Tuesday, March 11, 2014

If You Hear I Have Died

... especially if the blog goes quiet around May of this year.  There's a good chance this'll be the reason

The Yamaha SR400 is finally coming to the States.

Here's a customized one in the scrambler/TT style from Bike Exif

I was waiting at the Yamaha dealer when the first '78 SR500 got there, and I bought it.  I've wanted another ever since I wrecked that one in '86. 

It's still kickstart, but they have transistor-controlled ignition (TCI), fuel injection, and a compression release, so it should be a little easier, plus the slightly smaller displacement.  I was out kicking the old TY175 to life this evening so I think I can manage it. 

These are not sportbikes like Ninjas or something to get me killed on the road.  They are retro machines, old tech, meant to recall the classic Brit singles, like the BSA and the Royals -- minus the finicky nature of the Brits.  They are rice-burning dinner buckets.  Except for the torque and being able to wheelie at will, they are quite tame and mild-mannered.  The top-end on the old 500 was about 90 mph.  This probably about the same.  Much beyond about 70 without a fairing, it gets a little breezy anyway.  

No, it'll be my wife that kills me.  After I bought the Victory Vision that she wanted me to get, she had a conniption that I spent a tenth of that to restore the TY.  The TY doesn't need plates or add to my personal property tax or require insurance.  An SR400 would add cost but not that much.  So we'll see if I survive.

And, of course, when it gets right down to it, I might back out.  I really don't need it, but I sure would like to have it. 


  1. That's a nice, classic looking bike. It is a realization of something I desire in cars but will never be. Namely, old, simple tech with modern materials and manufacturing.

  2. Nice bike.

    I purchased a Honda 450 twin in '72. It was a great bike, and being just married, my wife and I traveled all over New Zealand on it. I eventually sold it, and five children later, I indulged myself with a 98 anniversary edition Harley Fat boy. I confess to not having done all but a few thousand Km on it - you really need someone to ride with. My friends seemed to have missed the biking gene.

  3. Just thinking - if you are into nostalgia...


  4. I've seen those in person. My Victory dealer is also the Royal Enfield distributor (not to mention Urals). The Royal Enfield singles are the genuine article and very cool.

    I'm OK riding by myself, though the reason I ever started was riding with friends on dirt bikes. Like you, I would probably ride more if all my rowdy friends hadn't settled down. There are a lot of riders around here, and plenty of places where bikers meet up. I have learned to put on a decent, outgoing, extrovert facade for work, church, and other gatherings. At the core, though, I'm an introvert and a loner. I have a lot of social acquaintances and very few friends.

  5. Yes, what ever happened to our youth?

    I was a hardware engineer (geek) in the '70's with CDC then DG, turned sales, turned business founder and owner. It was an interesting transition from introvert to somewhat mildly extrovert! Like you I have a lot of social acquaintances but few close friends. We do tend to change over time, and as our politics or our faith story, or our interests change, then some older friends tend to evaoprate, making newer ones harder to find. Either way I'm content with all this just as I imagine you are also.

    Not sure what this has to do with biking but it's interesting to reflect.