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Yamaha Goes Old School With 2015 SR400


Talk about old school. How about a bike being sold as a 2015 model that lacks an electric start button? That’s right, the 2015 Yamaha SR400 is not only a retro looking air-cooled single, you have to kick it to life!  Weighing only 384 pounds, the SR400 is powered by a 399 cc air-cooled single with two valve heads. Yamaha views the SR400 as a potentially popular model, capitalizing on the retro and hipster crazes. We will see about that, but in the meantime you can check out Yamaha’s press release below. When it hits U.S. dealers in June of this year, the SR400 will be priced at $5,990 MSRP. The only available color will be the Liquid Graphite pictured.


The SR400 is powered by a 399cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve engine that produces a torquey, “thumper” engine character that makes it an absolute blast to ride.

The SR weighs only 384 pounds and has a very narrow frame matched to a low seat height of only 31 inches. This combination makes for a machine that is well suited to both entry riders as well as experienced enthusiasts.

The uniqueness of the SR is confirmed with the fact that it is a kick-start motorcycle. The retro appeal of this bike lies in its lack of a push button starter. As a kick-start only machine it draws attention from old school motorcycle fans and appeals to more modern motorcycle enthusiasts who value the appeal of riding a motorcycle that stands out in the crowd.

The Yamaha SR400 is the perfect motorcycle for both the custom bike builder and the rider who loves personalization. The SR is world renowned for its basis as the perfect platform as a Café or Street Tracker machine. Personalization and customization are limited only by the designer’s imagination.



399cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve power plant with electronic fuel injection combined with its light-weight makes for a very fun motorcycle to ride.

Easy to start, kick-starter is actuated through a handlebar mounted compression release that makes starting the SR quick and easy with very little effort.

The torquey, single-cylinder engine provides “thumper” appeal and engine character with a feeling of direct power connection to the rear wheel adding to the fun factor of the SR.

Single-cylinder design is easy to maintain and modify.


Slim, narrow, double-cradle steel frame makes for a very compact body design for excellent rider maneuverability.

3.2 gallon fuel tank offers excellent touring range with an estimated 66 miles per gallon depending on the weight of the rider, passenger and any cargo.

Compact 55.5” wheelbase makes for quick, light steering for fun riding when the roads get twisty.

Front disc brake provides optimum stopping power.

Chain final drive provides excellent transfer of power to the rear wheel.


Outstanding platform for personalization and customization.




Model SR400
Engine Type 399cc, air-cooled SOHC, 2-valve
Bore x Stroke 97.0mm x 62.7mm
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Fuel Delivery Fuel Injection
Ignition TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission 5 speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive Chain
Suspension/Front Telescopic; 5.9-in travel
Suspension/Rear Swingarm; 4.1-in travel
Brake/Front Hydraulic disc; 268mm
Brake/Rear 150mm drum
Tire/Front 90/100-18M/C 54S
Tire/Rear 110/90-18M/C 61S
L x W x H 82.1 x 29.5 x 43.1 in
Seat Height 30.9 in
Wheelbase 55.5 in
Rake (Caster Angle) 27º
Trail 4.4 in.
Fuel Capacity 3.2 gal
*Est. Fuel Economy 66 mpg
**Wet Weight 384 lb
Color Dark Grey Metallic


  1. JM says:

    Love the concept but I think it’s a little too expensive as well. Guess Yamaha has to make up for pricing the FZ-09 so aggressively.

  2. stringburner says:

    Even motocrossers have e-start nowadays. 😐

  3. Klaus says:

    Here in the south of Thailand I see lots of these old 400cc thumpers around, some close to original, some cafe-style, all have loud exhausts. They sound cool but can’t get away from me on a CRF250M. You can pick them up in decent condition for a couple of thousand bucks, then order suspension parts, good tires and whatever you need. I
    t’d be great to see some new 400s around but if I’d live in the US I wouldn’t buy one, not for that price! Not even an E-start? It’s not how difficult or easy they start, it’s that kicking can be so inconvenient these days. Why don’t they have both like the old XS650 had? I could kick it when it was warm but when I was in a hurry I’d press the button.
    Nah, especially now with all the new bikes selling for a good price I don’t think they’ll sell many!

  4. skybullet says:

    500cc to 650cc Thumpers are so much fun to ride if given a chance. They are light and “flickable” (another word for responsive and easy to turn or even roll around the garage). If you have not experienced one on a twisty road you don’t know what you are missing. The Yamaha SR500, SRX600, Honda GB500 are considered classics for good reason. Modern KTM Duke thumpers and lightly modified Suzuki DR650, Kawasaki KLR650, etc, capture the essence of light great handling bikes that few riders have sampled.
    However, I think the SR400 will reconfirm manufacturers fear that street singles don’t sell. If they took the KTM approach and tried to build the best street single they could and then sell it at a Japanese bike price, singles would be very competitive and pull in first bike customers.

    GB500, DR650, R80ST, SMT (all light, great handling bikes)

  5. Mr.Mike says:

    I like it but the price is too steep. This would be a great platform for selling accessories like Yamaha does with the Star Bolt. I think they should lower the base price and then make their profit on accessories, like a cafe racer kit or a flat tracker kit, or a scrambler kit, or various other high margin custom items. There’s an old saying about razor companies making their profit on the blades rather than the razor itself.

  6. RD350 says:

    Argh … well after staring at this bike for awhile and despite my earlier bitching, bitterness and general bellicosity, I have to admit that I like it. A lot. Yes, it should be cheaper, lighter, faster, better suspended, etc.

    I still cant help liking it. I’m old I guess ..

    And I love Yamaha air-cooled singles.

    I hope they sell boatloads. Then perhaps we will see some variants like a cafe version (obviously) but also perhaps a XT/TT styled retro scrambler which would be seriously cool!

    While I am not going to sell my SRX anytime soon, I am glad there will be a fresh supply of SRs Stateside.

    PS .. Honda, good time to re-introduce the GB500.

  7. Blackcayman says:

    Holy Crap……..found this on another motorcycle site!!!!

    ***** “It would appear that Yamaha may be planning on adding an entry level sports touring motorcycle to its FJ line-up, using the FZ-09’s three cylinder engine, after the company recently applied to trademark the FJ-09 name in the U.S.”

    Open the flood gates and start a new thread!

  8. Hair says:

    I like it. And I might take a hard look at one when the show up at dealers. Now all Yamaha needs to do is consider making the WR450 a street plated machine.

    • Brendan says:

      The WR450F is a Street plated machine in Australia and sells in big numbers (for Australia).

  9. Cyclemotorist says:

    I can’t kick start anything (old fart). So this SR400 is out of the question. Looks nice.

  10. Moto504 says:

    And the FZ-09 is $7,999???

    This Yamaha kind of reminds me of the Honda FT 500 Ascot thumper I had back in the early 80’s, especially the brakes and suspension….

  11. paul246 says:

    I ride a 650 thumper now and would love to own and ride this Yamaha. I’d actually prefer the carb over FI but what the heck. My wife is thinking about getting back into riding and this would likely be the ticket. I keep my bikes for a long enough period that I wouldn’t worry about price over the long run, but I do know I can count on Yamaha over the long run.

    Anyway, great looking bike and plus it would be a cinch to cafe’.

    Maybe Yamaha should offer a cafe’ kit for this bike.

  12. Big Bobby B says:

    “For only 6 grand I can go back to the 1980s? Count me in!” (That must be what Yamaha is hoping everybody thinks)
    They weren’t that hard to start, and fuel injection probabaly makes it easier. I imagine FI gives the 400 the same power as
    the carb 500. But the vibration is bad, that could be an advantage the 400 has, smaller piston= less vibration.might as well make it a 125 to really smooth it out:) I had really had to go over my bike checking for loose fasteners.
    If Honda would make an identical copy of a cb400f supersport(or CB750/1100) I’d buy it. The CB1100 looks to modern for me.

    • Guylr says:

      The 400 has a shorter stroke and the same diameter piston as the 500 so it revs a little higher and is smoother than the old bike.

  13. Provologna says:

    This is not hyperbole, I really mean it: I propose the first person to ever see one of these bikes on the road please post such fact here as proof that Yamaha actually sells one. I’m no genius, just an age 60 bike nut who owned well over 50 bikes. I can not imagine who would spend anywhere near MSRP for this bike. I’d pay money to see the chick in the last image start this thing.

