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Was Ducati a Decade Early With Its SportClassic Range? Apparently, It Believes So


Pictured above is a 2008 Ducati GT1000, part of its SportClassic range of motorcycles first displayed way back in 2003. The range was discontinued due to poor sales, but according to an article on the MCN web site Ducati believes the time is right to bring classic looking, air-cooled bikes back. This time they will be under the “Scrambler” moniker, according to MCN.

As you probably know, air-cooled, retro sport bikes are quite popular currently (you would have to include the Cafe Racers in that category). In fact, at the Yamaha tent at the Indianapolis MotoGP event a week ago, the SR400 air-cooled single, in two variants, was on display as a “potential new model” for the U.S. market. This fits with a CycleWorld article reporting the sighting of a white SR400 tooling around Southern California nine months ago with a manufacturer’s license plate attached.



  1. Marty says:

    35 years ago I owned a 1978 SR500 and absolutely loved it. It was light, nimble, and great for wheelies.

  2. dohicks says:

    I have owned. 2006 Ducati Sport Classic for 5 years or so. Beautiful, great dual spark motor, FI and enjoyable on the street and for an occasional track day.the lie if these bikes has increased over the past few years which is pretty amazing for any motorcycle. It’s the one bike that is a keeper in the garage. I do think Ducati was just a little early with this model and as the cafe racer craze/fad came into being,it is the reon the bikes have been in demand.

  3. Paul Warrick says:

    Mr. hrembe, the market is big enough for everyone’s preferences. Riders vote with their purchases on which segments will grow or shrink. The existence of a retro segment in the motorcycle market is not even slightly a reason for why the industry is having trouble attracting new young riders. There are plenty of “modern” bikes to choose from. As to one of your other points, we definitely don’t need any more distracting gadgetry added to the modern bikes. Btw, Bandits are fugly.

    Hang up and drive! (or ride)

    • Gronde says:

      Maybe the industry would do better if they could work with the insurance industry to bring their rates down for younger riders. That would go a long way to getting more young people into motorcycling. BTW, Bandits (especially the 1200s)are excellent motorcycle motorcycles but their styling is not for everyone.

  4. Don says:

    I’d be interested in one of these. I had interest in the originals, but I couldn’t get a clear answer from the Ducati dealer on whether the tank-sag issues had been resolved. He wanted to blame the ethanol in American gas. I say other manufacturers seem to know what’s in American gasoline and design their tanks accordingly, why can’t Ducati step up to do the same? Anyway, maybe second time is the charm. I just want a simple bike, and I love the styling.

    • Selecter says:

      Actually, the expanding-plastic-tank syndrome plagues far more than just Ducati Sport Classics. Aprilias suffer from this pretty badly – my Falco’s tank was expanded to the point of barely fitting back onto its mounts after service. Moto Guzzi V11s do, as well, as do plastic-tanked KTM models – the tanks were all made by Acerbis if I recall correctly, and yes, it does have to do with ethanol in gasoline. If you can find non-oxygenated gasoline in your area and use that only, the tank expansion/warpage/bulging issues actually not happen!

      And… no, Ducati never solved the issue. It was inherent to the tank’s design. Find some Ducati forums – there are guys that have gone through 3 or 4 of these things.

      There are companies that will seal the tank with a sealing compound for you, which theoretically should fix the issue permanently. Might be worth checking into if you like these bikes!

      • Don says:

        I read about the guys going through 3 or 4 replacements. That’s why I stayed away from them. You can’t always choose what type of gas will be available along your route. Plenty of other good choices out there. Hopefully these new ones don’t suffer from the same problem.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “why can’t Ducati step up to do the same?”

      it’s not that they couldn’t, it’s that they wouldn’t. why spend money to correct a problem in a model line with sagging sales, when you could direct that money into more lucrative projects…? see entry for multi12, diavel, and ally tank conversion of the superbikes.

  5. John says:

    But, you know, these bikes don’t FEEL classic. One of the biggest differences today, is that aside from the seats being HIGHER, they are also hard as a ROCK. Old bikes had nice soft foam that that you sat a bit in, not on. And I like that.

