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Bikes > vegavairbob’s Garage > Blog


2015 Yamaha SR400 - Media Buzz

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

"The 2015 Yamaha a motorcycle that originally debuted in the U.S. in 1978. Not much beyond the addition of fuel injection has changed with the 399cc motorcycle, making this more like a classic reissue than a modern bike masquerading as old iron." "The SR400 is supremely manageable. Small, lightweight, and simple to operate, this naked bike recalls many of the things there are to like about back-to-basics motorcycles."

"The Yamaha SR400 has stood the test of time like no other model." “We decided to import the SR 400 in small quantities, based on the demand from tuners and special customers" says Product Planning manager Oliver Grill. Oliver expects the bike to remain exclusive. “The bike is of course not cheap with low production quantities, high-quality parts and production in Japan."
Total Motorcycle

"Yamaha had been a little left out of the small bike market in North America, with nothing in between the ancient V-Star (a re-badged Virago) 250 and the 600cc sporty-but-comfortable FZ6R. Enter the SR400. Its looks can only be described as retro…so retro that owners will be fielding questions from strangers asking how long it took to restore it."
Ride Newfoundland, April 2014

"For many riders, the character, soul and image of a machine is far more important than its acceleration figures or potential lean angle. Fundamental qualities such as simplicity, ease of use and timeless design are more important to the SR400 owner. With its relaxed torque, light and agile chassis and sheer mechanical beauty, the SR400 is designed to appeal to riders looking for a motorcycle with a real heritage and character, and one which fully engages its owner."
MC AU, April 2014

"The Yamaha SR500 sold in Australia from 1978 to 1982 and only a few thousand hit the streets. Since then, small volume importers have shipped in grey imports to satisfy the demand for SR bikes to customize into cafe racers." "Meanwhile, he can’t wipe the grin off his face as he trundles around the streets of Melbourne on the new Yamaha SR400. The fuel injection means it is not as hard to start, it idles smoothly and evenly, and it’s so easy to ride around town.” "The new model is a very sweet ride.”
Motorbike Writer, May 2014

"The Yamaha SR400 may very well be a time machine that can take us back to a more relaxed state of mind. A gentler and kinder world where we appreciate the sight of dragon flies and the smell of horses." "Yamaha says they plan to bring in 500 units."
Back Roads Motorcycle Rides, June 2014

"Despite its retro design, the Yamaha's handling is agile and exceptionally competent..and the ride comfort is exemplary. The combination of disc and drum brakes not only pull the bike up well but offer plenty of progressive feel. This new machine's lithe handling and excellent performance should be enough to close a deal for some." "Yamaha has managed to carry out an excellent job with the SR400's retro styling which is simple and true to the looks that were popular during the 1970s. The bike's overall appearance is authentic and very pleasing on the eye."
Bristol Post, June 2014

"There is a lot to like about this cult classic, from its retro good looks to its easy handling personality, it has a carefree, other place and time kind of feel." "If you can get onboard with the anachronism of kickstarting a fuel-injected bike, you’ll find the 2015 Yamaha SR400 to be a satisfyingly enjoyable ride.
Ultimate Motorcycling, August 2014

"Real Retro? More Like, Real Survivor. "Overall, the SR400 is a fine little bike, mechanically sound and terrifically styled." "The SR is a fundamental motorcycle, and if you're after that essential vintage-bike look and feel without the constant upkeep, the SR400 may be the bike for you."
Motorcyclist, August 2014

"The motorcycle is quite literally a stamped-in-steel copy of the more than 30-year-old original." "Riders looking to relive the glory days or seeking an authentic classically-styled retro motorcycle, with a one-year warranty, will love the SR."
Motorcycle USA, August 2014

"Anyway, here the thing is, all 384 pounds of it, rolling on 18-inch wire wheels and tube-filled Bridgestone Battlax tires, for the low low price of $5,990. Yamaha’s people are throwing out phrases like mechanical honesty and elemental beauty to spin the SR, and they may be onto something.'" August 2014

"For any retro-loving motorcycle enthusiast, the eye glides along the sweet, svelte lines of the 2015 Yamaha SR400 just like it did in 1978. Because Yamaha got it right back then and correctly chose not to change much since. "And just think. Because it’s new there won’t be any stripped or rusted fasteners. That’s worth the $5990 asking price right there. Well, that and the satisfaction of kicking your motorcycle to life."
Cycle World, August 2014

"We haven’t seen this bike in 33 years on the U.S. market. Like a time capsule that’s been opened, the 2014 Yamaha SR400 is a completely new, old motorcycle." "It has all the charm and feelings of a vintage bike, without the repair bill." "You’re not going to keep up with your pal's 600, but you’ll be the one laughing while you wait on them at the bottom of the canyons or end of a traffic jam."
Ride Apart Inc. August 2014