    Not saying it doesn’t have great potential BTW, but it would take serious money in mods to make me happy with it. Style/design wise it’s pretty cool. Technology/performance (except for FI), not so much.

    • jake says:

      “I can not imagine who would spend anywhere near MSRP for this bike. I’d pay money to see the chick in the last image start this thing.”

      The photo is telling you who it will be. More women go to college than men now, with more of them in just about any professional and grad schools than men, except for those fields requiring any aptitude in math. Yea, chicks still suck at math. So they are/or will make more money than men. And unlike men, they don’t need to spend their disposal income chasing after other girls. God only knows, right after I got out of professional school, I’d spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (without regret by the way) chasing after the babes and all the booze (and other stuff) required to make them delusional and delirious enough to like me long enough for me to take advantage of them. So women, unlike us guys, have the money to burn.

      And I’d bet you the entirety of my monthly income that the little babe could do it. I’ve owned basically the same bike. Some bikes can be harder to kick start than others, but these Yammies are as easy as they come. As easy to kickstart as a Puch moped – actually even easier.

      • Provologna says:

        Oh-oh, looks like I lost another bet! Thanks for your insight.

        Deja vu reading your post. I posted many time here that women are the fastest growing demographic for disposable income. Conversely, since 1950, men steadily decline in “Labor Force Participation Rate,” clearly and unequivocally depicted in graph down about 15% here: The line is almost a vertical cliff since the 2008 depression, and (sorry for such awful news) no change in sight.

        The big news in your post is (apparently) that a 115 lb female could easily start such bike…very interesting!

        • jake says:

          Why is it such awful news? Just less men working. Is being a working stiff all that great? With technology these days and more women wanting to be men, or at least not trusting men to be noble and reliable enough to take care of them, there simply just is no need for every guy to be working.

          I figure that’s why Gov. handouts and disability are so easy to get. The Gov. knows this and wants to accommodate those loser guys who want to just quit and not care anymore. Personally, I’m planning applying for every handout I can get so I can drop off the grid myself. Wish me luck. Sorry to say, but I prefer welfare over workfare.

        • jake says:

          And one of the chief reasons why the Yamaha’s are so easy to kickstart is due to the placement of the kickstarter and the angle of the bike as it leans over on its kickstand. They allow for the rider to easily get the full thrust of the weight of his/her body and the kick onto the kickstarter.

          It was just harder to get full thrust onto my old GB but much easier to do so on my SRX. And the kickstarter on this SR looks completely identical to the one on my SRX.

        • Don Fraser says:

          I put 50,000 miles on my SRX6 and it never took more than a couple kicks to start, but if it hiccups and quits, which big singles can do, at a light, pain in the ass.

      • GKS says:

        I bought my ’79 SR500 from a woman, and she had no problem kick starting it. Once you get the proper routine down, and follow it, the big Yamaha singles do start fairly easily and EFI should make it even easier.

        Actually, Yamaha is risking very little bringing the SR400 to the US market. It has been a fixture in Japan for more than 2 decades, the design and tooling have more that paid for themselves and very few mods are needed for US certification. So for the cost of an EPA certification, maybe some different lights and switchgear, crating, shipping and advertising Yamaha has a model in their line-up in what appears to be a hot catagory. Hopefully the MSRP won’t scare to many buyers away.

  14. Gary says:

    That bike looks Ed Zachary like my old SR500 from back in the late 70s/early 80s. Right down to the shape of the tank, seat and engine, kickstarter (vs. electric). The only difference I can see: spoke wheels and 400 cc versus 500. It was a super fun bike in its day but bike tech has come far since then. I think I’d opt for something more modern

  15. James says:

    Too expensive for what you get for your money.

  16. todd says:

    People can’t even use a crank to roll down the windows in their cars anymore. How do you think they will manage to start this bike, even if you can crank it over by hand?

    • todd says:

      This wouldn’t stop me from getting one (or the mint one on craigslist right now for half as much).

      My wife is eyeballing this bike since the GB500 needs work now.

    • Provologna says:

      I second that…a used one for a good price yes. Better yet, a total loss crashed bike for even less, leaving more money for absolutely required mods and custom paint. Enough power to get out of its own way might be a good place to start. How hard is it (as in cost) to get 40hp out of this lug?

    • jake says:

      Trust me, this will not be a problem. My SRX was the first bike I ever owned. But kickstarting was a breeze for me, even then. Like I said, if every bike could be this easy to kickstart, then I don’t know how electric starting ever got its foot in the door.

      • Randy says:

        I owned a SRX600 too and that bike was an easy starting bike. The SR500’s were fickle – some days it was first kick, other days it was a workout.

        • jake says:

          Yea, but SRX’s I believe came after the SR’s, so it could just be that Yamaha refined the kickstarter with the SRX, and any SR’s built afterward, including this one, will be blessed with the same easy kickstarter. I mean why not? It’s basically the same bike, same engine, and same drive train.

          • John A. Kuzmenko says:

            This SR-400 has a manual decompressor lever up on the handlebar, near the clutch lever, and it has to be squeezed at the right time in order to bump the crankshaft just past TDC.
            It’s not so much the physical effort required to do this, but having somebody willing to learn this technique.

            The 1986 SRX-600S street thumper had an XT-550-based engine with an automatic decompressor system.

            You can go onto off-road-orientated message boards – this very minute – and read posts about how the 1998 – 2002 YZ-400F/426F, YZ-250F, WR-400F/426F and WR-250F were “a pain in the azz” to start because of having to learn how to use the decompressor lever.

            The ironic thing about this is that, when that decomp lever is used properly, the bikes start easily.

          • jake says:

            Well that sucks. Provo, the bet is officially off the table.

          • GKS says:

            Actually, the SRX600 engine was quite a bit different than the TT/XT/SR500 engine. The SRX was a redesign incorporating a 4-valve cylinder head, a balance shaft and a two-barrel carburator, not to mention the increased displacement.
            The best trick for easy starting of a SR500 is to keep your hand off of the throttle. Many people seem to automatically twist the throttle everytime they kick.

          • mickey says:

            Love this tip from Yamaha

            Tips & tricks: how to kick
            First you pull the decompression lever (below the clutch lever) and slowly rotate the kickstarter to get the piston in the correct starting position. That position is indicated in the looking-glass in the cylinder. When the indicator is in front of this glass, it is in the correct position. Then you let go of the decompression lever and let the kickstarter go up fully. Take a deep breath. The bike is ready to start! Now give a strong kick. No hesitations here: give it all you got, let the kickstarter go down all the way with a lot of speed…. And beware that you don’t touch the throttle at all before the bike starts and runs! If the bike did not start, or even if you gave only a small push to the kickstarter, then ALWAYS go back to the start of the ritual: get the piston in the correct starting position and only then try to kick it. Never try to kick it when the piston is off the correct position.
            If you do this well, the bike will start at the first kick, surprisingly easy! It’s like a magic trick: On-lookers imagine that it needs a lot of force to start it, but when you know the trick it is so easy.

          • jake says:

            Don’t know if this is relevant, but to kickstart an SRX, you do need to hold in the clutch lever. If the SR’s require you to hold in a decompressor lever instead, is there that much of a difference? I guess timing could be an issue, cause with the SRX, you just pull in the clutch and then jump on the starter. No requirement to pull it in just at the right time.

            Yea, and I really, really do hope that the female demographic takes a big liking to this bike, cause if the SR is a success maybe Yamaha might think about redoing the SRX. If that happens, I probably won’t be able to resist. Even if it meant I had to go and find a job, I think I’d still do it.

            A modernized SRX, about the only thing in the world which could get my engines revving again, enough to make me care enough to go and get a freaking a job again.

      • Randy says:

        Ok OK OK, TIME OUT – this isn’t happening! Gals are not going to flock to this bike!

        Why on earth would they? Because Yamaha used a female in their sales lit? A decent dealer would have the sense to steer a newbie, male or female, somewhere else.

        All you old timers with your kick start stories, face it, that was then, when we had personal freedom, the glaciers had just melted, Harley Davidson was about to become history. Now is electric start. It’s like thinking girls are going to start smoking big fat cigars or something.