  6. hrembe says:

    OH god no more retros, (unless Suzuki wants to bring back the RGV500 or Yamaha the RZV500R modernized of coarse)why produce bikes that boomers all say they will buy as soon as they hit the showroom but don’t. You only have to look back at Kawi’s Zepher/ZRX line-up or Suzuki’s GSX750/1200’s all retro all short lived due to LOW sales, the gsx1200 was no where near as popular as the GSF1200(s) “Bandit” for the Bandit is not a retro but a MODERN rendition of a standard UJM (universal Japanese motorcycle for the younger crowd.) The industry is having a hard enough time attracting new young riders as it is and once again they seem to be falling for the marketing survey results that say aging boomers will spend their money on new “old” bikes (the harley type is a different story.) If the “old” bike market were truly strong the aftermarket would be teeming with parts and accessories well from what I have seen it is not. In my opinion what we need, and what the industry needs, is to come up with offerings that are attractive to the young tech savvy potential new riders and the SR400 or any bare bones retro will not fill that bill. How about entry level(DO NOT READ 250-400cc)sport-tour bikes with a few electronic gadgets such as blue-tooth and on-board hi res cameras linked to decent sized storage (16-24gig). Or how about some truly fantastic entry-level sportbikes for a change? Not a decade ago Kawasaki produced a 4-cylinder ZX-2R for the Asian market while we still had the ancient twin and less then 25 years ago all 4 Japanese manufacturers had 4-cylinder 400’s. But no, we will go down the retro road yet once again to please the aging segment of society whose memories of the past are far better then the past truly was. If you don’t believe me just look at the angst Ford is going thru over revamping that bloated barnyard creature known as the Mustang hopefully they are going to upset a lot of old rednecks by FINALLY getting rid of retro and going all in for modern high-tech. The motorcycle industry NEEDS to go in that very direction or face a future where motorcycling will be found on the fringe once more.

    • mickey says:

      Isn’t that what all the ebikes and scooters are for? The tech savvy young folk who want to save the planet, rehab the cities, live downtown, use public transportation?

      I don’t think theres any ice motorcycle you could make that would please them enough to make them part of the gas powered motorcycle buying public.

    • Colors says:

      The SR is a good looking bike. So is the Ducati. Good looks are never out of style. You can get as techy as you want but nobody ever saw a Prius or a Volt and thought “now thats sexy.” You don’t hang up a photo of your Camery in the office.

      And as for starter bikes, you should be looking at old junk for your first bike anyway. They are cheap, they don’t have too much power, and chances are they are about to break, so you’ll have to fix it. You might actually learn something about the machine you ride then. Plus when you drop it in the driveway or run into the island in a parking lot you didn’t just bust up your pretty new machine. No matter how small, or how cheap it is, its still new and when you drop a new bike you want to empty your stomach. I know, I’ve done it.

      Motorcycling is about the future or the past, its about right now. Its about having fun, and going places, being rebellious, and taking chances. I don’t see much wrong with the new “starter” motorcycles. They’re mediocre. They’re suppose to be. And I’m ok with motorcycling being on the fringe, as long as I’m riding I couldn’t give a rip about whether or not the mainstream is interested.

    • Provologna says:

      Let me add a word to your vocabulary: “paragraph”

    • funbiker says:

      Attract to tech savvy? Good luck. I’ve worked in a tech company but noone seems to talk about motorcycles. There are around 3 or 4 guys that ride among population of few hundreds of workers. It’s the car culture in America. Motorcycle is a niche market.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Motorcycle is a niche market.”

        let me help. the phrase you’re looking for is,

        “Welcome To The Niche Business Of Motorcycling…!”

    • Mark says:

      The ZRX started production in the late 1990s and is still produced for some markets today!
      They were in the US for roughly 10 years, sold well and now have outstanding resale value.

      • StanJ2 says:

        Amen to that Mark. I have a ZRX1200R and a 954RR and will be taking both to Willow this weekend with my son. They are both still very popular and excellent machines.

  7. Mike says:

    The SR400, with EFI and electric start would be a killer commuter and/or café base. Suzuki is selling the little 250 singles pretty well up here but I think a 400 is the right size.

