Yamaha SR400 Anniversary

Could new version of Yamaha's classic come here?

THE 2013 version of Yamaha's age-old SR400 has just been revealed, including new graphics to celebrate the bike's 35th anniversary.

Originally launched as the SR500 in 1978, Yamaha's simple single – you can't really call it 'retro' when it's this old – was initially one of the bikes that helped drive the final nails into the coffin of Europe's mainstream bike industry.

While the original SR500's production run ended in 1999, the Japanese-market version – de-stroked to 400cc to suit the country's stepped bike classes – remained on sale in Japan until 2008 when it could no longer meet tightening emissions legislation. Such was demand it was back in the range two years later, reworked with fuel injection but otherwise much the same as before, right down to the five-speed gearbox and kick starter.

Green paint and a tan seat, along with anniversary badges, mark out the latest version of the 25bhp single. But with Triumph's Bonneville selling well, Honda's CB1100F going on sale in Europe this year and Kawasaki recently reworking the W800, there's clearly a growing market for traditional-style bikes in Western markets.

Cycle World magazine recently reported spotting an SR400 on manufacturers' plates in Southern California; a suggestion that the bike could be under appraisal in the American market. If that were to happen a European version could well be on the cards as well, particularly with the expected increase in demand for lower-powered bikes under the new A2 licence bracket that now applies throughout Europe. In Japan, it costs around £4k including taxes.

Does it leave you unmoved or do you think there's a market for a bike like this over here?