The Yamaha SR400 is a true retro bike. The bike is inspired by Yamaha’s old workhorse, the SR500 which was launched in 1978. So if you like classic bikes and if you want to own a piece of history, the SR400 is the bike for you. As Yamaha itself said, ‘the SR400 is an authentic classic. It has nearly the same specifications as the original bike it is inspired from‘.
The bike’s design enables easy riding
The SR400 has a cradle frame chassis. This makes the bike slimmer with a low seating position, facilitating a comfortable riding position. There is also a lot of chrome on the bike which accentuates the bike’s classic look.
You may be surprised to learn this bike doesn’t have an electric start. Rather, it has a kick start which is another sign that this is a ‘classic’ bike. The classic looks also reflects in the bike’s instrument console. It is very basic, consisting of a simple analogue tachometer and speedometer.
The bike has a low fuel efficiency
We didn’t like the fact that the bike has a very low fuel efficiency. The bike returns just 18 miles per liter which is not a good number by any standards. But don’t forget that low fuel efficiency is a staple feature of classic bikes.
Another thing that disappointed us in this bike is it’s steep price. The bike retails for £5200 in the UK which is pretty high for a classic bike. The YBR125 has more moving parts and still that bike costs £2350 less.
So why is Yamaha charging £2350 more for the SR400? This may be why the bike is not more popular with riders than it is currently.
The bike’s engine redeems it
The special feature of the SR400 is its engine. The bike is powered by a 399cc two valve, air cooled, single cylinder engine, capable of generating 23bhp of power, navigable through a 5 speed gear box.
The bike is 399cc and not 400 cc because it is very difficult to get a license for bikes of more than 400cc in Japan. Yamaha claims that the bike’s top speed is 80mph but we won’t recommend that you go above 60 mph because the bike starts vibrating and this may spoil your riding experience. But then the SR400 is not built for speed. It is built for style and performance.
The bike is equipped with a 268 mm disc brake in the front and a 150 mm drum brake in the rear which is very effective. Yamaha has given the bike a 12 liter fuel tank, so it is well suited for those long rides that you’ve been planning to take.
Final words on the SR400
If you are looking for a true classic bike, consider the SR400. It is closest to the ideal that you have in your mind. The bike has looks to die for and will surely make heads turn when you take it out on the road. The only two bad points about the bike are its low fuel efficiency and relatively high price, though classic bikes are not known to be cheap. If you are willing to overlook these two points, buy this bike.