    • Guylr says:

      The current SR400 has the EFI along with a catted exhaust but it will NEVER have an electric start. Part of its long run in Japan is precisely because it is kick start only. Owning one means that you’re not just a casual biker there. Another bike option would be an updated version of the last SRX400/600 equipped with the EFI 660 engine from the Tenere, XT660 and MT-03 models sold in Europe which do have electric start.

      • goose says:

        While I’m not opposed to electric start I think our Japanese brothers have a point. I had a brief fling with a “plated” XR650R a couple of years ago, the one thing I really liked about the bike was starting it. I also enjoyed starting my SR500. Kicking greatly increases your involvement with the bike.

        I’m not much for retro bikes but a kick starter would increase my interest. An electric starter would be needed for US sales but I would like the option of a kicker.


        • Colors says:

          I just use a hill or a trot and second gear. Same effect as a kick starter and it keeps the weight down, plus I get alittle cardio in.

        • Klaus says:

          I remember very fondly the three XS650s I owned – they had kick and E-start.
          E-start was good in the mornings, kick start when the engine was hot.

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    I don’t think Ducati was too early to the party – no one would say that about Triumph. I think Ducati just didn’t understand those particular buyers. The Ducati Classics were stronger, better handling and better braking bikes than their rivals; characteristics than have very little value to most buyers of the segment. As several others have stated, the end result was overpriced bikes.

    Has the dynamic of the retro market changed? Honda didn’t think so considering the moderate performance envelope of the new CB. Triumph has never seen a justifiable market for an “R” model Thruxton. I can run faster than a Guzzi V7. Unless Ducati hopes to take advantage of some amortized costs and price the Classics fairly aggressively, I don’t expect them to make much of a dent in the market.

  9. Jim says:

    Just give the thing a steel tank this time! Too late as I’ll never buy another, the plastic tank fiasco showed how much support you can expect after the sale.

  10. Paul Warrick says:

    I’m just responding randomly to different posts I read. I love that two-tone brown and cream seat on the SR400. I know some think it is undersized but it’s just for tooling around locally. You could still do short juants on the freeway. Btw, I bought a new SR500 around 30 years ago. I too would love to see the W800 sold in the U.S., and the more air cooled retros to choose from, the better. Someone spoke highly of one of the Triumph triples. I’ve ridden and like all of them, but the Tiger 800 (not the XC) would be my choice for overall performance, comfort and weight. Not that anyone cares but my current bike is a matt black 08 VStrom with flying tiger grahics.

  11. mechanicus says:

    people wanting light, upright, simple, aethetic pleasing, fun as opposed to plastic, ass stuck up in the air like a f1 squid, rotten slow speed handling, hard to work on, doofus rodney roadracer looking…. hmmm there’s a hard one….

    • yellowhammer says:

      hehe rodney roadrace lol – ever notice how their shirt always blows up around their head, showing cellulitic fat backs? yuck. I also roflmao when i see their women perched up in the air out back hanging on for dear life. what a country.

  12. George says:

    Bring back simplicity of the machine but with modern materials and components to drive the weight down and brake and suspension performance up.

    You don’t need 150-200 Hp to have a great ride.

    You do need a good handling, reliable bike to have a great ride. Light weight adds to the mix in many ways.

    If Ducati is bringing back an air cooled bike it should be a FI 900cc desmo with wet weight of about 400 lbs or less including an optional 900ss 1/2 fairing.

    • Bud says:

      I agree with most of this but Desmo and its inherent relatively frequent maintenance intervals have always seemed out of place to me on a non-competition oriented motor. I’ll take valve springs on my street bike and live with whatever performance loss they may bring.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I am pretty sure most of the performance advantages of the desmo went away in the 60s and 70s with the advent of better metallurgy and spring engineering. Any manufacturer could use the design, but they don’t.

        Maintenance doesn’t have to be frequent, though. The newest Duc engines have 18K mile valve check intervals.

    • bikerrandy says:

      “Bring back simplicity of the machine…………………….”

      Already have that in my `00 MZ Tour single w/660cc Yamaha motor. But it is water cooled.

  13. BlackCayman says:

    I spent an hour on a Sport Classic GT1000 up on the sweepers to Monte Cristo. I was underwhelmed by the motor and suspension. I did enjoy the ease of turn initiation and I liked the feel of the cockpit. The bike looks super but didn’t thrill me.

