Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Return of the Yamaha SR400

2015 Yamaha SR400 
This just knocks me out... Yamaha is bringing the venerable SR400 thumper back to the US market after 20 years of absence. Bikes will be in US dealerships in May as an early 2015 model. The list price is said to be $5,990.

As you can see in the photo here, this bike has truly retro late-Seventies styling. The original SR400 was first introduced in 1978. You can go to Yamaha's SR400 history page and see how closely the 2015 model resembles the 1978 original.

The 399cc aircooled engine is mated to a five-speed transmission, and has a chain drive. Surprisingly, it is kickstart only, no electric starter. Now that is retro.

It's apparent that Yamaha is responding to the success that custom builders like Deus Ex Machina, Classified Moto, and Spirit of the Seventies are having, and the buzz they are generating, with simple, low-cost, retro bikes that appeal to both the new generation of riders (Millennials) and Baby Boomers nostalgic for the bikes of their youth. There also seems to be more than ever a thirst for bikes that, unlike the typical crotch rocket, are easy to customize... Go to Yamaha's SR400 webpage and note the tagline there: "Retro Cool. Built to Customize." I am also sure the success of the 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet thumpers has come to their notice, too.

It's wonderful to see this clean and elegant lightweight bike come back to market. The website has a gallery of eight pics of the bike here.

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