jeff


Rick Barnes

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 987
    • View Profile
Re: building my owe Daytone, rear sets
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 06:30:13 AM »
Awesome project, great work.

Can I please ask where you got the rear sets and were they straight bolt on, cost?

Cheers Jeff

Hi Jeff,
The rearsets are Tarozzi's, and purchased from Fast From the Past: http://www.fastfromthepast.com/16-0013 and the brackets I designed and made. I am actually selling a few extra sets of brackets I made on Ebay right now: http://www.ebay.com/itm/282222977580?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Thanks for the compliments on my Daytona. Post up some pics of yours.

Rick
79' Yamaha RD400 Daytona Special "The Daytona"
74' Yamaha RD350 "The Little Hot Rod"...currently under the knife.
02' Aprilia Capo Nord "The Mighty Ape"
93' Kawasaki KZ1000 Police cafe' "Snoopy"


Have a good and Godly day, for what lasting value is a good day if it is not also a Godly day?