Let's see your RD's and RZ's.

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by Red9, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    San Francisco Bay area
    I love those mags because you can paint them gold and they look like early eighties Yamaha GP mags. I have said this before but man I wish I had bought my friends RZ. Toomey pipes. FXR 400/600 wheels, forks and swingsrm with a custom fabbed counter sprocket spacer to get the chain around the tire. I think he had to narrow the swingarm pivot just a tad and it all bolted right together!! I saw that bike in the International Motorcycle Show just as he sold it 13 years ago this past winter. A good friend didn't even notice all the trick stuff on it at first. It looks like Yamaha made it that way which is really what is so genius about the setup!
    #41
  2. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

    Joined:
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    Location:
    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    Oh, to have a time machine.
    Go back to the mid 70's and show them that line.:lol3


    This is mine. Suspect it is 1973 but may be '74. It is at Oran Park, south of Sydney. My elder brother riding, as it was his to flog to death back then.
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    I bought it from him in '76. Broken. I fixed it and broke it and fixed it and broke it and then finally fixed it.

    Photo from several years ago.
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    Since then I've done bits and pieces - now has the correct drum brake fork sliders and hence, the correct front mudguard.

    About 2 weeks ago I go a replica seat foam, from the US, and a relica seat cover, from Sth Oz. So now the seat looks correct.
    I broke the front brake cable during a track day (you may have seen/heard the videos?) at Easter. Front brake cables are no longer available - actually I can get a replcia from the UK, but they are stupidly expensive, so I'm having two new ones made from two old ones.

    The major drama I've had in the past couple of years was electrical. Now that that is sorted, it goes and goes and, well, just goes. It's not an everyday bike.

    Then there is this.
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    It's now in pieces. I plan to get the frame, swingarm and steering stem blasted & two packed next week.

    Just bought a pair of new rear shocks, so I can actually do something with the parts when it comes back. S'pose I was sort of making a commitment to doing the work.

    I'm not planning a restoration. I have always wanted a cafe racer and now want to do some historic class racing. This one may never make it to the road again.

    Taking lots of photos as I go. I want a rolling chassis before I start the engine work.

    In my mind's eye I see wire wheels, chambers, rear sets, ace 'bars (too old for clip-ons), white & red colours.
    #42
  3. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

    Joined:
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    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    I bought another RD.
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    And Elsie makes three.:D
    #43
  4. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,082
    Location:
    Jacksonville Florida
    My current ride with all of 3600 original miles.
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    And the one I built and then let get away... sigh... but it did lead to the RZ :1drink

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    #44
  5. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

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    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    Both look good, understatement.

    The miles on the RZ does make me ask the question, why do US bikes seem to do so few km?

    One thing that has been happening here, greatly increasing in the last couple of years, is that second hand US bikes are being packed up and brought here by the container.

    We always figured that our older bikes would end up in Japan, but unless it's something extra special, that doesn't seem to be happening.

    The speculation here is that bikes are a summer toy over there. And, after a couple of summers they often get stuck in the back of the garage, basement, shed for some new summer toys. 10, 20, 30 years later, some enterprising person puts adverts in local papers, looking to buy bikes outright. And they buy up a heap of unrestored bikes that they can sell over here.

    At the local end, because we ride all year round, our bikes tend to wear out and then end up as fair dinkum trash, suitable for parts basically.


    Nostalgia is huge, and growing, these days. I'm happy that I can claim that I'm not being nostalgic, I'm just using bikes I've had for 30+ years.:rofl


    Anyway, the 400 looks pretty wicked. Did they come out in a grey paint scheme? or only the white? If asked, I'd be saying there were a few grey ones.
    #45
  6. johmarq

    johmarq RottenMongrelBastard

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Australia
    I had a RD250 back in 1975 and loved it then.
    Now I have another, not quite as nice but it will be again.
    Got It in a package deal of 6 bikes for $1500
    The 1973 RD250,1975 Honda CB750F0,1973 Honda CB350-4, 1973 Suzuki TS400,1965 Suzuki A95, 1978 Honda CB250
    I have years of work ahead, I hope I live long enough.

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    #46
  7. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

    Joined:
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    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    Just so you don't destroy a rare bike, I suggest your's is from the first shipment into Australia. That was in 1972. It is still a 1973 model though.

    The RD250 & 350 were a 73 model - I suspect USA & Oceania only.
    The RD250A was also a 73 model - world wide. It came with the disc front brake. Not sure if it scored the 13 litre tank too.

    You've got the 9 litre tank, it appears. Restore it. Or at least clean the inside and do whatever is needed that it doesn't rust away. I have my original 9 litre tank. It is severely bent. One day I will restore it.

    The drum front brake is not off a DS7 or R5. As it is in the photo, that is oem. Probably stand a bit of a clean and polish.:nod

    I have had a few 'discussions' with people whom tell me my RD isn't an RD 'cause it's got the drum front.
    I've also caused a bloke annoyance when he raised the same issue. His annoyance came from the fact that he'd relied on information and had altered an RD to a disc front brake. :puke1

    You can't get front brake cables any longer. I've just had replicas made from blank kits I bought from Overlander in Melbourne.

    Have fun with it.
    #47
  8. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
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    2,082
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    Jacksonville Florida

    Here's my LC that I forgot to post. This is what I traded the RZ for. He managed to get it tagged in the US and we were both pretty happy. I like when trades work out.

    [​IMG]
    #48
  9. johmarq

    johmarq RottenMongrelBastard

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi Tripodtiger,

    Thanks for the Info.

    Yes I thought it must be an early RD, the serial number is 352 102194,
    Looks like that would make it number 2093 off the production line in 1972.