        My grown daughter rides a motorcycle once in a while – she doesn’t like kick starting even little dirt bikes. My wife has a Ninja 250, she’d NEVER EVER consider a kick only bike. Girls do girl stuff really well, kick starting isn’t one of those things.

        At best a few of these bikes will enter circulation and we old timer SR and SRX guys with our bad knees can play with them. Way I see it they are probably better in every respect to a Royal Enfield, except the RE has electric start (!), for about the same money.

    • David Duarte says:

      The SR400 has a small window on the right side of the engine, along with a decompression lever, so you can see when the piston is in the proper position to start it. It should be very easy to start.

  17. RD350 says:

    Yamaha should have imported this SR 5 years ago at the height of the cafe/retro/build movement. A day late and a dollar short.

    Also, I wish it looked like the 1970s SRs … same paint, same tank etc. … but with better suspension, lighter weight and more power. That new tank shape is lame imo. Also, young riders don’t know what a kick starter is and wont stand for it. Old guys who know all about kick starters now have bad knees and cant physically do it any longer.

    Bottom line … People want retros that “look old but perform new.” Nobody wants an over priced, budget equipped, retro.

    The Japanese always get burned when they try to sell single cylinder street bikes to Americans .. nobody buys them. This time however, it will be their own fault.

    • J Haynes says:

      I agree with RD350, in that it does not look as good as the original. I have had three SR500’s over the years, and have to say they are easy to start. Even without an ACL in the right leg like some of us old dirt guys! That being said, it is right near impossible for someone who is going about it wrong, though. I still wish Yamaha would put their 700cc single, that they already produce, maybe tuned like it is in, say, a 700 Raptor ATV, in some kind of bare bones naked or flattrack style bike. They have proven they can get away from the plastics that are ugly and overdone, by getting a decent look out of their big Raider series cruisers. I know it looks way better than the old Viragos. It seems so hard for the Japanese manufacturers to build something that truly keeps the minimal look that retro and café enthusiasts want. Something that looks right, and has a reasonable price tag, would sell in this category. I love singles, and would get off my wallet in a heartbeat if the right thing came along. Preferably a Yamaha, or Kawasaki, if you would please.

  18. John M. says:

    5999.00 is a little tough for this bare bones bike. But it gets worse. Dealers will tack on the freight, setup, and the unavoidable tax, title, doc fees, etc. Out the door price will almost certainly be over 7000.00. I agree with Eddie, 3995.00 or less should be the price here. What happened to the good old days when the Japanese were accused of “dumping” bikes here for ridiculously low prices?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Yamaha has always included destination and setup in their MSRP. Has that changed?

      • John M. says:

        This is an actual cut & paste from the Yamaha dealer website here, where I live. “*Price, if shown, does not include government fees, taxes, dealer vehicle freight/preparation, dealer document preparation charges or any finance charges (if applicable). Final actual sales price will vary depending on options or accessories selected.”

        • Gentleman Rook says:

          Most dealers throw in “prep” because bikes come semi-disassembled in crates, and you have to pay a mechanic to unbox it, assemble it, put in fluids and battery, run a full mfr-designed safety/assembly checklist and then you have to pay another person to clean the cosmoline and packing gunk off it. But really, who in their right mind ever pays full book for anything? Average markup on a motorcycle is $1000 to $1500: if you can’t knock your local dealer down to $300 above their invoice price then you’re not trying hard enough! They’re gonna get you in the F&I office anyway. 😉

  19. Al T says:

    Good to see Yamaha make this, although I wish it was a 500. It has the right look, but for $6000 you could check out a whole lot of nice used bikes.

  20. azi says:


  21. Randy says:

    Check it out – 5.9″ travel in the front – I bet they’re the old XT500 forks!

    I bet we don’t get this in Kalifornia because Yamaha would have to actually put some money up to vent the gas tank to a charcoal canister.

  22. Randy says:

    Over the years I’ve owned three SR500’s. Those were fine at the $600, $400, and $1000 I paid for them. I’m sure someone will buy these but not me!

    So OK.

    The pumper carb the SR500 came with is gone. GOOD! That oldie was hard to start, I’m sure this will be better.

    I kicked my 500’s maybe 10,000 times, I’m sure a new 400 owner can do it, especially if it’s a one or two kick bike.

    The wheels look to be better. The SR500 cast wheels were insanely heavy (Asashi Iron Works or something like that).

    The hipster riding the bike in the lower picture is the size of a pixie!

    I wonder about the frame. The SR500 frame was just the XT500 frame. The bike was a good slider in the dirt.

    I think you can still get big pistons and hot cams, throw an extra thou at the engine and it will be able to get out of it’s on way.

  23. Provologna says:

    I love the 4-11″ male model riding the bike, weight soaking wet about 115 lbs…About fifteen years ago my wife and I kept revisiting a model home at a new development near our older home at that time. I kept visiting, wondering what it was about the place that seemed odd. I finally figured it out. All the furniture was about 80% scale vs. normal furniture, thus making the home seem about 20% larger than it would look with normal furniture.

    Closely note the size of models in the next TV add for a passenger car, SUV, etc. They specifically and almost exclusively employ the tiniest, just larger than dwarf models on earth. Look at the real estate surrounding the model sitting in the car, then go sit in one of the same vehicles and do the math. The women are sub 5′, men are usually well below the 5-9 average, unless they employ jocks selling full size pickup trucks.

    The marketing industry has it’s own lingo, same as other trades. They call the above marketing scam “puffing” (blowing up a desired quality).

    Hey, I like the bike. Looks a little pricey for what it is, but it looks pretty nice, especially the finish. Love the fuel injection.

  24. Sam says:

    Yamaha, you took a chance with this model but at $6,000, Fail.

    It should be $4,990. Please don’t rip off the hipsters, $6K is too high and you know it, so does apparently everyone on this site.

    Yamaha where’s my MT-07? That’s the bike that should be $5,990. Recently one of the best-reviewed bikes with many Euro journalists. This is the bike I want!

  25. andy says:

    I have several singles, the latest one being a KTM Duke 690 which weighs 325lbs, makes 62bhp, has an electric foot but costs $8K (discounted). What are Yamaha thinking with a 400cc single that weighs 28lbs less than their new 850cc FZ-09 triple and comes pretty close to it in price? If they are targeting beginners good luck to them as they will need it without an electric starter on the bike. Beginners are the people most likely to stall a bike in traffic and probably would get very flustered trying to go thru the starting routine with a load of impatient drivers behind them. The weight is the biggest put-off for me, why does it weigh so much and doesn’t even have a starter?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It weighs so much because it is the same bike it was in 1979 plus a few extra punds for emissions equipment.

  26. Vincent V. says:

    Looks like they took a 1979 SR500, de-stroked, depowered and de-carbed it and added a touch of fugly. But why resurrect it as a basic street model, to be café customed by the new owner? Make it a tasteful factory café lookalike and it may stand a chance of selling. As is, the appeal pretty much stops at the beaches and docks of Japan. All 4 of the people crying for The Return of the SR will be happy, everybody else will give it a casual glance and probably won’t even notice it. I had a nice SR500 last year, had a hard time selling it and took a big loss when it finally found a buyer, and it was only a third of the price of the new model (not to mention taxes and other fees).

  27. Eddie says:

    Its worth maybe $3995.00….max. Kickstart and maybe 25 hp ??? But at least it has a really cool drum rear brake. I gotta think this is a joke.

  28. pilode says:

    So I see some of you get to ride DR-this and XL-that for almost free… But funny how in years of casually scanning for any SR500, srx6, or GB500, I come out feeling these three are nearly unobtainable, so an SR400 now might no be so crazy.

  29. SmokinRZ says:

    I wonder why it is a 400 and not the original 500. The motor sure looks the same as the original. Do you think the chick in the last photo kickstarted it for the photo shoot?

  30. Ed Chambers says:

    I love it.A beautiful classic standard motorcycle.I hope they sell a ton of them so I can buy one in a few years used at a price I can afford.Not really a complaint but why a 400? wasn’t the original SR a 500? And doesn’t Yamaha have a 650 thumper in their arsenal that would be even more fun.Maybe if these sell they’ll upgrade it later.