  14. mike says:

    That 400, just bring it exactly like that. It’s perfect, the most perfect retro bike yet. Because it’s a single it’ll have more “character” than the Bonneville, and will handle like mad. Chrome fenders FTW.

  15. Jim says:

    Nostalgia is not high on my priority list when motorcycle shopping. Too much sacrifice from function for the looks.

  16. David Duarte says:

    I love that SR400; it’s sweet! I love the FZ09 too. Unfortunately, I don’t have the cash flow for either right now, but I’m sure I’ll be able to afford the former much sooner than the latter.

  17. Jay says:

    I live about in the middle of CHicago/Milwaukee/Rockford/Madison. You can’t find a Ducati dealer anywhere within many miles and hours and lots of traffic.

    • Trent says:

      Not sure exactly where you live, but if it’s around Woodstock (which seems like it’d at least be close to the middle of the four cities you mention, MCC in Villa Park is just a little over an hour (51 miles) away.

  18. takehikes says:

    Hell of a lot of us out here that just want a damn motorcycle…not a cruiser, not a sportbike, not something with a beak, just a frigging motorcycle. Simple. Frankly the CB1100 is very appealing because I could do anything I want with it. Much like the original CB750…ride it as is, tour it, chop it, cafe whatever IF I want to otherwise I get to just ride it….without a bunch of drama.

    • BlackCayman says:

      and it has more punch than the Bonnevile

    • joe b says:

      “Hell of a lot of us out here that just want a damn motorcycle…not a cruiser, not a sportbike, not something with a beak, just a frigging motorcycle. Simple.” I feel the same way and bought a CB1000R, and with a couple mods (taller gearing, small screen, quick turn throttle), its very close to the bike I always wanted.

  19. SecaKid says:

    Americans want retro looking bikes that are air-cooled with hydraulic valves (H-D, Indian, and Victory). I don’t understand why more bikes don’t have hydraulic valves.

    • stinkywheels says:

      Ducatis tradition, for better or worse, has been desmo valvetrain. Harleys is the 45 degree, hydralic lifter. Until they started making them so big you couldn’t rev them, all the Harley guys traded the hydralics for solids.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Many motorcycle engines rev too high to employ hydraulic valves. Some bikes, like Honda’s NC700 line have no excuse not to have them. I don’t know where hydraulic tappet technology is today, but there were definitely issues using them above 8000 rpm 15 years ago, particularly with with an aggressive cam profile. Honda’s 750 Nighthawk is the highest revving engine I can think of that used hydraulic lifters, but it definitely had mild cams and state of tune in general. Still, that demonstrates that there are still quite a few bikes today that could utilize them.

      • SecaKid says:

        I will never understand why Honda gave up on the Nighthawk. If they would make a modern 750 Nighthawk with better brakes, handling and fuel injection, it would fill a void in their sport bike offerings. I don’t need to go 150 mph. One more thing, minimum plastic please.

        • hrembe says:

          Honda gave up on the CB700S Nighthawk because like its forerunner the CB750F sales tanked and they had a warehouse FULL of them (read that as NO-ONE was buying them)

        • mickey says:

          Plus in 2001 Yamaha brought out the FZ-1. A 5 valve 6 speed, triple disc, 125 horsepower missle with 26,000 mile valve adj.and another gallon in gas capacity. In comparison the Nighthawk with a single disc front drum rear 5 speed, 75 horsepower couldn’t compete. Both bikes had similar weights. All the Nighthawk had going for it was the hydraulic valves, and you couldn’t rev it more than 8000 rpms. Honda kept the nighthawk in the line up until 2003. I had both, and although I loved the simplicity of the Nighthawk, on the street and in the salesroom, the FZ just slayed it.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The SV650 killed the Nighthawk, just as it laid waste to nearly every other contender in that class.

        • JSH says:

          The Honda CB1100 is the return of the Nighthawk

    • goose says:

      Honda built a bike with hydraulic valves that spun to 10K RPM in the eighties (CB700). The system was really clever, unlike a Harley (or a Chevy) the hydraulic adjustment parts were stationary, only the rockers and valves moved. More bikes don’t have hydraulic valves because the focus groups say they aren’t needed/ cost too much.

