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Custom builders of the world, rejoice

By Mario

Yamaha’s SR400 and 500 have long been favoured by café custom builders. Now Yamaha have reintroduced the old thumper.

You don’t even have to be ‘of a certain age’ to know and love Yamaha’s SR single. The simple, reliable and elegant air-cooled engine has been venerated by young hipsters as much as old codgers. Endless customs have used the motor because it looks cool, goes great and second hand units were cheap as chips.

Yamaha obviously spotted an opportunity and has reintroduced the bike in the NZ and Australian markets. First launched in 1978, the SR was a 400 in Japan and a 500 elsewhere but the ‘new’ model is a 87mm bore x 62.7mm stroke 400. 

Features? Not much, right down to not having electric start (kick-start only). It does of course have fuel injection to meet today’s emission regs but otherwise it’s just a very basic motorcycle. And all the better for it.

The bike’s in dealerships now and yours for $9,599. What’s the betting that most of them get torn down and turned into something tasty with an alloy tank and clip ons?