    • Neil says:

      I have a Suzuki TU250 and it’s a great bike. Needs a tad more wheelbase which this has and more power which this has as well. Great little machines and really fine for the riding that a great majority of riders do. Even sport riders would be surprised how much fun it is to push a bike to its limits that is not a technological rocket ship. I ride to and from the train station, the beach, the store, friends and families houses, moto dealerships etc. A simple machine is quite up to the task and enjoyable, not to mention affordable. Look at American roads in the morning. As a whole, we are not riding much. Bikes like this have the capability to change that. Harleys do not flood the commuter byways. Sport bikes are seldom seen. This is the kind of bike you just feel like swinging a leg over and riding. Many of our bikes idle down the road. On my TU I late brake and dive into corners like there is no tomorrow and it handles it just fine and even the wobbles are fine because it takes skill to manage and avoid them. Thanks Yamaha USA! I like it. Thumbs up!

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “Harleys do not flood the commuter byways. Sport bikes are seldom seen.”

        Cruisers and sport bikes are by far the most common motorcycles I see commuting where I live.

      • Ronobob says:

        +1 Neil-I put as many miles on my wife’s TU250 as she does. My favorite ever bike to bag up and tour on was her early 90s Ninja 250. Much more fun than the Goldwing 1100 and FJ 1200. My current 2009 Buells [XB9XS and Blast] are the most fun to ride, but at 71 touring isn’t my top priority.
        Anything on 2 wheels can be fun-under 500 lbs suites me best.

  31. RD350 says:

    Cool that the SR has finally returned. I hope it launches 1000s of cafe projects. But I have to agree with old Matt. This bike should have evolved over 30 years .. particularly in the suspension and weight departments.

    How much extra could it cost to put an old, 41mm R6 right side up fork on this bike?

  32. Tim Kness says:

    Maybe you and skybullet can start a blog for the “Unsatisfied With the Current State of the Motorcycle Industry”…

  33. skybullet says:

    Too bad they did not send us the SR500, it would cost about the same and the extra power would help. Or…. you could just pick up a used DR650 with more power, better suspension, electric leg, etc.. for much less $$. Slide the fork tubes up an inch or so, the rear shock has a lowering link, put on street tires and all you are giving up is the classic look for an all round better bike.

  34. powermad says:

    I like how it looks but it would be hard for me to justify $6k for it.

  35. Larry kahn says:

    Re: space for bikes, I have eight, four in the house. There’s always someplace to put a motorcycle. It helps to have no wife.

    • MarkyMark says:

      There’s always someplace to put a motorcycle. It helps to have no wife.

      Isn’t THAT the truth! Yeah, I have four scooters, and I’m considering a bike or two to add to my fleet. Couldn’t do that if I had a wife…

  36. Erik says:

    5 bikes packed in a two car garage with the wife’s car in there as well. Its a tight fit but you get creative! Having wheel chock stands or using the centerstands to keep them completely upright certainly helps!

  37. Kent says:

    I bought my 1980 SR500 brand new in 1984! $1200. I’m pretty sure the dealer lost money on that one. Thirty years later, 32,000 miles and still a one-kick ride! I’ve always owned other street bikes and dirt bikes and I’ve loved them all, but if there is a house fire, the SR is the first motorcycle I’ll battle through the flames to save!

  38. NORKA says:

    I am amazed at number of commenters who claim to have multiple bikes. I have had 19 bikes over the years, but only once had two at same time and even then rode the 750 most of the time. Where do you keep them, I have trouble getting space for just my Concours?

    • bikerrandy says:

      I got a 3 car garage and the car, PU stay outside. I have 8 bikes/scooters. It helps to have an understanding wife.

    • Fred M. says:

      I’ve got a 6′ x 10′ enclosed trailer with two Buells in it — one of the best craigslist purchases I’ve ever made. It keeps the bikes out of view of thieves and protects them from the elements (sun, snow, rain, air pollution, and humidity). It even gives me a place to work on them in the winter (pull one out, put on a space heater, and close the door.

      On the carport, I’ve got a BMW police bike, Suzuki dual sport, and a Genuine Stella Scooter (Vespa clone). That involves a lot of high-end locks and a security camera.

    • mickey says:

      I have a two car garage with my truck and 5 motorcycles in it right now (I just traded in two bikes waiting for a new one to come in.) It does take some creative moving around to get one of the back ones out for a ride, with the truck in there, but with 3 facing across the garage and 2 facing lengthwise by the door, if I pull out the truck any one will come out rather easily. The trick is not to have a lot of other crap in the garage. I drive past some garages that have so much crP in them people have to park their cars outside. No room for them inside.

    • John says:

      I have 7 motorcycles. The reason I do t have 10 is I can’t afford them right now.

      Motocross, enduros, sport bike, new Concours, vintage bike and a mini bike. Half I bought new in the last 5 years

      I ask you, how can you only have ONE motorcycle? Isnt that boring to ride only one style of bike.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I have had more than one bike at once, and what I always find is that the second bike almost always ends up collecting dust. I tend to prefer to ride one significantly over the other. So now I just keep it to one street legal bike and one dirt bike.

    • Jon says:

      For a few years I had 3 motorcycles. First, it was a 2005 KLR650, a 2007 XT225 Yamaha, and a 2007 Royal Enfield Bullet. Later, I traded the KLR650 for a used 2006 XL883. Sold all of them when we moved to Hawaii. Been riding scooters since the move, but will be buying another motorcycle in mid-November. The SR400 is on my short list.

  39. old Matt says:

    Hmmm, this bike wouldn’t make sense to me if I was awakening from a coma after 25 years.I have an 86 xl600 Honda I bought 15 years ago used for 1000$. It has long travel suspension, a radial 4 valve head and an engine that is 50 % larger that makes well more than 50 % more power than this pathetic lump. Yet the 28 year old Honda weighs 295.

    As someone who lived through (barely) racing 70’s bikes, let me tell you, that was not the golden age. 80’s bikes with real suspension are awesome. This 70’s barge has 70’s suspension, an extra 90 lbs., with the “feature” of kick start only. The one throw back to the 70’s that it should have , it doesn’t. A carburetor. On a single you can just loosen the hose clamps and turn the carb sideways to remove the float bowl and clean the jets.

    If it had a carb, an electric start with the kicker, and weighed 100 lbs less, and yeah, suspension from the 80’s, not the 70’s, we could talk.

  40. stinkywheels says:

    Sorry, I like the bike, I don’t feel like kickstarting only. I think I’d rather do the Royal Enfield if I want a slow retro single. 389lbs without estart, $6k,I don’t think it’ll sell and will be a collectors item for those that do. I hope everyone proves me wrong.

  41. Jeremy in TX says:

    I can’t remember an MD post about a new bike where so many comments declared that they were going to run out and buy one. I know many people have been pining for a bike just like this for a long time.

    I’ll be interested to see if this enthusiasm plays out on the sales floor.

    • Gpokluda says:

      I think a lot of posters were like me and let emotion rule the moment when they first saw the little SR. Reality will eventually set in once you realize that you can get a 2014 KLR650 New Edition for about $600 more. That took the shine off the SR for me but I still love the look go the bike. I Just don’t care for the numbers after the $.

    • mickey says:

      Jeremy, You don’t remember the second coming of the motorcycle God, the FZ- 09 article? Oh my gosh, you’d have thought every other post was going to turn into a sale. Now it has become well if they make it an ADV I will buy one, or if they make it a mini FJR I will buy one. meanwhile the bike that people begged to be brought in by Yamaha languishes on dealers floors.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I do remember many comments of amazement for how much bang for the buck the FZ was, but not as much enthusiasm to actually buy one. That said, the FZs are selling very well in my area. I’ve seen at least eight of them on the road in the past couple of months, and they are not staying on the sales floor very long at my three local Yammie dealers. Off subject, but I did read that Yamaha registered “FJR9” (or something similar) with the copyright office, so people will get their chance to put their money where their mouth is.

        • mickey says:

          They must be doing better in Texas than in Ohio. My local dealer had 5 on the floor since last fall, finally sold his first one the other day. Now you could say that makes sense it’s winter in Ohio now, but in the same time he has sold 5 CB1100s. I mean 5 overweight, underpowered, low tech motorcycles to 1 high tech state of the art low weight high horsepower wonders. Maybe old guys are just tougher than young whippersnappers lol.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Yes, that is just a local observation. I don’t know how the FZ is doing overall or if it is even doing well in other parts of the city.

