With all the interest shown by our readers (200+ comments and counting) in the 2015 Yamaha SR400, this 1979 SR 500 Custom built by Volts Mechanix in England caught our eye. A beautiful piece of work, we think, and perhaps even higher quality than the Ichiban Moto Cafe Racer we highlighted a while back. It looks the part, doesn’t it? Stripped to the bone, polished custom bits and a serious front brake. Other than that, we don’t know much, so see the following description from the Volts Mechanix web site.
Possession is nine points … Paid for but as yet uncollected. Well, it’s going to be heart breaking to see it go but one day a life beckons in the scenic alpine grandeur of Lichtenstein. If this sounds rather emotional, as if we’re putting a championship racehorse out to pasture, it’s because it is. But it gets weirder than that. Having been commissioned in 2011 to create a high-end custom based on a 1979 SR 500 supplied by our anonymous client from the elegant principality next door to Switzerland, we were over the moon to be given a large part of the budget required up front. The bike was delivered and we got work, stripping her down and cleaning her up for an inspired look that was cutting edge for the time. Having got a fair way along the line with the build we received part of the remainder of the costs in exchange for photos and correspondence with said client’s office. All well and good, it’s encouraging and rather life affirming receiving anonymous transfers from numbered accounts. After 10 months of hard work and mutual back patting it was finished. Along the line we had: Cleaned the engine, renovated the frame, fitted a new swing arm, Buttered a scone, fitted new shocks, found some RD wheels and restored them, new electrics throughout, replaced all the bearing and bushes, modified the frame lugs, new carb, braised hoses and control lines, fitted a nice brake thing. One detail was to enamel ‘Made in Japan’ panel on the crankcase in a pantone specified purple colour. Was this a clue to the identity of our mystery customer we wondered? Actually, it was more rewarding to assume that it was definitely certain that we were building a bike for rock royalty and we still do. With the bike finished, tested and ready to ship we received reports of our man’s ecstatic appreciation from the office and a further final payment with a healthy tip. We were instructed to pack it up for dispatch to the land of snowy peaks and anonymous tycoons. We were then told to await details for shipping …. We waited … waited and still wait … then some considerable time passed and we got on with other things. After a while we didn’t take a lot of notice of the crate in the workshop and various items were deposited on it and a few calculations and design ideas were scribbled on it. One day, when the place was filling up we noticed the elephant in the room as it were and one of us said, ‘Is that SR ever going to go?’ or something so we called the office in the alps. No answer. We emailed the office. No answer. We wrote, in joined up, to all the addresses we had and again no answer. We took it out of the box under the pretext of checking it was still in one piece and had a look at the thing again knowing that now it wasn’t ours any more but as yet was unclaimed and that’s how it’s been for 18 months We call the office in Lichtenstein every now and then … it’s not registered in any country, a bit like a refugee from some war torn era in the 70’s. We calculated that if we charge storage by 2036 the bike would rightfully be ours. We could then use the parts to put on a nuclear powered BMW Kawasaki cross from 2021.