Two-stroke tracker from a professional BMX rider…
The Yamaha RD400, built from 1976 to 1979, was a lightweight giant-killer, a 44-horsepower two-stroke twin capable of embarrassing many of the era’s larger four-strokes. The bike simply begged to be flogged, to have the throttle cracked open and the front wheel lifted high from the pavement, leaving a ghost of blue-white smoke in its wake. Said Cycle magazine of the bike:
“Anyone with the narrowest streak of anti-social behavior will find the RD the perfect conspirator. It is Dennis the Menace on Yokohama tires, and is the most fun street motorcycle currently available for sale.”
Enter Eber Temperan of Argentina, a professional freestyle BMX rider and the coach of the Argentine selection of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) World Circuit. Eber grew up racing karts and working in a karting workshop. After a year spent living in Barcelona for his BMX career, his passion for motorized machines was reignited. Now, in addition to riding and coaching BMX, he builds custom bikes, including the incredible Yamaha RD400 tracker you see here. Says Eber of the RD:
“I like many 2T engines, and I remember when I was little that this bike was very aggressive in its time, and still is!”
The bike was inspired by his childhood love of speedway and flat track bikes, as well as the videos he’d seen of none other than “King Kenny” Roberts — whose speed block livery became synonymous with domination in the 1970s. Below, we get the full story on this stunning two-stroke street tracker, along with some killer shots from Eber and photographer Martin Adorno (@cocodesanluis).
Yamaha RD400 Tracker: Builder Interview
• Tell us a little about yourself, your motorcycle history, and your workshop.
I grew up competing in karting and working in a karting workshop. Then, over time, I started to do very well in freestyle BMX, so I left mechanics in order to dedicate myself to BMX and travel the world. In 2013, I lived a year in Barcelona where I saw a lot of modified bikes and my enthusiasm returned. When I returned to Argentina, I built a Suzuki AX100, increasing displacement to 125cc, with carbon fairings, Dell’Orto carburetor, etc. Then my friends started asking me to build motorcycles for them. I’ve been building custom bikes for about three years now, and of course I’m still riding BMX.
• What is the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha RD400, 1979.
• Why was this bike built?
I like many 2T engines, and I remember when I was little that this bike was very aggressive in its time, and still is! It was a personal project.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the construction?
I think it was the memories I had of the old races. In my childhood, I liked speedway bikes a lot, and of course I saw some videos of Kenny Roberts.
• What personalized work was done on the motorcycle?
The chassis was modified at the rear, the suspension was improved on both sides, and the engine was improved with flat carburetors, carbon flaps, exhaust, electric ignition for a spark, front brake and KTM fork. All the extra weight was removed, of course, without affecting its structure and security.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• How would you classify this bike?
I think it would be a flat tracker, or a nice hybrid I do not know.
• Was anything done during this construction of which you are particularly proud?
If I am very proud of being able to achieve a good bike, a safe ride, and incredible power.
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Photos: By Eber himself and Martin Adorno (@cocodesanluis).