      All Ducatis having Desmo valves is not tradition. In the sixties and seventies you could buy a Duc with your choice of spring or desmo. Then the marketing types decided all Ducatis should have the desmo system.

      Interesting point from a friend’s son (who is a mechanic at a well know shop): He says it doesn’t take much more time/ cost more to adjust a Ducati desmo than most of the “modern” (if you think pre WWII is modern) shim under bucket system. He works on Ducatis and KTMs, among other brands.


  20. red says:

    as a big ujm fan, I am all about that “new” Yam SR.. I do wish it were at least a 500 to give it a little longer traveling legs. If they did it up right, could probably msrp it in low-mid $5k range. Hope they keep the kick start too.

  21. Boris says:

    I don’t think of the Ducati SportClassic line as “retro” — rather, that’s what a normal, contemporary motorcycle should look like. Ultra-modern motorcycle styling, influenced by the “naked” exoskeletal bike look that ironically came out with the first Monsters, is hideous. So, applause to Ducati for bringing back an elegant, stylish line. Look how well Triumph has done with its Bonnevilles; again, that’s how a motorcycle should look. The Yamaha pictured in the article is attractive too, but a 400 is too small to comfortably ride on the street; make it a 500 or 600.

    • MiracleBill says:

      I have a 2004 Thruxton and had a 2006 Sport 1000 and I agree with Boris. Sorta. The Triumph is quite retro but with improvements in vibration, power and reliability. The SC 1000 was very much a modern sport bike that had a retro look.

    • Starmag says:

      + 1 Boris

  22. Bill C says:

    The Yamahas on display at the Indy MotoGP were SR250’s. I saw them with the sign ‘Potential New Model’ and laughed. “new”! Ha!

  23. Chris says:

    There are a couple of spy pics already out there showing a molded headlight, numerous parts bin pieces. Shows promise, though.

    A slightly different one is on the cover of Moto Sprint magazine.

  24. RAD says:

    I am in on the Yamaha 400 -500 would be a little better .
    I to wish Kawasaki would bring back the 800 to this market.
    I remember the GB500 Honda had to offer cool bike , but I could not ride it over 50 miles .
    The seating position on that thing was brutal.

    • todd says:

      Not mine. I’ve ridden 600 mile days on my GB500 and it was one of the most comfortable bikes I own, more so than some of my BMWs.

  25. Ralph says:

    Bring back the GT1000, except put the 1100 evo motor in it and offer optional ABS. Also have accessory windshield and bags available, and I’d be off to my Duc dealer cash in hand.

  26. Wendy says:

    SR400, $2,000? Hellyeah!

    • SecaKid says:

      I guess you want a 10 yr.old kid in China building the bike.

      • soi cowboy says:

        Like most are built anyway.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I guess you want a 10 yr.old kid in China building the bike.”

        and there it is. responsible consumption. not consumption with reckless abandon. not consumption “costs be damned”.

      • Colors says:

        That kid did a nice job on my Nikes. I say give him a shot. He just might make a damn fine yamaha. 😀

  27. 70's Kid says:

    Nice to hear that Ducati and Yamaha are considering these moves. I’d love to see more bikes of this type out on the roads here in the States. I’d also like to see Kawasaki bring the W800 to this market as well. While the back half of the Ducati never really appealed to me all that much visually, I still find all of these bikes far more attractive from a styling standpoint than just about everything else currently for sale. Mickey mentioned Yamaha’s new FZ-09. That bike appears to be a bargain when it comes to the price/performance ratio, but it’s definitely not a looker to my eyes. The SR400 on the other hand is pretty sweet. I dig the SR500, but clean examples are mighty hard to come by in my neck of the woods.

    None of the above could tempt me away from my CB1100, which I’m ecstatic with. But I’d still love to see more of these current air-cooled standards out and about.

    • mickey says:

      Love my $10,000 CB1100 too that “no one would buy” due to not having enough horsepower and basic suspension.Sold so poorly dealers are taking orders for 2014s already I hear.

    • Jim says:

      I really love the new CB1100 but I’m totally satisfied with my ’91 750 Nighthawk until I go for a new CB.

  28. Sam says:

    The Sport Classic range was way overpriced. Although undeniably sexy!

