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2015 Yamaha SR400 First Look

Thursday, March 6, 2014
2015 Yamaha SR400.
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.
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2015 Yamaha SR400 First Look Video
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Yamaha wants to pair with new and more experienced riders alike with its classically styled, simple and affordable SR400. Find out more in the 2015 Yamaha SR400 First Look Video.

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).


2015 Yamaha SR400 Specifications:
Engine: 399cc air-cooled Single, Two-valve
Bore x Stroke: 97.0 x 62.7mm
Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate, cable actuation
Transmission: Five-speed
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork; 5.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Twin hydraulic shocks; 4.1 in. travel
Front Brake: 268mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 250mm drum
Front Tire: 90/80-18
Rear Tire: 110/90-18
Curb Weight: 384 lbs.
Wheelbase: 55.5 in.
Length: 82.1 in. Width: 29.5 in.
Rake / Trail: 27.0 deg. / 4.4 in.
Seat Height: 30.9 in.
Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gal.
MSRP: $5990
Colors: Dark Grey Metallic

2015 Yamaha SR400 Photo Gallery

The 2015 Yamaha SR400 has a 3.2-gallon fuel tank and is estimated to get more than 200 miles between fill-ups. Riding weight is claimed to be 384 pounds  which along with a 30.9-inch seat height will make the 2015 Yamaha SR400 especially accommodating for smaller riders. Despite being oriented to newbies  the SR exhibits a high level of fit and finish.
The signature feature on the 2015 Yamaha SR500 is its curious kickstarter. Riders will have to use the kickstarter and hand-operated decompression lever to get the bike running. The 2015 Yamaha SR400 is powered by an air-cooled 399cc Single. The SR400 design seems a likely candidate for customization.
2015 Yamaha SR400 First Look Gallery
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TboneXS400   August 26, 2014 08:13 AM
I likes the classic design of this bike but final bill it's going to be over $6000 plus tax tag etc. then I can get yamaha start bolt for a bit more or TU 250 for less. one thing that bother me visually unfinished looks is that black tube hanging by the motor what is it ?
wd8cyv   August 19, 2014 02:21 PM
the basic daily driver has returned.. finally with a motor big enough to get the job done traffic in the usa and freeway speeds ..mean 125cc bikes and scooters are a joke :) dave
vegavairbob   August 8, 2014 06:03 AM
Yamaha has re-introduced its famous SR model in the U.S. this summer. The 2015 SR400 is virtually the same bike as the SR500 which was sold in the U.S from 1978-1981. Production of the SR500 ended in 1999, however the SR400 has been sold exclusively in Japan since 1978. It has a different crankshaft and a shorter piston stroke than the 500 and electronic fuel injection was added in 2010 to meet ever-tightening emission standards, but not before causing a two-year hiatus in the bike's availability. Now it's back, and after arriving in Europe and other parts of Asia last year, the Yamaha SR400 is available in the U.S. Two models - SR400F & SR400FC for California (Emissions vapor canister added on Calif. model)
vegavairbob   August 8, 2014 06:00 AM
t didn't take very long after stumbling upon the news of the bke's upcoming availability in the U.S. for me to decide to buy one, and after one look I felt it was well worth its $5990 price tag. Why quibble. Vintage SR500s have increased in value $1000 above their original MSRP, unlike most multi-cylinder bikes of the era worth half as much. I picked up my new bike June 25th 2014 from the same salesman that sold me a new 1979 SR500. We were in our twenties then..Scott is 60 now and I turn 55 next month. I started it a few times on the first kick (one time in two kicks). It feels just like my old SR500...with a smoother engine and an easier clutch. It idles smoothly, and there's no choke or hot start button to fiddle with thanks to the EFI. Power feels close to the 500. After all, it is the same engine while making 6 less hp. It feels less thumpy at slower speeds and the lower torque is evident, but it accelerates as well as the 500, and is more eager to rev through the gears. Brought it up to about 65. Kept altering the speed, following the break-in procedure. The ride comfort and handling is awesome, like I remember. The bike is well balanced and responsive, and the seat is noticeably more comfortable. It was very windy on that first ride home but the bike was unaffected. With the threat of bad weather I'd have to show it off another day. The quality is top-notch and the bike looks even pricier than it is. The engine finish is high and the paint and chrome are flawless. The exclusive U.S. Liquid Graphite metallic paint job with Yamaha black side covers is decidedly striking in person. The aluminum spoke wheels are nicely finished giving the bike a classy, vintage look lacking on the original, while Yamaha chose function over form regarding tires and brakes. In lieu of retro treads (Metzler Perfect Me77) on the '14 European model, sticky Bridgestone Battlax BT-45s are fitted to the '15 U.S. model, as is a modern drilled front disc brake rotor. The bike is produced in small numbers. According to Yamaha's Japanese web-site, 1,300 units per year are being produced for Yamaha's Japan home market, while its been announced that 500 units will be imported to the U.S this year. Yamaha must be very proud of this model, building it as long as they have, because although the bike has remained virtually the same in design for 36 years, much refinement is evident and it looks and feels like t's built, not to a price, but with a lot of care and pride.
