Yamaha's new SR400 is ultimate bare-bones machine

Publish Date: 
Mar 6, 2014
By Bruce Steever

CYPRESS, Calif. -  Yamaha is bringing an unusual machine to the U.S. for the first time. While custom retro-bike fans will likely recognize it, the new SR400 will be quite a system shock for buyers.

Built around a reasonably lightweight air-cooled 399cc single, the SR400 is the continuation of the classic SR line from Yamaha’s past.

Designed as both a unique lightweight street bike as well as an ideal platform for customization, the SR400 is the ultimate bare-bones machine. For one thing, although the SR400 fits up-to-date fuel injection, the machine is only available as a kick-start model. There’s no starter motor, not even as an accessory, but the SR does include a compression release lever to ease starting.

The rest of the machine is pure classic, with a steel double-cradle frame connecting a pair of relatively simple suspension systems. Tires are tall and narrow, running on spoked 18-inch rims from and back. A single disc front brake and drum rear provide deceleration, while the 384 lb. wet weight (claimed) and 55.5-inch wheelbase should provide decent handling characteristics.

Of course, style is the name of the game here, and even the handlebar controls and instruments look perfectly period-correct, featuring retro-style switches and mechanical dial odometers. Pricing for the SR400 is set at $5,990.