Blast from the past, sort of… The SR400 pairs old-school looks with modern updates like EFI. One exception to the modern bits though is the starter. Kick start is the only way to fire up this new Yamaha.
UPDATE Aug. 14, 2014: MotoUSA got its first impression of the SR400 on the streets of Venice, California. Read more in Adam’s 2015 Yamaha SR00 First Ride review.
Yamaha introduces a fresh entry-level street bike to the US market with its Japanese-built 2015 SR400 ($5990). The SR fuses the styling of the original 36-year-old cult classic with a few elements of modern technology, including fuel-injection and a front disc brake. But the classic-styled Yamaha keeps things stone-axe simple with a surprising omission from the spec sheet, electric start, with the SR400 sourcing a kick-starter.
Powered by a simple and efficient air-cooled 399cc Single, the SR is claimed to deliver up to 66 mpg. The engine is fed through a 3.2-gallon fuel tank, equating to an estimated range of more than 200 miles between fill-ups.
The signature feature on the SR400 is its curious kickstarter. Riders will have to use the kickstarter and a hand-operated decompression lever to get the engine running.
A manual five-speed transmission and cable-actuated clutch harness power and put it through a chain to the clean-looking 18-inch wire spoke wheel with a drum-style brake. The SR gets a standard fork and twin rear shocks that provide 5.9 inches and 4.1 inches of travel, respectively. With its 55.5-in. wheelbase it certainly looks like a real motorcycle, yet its 30.9-inch seat height will be especially accommodating for smaller riders. Running weight is claimed to be 384 pounds, ready to ride.
Despite being oriented to newbies, the SR exhibited a high-level of fit and finish when we examined it up close during a Yamaha media event. The SR400 design seems a likely candidate for customization, and its timeless appearance is timeless and could appeal to those seeking simple, fun, and affordable around-town transportation.
The SR offers the convenience of a center stand for those that like to perform routine maintenance at home – or, more likely, provide a stable platform from which folks can kick over their retro ride. Appealing the younger riding demographic, the SR400 pricing is hundreds cheaper than the new small displacement models from Harley-Davidson (starting at $6700).