"This Yamaha with its first introduction in the late 70s is still a serious motorcycle 35 years later." "With the growing desire for back-to-basics' Yamaha decided the time was ripe for a reintroduction." "The beauty of the SR is that the sympathetic-looking air cooler is not retro, but the real deal."
Motor magazine, September 2014

"The 2015 Yamaha SR400 carries a retail price of $5,990, and is available in just one color, Liquid Graphite. Yamaha probably could have lowered the price by reducing the quality of some of the components, like the solid steel fenders and tank. I’m glad that they didn’t, because the SR400 feels like a solid piece of manufacturing."
Forbes, September 2014

"It’s hard to ignore the novelty of the SR400. While it’s been a popular trend in both the auto and moto worlds to bring modern versions of iconic classics to market, the SR400 is pretty much the same bike Yamaha has been producing and selling since the 1970s, only updated with fuel injection and various emissions-related dealios. The styling has hardly changed, the controls look like they’re on the wrong side of 40, and even the kickstarter looks like it came from a ’70s parts pin.", September 2014

"The SR400 looks like the real deal because it is, a living classic that hasn’t changed much since it debuted nearly 40 years ago. I’ve watched guys stop to admire it in the parking lot, assessing its clean lines and generous chrome, wondering how old it is. And if they’re of a certain age, they pause, close their eyes briefly and think back to more carefree days. Those memories are priceless. Creating new ones will set you back $5,990."
Rider, September 2014

"Yamaha revives one of its greatest classics with the return of the kickstart-only SR400 ($5990). The modern SR builds upon Yamaha’s legendary quality delivering a simple yet thoroughly-engineered motorcycle that truly stands the test of time." "The motorcycle is quite literally a carbon copy of the 1978 original—right down to the British-styled instrument gauges and kickstarter—giving Americans the chance to own a brand new piece of motorcycling history, complete with fuel-injection, and a one-year warranty." "You’ll be hard pressed to find a 30-year-old motorcycle that rides as nicely as this Yamaha."
Motorcycle USA October 2014

"If you’re considering trying to find one of these, don’t hesitate." "The SR’s narrow tank is great (even the color is perfect, doesn’t draw your eye): short of a broomstick I doubt there’s a trimmer ride on the current market." "Now, I’m off to ride and smile smugly at all the other bikers who don’t have this eye candy. I feel like the goofball who won the heart of a super model." "She's a stunner.", October 2014

B&W Photo - My new 2015 Yamaha SR400 taken with a Samsung Galaxy S mini Phome

Yamaha SR500

By vegavairbob

Yamaha is a brilliant marketer.They've created their own versions of other country's existing or previous designs and perfected them. The Yamaha SR500 is a knockoff of the classic British Thumpers - a single-cylinder, four stroke street bike patterned after the big bore singles that ruled the roads of the 50s. Beyond that, Yamaha's innovative technology made the SR500 as modern as it was traditional with a perfected compression release lever and piston position indicator that made kick starting the machine quick and easy. Something that couldn't be said for its forebears. They also gave it disc brakes, electronic ignition, self-cancelling turn signals, dry sump oil-in-the-frame lubrication for ground clearance and initially, alloy wheels with tubeless tires. First introduced in 1978, the SR500 was imported to the US until 1981 and was discontinued in 1999, but the SR400 sold in Japan, the same bike with a different crankshaft and shorter piston stroke, has been in production almost continuously for 36 years left virtually unchanged. Could this be the "perfect" motorcycle? Could very well be. It certainly has endured.

The SR500 was priced and compared with other "middleweight" 500s and 650s. In a 1979 comparison test it was of course slower than the multi-cylinder bikes in straight-line speed, but not in the switchbacks - as it was judged having the best handling along with the best fuel mileage - 60 mpg (the new model with EFI is rated at 66 mpg). Motorcyclist magazine praised the SR500 for "its way with a twisty road few motorcycles possess." Yamaha's popular XS650 vertical twin (1970-1985) was criticized for its poor handling, and having even more vibration than the SR500. Did I want the SR500's best-in- class handling attributes or the XS650's electric start and more power "suitable for touring. "Not considering any brand other than Yamaha, I chose the SR500. I remember a Honda CBX (inline-6) owner trying my SR500 and falling in love with it.
The updated SR400 EFI version (2010-on) now available in other Asian countries and imported to Europe, is coming to the US this month as a 2015 model. The SR is partially hand built. For instance, the engine covers are polished by hand and there is a lot of manpower involved in bending the exhaust header. The build quality is high and it cost Yamaha quite a bit to produce it.

Photo: 1981 Yamaha SR500 (US spec final model)

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