            Funny. No problem finding CB1100s on the floor here, though I did see my first two on the road in recent months.

      • Blackcayman says:

        in my defense…I have a perfectly suitable SV1000 N for naked bike pleasure… Buying a stock FZ-09 wouldn’t make a lot of sense. The bones of that bike would make a bike I’d buy though…AND I have to believe there is a growing demographic of life-long SportBike Riders that want SportBike performance, handling etc etc but withOUT the SportBike Ergos…

        The FJR-09 would fill that nicely, and would find a spot next to the SV1000 N

  42. graham says:

    cool entry level bike. not sure how kick-only starting will be received. I hope the 2015 retro xs-650 is next !

  43. Seth says:

    Northeast upscale college campus bike.

  44. Gary says:

    Back in the early 80’s I owned a GN400, a bike that is VERY similar to the SR400. I had a hate/hate relationship with that bike. It was my first new bike, and at $1,100 out the door, it was priced right. The bike was gutless, had a harsh ride and spooky handling. At least I could count on long stops. I rode that bike for 9 months and couldn’t wait to sell it.

    I see the same future for those that purchase the SR400. There are so many great used bikes out there for a lot less money. The only nostalgia offered from this bike is a reminder that cheap bikes are aggravating.

  45. Tom Shields says:

    It’s probably because I’m An Old, but when I first saw that picture a smile came to my face.

    It looks like a new-old-stock midsized UJM from the ’70’s. Nothing wrong with that. Kick starter should be no problem, as I regularly kickstarted my Z900 back in the day.

    It’s an odd mix of old tech and new tech, that’s for sure. Kickstarter and fuel injection, dual rear shocks and front disk brake. In the end its just a basic motorcycle and I like it.

  46. Wendy says:

    Yet they won’t rerelease the SRX-6. Doomed to fail. Too pricy, too cult too old school. What are they trying to do, steal sales from Royal Enfield?

    • Buckwheat says:

      Good point. The Royal Enfield Continental is way more bike for exactly the same money. It just doesn’t have the distribution network Yamaha does.

    • Ronbob says:

      Love the look.My wife’s TU250 was too much $ too, but she wants her 2009 Blast sold now.The SRX-6 would be much harder to ignore.

  47. Tommy D says:

    Hipster bike all the way. Will it sell? I don’t think it will be a surprise hit like the GROM. I expect the hipster crowd and a few older touring bike/bagger guys looking to have a second bike to recapture the ol’ days of a kick only, smaller bike will keep these around for a couple years. The 70’s look seems to be that target period cafe style. I think a revisit of the 650 Special II would attract more riders looking for a trip down memory lane.

    The Royal Enfield Continental GT is a beautiful looking bike that captures my eye every time I see a picture of one. Having ridden in the 70’s the look of this bike with its teardrop tank and two up bench seat just does nothing for me. The SRX was more my taste.yama

  48. SR says:

    Great little machine and a cult classic. How many other bikes have survived relatively unchanged for 36 years…not even the Honda 50!

    Must be doing something right!

    If you don’t get it you possibly won’t so no point in trying to convince you.

    Personally I get tired of the never ending parade of plastic rockets that you can do very little with to personalise.

    Note the massive increase in interest in modified ‘simpler’ bikes. CB350s, SR500s and the like.

    A lot of riders are looking for something they can look after themselves, simplicity and requiring not a lot of mechanical knowledge on their side.

    The 400 may not sell millions but likely it will still be around and valued long into the future…unlike the others.

    Look at the expression in the face of the less experienced R1riders when at the end of the twisties this annoyingly loud and tenacious single with the clip-ons is still there.

    Get one while they’re around, modify it and appreciate your riding at a sane but still fun pace…your licence will love you and you might live a bit longer!


  49. Fat Old Man says:

    One of the best things I remember about my old bikes was the straight seat. Scooting yourself forward and back on the go changes the position of every joint in your body which really adds to the comfort on a long trip. It also allows you to find that “perfect” riding position that is unique to you alone. It even looks like the passinger pegs are placed low enough to occasionally place your feet back there and pretend to be riding a sport bike! However, 6K is a bit much. I don’t care if 6K is the equivolent of 4K in 1979. In 1979 4K was too much.

    • GuyLR says:

      The 5990 inflated 2014 Dollars would have been worth $2110 in 1980 so that doesn’t seem too far off.
      I agree totally on riding position.

  50. Dave Joy says:

    OK you guys. If you are going to bring back clones of yesteryear……Honda, how about a beautiful 400/4, Suzuki, a nice little 250/Super Six, Kawasaki, that scorching H1 Mach3, Triumph can throw in a little Tiger Cub, and lets get the Italians on board…..Ducati, a cool little 250 Mach 1, Morini, that classic 3 1/2, and Benelli with possibly the sweetest quarter litre ever, the Two Fifty Four. Now that would be really exciting!

  51. LarryC says:

    I think Yamaha is really sticking their neck out with just a kickstart model. I can hardly wait to see an “urban retro hipster” (Does such a creature even exist? Do they buy motorcycles?) prodding away at one of these. “Let’s see…ease it past TDC using the decompression lever…uh, what’s TDC?”

    Women especially are going to have no use for kickstart only bikes. Cripes, even motocrossers have electric staters these days. I used to sell bikes. I remember trying to sell bargain basement, kickstart only Honda CJ360s, another bike that could be started by hand, to females that absolutley struggled with the starting drill…easy as it was.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think bikes like this are cool, I just don’t think it will sell. I’m old enough to actually remember Velos, Victors, Gold Stars, 450 Duc singles and a host of other similar bikes. 20 and 30 somethings don’t make the same mental connections that I do. Plus this thing has none of the cachet that those older bikes have, in spite (or perhaps because) of its being appliance reliable.

    This thing will be blown out at bargain prices and be collectable in 15 or 20 years. Got time?

    • jake says:

      If all bikes could be as easy to kick start as my old SRX, unlike my GB, then I think all bikes ought to come with a kickstarter. Having an easy kickstarter like the Yammie is a big plus for me and probably everyone else who has experienced how easy and convenient it is. Tending to a battery seriously sucks and not being able to start your bike due to a lack of juice sucks even more.

      • Selecter says:

        But since this bike is fuel injected, if the battery is dead, you’re SOL anyway. You need that battery charged for this bike to turn over, guaranteed.

        So yeah… be sure to tend that battery!

      • todd says:

        My GB500 is very easy to kick start. I only use the button if I stall it at a light or something. It’s so easy that I miss having one on my (identical motor) XR650L.

        • jake says:

          Now imagine from that standard, it being 2 to 3 times easier and that’s how easy it is to kickstart an SRX and I imagine this bike as well.

    • John A. Kuzmenko says:

      Yamaha Motor Corp., USA knows that it will be a limited model due to the kickstart-only feature – they have it on their dealers’ Pre Sold program.
      Same for the new Super Tenere/ES.

  52. Tommy See says:

    Life is a windshield not a rear view mirror. If this new attempt at nostalgia sells I’ ll eat my shirt. Get the new MT 09 into a smaller Tenere and watch the sales boom Yamaha!

    • jake says:

      Don’t think Yamaha doesn’t know this already? Whoever said Yamaha wants to maximize sales? They just want to meet their specified sales goals, not sell as many bikes as they possibly could. If either Honda or Yamaha ever got really serious about maximizing sales, then everyone else might as well just start looking through the want ads, cause they would simply run everyone else over with ease.

  53. Pushrod Pete says:

    As someone who misses the W650 he somewhat dumbly sold, this is REALLY tempting. Splits the weight and displacements between the W (450lb/675cc/35hp) and the TU250 (324lb/250cc/16hp) and has a kick starter to boot!

    And seriously, kick-starting the W650 was absurdly easy even without a compression release.

    Hurry Yamaha! If the KTM Duke 390 hits the US first, my money will probably go there…..

    • TexinOhio says:

      I thought I’d heard that Kawasaki was planning on bringing the W800 over to the states calender year 2015.