  29. Barry B says:

    Ducati’s poor reliability record put me off, plus servicing costs and some bits of the styling. Street Triple much the best naked in the UK where you can get about fifteen percent off when buying new for cash. So I would not bother with the Ducati.

    The SR would have to be priced at 125cc levels to appeal, the SR500 was mostly grey porridge when new and can’t see that the 400 would be much better, although I think it does have an electric boot. The SRX600 was quite good, tho.

  30. todd says:

    I’d love to have the Yamaha but for $2,000 I can get a good SR500. I think Yamaha would rather sell the Bolt. The Duc is too much like my ’93 Monster 900 and you can pick up excellent examples for under $4k. How do manufacturers compete with the used bike market?

  31. bikerrandy says:

    I don’t recall the Yamaha SR400 street bikes ever being sold in the USA. I know 400cc bikes are popular in Japan. Maybe Yamaha has some market research suggesting 400s would popular here now. They should get great mileage and be fast enough for freeway travel.

    • JSH says:

      400cc bikes are popular in Japan due to licensing rules. If you go above 400cc’s taxes and insurance gets CRAZY expensive. That artificial restriction doesn’t exist in the USA.

  32. stinkywheels says:

    I was so sorry that I missed this bike the first time. I was (still) wanting them to put a gastank on them and get that godawful gap out of the rear. The price of used ones got completely out of control and maybe the speculators will take a loss. Love the Ducs, but Monster and Hypers lost their gas tanks also. Please find a way to put 5 gallons in these bikes to get me off the fence.

  33. Tim says:

    Cool new bikes come out every year, but all I ever seem to see on the streets are Harleys. I just took a 2000 plus mile trip, and 80 to 90% of the bikes I saw were Harley baggers. I have nothing against Harley’s, but one would think there might be some free thinkers out there. I miss the days when you would see a variety of bike styles when you went out for a ride. Seeing the same old thing, over and over, only in different color schemes is borning. I personallly hope the hipsters can lead to a change in American tastes, so we can see more variety again.

    • stinkywheels says:

      +1. I bought a Harley to see if I was missing something. Found out I wasn’t. Still love my Buells and Ducs, glad I didn’t have to get rid of them to try the Harley thing. More Scramblers, Cafes, Standards. Don’t let the Triumph guys have all the fun.

    • todder says:

      I just got back from a 4000 mile trip three weeks ago and harelys where the majority. The only other mount of choice for about 15% was BMW GS’s and Vstroms. People want comfort I guess which is why I’ve got a Cross Country Victory, another bike I rarely seen.

      • stinkywheels says:

        Most Harley guys just wanna be in the majority & a lot don’t know anything else is out there. Their dealer network and service is exceptional. The geezers demand comfort above all else.

  34. TunaPete says:

    What is that long crooked lever between the Yamaha’s carburetor and the camera? It looks vaguely familiar. ;^)

  35. todder says:

    Nice design. My girlfriend wants one. Just wish this was more of an entry price point for someone’s first ducati. Then again, probably wouldn’t be as friendly as a Bonneville. I’m glad they are willing to make a retro again.

  36. skybullet says:

    A friend of mine bought a new one in 08. He liked everything about it but the riding position. Knees too bent and bars too far forward. Yeah, he could have modified it but it would have looked odd and the beauty of the bike was one of the strong points. If they bring something similar back with comfortable ergos it will probably sell a lot better.

  37. Bill N says:

    I had a 78 SR500 and I would love a new SR400(or 500).

    • BlackCayman says:

      My 1979 SR500 that I bought in ’89 for $600 was one of my favorite bikes. I rode it into the ground and sold it for $400. I wish I still had it becasue I would re-do it like new.

      I hope they make the SR500 for the US – with the kick start please. I would have one for short hops and such.

  38. Motowarrior says:

    I wish Ducati well. Retro bikes have a great deal of appeal to those of us who are tired of working on restored bikes, and just prefer to ride more than fix. I have a Kawasaki W650, and it would be nice if Kawi would give the W800 a try in the US. The used W650s always sell quickly and at strong prices for a bike over a decade old. Just add gas and go…

  39. Gronde says:

    I didn’t like the HUGE gap under the rear fender of the Ducati. Also, it got very lousy gas mileage. Toss in the Ducati service intervals and viola! A born sales loser.

