427 Tracker: A zesty {custom} Yamaha RD400 from Canada


Nothing screams “it’s the weekend” fairly like a two-stroke avenue tracker. All of the extra if it’s a Yamaha RD400, and it’s wearing a conventional black and yellow uniform—with velocity blocks, in fact.

This svelte little quantity, dubbed ‘427 Tracker,’ is the work of Smyth Improvements. Primarily based in Ontario, Canada, the workshop is run by Cam Smyth—an industrial designer-turned-custom bike builder. He’s been at it full time for a decade already, and works with a community of pals and native companies to get issues carried out.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
The 1976-model Yamaha RD400 made its approach onto Cam’s bench together with three different RD400s of the identical classic. One shopper had purchased all 4 donors, with a view to mixing and matching the perfect bits to construct two full bikes. One bike was to be a restoration job, whereas the opposite was to be a avenue tracker.

Whereas figuring out the main points of every, Cam caught wind of the Dream Construct Off—a web-based {custom} contest organized by Roland Sands Design and Geico Bike. He figured the road tracker RD could be the right candidate.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
Cam and his crew had their work lower out for them although. The donor they picked as a place to begin was very removed from being roadworthy.

“It had a 1979 Daytona tank and some different mismatched bits and yard modifications carried out to it,” says Cam. “Every little thing wanted to get replaced or rebuilt, proper all the way down to the engine. The pistons and cylinders had been scored, the engine covers had kissed the asphalt a couple of times, and the left engine case had misplaced a battle with a sequence.”

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
As soon as Cam had found out a design route, work might start in earnest. The engine was stripped all the way down to its naked instances, which had been blasted, powder coated and reassembled with new seals and gaskets. Lurking inside are a brand new crank and pistons, bored-out cylinders and some different go-fast mods.

On the surface you’ll discover a set of radial fin efficiency heads from HVC Cycle, a hydraulic clutch and a modified entrance sprocket cowl. The workforce even cleaned up among the manufacturing facility trimmings, and shaved off the solid writing on the instances.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
The checklist goes on; outsized Banshee intakes, V-Pressure 3 reed valves, Mikuni TM32 carbs and a {custom} exhaust system constructed from two units of classic DG enlargement chambers. The unique wiring was tossed too, and redone with a brand new VAPE CDI ignition equipment and a Lithium-ion battery.

The body wasn’t spared both. Smyth Improvements de-tabbed it, then lower off the rear part and constructed a brand new subframe, with helps that mimic the strains of the inventory RD400 aspect covers. An assortment of gussets and brackets had been fabricated to go well with.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
Then got here a smorgasbord of suspension mods. A set of 2006 Suzuki GSX-R600 forks had been mounted up entrance, and tweaked to simply accept a pair of KTM fork guards.

The decrease yoke is from the Suzuki too, however the prime yoke is a closely modified LSL half. The workforce trimmed it to create space for the RD400 tank, shaved off its ignition bracket and added a mount to carry a Koso gauge cluster. Simply behind it are new handlebars, fitted with Renthal grips, modified Brembo levers and welded-on micro switches with LED backlights.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
There was extra work to be carried out out again, the place Cam had a really particular thought in thoughts. “We knew we wished an aluminum swingarm, to assist in giving the bike that classic trick look,” he says. “And to make the bike look proper on 19″ wheels, we would have liked so as to add a pair inches to the size.”

The fellows began with the swingarm from a 1981 Yamaha IT250, then eliminated the unique shock mount, trimmed the fats, fabricated a brand new mount and braced every part. The setup additionally consists of new finish blocks, and a few deft machine work to make your entire axle system extra user-friendly.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
The wheels are 19” Solar Rims, laced to 2 completely different mannequin Yamaha YZ hubs, with chrome steel spokes equipped by Buchanan’s. They’re wrapped in Dunlop K180 tires; a prize sponsored by Dunlop in the course of the early rounds of the competitors.

Since this flat tracker is destined for avenue use, it has brakes at each ends. The setup consists of Kawasaki Ninja 300R calipers, with Galfer rotors, pads and contours. All of the little bits just like the axles, swingarm pivot and steering stem nut, had been machined from scratch.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
For the bodywork, Cam swapped out the Daytona tank for the standard RD400 unit, which was subjected to a complete host of mods. Most notably, a Kawasaki Ninja 650 filler neck was welded in to accommodate a flush-mount fuel cap from Vortex. The tank’s mounting angle was tweaked too, and the gasoline faucet hidden away behind the carbs the place it’s nonetheless accessible, however not fairly as seen.

“The fuel tank is painted in 2006 Yamaha fiftieth Anniversary Yellow Pearl” Cam explains. “It’s a contemporary tackle the normal Yamaha 0026 Competitors Yellow.”

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
Sitting aft of the tank is a custom-made seat and tail unit, designed to hold the tank’s silhouette by way of to the rear. The design was first mocked up with cardboard cut-outs and items of string, to ensure every part flowed completely. A success of Alcantara on the seat pad provides an aesthetic contact.

It’s laborious to identify the taillight at first, however that’s by design. Cam used a Koso Hawkeye LED, then mounted it below the tail hump behind a smoked acrylic pane.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
“From the start, if we had been going to construct a avenue tracker it needed to look extra like a flat monitor racer than a avenue bike,” he explains. “And for us that meant fully hiding the lights.”

To attain this up entrance, they mounted two 6” LED bars behind a hand-formed acrylic quantity board. The lights are set at completely different angles, to function as excessive and low beam headlights. Every little thing sits on {custom} mounting {hardware}.

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations
Smyth’s 427 Tracker nails the trifecta of two-strokes, flat trackers and Yamaha iconography. Sadly, it didn’t take house first prize within the build-off—nevertheless it’s a winner in our guide.

Smyth Improvements Instagram | Photographs by Pawel Wnek

Cam want to prolong particular because of his household, pals, and sponsors that made this venture occur!

Custom Yamaha RD400 by Smyth Innovations



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