  54. dave says:

    It won’t sell

    • jake says:

      Eh, America is changing and becoming ever more urbanized and it’s tastes more and more like Europe’s every year. Whoever thought a pansy like a hipster would become so hip? Back in my day, they were seen as limp wrists, like European guys wearing too tight clothes and being overly fashion conscious like a girl, but now, it’s considered cool and sexy.

      I would have liked an extra gear. My SRX didn’t like going past 75 or so. With fuel injection, this bike might be happier at higher speeds.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Laughing….the short length, extra tight pant legs with the saggy seat… I know I’m gettiong old because I don’t understand why this look ever got any traction.

        How about the knit hat all year long…the gauges in the earlobes to the point of deformation…

        I’m so close to getting my “Old Guys Rule” shirt and stickers

        • jake says:

          Yea, and what about their overly bushy, yet immaculately well kempt beards, sort of like looking at the meticulously pruned shrubs in Louis the whatever teen’s garden when he was considered to be the Sun king. 6’1″ and a 140lbs with a big bushy beard, that’s a hipster’s way of saying that he’s cooler than you.

          As one observant female recently noted: There’s a whole generation running around looking like lumberjacks, and most of you can’t change a f*cking tire.

    • jake says:

      Also, got to remember the female market. In just about every movie you see today, there is always a scene where a girl is beating up or shooting some guy, never the other way around. Obviously, mass media is making a coordinated effort to encourage women in the States to become more and more masculine and belligerent, and it seems to be working. So more women are going to want to ride bikes.

      And this bike is absolutely built for the female brute who can snap a man in two but is unable to muster up enough strength and know how to loosen a nut. It’s as simple as simple can be, with absolutely nothing extraneous which could go wrong and require tuning. Not even a battery to tend to. And unlike the GB, these Yammies are easy to kick start. Even a girl could do it like a breeze.

      • Selecter says:

        Where in God’s name do you get the idea that this bike has no battery?

        How would the fuel pump for the FI prime if it didn’t? It doesn’t happen via magic!

        Also, you know the first women to ride motorcycles across the US did it in 1916, right? So much for the mass media/female aggression aspect, eh?

        You’ve got some pretty goofy notions about how the world works, don’t you…

        • GuyLR says:

          You’re right about the SR400 having a battery but there are lots of current FI motocross bikes without batteries that drive the fuel pump and injector with a magneto.

        • jake says:

          Cause my SRX was carbed and I could kick it to life with no problems, even if I left it sitting for months at a time, something I could never do with bikes which depended on batts. Even if the fuel injection requires some juice, I doubt it could be much, and I suspect, you could still kick it to life after it has been left sitting for a time, which is all I care about anyway.

        • jake says:

          And before that the first women to cross the U.S. in a buckwagon was in the 1800’s. And before that the first to cross barefoot and pregnant was sometime in the stone age, an accomplishment which is quite a bit more masculine than merely riding a bike on paved roads cross country, so what’s your point?

          And what’s goofy is the thought of Scarlett J. beating up 40 highly trained security personnel all by herself and all at the same time. I doubt if Bruce Lee ever beat up that many men all at once. But those kind of ridiculous claims are placed in just about every dang movie coming out these days, just too numerous to even list. Let’s just stay with kiddie shows. Spongebob Squarepants – a female squirrel is the toughest character in the entire show and consistently out Karateez her male counterpart. Shrek – the princess single handedly beats up Robin Hood and all his merry men. The Smurf movie – Smurfette is the only female smurf, yet she is the one who beats up the big bad cat and saves the day.

          Christ, the boys in school these days must be afraid to raise their hands and answer for fear that the girl next to him might slap him around for being too talky talky, at least until the 5th grade or so, when it finally dawns on them that they can actually beat up a girl if they try.

  55. Tank says:

    I paid more than $6K for my 400 Burgman. I will definitely buy one of these.

  56. Sean says:

    Why yes my new bike does have only 29hp, drum brakes, and a kick starter but it’s perfect little bike to get me from my garage to the mail box.

  57. Paul Cypert says:

    I think I’m the expected target market for this bike. Visually it is appealing and it’s good to see a lower powered option out there.

    Seems like they’re almost actively trying to set this one up for failure. I’d gladly sacrifice power for modern breaks, improved suspensions, and other modern upgrades to an otherwise vintage looking bike. I mean the Honda 500 series is packing in modern features at this price. CB1100 is the only one for me currently getting the classic bike looks with modern performance, but I’d love something a bit lighter/lower powered

    • VLJ says:

      “CB1100 is the only one for me currently getting the classic bike looks with modern performance, but I’d love something a bit lighter/lower powered.”

      Paul Cypert, allow me to introduce you to the Triumph Bonneville. Paul…Bonnie. Bonnie…Paul.

      And if the Bonneville is still too heavy and/or powerful for you, take a look at the Moto Guzzi V7 series.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        He said “modern” performance. I’d say the CB1100 is the only one that comes close unless Ducati reintroduces the Sport Classics.

  58. david says:

    Perfect little bike to run around city. Great gas mileage. Heck, I might take it to freeway commute on 15 mile one way if it doesn’t buzz above 65 mph. It will be sold like hot cakes if the price lower, ie. $4,500. Look so pretty!

  59. Lewellyn Mason says:

    This bike is about the same size as my 2011 Suzuki TU250 with more horsepower. I have almost 20,000 miles on my groovy little motorbike in less than 3 years, including road trips from NJ to Maine and all of New England. The Tux will ride all day at 75 without issue, it easily tops 90 mph and is quite comfortable for any distance. So the SR400, with at least 10 more horsepower, will in no way be limited to 65 mph.

    I, and many other Tux owners, have been anxiously waiting to see if Yamaha would bring the SR400 stateside. The price will turn some people off, not me.

  60. Paul says:

    Have two SR500.Both 1980 and got both real low miles cheap.One over 80,000 and the other about same when junked.One was a total but looks only.Rode it a hour after unload at home.They did not like high speed and was doing 97 miles round trip to work every day but ice/snow because was getting lots of tickets on my GS1100.Loved them but both now are torn apart and sold head off one two years ago.They were really cheap left overs.1978-1981 was four year sale in U.S..Thought I would get another for my stable and just use it on back roads were they were more fun than my GS Suzuki fours.They went and got high like the XS650 only not near as many of them.They started real good.Just line the pointer up.XT and TT wasall most same motor but SR was street and not made for near as many years.

  61. Bob says:

    In Canada, based on the TU250X price difference, we’d be paying $7500!!!! Fail!!

    • lynchenstein says:

      Exactly. What the heck are they thinking? I know retro is in, but jeez…

    • lynchenstein says:

      Just found out that the Royal Enfield Continental GT will come to Canada for only $6,800 MSRP. Not bad…

    • GearDrivenCam says:

      But the TU250X was insanely priced in Canada. Definitely one of the most overpriced small-displacement bikes I’ve seen recently. Hopefully – if we get the SR400 it’ll be priced around $6499 or something like that in Canada. Granted – that would still be expensive – but I DO think it’s a beautiful looking bike. It should very very easy and cheap to work on. Nice and simple. And I love kicking-over a bike. Apparently Yamaha claims with the decompression release the SR400 can be started by hand with the kickstarter.

      • Ronbob says:

        My old 550 4-cyl Honda often got cranked by hand when I was riding with my Harley friends in the 70s.

  62. MarkT says:

    For a bike that has essentially been in production since 1978, the price seems about $1200 too high. As they made it a 400 by shortening the stroke, building a bigger engine will not be easy. Also, the bore/stroke reported is wrong. It is 87 X 67.2 I’d like one anyway.

  63. Mark says:

    What goes around comes around. I bought a 1980 SR500 in June of that year for $1800 Out the door. In 1988 my wife surprised me with a leftover 1986 SRX600 for my birthday that she paid $2000 for.(Still love that girl!) Then in 1990 I bought a leftover GB500 for $2800.
    I know about inflation and all that but almost 6k for some really old technology, where the tooling was paid for eons ago, is a bit much. I just don’t get it. If history repeats itself I should be able to pick one up in a few years relatively cheap.

    • Gabe says:

      $1800 in 1979=$5900 in 2014 purchasing power according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      • Mark says:

        Gabe, I agree. The numbers do match up using that calculator. In my mind though I don’t see the value today. I guess that is part of what makes up the difference between being 18 years of age then and 52 now.

