Should Yamaha be selling this over here?

2012 Yamaha SR400

Posted: 20 January 2012
by Visordown News

YAMAHA has revealed the 2012 version of its age-old Japan-only SR400 – making us wonder whether such a bike could be the solution to some of the firm's problems outside its home market.

While the 2012 SR is basically unchanged, other than a couple of new colour schemes, it's a bike that's still fairly unfamiliar over here despite decades of history.

The SR can trace its heritage back to the late 70s and the SR500. Although reduced in size for the Japanese market and reborn with fuel injection a couple of years ago to meet modern emissions limits, it's different to the usual retro bike as it's the real thing rather than a modern pastiche.

While for much of its life the SR has been out of step with fashion, looking at it afresh it slots rather neatly alongside retro machines like Triumph's Bonneville (itself one of the few bikes with sales figures that are virtually untouched by the financial crisis). And the small, simple engine fits neatly with the current downsizing trend, making 26bhp it could easily be an alternative to more high-tech 250cc machines like the CBR250R.

The down side is its price. The unfortunate exchange rate between the Japanese Yen and UK Pound means that while a couple of years ago the Japanese price was the equivalent of about £3500, now it's around £4800.

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As an owner of a 1977 XT500 I would love to see these things on sale here if it would stimulate the availability of bolt-on goodies.
Those wheels look like they would bolt straight on for a start.

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 12:04

yes. for under 4 grand.

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 12:34

Yes. I ride a W650 which is similar style, but parallel twin. I used to have an A2 license and so was limited to 33bhp and had to have the 50bhp W650 restricted. If the SR400 was here in the UK back then I would have gone for that most likely whilst on the restriction.

No everyone who starts learning wants a scaled down crotch-rocket ;)


Posted: 20/01/2012 at 13:04

Yes. I spent my formative years on a Honda GB400 (the Honda equivalent of the Yammie SR) and it was brilliant. Minimal body work to damage when you drop it and simple tech that you can maintain yourself. My kids will start biking in a few years and I wonder what they'll progress to once the 125 restriction is passed - this would be ace. The price is a bit salty though - given that the R&D was paid for decades ago it's hard to justify nearly 5 grand!

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 13:59

They should open a factory in Spain or Greece to avoid EU import duties and the exchange rate problems.

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 15:43

Yamaha do have a factory in spain bikes all the way up to 600cc are built there the only reason yamaha's are extortinate is due to yamaha europe buying parts from yamaha japan and then us having to buy of yamaha europe of UK spec bikes, but the 400 market should definitely reopen

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 18:54

By Christ no!!! That is FUGLY!!!

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 19:38

Price is too steep - needs to be nearer £3k for something mechanically very similar to a 125 learner bike. The low end Enfields are under £5k and have a lot more steet-cred for the money, even if it is shonky Indian build quality.

Posted: 21/01/2012 at 11:56

They'd make money on it, as there is the market there, but not for me thanks. :)

Posted: 23/01/2012 at 09:40

I am currently interested in the sr but more because of the recent ads on the internet showing builders with xt500 made into cafe racers. There is some thing to be said for a simple design that is easy to maintain. Maybe yamaha should sell in kit form. I have a few spare motor cycle parts in my shed that i could use instead of the standard kit.

Posted: 24/01/2012 at 14:02

Can't see a market myself but hey I'm not in Marketing.

Posted: 24/01/2012 at 14:39

Yamaha should be selling these everywhere...along with a 125, and a 250. And as somone earlier, these ought to be really cheap transportation. I love the naked, simple type of motorcycles. I just hate the fact that they'll probably want to call it 'retro'.

Posted: 24/01/2012 at 16:05

Yamaha should produce them in India for the European market as well as to compete with their home market royal enfields. Nice looking bike but too expensive as is.

Posted: 24/01/2012 at 18:28

So it seems they should either upgrade their assembly plant to a factory, or open a factory making the parts. Either way, Yamaha's pricing seems to be getting less competitive every year. The only good thing about that is the second hand value of my bike has actually gone up !

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 04:19

Yes i think so although like most comments i've read it should be sold for under £3500 and more info on mpg stats rather than performance figures,i would certainly consider buying one to commute on

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 17:05

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