  40. Bobbie B says:

    I had an 81 SR500, it was really an enjoyable bike,with 2 exceptions. you had to learn the proper kickstarting technique,
    and the VIBRATION was horrendous (hence the all-caps). I really had to check things you usually don’t have to think about
    to make sure they didn’t loosen. Once I found the steering stem was loose. Vibration is the main reason I won’t buy a Royal Enfield.
    Add a counterbalancer, and I would consider it. (although I would prefer a larger version of my CB400F super sport)

    • Tom R says:

      Amen about vibration. I rode one once and thought that there must be something wrong with it. I was amazed when the owner said “Been like that since new”. In cases like this the good ol’ days weren’t always good, just like Billy Joel said.

      • Bob L. says:

        I don’t mind the vibration on my 81′ SR500 at all. It reminds me of my old dual-purpose singles and that’s not a bad thing.
        The SR can’t be a “do all” motorcycle (not many can) but it’s alot of fun and cheap to buy/maintain.
        Plus, when you’re tired of it, you won’t loose a dime!

  41. Victor dR says:

    They should put this line out again with the current Monster engines , 696, 796 and the 1100cc…

  42. Bob L. says:

    I just took delivery of my “New” 1981 Yamaha SR500, 1-owner, all stock, 3,700mi. “Thumper”.
    I have owned 50+ bikes, of all sorts and this simple bike appeals to me in many ways.
    I like the lines and simplicity and it’s fun to ride for a couple of hours on secondary roads. No need to go fast to have a good time.
    I hope Yamaha brings the SR400 here and follows that up with the SR500/600?
    Price better be around $7,500 or less.

    • mickey says:

      Bob if the price isn’t a whole lot less than that, people will say others wont buy it because for $400 more they can get the FZ 9 triple. I’m not saying that, but they will.

      • Gronde says:

        I would rather have the new Yamaha triple, no question.

      • Rocky says:

        Why would triumph bother with all those models of Bonneville AND the Street Triple, and the Speed Triple?

        Maybe because they are different bikes aimed at different markets, and they sell a shedload of each without eating into the others market share. Just sayin…

        Look at what Deus Ex Machina does to the SR400/500. With a pretty minimal amount of work, some off-the shelf, bolt on parts and a hipster paint job, they can charge a premium. There is a small, but quite wealthy and (more importantly) trend-setting customer base that are queuing up for retro “customs”.

      • Dave says:

        It doesn’t matter what they say, “they” are not the customer. The guy who buys the SR400 either would never be interested in an FZ09 or he has both and possibly a couple of others.

        The same parallel would apply to this Ducati and the monster series but the two Duc’s are much closer to being the same bike than the two Yamaha’s considered.

        • Bob L. says:

          I agree, Dave. I love the Street Triple and the FZ09 looks like a winner. No doubt the SR400/500 will appeal to a different buyer. Personally, I love the classic, simple lines of the SR series and peek into the garage, just to admire the thing!
          I still like the looks of my 1996 Ducati 900ss sp too.

    • JSH says:

      @ Bob L: Do you really think the SR400 will sell priced $2000 more than a Honda CB500F? The SR400 will need to be priced between $4000 to $5000 to sell in the US.

      • Bob L. says:

        JHS – yeah, you’re right. Thhe SR better be down around the same as the CB500F at least. I still say…look for a clean used one. There are a couple every week on E-Bay.

  43. Azi says:

    I don’t think there was anything wrong with the timing of the Sport Classics. I think it was simply pricing. At the time they cost a lot more than a Triumph Bonneville or Thruxton, and Ducati was competing with itself and its own Monster S2R and 1000SS models.

    I suspect customers were happy to choose between “retro, less performance, cheaper” and modern, more performance, pricier”. Sport Classics were more like “kinda retro, a little bit more performance, much pricier”.

  44. Don Fraser says:

    Yamaha has a few cool bikes that are sold in other markets and should be for sale here. The MT-01 and MT-03 being 2 of them. I have an SRX600 and it is much fun to ride. That SR 400 would fit nicely in to the current styling that all the builders are doing. They just have to price it right.

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