        I still have a SR500 with 10k on it sitting in the garage that I picked up about 8 years ago for $800. It is slowly getting morphed into what I wanted to do to my original 1980 SR but could not afford to do at the time.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Purchasing Power does not equate to value.

  64. Charlie says:

    As happy as I am to see this, I fear it will be a sales disaster. Hope I’m wrong, the US needs more “real” motorcycles. I rode a cousin’s SR500 back in the ’80s and the vibration was a bit much. Considering I was riding a ’72 XS2 650 at the time, that’s saying something. In ’09 I bought a ’77 XT500 and it’s been my main dual-sport mount since. Longest day so far was 340 miles and it seemed like my hands were numb for an hour after I got home. 🙂 I’ll definitely test ride one when they finally show up in showrooms, but I doubt it will be any smoother than the XT.

    I recently sold a Guzzi Centauro and had a few thousand bucks to play with. I thought about an SR, but remembering the vibes and already owning the XT, I decided to find something different. Definitely accomplished that – I bought a ’94 MZ Silver Star Classic 500 from a friend for $2200 and absolutely love it. “Retro” styling, electric and kickstarting, 34 hp stock from the Rotax mill (with plenty more available), enclosed chain final drive and the most important feature: a counterbalancer! Extremely smooth at any engine speed. I plan to use it as my “touring” bike this year.

    I don’t need some 1000 or 1100 cc barge to have fun and go places.

  65. Joe Sixpack says:

    Just pick up a used Honda GB500.

    • Dave says:

      Would love one of those but they are pretty rare and priced appropriately.

      • mickey says:

        One just went on ebay for around $ 12,000.

        • kjazz says:

          Seriously???! I have a pristine GB that I’ve toyed with selling. Damn!!! $12,000!!! Damn!!!!

        • jake says:

          Geez, makes me wish I had kept mine. Due to a chick in need, I let mine go for less than 3K 7 years ago, and it was in pristine condition. Yea, I know, I basically gave her away, but when a chick starts to tear up, what’s a guy supposed to do?

          Don’t know what the obsession is about. The GB was a nice bike, but I preferred the SRX over it. The GB was higher quality and smoother, but the SRX was more fun to ride and I loved the kick starting.

  66. Tony in Texas says:

    As a Yamaha dealer I can’t begin to say how disappointed I am with this offering! This is the same price or more than any of the new 500cc offerings from Honda and only a couple of thousand less than a FZ09! I am afraid the majority of their target audience for this bike has had most of their joints replaced and are using service animals at this point!!!

  67. nickst4 says:

    Sexy it isn’t! If the exact same thing came with a Chinese brand name on it, you’d all scoff even though the price would be halved. Bike market history is full of machines far more competent than this that riders praised but never quite got round to buying. Unless there’s a new class of riders emerging, I see this being no different.

  68. turnergande says:

    (1) Cut the weight to 350 lbs; should be do-able even with an electric starter. (2) Include electric starter (3) Find a way to punch it out to 500cc and (4) Add another half gallon capacity to the gas tank. All that may = a more marketable bike!

    Styling is okay in most respects although the slanted angle between the back end of tank and front of seat would look better if it were straightened (my opinion). Yamaha seems to like such odd droopy angles; the Virago was a lot more angled and it failed to garner much of the retro crowd for that very reason(again my opinion). Maybe that droop angle is how they are able to lower the seat height a bit for a vertically challenged driver?

    I had a 1967 650cc Triumph TR-6R twin and I’m pretty sure it did not weigh much more than 385 lbs but even at 400 to 425 lbs why do these modern much smaller capacity bikes have to weigh so much? Now that TR-6R was a classically styled bike – complete with oil drips, a bit of vibration, less than inspiring brakes.

  69. Gpokluda says:

    I love it! Had a 78 SR500 and a SRX6 as well. Both were a blast to ride and would start first or second kick all year round. If you couldn’t start one one of those, you probably should be riding a sedan.

    Can’t wait to see one in person.

    • Yoyodyne says:

      The SR400 looks like a Nighthawk 250, not at all like a GB500 to me. Now if Yamaha brought back the SRX600 at this $5990 price I would be much more interested.

  70. Jim says:

    You really want to go retro? Buy an Enfield. Way cooler, and has electric start (though a kick start is there for back-up). I wouldn’t trade my Enfield for this, and I don’t think my wife would trade hers either.

  71. BOSCOE says:

    For cryin’ out loud.
    Let’s all join Cher in singing, If I Could Turn Back Time…
    I’m looking to the future, not the past

  72. Don Fraser says:

    Interesting, 27 times as many comments about this than the Super T. Did I see a centerstand? An electric starter would be nice, and a $5,000 price tag.

  73. Allen says:

    Its almost like they read the letter I mailed to them (yes, mailed with a STAMP). If I can find one, I will buy one.

  74. John says:

    This bike will do just fine. It is not too expensive, its a good size for the vertically challenged or for gals, and it would not need too many mods to be a cool little café special. This bike in its 500 cc guise is reliable as an anvil.

  75. motowarrior says:

    It will sell in very limited numbers, and dealers will begin discounting them. Then, Yamaha will stop importing them. Next, on the used bike market it will plunge to bargain basement prices. Later, it will be in short supply, thought to be cool, and prices will rise. See GB500, W650…

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      That is my take as well. I think you nailed it.

    • GuyLR says:

      One nice side benefit to owners of older SRs and a bunch of other Yamahas of the late 70’s is that it will renew the OE parts pipeline for parts that still fit the originals like fenders, instruments, lights etc. This is a bike that will sell to people who have been wanting a new SR instead of a ratted out one that has already been “built”.

      • clasqm says:

        The scuttlebutt has it that a suprising number of internal parts can be moved across the two as well. The main difference is the crank assembly and in Australia SR500 owners have been rumouredto be fitting SR400 cranks to their old bikes, giving up a little capacity to get a slightly higher-revving, smoother-running engine. See

        • Guylr says:

          Thanks for the link. That’s a good read a nails what the bike is all about. I think a lot of. Co me ters here don’t understand that the bike is an updated classic of the 70’s that was a more modern (livable and reliable) copy of classic singles of the 50’s. It is what it’s supposed to be and does a darn good job of it. Can’t wait to see comaprison tests with the Enfield.

    • Don S. says:

      I was too dumb to buy a GB500 when I had the chance. I won’t make that mistake this time.

      • jake says:

        Ha, ha. If you have found the fountain of youth, please let the rest of us know about it. By the time this bike becomes a collectible, assuming it ever does, are you sure you will be still around to enjoy being so right this time around?

  76. Martin B says:

    I think I had more fun on my Honda XL350 than with any other bike I’ve ever had. And yes, I did take it on a long 800 mile tour one time. It was excellent on the minor roads we travelled. I could tackle tight mountain roads staying in third gear all the time, great engine braking, and good torque from the simple SOHC two valve motor.

    Admittedly 800cc + of power is very much fun in a straight line, but for carving up narrow roads, simple singles are amazingly adept.

    And our open road limit is 60 mph, so a comfortable 65mph cruise could well save licenses. My only doubt is whether this model is too compact – my XL gave me some leg room. I’m not as flexible as I once was, and small bikes leave me cramped (this includes a Kawasaki W650).

  77. jimjim says:

    Uh $5,990 is way over priced IMO. I had an ’80 SR500 that I sold awhile back, fun bike to ride close to home.

  78. Gham says:

    6K for a bike with what? 28hp? Good luck,I had a 79 SR500 and it was a bear to start.I like the idea but there’s a lot more bike to be had for that kind of money.If I could pick one up in a year or two with low miles for say $3200-3500,yeah maybe.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Since it is fuel injected, I suspect starting won’t be an issue. I agree that it seems pricey for what it is.

    • bikerrandy says:

      This 400 will have more than 28 hp. Somewhere in the upper 30s at least, tho they don’t post it yet.

      • Gham says:

        We’ll see Randy,I hope your right but I think I’ll be closer than you with the hp #’s.

      • GearDrivenCam says:

        The same bike is sold in Japan and I believe it produces 27 hp.

