3,070 miles from new,1977 Yamaha RD400E Frame no. 1A1-310584 Engine no. 1A1-310584

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Lot 108
3,070 miles from new,1977 Yamaha RD400E
Frame no. 1A1-310584 Engine no. 1A1-310584

Sold for US$ 7,020 inc. premium
3,070 miles from new
1977 Yamaha RD400E
Frame no. 1A1-310584
Engine no. 1A1-310584
The history of the Yamaha Motor Company is auspicious indeed – only a few months after starting production (1955), they won the most prestigious race in Japan, a mostly dirt affair on Mt. Asama. That first machine, the YA1, was a copy of the DKW RT125 two-stroke single, but the following year they created an new machine using an Adler MB250 engine as their template (a twin-cylinder 250cc two-stroke), and proceeded to dominate the next Asama race in 1957 with both designs. Truly Yamaha had staked its position as an instant leader amongst the 100 or so motorcycle makers in Japan.

That Adler-based machine, the YD1, had a wholly new chassis of Yamaha design, and became a smash success in Japan, just as the YA1 had been. The factory had a master plan of global racetrack domination, and began developing their racing machines in earnest, to the great benefit of their roadsters. The YDS1 went on sale in 1959, a direct descendant of the YD1 racer, and the basic design continued through the 1980s. In 1970, the ‘R5’ was introduced, based on the RD-56 road racer; it was instantly hailed by the press and its owners as an ideal lightweight sports machine, with lively power and excellent handling. In 1973, the RD350 was introduced, with a six-speed gearbox and disc front brake. In 1976 the engine was enlarged, giving us the RD400, a machine which quickly gained notoriety as a giant-killer on a twisty stretch of tarmac. Quite a few changes were made to increase the capacity; a new crankshaft and engine cases were required, while the motor itself was moved forward in the frame to reduce the tendency to wheelie! But, weighing in at 355lbs wet and having plenty of torquey power, Yamaha’s efforts to keep the front wheel down were for naught, which didn’t seem to bother prospective buyers. Cult status followed, and RD400s in fine condition have become sought-after collector’s machines.

This 1977 RD400E has only 3,070 miles from new, and is in very original condition.
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