I spotted this bike recently on the Yamaha Rd Forum in the for sale section, as Dave said

"possibly one of the best 500's in the country"

I was impressed, so with Dave's help this W.I.P page was put together to let others see

just what can be done with a 20 year old RD/RZ.

Pictures courtesy of Fred ( http://www.rd500ypvs.co.uk )

The start of any "project bike" is picking the donor, for Dave's project he chose a 1985 RD500, tatty and mis-treated this would be transformed over the next two years.

Bike As Got Late July 2001

The project started with Dave collecting as many trick bits as possible, this is the secret to having a successful project, plan ahead...... make your measurements, choose your parts wisely, picking the wrong base components can cause BIG problems into the build.

RZV Frame
Thunderace Front
Jap Pipes
First to go had to be the RD's steel frame, this was to be replaced by the lighter and stiffer frame from the Japanese RZV500R, the alloy rear shock of the RZV was also chosen.
To compliment the stiffer frame the original front end was to be replaced, after many a long hour measuring and assessing suitability, the complete front end of a Yamaha Thunderace was chosen, at 48mm they should be stiff enough ! An Ohlins damper would iron out any wiggles.
The 5.5" rear wheel from a GSX-R would take care of the back end, and allow the fitment of some decent modern rubber, after all, there's no point having a decent power output and not being able to lay it down.
A set of Japanese performance pipes would allow the engine to flow better, the motor would be stripped, inspected and a full stage 3 tune given. This bike will be a handful, no doubt about it.

Now that all of the parts have been sourced it's time to get started ! The RD is stripped back to components, every last nut and bolt is removed, inspected and replaced if necessary. The body work is inspected, if it can be repaired it's kept, if not, new parts have to be sought. The engine was sent off to Mick Abbey Tuning who would make it breathe fire.

Starting the Disassembly.
Yamaha V4 engine (47K) in standard trim.
After the strip-down all of the non-salvagable parts where placed to one side.
Now that the bike is in component form everything will be cleaned, inspected and returned to "better than new" finish, the bike can be test assembled, and fine details sorted out. It's better to discover that the Ohlins damper requires a lug to be made and welded to the frame at this stage, than 12 months down the line when your frame has been polished !

Next up is to fit the Thunderace front end, easy enough !! well it would have been if the RD500's yolk hadn't fused it's self to the stem, gentle heat turned to full on blasting followed by extreme force....it still wouldn't budge. Out with the angle grinder. Thankfully the Thunderace yolk just slid apart.

Both wheels fitted, it's starting to look like a Bike !
Thunderace front end just fits in perfectly.
For over a year Dave assembled the bike, taking care to get every small detail correct, components are completely refurbished and assembled with care and attention to detail. In this short period Dave has taken a tired shabby RD500 and produced a well fettled V4 500 Yamaha, he has managed to make the bike look bang up to date, but retain the classic look of the RD, the engine is more than capable of giving bikes twice it size a fright, and the new running gear means that it handles and stops quicker than Mr Yamaha ever imagined.

It's time to start building.

The GSX-R wheel slots nicely into the RZV Swinging arm, there is only 6mm offset to the right side. To rectify this Dave will change the bearing on the sprocket carrier to a thinner sealed unit, this will allow him to machine 6mm from the sprocket carrier. New spacers will have to be made to accommodate the GSX-R's 20mm spindle, and the chain adjusters will have to be drilled 3mm wider,