Mitch   May 25, 2014 10:18 AM
Got kinda excited when I first heard that the 400 was coming back to the states but I think Yamaha may have shot themselves in the foot (or at least the pinky toe) with that MSRP. Is metric retro cool enough to justify such a mark up? I guess only time will tell.
vegavairbob   May 13, 2014 09:01 AM
To all here who think this bike is overpriced, or a grocery getter, etc. Get over to a Yamaha dealer in June and take one for a ride. You'll change your tune. Be sure to check in again with your thoughts.
vegavairbob   May 13, 2014 09:01 AM
To all here who think this bike is overpriced, or a grocery getter, etc. Get over to a Yamaha dealer in June and take one for a ride. You'll change your tune. Be sure to check in again with your thoughts.
vegavairbob   May 13, 2014 08:31 AM
Who would have thought Yamaha would bring back the SR to the U.S. after more than a three-decade absence. They added a cat and EFI solving the emissions problem....they just can't let it fade away. (This bike must sell like crazy in Japan). Now its coming back to the U.S. but American tastes are different. My guess, they will stop importing them before long, but I will not miss out. So I will be picking up a new 2015 SR400 next month (in Liquid Graphite, the only USA color) the first one, when it arrives at the same Long Island New York dealer (and salesman) I bought the '79 SR500 from. I don't care if its somewhat pricey. It looks like a well-made, refined machine, even better than the original. I'm thinking in person it will look awesome. The U.S. SR500 was about $2000 35 years ago, only a hunderd or two less than the XS 650, so $6000 today isn't unreasonable. I just might buy another '78-'81 SR500 eventually if the SR400 feels much different. (I was looking for an '80 SR500 when I stumbled on the news of the 2015). The new SR is too hard to resist despite being at least twice the price of a mint '80 SR500. Because of the 2015s limited availability, it might end up being more rare than the surviving U.S. 78-81 SR500s. I do prefer the alloy mag wheels of the U.S. original over the spoke wheels of the new one however and wish there were color options. Can't have everything. The version sold in Japan in maroon is my favorite. I might order the maroon tank, covers and tail from a Japan dealer if it returns as a 2015 color.
Jaguar22   May 8, 2014 07:48 PM
Have have times changed. All this whining about spoke wheels and kick starters and the thing under the seat!. Where have all the real motorcyclist gone in America? Man up, boys, don't be afraid of a real motorcycle and be be thankful Yamaha is making it in the first place.
vegavairbob   May 7, 2014 05:00 AM
I bought a new black '79 SR500 leftover in 1980 for $1700. It was my first bike and something about it attracted me...probably its good looks and how it felt..nimble, light. I bought a Ruby Red '80 SR500 used a couple of years later (missed my '79 after selling it) and kept it 10 years. I sold it in 1990 for a mere $600. (couldn't give it away then. I always toyed with going for an XS 650 or Maxim 650 but I always come back to the SR. I will be buying a new '15 SR400 next month...he first one to arrive at the same dealer (and salesman) I bought the '79 from. I don't care if its 5000 or 6000. If you plan on keeping it for 10-20 years does it really matter? If it was 2000 35 years ago, 6000 isn't unreasonable. I'm very excited I can buy my favorite bike all these years brand new. I might even buy another '78-'80 SR500 eventually. But there is something about a new one. It is hard to resist despite the cost.
jon4uu   March 20, 2014 07:57 AM
I don't get it. Made for beginners but has a 6K price and a kickstarter. Women may like the size, but won't like the kick start. Men might like the retro aspect, but the engine size makes it a very limited use bike. Are we going to start seeing cars with wind-up engine cranks again? Is retro that cool? Good luck Yamaha, and oh, by the way, thanks for not importing the XT660 Tenere to the states. Nobody here wants one of those. We'd much rather see this kind of drivel offered to us.
donnyfever   March 17, 2014 01:25 PM
In 1978 the SR500 had cast wheels, not tubeless tires & a rear disk. Tubes still blow out, I don't like that kind of a surprise. The evap canister had to go there? And then it is probably not highway suitable as its top speed is likely no more then 75. CBR250 or Ninga 300 are better choices.
bugeater   March 16, 2014 11:36 AM
still have a 1977 XT500, rode a brand new XT500 from 1976 until I sold it in 2000 and bought the 77-- the 77 still starts with two or three kicks every time. I haven't looked at one yet but I am wondering what the can is hanging on the front left side? I understand the "retro" look, but hope there is an option for wheels that take tubeless tires. I hate roadside patching of tubes.
Piglet2010   March 12, 2014 12:48 AM
Grocery bike? - For a $6K grocery getter, I would take the Honda Forza 300i instead.
jet057   March 11, 2014 08:31 PM
I don't know about you young buck's but when you get older a man need's to have what we call "A Grocery Bike" this is a perfect grocery bike...
JohnE   March 11, 2014 05:07 PM
Nice bike for 4000$ not 6000$ with no options
Poncho167   March 11, 2014 04:55 PM
I like it but it is about $1,000-1,500 too much.
Drunkula   March 7, 2014 06:02 AM
Now if they'd only revive the RD/RZ line.... ;-)
Kelethaar   March 6, 2014 11:56 AM
HAH! OMG it's almost exactly like my '81 Suzuki GN400! Kick starter, De-comp lever, single cylinder, stock centerstand, heck even the light configuration is almost the same. only real difference is Age, my bike is carburated, not fuel injected (must be nice) and mine has cool gold(ish) wheels. I like the styling lines on this Yamaha 400. not fond of the spoke wheels tho. still... I'd buy one.