Yamaha RD 400 Tracker by Smyth Innovations

Yamaha RD 400 Tracker by Smyth Innovations

Industrial designer Cam Smith builds custom bikes in Ontario, Canada. He prefers lighter machines of Japanese origin like the 1976 Yamaha RD 400.

Canadian Cam Smith likes to tackle Japanese motorcycles from the 1970s and 1980s. No bigger bikes, more mid-range machines. Because they are not that hard. Smith Innovations’ latest creation is the 427 Tracker, which was modeled on the Yamaha RD400 manufactured in 1976. It was actually four RD400s that were given to a customer by a customer to bring two “nice guys” together. One was to be restored to full original condition, the other to be rebuilt in the Street Tracker style.

bored 427cc

This meant a lot of work for Cam and his team, as a few things had to be fixed first. The wear and tear of fall damage added to the popular Yamaha Classics in previous decades. Not only was one of the air-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke engines completely overhauled, blasted and powder-coated, but also bored on occasion. It now has 427 cc, hence the name of the conversion project: 427 Tracker. The cylinder heads adapted from the HEVC cycle with radially arranged cooling fins can be seen from the outside. Even a hydraulically controlled clutch can be seen. But there’s even more cool two-stroke technology: enlarged intakes, V-Force 3 membranes from Banshee and a TM32 carburetor from Mikuni. And, last but not least, the visually and acoustically impressive exhaust system, which is a custom-made product.

Fork, swingarm and brake upgrades

A few things have also been refurbished around the two-stroke core. Upside-down forks from the Suzuki GSX-R600 are now used as the front suspension, with fork protectors from KTM. Rear suspension includes a modified cantilever swing arm from the 1980s Yamaha Enduro, Type IT 250. The swing arm was lengthened a few centimeters so that the proportions fit snugly with the 19-inch wire-spoke wheels. And since this Tracker is meant for running on public roads, not an oval track racing course, it has brakes on both wheels, adapted from the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and combined with parts from the Galfer.

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hidden lights for public roads

For street use, fixed lighting is also available, but well camouflaged: in the form of a vertical LED bar behind the tinted acrylic spoiler shield at the front, pushed down in the form of a miniature lamp from Koso at the rear Gone. The small lithium battery and digital ignition from VAPE are also well hidden. The Koso digital display in the cockpit is unobtrusively compact. The 427 Tracker weighs around 150kg, and the optimized two-stroke two-cylinder engine puts out about 50 hp – with the right Rängdängdäng soundtrack, of course.

opinion polls

Many are beautiful, but also impassable.

It is better to leave it in its original state.


A dream device for Yamaha fans, for Kenny Roberts fans, for two-stroke fans, for lightweight construction fetishists and for friends of the Tracker look. With registration papers from 1976, the one-off from Canada also had good chances with the German authorities.

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