Yamaha introduced several new models at EICMA, one of which was the MT-07, which we touched upon here. We’ll continue to bring you new models from Yamaha, but since we know CMGers are a bunch of old curmudgeons who cling to bikes that hark back to their more joyous youth, we’ll begin with a bike they’ll certainly take to heart.
Many readers — and some CMG contributors — have probably at one time owned a Yamaha SR500 of yesteryear, and the bike has since become somewhat of a collectible classic. This affection for these simple singles has not been lost on the Tuning Fork company, so behold the 2014 SR400.
“The return of a legend” reads the press literature, and goes on to claim its “genuine heritage” and “pureness of design” sets it apart from other retro bikes. Well, the bike looks like it was crated up sometime in the late 1970s and put into storage until now.
From its steel fenders, fork gaiters and wire wheels to its long, flat seat, single-downtube frame and single-cylinder engine, this bike reeks of 70s nostalgia. Other classic-bike items include 18-inch wheels and narrow tires, and a drum rear brake.
And don’t look for to many modern touches either, because the engine is a 400 cc, dry-sump single-lunger with two valves and a very conservative 8.5:1 compression ratio. The low compression was probably used because — get this — the SR400 has a bona fide kick starter. And it’s not just a fashion accessory; it is the only way to fire up the bike.
The only modern touch on the bike — added because of necessity — is electronic fuel injection with a catalytic converter and oxygen sensor, which should be a relief to those who buy the bike because it is claimed to drastically ease starting.
We have no word yet if it’s coming to Canada but us old bastards at CMG are crossing our fingers.
Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.