    I guess it should be blue like your beautiful RD,
    there is blue under all that lovely hand brushed black paint.

    Thanks for the news about the 9 litre tank, I thought they were all the same.
    The tank is in good shape, no corrosion inside.

    Apart from the tank and drum front are there any other things different on the early bikes?


    Cheers, John
    #49
  10. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

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    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    Not that I'm aware of.
    The different front brake may mean that the triple clamps are narrower or wider?
    The fork outer tubes / sliders / boots (whatever you choose to call them - I can't make up my mind) are different and that difference may only be the left one.

    That tank would be bloody rare! Maybe not quite 'hen's teeth' :lol3

    My hope is that you get, and stay, inspired to do something with it. Whatever that is, that you take the time, effort and (this is the hard part) money to do it properly. Of course, it may be your only bike and that tends to change priorities.

    And mine is 3737. Your's is older.

    edit:

    SHIT, BUGGER, BUM, PISS, COCK, FART!!!
    I just looked at your bike photos again.

    You've got a bloody High/Low switch!!!

    Every now and then I do a little search trying to find the internal plastic bit, the bit that the thumb tab screws onto. Never been able to find one that fits. The switch still works as the broekn end of the plastic is poking up, but....

    :rofl
    #50
  11. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

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    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    Noice bike, moit! (maybe you need to be an Australian to understand?)(I'm not having a go at you)

    Bit better nick than the one I bought. I was out on the 250 this morning and the fellow that gave me the 400 told me about a frame straightener man only 30km from home. I'll be on the dog & bone in the morning.:D
    #51
  12. Happy Seal

    Happy Seal Long timer

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    CT.
    Ok guys, got a few questions. Getting ready to pick up an RD400. It is in rough shape. Will need engine rebuilt and a total restore! It appears to be blck now with a dented up tank. The chrome is all rusted, the seat is ripped up and foam is molded.

    Is there a way to find the original paint scheme?
    Are engine parts available? I think she's seized up.
    Is there a way to fix up a dented tank?
    Anything else I should know?

    Thanks guys, might be my first restore.
    #52
  13. RichBeBe

    RichBeBe All Hail Seitan!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    NYC
    I've owned a lot of RZ's including one with under 500 miles I sold a few years back for a mint. Now I have enough parts to build three of them. I moved garages and plan on starting on them this year. I want to builone trick one, just not sure what I want to do. Maybe a cafe, roadracer, dirt tracker, or a dualsport.
    Moving some parts today
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    #53
  14. Shocktower

    Shocktower Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
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    Location:
    Oregon City Orygun

    Well let's start with the year and then we can give it a go Economy cycle is u=your friend :evil
    #54
  15. PJay

    PJay Any bike, anywhere

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Russell, New Zealand
    NZ$350 including new tires, in 2003.

    Then we went racing (light relief from the TZs).

    I don't have a pic of my standard road RD400.

    [​IMG]
    #55
  16. johnalex

    johnalex Rider of rides.

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA, USA l Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico
    Been working on and riding this one for the past 12 years.
    Motor is stock except for K&N's.
    All boingers were built by RaceTech.
    Trick R1 stoppers were built and adapted by yours truly.

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    One of the best set-up RZ-350's ever. IMHO

    The good...

    Full RaceTech suspension front and rear.
    Extremely rare Metmachex aluminum swingarm.
    Micron black pipes.
    Full body work with very rare factory front stay. Canadian RZ-350 clock set running MPH (not kilometers).
    Unique bar end mirrors.
    R1 brake set - both calipers and fully floating rotors - trick.
    Motor is fully stock and starts right up.
    K&N filters.
    Always runs Motul. Stock oil pump set up retained. Power valve.
    Custom rear sets.
    Fully adjustable clipons. Also quite rare.
    All street legal.
    Registered in California.

    The bad...I have not started it up in one year due to remodeling project.
    #56
  17. Valvesarefortoilets

    Valvesarefortoilets Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    The boonies of SJ
    Both of these are my dads (As I am only 16) but we work on them together and thought it appropriate to post! Its a 1985 Yamaha rz350nc and a 1976 rd400c
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    #57
  18. Kenbike

    Kenbike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    756
    Location:
    South of the big lake
    I allways liked these bikes. In 1975 I road a buddies purple RD 350 on a dirt road and was super impressed with the power it had. At that time I had a 1974 100cc Yamaha MX bike. I was flying along about 60 mph on a dirt road went wide on a corner and went across a farmers front yard on my back with the bike sliding next to me. Came to a stop in the freshly plowed field with the wind knocked out of me and the bike a mess. He was really pissed but I purchased all of the replacement parts and put it back and cleaned up all of the damage. We still make a few road trip on our bikes each year so he forgave me.
    That was the last time I road this type of bike and thinking I would like to find a clean 350 or 400 water cooled bike with pipes, brakes improved ect. What years should I look for? What web sites are good for information?
    I usually attend vintage days @ Mid Ohio so I do see some bikes.
    I currently have a Yamaha Tenere for my every day bike so this would be a play bike. Might do a few tracks days at Mid Ohio for fun.
    How to get started?
    #58
  19. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
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    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    I'm slowly rebuilding my late brother's Daytona Special racer. I think it was last run in the late 80's, and has been in smaller and smaller boxes ever since. Yes the color is awful, but it will at least be a runner- I hope to have it at the track this summer.

    It has a lot of nice parts- Cal-Fab swingarm, Fox shocks, Lockheed brake, Toomey pipes, and there was even a new PVL ignition system in a box waiting to be installed. I don't expect it to be really fast, but I think it'll be a lot of fun.

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    #59
  20. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
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    6,528
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Barn Find:
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    Always liked the '75s so after a little tinkering....

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    #60