1974 R&D Racing SoCal
Suzuki 400 TM RN MotoCross
This bike was built by R & D Racing in So Cal, supposedly for John DeSoto to race back in the day. I cannot verify whether or not he ever raced this bike. Bike was purchased in pieces up in the rafters at R&D and that was their story at time of purchase. Bike had a ’74 paint schemed tank on it when I got it, but I replaced that one with the tank that is currently on the bike now.
Bike has some VERY TRICK features like:
Ported, high compression, reed valve ’74 TM 400 motor. ‘DH’ reed cage is welded to cylinder and is HUGE (it looks like you could stuff a 2×4 down it). Big Mikuni. This engine is insanely fast and makes this an EXPERT level race bike.
Powdercoated frame was professionally and extensively modified with motor lowered by 2 inches with main downtube and cradle extensions, lay down shock positions, and swingarm extended by 1 inch. This is all very well done, TOP NOTCH work and was performed in-house by technicians at R&D Racing. Not a butchered up hack job by any means.
No longer in business, R&D Racing had extensive ties to U.S. Suzuki from the early 1970’s, and had helped out with many of Suzuki’s stateside works bike programs. Specializing in modifying Suzuki MX bikes all through the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, if you could afford an R&D ‘shop’ Suzuki, then you owned one of the best Suzuki privateer motocrosser’s that money could buy. Unlike a DG, FMF, or Moto-X Fox package racer (which were very good packaged compilations of over the counter hi-po goodies) an R&D Suzuki was a custom built privateer motocrosser. Most of R&D’s bikes were various RM versions from the 1980’s, and it is extremely rare to find a TM version of one their bikes. In fact, I have never even heard of another one in existence anywhere.
I added the Koni remote reservoir shocks with heavy duty springs which are quite rare and were just rebuilt. These shocks work great with this set up and rear end is firm with excellent damping.
36mm Kayaba KYB forks have extended travel with internal damper mods along with gold DG style air caps. These appear to be something special because they look semi-works to me. They are definitely non-production units with very skinny sliders, and they work excellent. Fork boots are in great shape, vented at bottom with built in metal dust screens.
Custom built cone pipe is nice with a couple very small dings. Rebuildable internal silencer.
Powdercoated tank is perfect and is a true work of art. I would NOT race the bike with this tank on as it is way too nice.
New reproduction ’74 TM front fender with new Flying Finn extension. Original ’72 TM400 rear fender looks good, and is not cracked. New bar pad, new seat cover. Original wheels with Takasago rims–no dings.
Due to mods this bike is not AHRMA vintage legal. It would need to race in the post vintage class, but it HAULS ASS so nobody is going to catch you on this thing anyway. This is the tallest TM400 I’ve ever been on. Look at all the air space between the bottom of the tank and the top of the cylinder. Bike is geared for huge top end–will probably do about 100mph right now. TM400’s always had fast engines, but their handling left a lot to be desired due to too high of a center of gravity. Lowering the motor effectively transforms the bike into a handler, and with this combination of engine tweaks and frame geometry/suspension mods, this TM is now a true rocketship with a chassis to match.
Unlike DeCoster’s full factory works RN74 (which I would imagine is worth over $100K), you are looking at a semi-works, R&D shop Suzuki that most of us can actually afford to own. This thing is really bitchin’ and looks even better in person than the photos show here. Without a doubt this is a one off bike and I really doubt you’ll ever find another one like it, and it’s probably worth twice the $$ what I’m asking too.
Bike could still use just a tad of finishing such as an inner splash guard to better shield the air filter (no airbox; large diameter Uni filter mounted to carb), and shock eyelets all need just a tad smaller sleeves for a better fit over shock posts. Tires are orig. IRC’s but are still very usable. Chrome on bars is weak. Some oxidation from the moist calif. beach climate on spokes and such, but that’s really about it.
ATTN– INTERNATIONAL BUYERS: No title. I can arrange transportation to any freight forwarder of your choice. Example: cost for bike to Los Angeles will be $200.00 extra (but more to anywhere else). Email me for details and price quotes.
I can even arrange shipping to any world port destination of your choice nearest to you, but bike would need to be disassembled and shipped as ‘used parts’. Email me for details and price quotes.
Bill of sale provided at any denomination requested by purchaser.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL ME AT 623-465-0636.