Yamaha RD 400 by Roland Sands
When Roland got the invite to be a Born Free builder this year he decided to build something for himself. There would be plenty of amazing choppers and American Vtwins at the show so to push the envelope a bit and be true to his racing roots he chose to build a two stroke race bike. Powered by a 1974 vintage Yamaha RD 400 motor wedged into a 1997 TZ chassis the bike promised to be interesting. Sourcing parts from the shelves of Team Roberts Grand Prix race bikes as well as Roland’s own stock pile of TZ 250 GP bits the machine’s racing heritage grew into a bike that balanced the custom world with that of GP racing. Fast, incredibly light and good handling the RDTZ is a blast from the past and a look into the future of what custom bikes can be. All fab and build were done by Roland and the team at RSD including Aaron Boss and Scotty Diminick.
The engine work was done by renowned two stroke RD tuner Ed Erlenbacher and features a rare dry clutch kit comprised of parts from around the globe as well as vintage OEM TZ race parts. The machine rolls on Dunlop slicks, Ohlins forks clamped by vintage Team Roberts triple clamps and Performance Machine magnesium race wheels pulled from Roland’s championship winning 250 GP bike he both designed and raced on. Webco heads by Ralph Ponce. Stock gas tank and hand made tail section are in raw aluminum and feature pinstriping by the undertaker. The upperfairing is carbon fiber and was mounted with custom aluminum bracketry and silver leafed with the “Two Stroke Attack” in Kanji.