Yamaha RD400 Custom by Keith Carlson
Yamaha RD400 Custom by Keith Carlson
20 Apr Custom
Sponsored by Moto Animals

Riding a big two-stroke is a unique experience that can make even the most seasoned riders feel alive. Unfortunately, these types of bikes are becoming increasingly rare. Even when they were at their peak, the power of these machines far surpassed their suspension and brakes. That's where Keith Carlson comes in. Based in Indianapolis, he has created a truly exceptional bike by mating a ported and polished 1977 RD400 motor with a 2002 Honda CRF450R frame.


The result is one of the most thrilling bikes we've ever seen. The Honda chassis was used, and the stock Showa suspension was shortened. The wheels were replaced with 18" Excel rims with Buchanan spokes, while the stock Honda Nissan brakes were retained. Meanwhile, the engine, control switches, and wiring harness were taken from the Yamaha RD400. This 1977 twin cylinder 2-stroke was then dismantled and sent to Team Scream Racing in Florida, where the cylinders were expertly ported. Original DG radial heads were modified and VForce 3 reeds added. The stock ignition points system was replaced with an MZB Powerdynamo ignition.


The real magic happened in Indianapolis, where the team at Porterbilt Motorcycles and Hot Rods began the fabrication process. They placed the motor in the frame and developed initial design ideas. Drinan Racing then took over to complete the final fabrication. Dan Drinan hand-built the fuel tank, subframe, frame cradle, headlight bucket, and exhaust mounts. All the aluminum parts were polished and anodized or powdercoated, giving the bike a sleek and unified appearance.


The bike itself is a work of art, with a list of impressive details that include the RD400 Yamaha 1977 engine, VForce 3 reeds, MZB ignition, DG Heads, and ported cylinders. The 2002 Honda CRF450 frame is fitted with stock hubs, Showa suspension, and Nissan brakes. The bike is premix only, with a 32:1 Klotz oil ratio. Additionally, there is storage under the seat for three 8oz bottles.


Keith Carlson's RD400 cafe hybrid is a testament to the beauty and power of custom motorcycles. The bike is a stunning example of what can be accomplished with a clear vision and the right expertise. It's no wonder that this machine has become one of the most talked-about custom builds in recent memory.





#Yamaha #Custom #RD400 #Moto #Bike #2stroke

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