RD 400 Daytona Special.

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by svs, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. svs

    svs All Hands on Deck!

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    I cut my teeth on RD 400's. A bunch of my friends owned them and the last one purchased by one of us was the 1979 Daytona Special.

    Yesterday I was out and found this:
    [​IMG]

    I almost cried as I walked around her and snapped pictures. In 1980 I went to buy one and they were no loner available. 1979 was the last model year made, I ended up with a 550 Secca shown below.

    [​IMG]

    Some more pictures of the Daytona Special:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :freaky
    #1
  2. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    I love all the old RD's, 350's and 400's. Had a riding buddy when I was in my teens who had one of each. Fun little bikes. I'd like to pick one up one day, if the right deal came along.
    #2
  3. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    Love 'em! Sooooo cool.
    #3
  4. zokalr13

    zokalr13 Been here awhile

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    great bikes- i recall wheelieing down the street on my friends at 4:00 am [what a wild memory] they need to bring em back in an updated form in some way doncha think ??:D
    #4
  5. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

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    Yes! I miss the smaller, lightweight, simple, versatile bikes. I would think a modern version with a 4-stroke motor, but still parallel twin, no fairings and minimal plastic, would do well. I've got a Ninja 500, which is roughly the same idea, but heavier.
    #5
  6. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    The RD's weren't uncivilized but when comparing them to a EX500 the EX500 is much too civilized. The EX500 is like OSHA got a hold of it.
    #6
  7. Garry

    Garry Old and In The Way

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  8. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    I'd prefer a more traditional design, but with modern tech like a direct injected 500 cc two stroke twin, modern weight saving materials, and anti-lock brakes. It would be wicked fun!
    #8
  9. bobobob

    bobobob badbadbad

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    +1
    #9
  10. 1TrackSam

    1TrackSam Adventurer

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    Wow, brings up some bittersweet memories. Buddy had one although the pipes were black not chromed. I had a air-shifted XS1100 and he and I would swap rides in kind of a big block small block comparison.

    Best described as a StingRay with a 40 horse motor.

    Sadly he decided to force the move into his next life and his Mom refused to sell or touch any of his stuff in the garage. Her house was sold after her passing and torn down for gentrification.
    #10
  11. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

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    Back in the late '70s (yeah I'm an old fart) I ran my '77 Yam XS500- dohc parallel twin- in the same AAMRR class as the RDs.

    I had a bit more bottom end grunt but once those 2 strokes hit their powerband.........
    #11
  12. 68deluxe

    68deluxe Long timer

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    Been a long time since I have seen expansion chambers on a street bike. I once had an RD350 and then an RD400, I nearly bought the yellow KR special edition. I don't know why makers abandoned the oil injection, would love to see a 2T road bike with oil/fuel injection.
    #12
  13. MitchB

    MitchB Adventurer

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    #13
  14. strongbad

    strongbad Been here awhile

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    My first motorcycle was a purple RD350A that I bought new my senior year in high school. I think it was less than $1000. Can that be right? It was a plug fouling SOB. I remember riding on one cylinder often, and despite my best efforts I couldn't solve the problem. When it ran on both cylinders it ran great, though. I took it on a road trip from Idaho to California one blistering hot summer and the engine was never the same after that.

    I wouldn't buy the same bike today, no matter how well restored, but the concept is good. Where are the lightweight, 40 hp, street twins these days?
    #14
  15. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    You have to WAIL ON 'EM to keep the plugs clean! :lol3
    #15
  16. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Nah. Not when they're jetted right.
    #16
  17. Dilligaf0220

    Dilligaf0220 Miserablist

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    My first vehicle ever was an RD400 Daytona I bought in highschool. Hated it.
    If you are looking for a bike you can wrench on all week and have it run for an hour on the weekend to have fun without breaking the speed limit......go nuts.

    Their only "redeeming" characteristic is being the most effortlessly wheeleying bike ever made.
    #17
  18. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    Ahem....the RD350/400's were (& are) fantastic bikes. I am pretty sure it made a competent rider out of me. I even felt bad for sort of racing the proverbial Z1 where I just left him behind on any curvy road - bad because I felt responsible if he piled it up in some corner. I also don't think I ever fouled a plug, riding it normal or like a bat out of hell. I recall a full dealer tune up cost me $22-$28, and even at the time I thought it was entirely cheap! The first 150 miles after a full tune up the bike was just possessed, it was always fast, but those first 150 miles it was faster and all around more responsive. The RD350 I owned listed for less than $950. OK, caveat: if you had the timing off very much you'd hole a piston pretty fast. The guy I sold it to didn't want to hear any RD tips. It lasted a week. He never knew, or heard when I told him, you had to add injection oil. What a waste.
    #18
  19. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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    #19
  20. coppertop

    coppertop occasional meanderthal

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    Sep 22, 2006
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    Tulsa, OK
    I love the looks of the Daytona Specials over all the other RDs and even over the RZ350, but they only made them one year (for the U.S.) and there were a bunch of special parts for them (mostly do do with emissions control) and the supplies of those parts eventually dried up. There was a long stretch between the late 80's and now when there were certain parts (little accordion seals on the tops of the carbs, I'm looking at you...) were not to be found anywhere. It eventually drove me to pulling the stock carbs and going the 30mm mikuni route (and spec II chambers, naturally). If I had known better, I would have stuck with 28mm carbs from a D or E model, so I could use the Y boot and single K&N that can take away the mid-range lean spot common to chamber equipped RDs. Perhaps one of these days I'll win an ebay auction for a set of 28s and I'll try it out.
    #20