        • Andrew Mai says:

          Yamaha’s Japanese web site:

          says 19 kW at 6500 r/min and 29 Nm at 5500 r/min. There are 746 watts in one horsepower so the engine produces 25.4 hp. 29 Nm is equivalent to 21.4 lb-ft of torque. The bike weighs 384 lbs.

          The KTM 390 Duke weighs 330 lbs. and the 373cc single produces a claimed 44 hp. I know which bike I’d rather be riding. (Yes, the KTM costs more.)

  79. Lloyd says:

    Very Cool Bike! I love it! Thanks Yamaha

  80. Dan says:

    Exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Please have a CA model.

  81. Crug says:

    Eh, 6 grand…400cc…junk brakes, suspension….eh

    • Yoyodyne says:

      And 384 pounds for a single-cylinder bike with no radiator, no electric starter and a tiny tank…highly underwhelming.

      • Guy Reynolds says:

        384 pounds wet isn’t a real problem in my eyes. if you’ve ever ridden an SR500 you’ll know that it’s a solid bike but also very nimble. So it’s mostly steel instead of mostly plastic and the tank is probably about large enough for as long as you’d want to ride it in a stretch. Not having a radiator and no starter are a couple of reasons the people who will buy this bike will want to buy it. For those that need a radiator, electric starting, plastic fenders and 100hp there are plenty of other bikes that do that too.

        • Yoyodyne says:

          My point was that the lack of a liquid cooling system, lack of electric starter and a small tank should have enabled a lower wet weight.

          The Yamaha FZ-09 has a liquid-cooled three-cylinder engine with over twice the displacement and over triple the horsepower an electric starter, triple disk brakes and a larger fuel tank, yet its wet weight is only 30 pounds more and the bike costs only $2000 more than the SR400.

          That makes the SR400 pretty weak in my view. I own a Hawk GT, I love agile bikes with less-than-stellar power but the SR400 just doesn’t look good enough for the money to me.

          • johnny ro says:

            But but, Yamaha already offers you the FZ9. This is in addition to that. Lets be happy with choices.

            I am looking at an FZR400 in two days. This is not an FZR, its an SR.

            Last year I told my Yamaha dealer, I want an SR400 and I won’t pay 10k for a gray market OEM. He may remind me of that when I pick up my cash from him selling my CBR250RA for me also in two days.

            If you really want to complain ask why they don’t bring in the SRV250. That is even sweeter than this.

          • johnny ro says:

            I should add, 6k does seem a bit steep.

          • 70's Kid says:

            Regardless of the stellar performance/price ratio, to my eyes, the design of the FZ-09 is ugly as sin. I’ve seen just one FZ-09 out on the street thus far. Sometimes people are more interested in looks than performance so it will be interesting to see how well the SR400 sells.

  82. Jeremy in TX says:

    It is cool and all, but am I the only person that thinks $6K is a little expensive for this bike? You’d think that with a kickstart, drum brake and 40 years worth of amortization that they could sell it at a decent profit for under $5K. Granted, I am not in the target market for this kind of bike, so $6K may sound like a good deal to hipsters and purists alike.

    • Gabe says:

      This price, adjusted for inflation is almost identical, and I mean to within $40 of the price in 1979. So if it’s too much now, it was too much in 1979, and they sold plenty of them.

      • Montana says:

        I paid $400 for a 25″ TV in 1979 and got a 42″ for that price last Christmas.
        I got a better computer for $600 last year than I did for $2000 in the 90s.
        The car I recently bought cost only 80% of it’s inflation adjusted price of the one I bought in 1994, but it’s infinitely superior.
        The only things that cost more and are worth less are government services.
        Has Yamaha been nationalized?

      • mpolans says:

        Yeah, but 40 years ago they had to pay for R&D and tooling up for production. Those costs have long since been paid for. Heck, I think that bike retails for less than $6k over here in Japan!

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        How many SRs would they have sold in 1979 if customers could have also bought a CB500F or Ninja 300 for less money? If I’m not mistaken, US availability only lasted three years (and that was the 500cc variant), so it may very well have cost too much back then, too.

        Inflation is not the only gauge of value, nor is it the only determining factor when comparing production costs from different periods. Fully amortized R&D and tooling can take a good chuck out of the unit cost of the bikes as do the mild steel frame, budget everything (as in budget for 1980s everything), and zero frills.

        It may have been market relevant in 1979 at that price. It will have to find a place as a nostaglia/fashion item to be relevant today, IMO. Yamaha clearly believes that, too.

  83. mickey says:

    There you go all you who have been screaming for a simple, light weight single. Doesn’t get much simpler than this…. kick start, single plug, single disc front brake, drum rear brake, spoke wheels…and NO beak!

    To each his own, but I would never give up my CB 1100 for one of those. What would you do, if you actually want to go someplace? May add one to the stable for running around the neighborhood though.

    • bikerrandy says:

      “What would you do if you actually want to go some place.”

      FYI, mickey, I go wherever I want to on my 400 MP3, thank you very much. Places like Colorado, Wash. St., Oregon, New Mexico from Arizona. Heck, I used to tour on a RD350 side saddle(uncomfortable narrow seat).

      • mickey says:

        Really. I have a Majesty 400 and have talked about riding it down the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I think I’d tow it there from Ohio. If you ride your MP3 to all the places you mentioned you are tougher than me. For hauls like that I’d rather take the CB 1100 or my ST 1300.

        I had an RD 350 in 73. Rode it to Tennessee once , that was enough for me.

        • bikerrandy says:

          If it’s seat is comfortable, just do it.

          Out here in the West I carry 1 gal. of extra gas ’cause there’s no guarantee you will get to the next gas station when you need fuel. I get 65 mpg touring and am comfortable with better weather protection than most bikes. I have a 750 Guzzi and 800 Suzuki, but they don’t get ridden much any more. Maxi-scooters are so much more convenient !

        • Hot Dog says:

          I have a Majesty too. I love the damned thing. I took it on a poker run with my girlfriend on the back and my dog on the floor between my legs. I ran at 90 mph and many a pirate asked me what the hell was in that thing. Oh the shame but oh the fun!

  84. bikerrandy says:

    Back to the future! Now this is a do all utility bike that is actually economical in every way, including inexpensive tires, as long as you are OK with riding 65 mph most the time. A good beginner, intermediate, oldster bike. Even has a centerstand like bikes used to! Hope the kickstart doesn’t break any legs.

  85. Blackcayman says:

    my 1979 SR500 was the most fun for 500 bucks motorcycle ever!

    why isn’t it a 500cc???

    SuperTrapp Megaphone is a must! Brap Brap

    • clasqm says:

      They kept building them for the Japanese market all these years. In Japan there is a BIG tax advantage to staying under 400cc. The power output between the two is identical, althought the 400 makes that at slightly higher revs.

  86. red says:

    .. uh oh, does that make me a hiptster?

    I’d prefer this hands down over cb1100, although a little dicey on the kicker only “feature”.

  87. tuskerdu says:

    pretty cool

  88. Jon says:

    Darn it!! Why can’t we get this THIS YEAR YAMAHA?? I’m in the market, and, at 60, I don’t have forever to wait. I’ve always wanted an SR500. I may get something like a TU250.

    • Blackcayman says:

      John, there are perfectly restored SR500s out there and you should just get one

      • Bob L. says:

        I bought an extra clean, original, one-owner, stock SR500, with 3,500mi.on it for less than $3,000 off E-Bay last summer. Only mods so far are: lower, flat bar (not cafe), dual oil line to top end and bar-end mirrors.
        Not my only bike but the one I love for those 1-2 hour rides through the forest preserves around the S.W. suburbs of Chicago.
        Jon, they are out there, if you’re willing to search. If I had the extra cash, I wouldn’t hesitate to grab the new SR400. And, around 30 H.P. is plenty for a bike like this. BTW, I’m 63 and so I ask you….what are you waiting for?
        Oh yeah, Blackcaymen and I are waiting for the FJR9!

    • bikerrandy says:

      Take a time out, Jon, it’s supposed to be available here this June.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Check your calendar, Jon. It IS 2014! 🙂

    • Kawatwo says:

      It does say June this year in the copy 🙂 This bike looks like a blast. 384 pound 400 should be pretty quick. I think they should have had an electric start option though.

  89. Bob says:


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