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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 9 Nov 2013
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Yamaha SR400

Looks like the rumours are true and the SR400 will be back in the UK next year. Anyone had one, got one, toured one?

Upside seems simplicity, weight, low seat, 35 years to get the build sorted, more power than a 125 but not 150 mph performance for 40 mph roads. Down side is the tanks a bit small and the tyres tubed.

Thoughts anyone?

Andy
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  #2  
Old 9 Nov 2013
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Many years ago, I used to have an SR500, its bigger brother and from the Netherlands I went to the South of England, Begium, France, Monaco and Italy. Not a bad bike if you avoid the freeways. Small tank but with 20 to 30 km on a liter, that was no problem. Later I had a big "safari" tank, that gave me a very good range :-) A disadvantage was that it needed maintenace every 5000 km.
If the SR400 is almost the same, it should be a nice small touring bike.
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  #3  
Old 23 Dec 2013
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During the 1980s I made four long trips (3 to Portugal return, one to Greece return) on an XT500E. I had no problems at all. The bike never had any mechanical or electrical issues and was comfortable. It easily cruised at 70 mph and 80 was easy on motorways. The tank was a bit small but lots of modern bikes have small tanks. The only thing about the SR400 is it's significantly smaller. The best thing about the 500 was the torque but I would imagine the 400 would be okay. If you like it, buy one.
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  #4  
Old 23 Dec 2013
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like the sound of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Looks like the rumours are true and the SR400 will be back in the UK next year. Anyone had one, got one, toured one?

Upside seems simplicity, weight, low seat, 35 years to get the build sorted, more power than a 125 but not 150 mph performance for 40 mph roads. Down side is the tanks a bit small and the tyres tubed.

Thoughts anyone?

Andy
I have a 1981 "SR250 Special" which is more or less original with the addition of tape holding the indicator stalks together. The only thing I can find which makes it a "Special" is the word "Special" on the side panel
I use it as a commuter and local ride out bike with my mate on his 500 Enfield Electra, it keeps up.

Would I tour on it? most definitely yes! And hopefully will next year.
I'm in the process of knocking up a rack to carry soft luggage etc...
Tyres are tubed, but I don't see that as a problem, I do have copious amount of duct tape around the rims though as they're a bit rough inside due to age. Very comfy stock seat in my opinion. I think the 250 400 500 were or are all based on the same bike just engine changes ? Certainly look like it.

The biggest PITA is the indicators are just so vulnerable when it goes down. That can be sorted. I will be interested to see the 400 and the build quality, if it is kept the same it will be a good strong bike. I think I get about 180miles per tank. The most I've done in one go is 150 miles without stopping, it's not good for speed so no highway stuff ( tried it once, it was scary ) 50-55mph is easy 60mph is saved for very special occasions.

I got mine on the well known auction site for £250 with 10K miles on it 1 owner and every tax disc from new in the holder. Best £250 I ever spent, I've put another 10K on it in about 3 years and its cost nothing apart from tyres and oil changes. It would be hard for me to part with it now.
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Last edited by g6snl; 23 Dec 2013 at 20:04. Reason: forgot stuff
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  #5  
Old 23 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algarve Nick View Post
During the 1980s I made four long trips (3 to Portugal return, one to Greece return) on an XT500E. I had no problems at all. The bike never had any mechanical or electrical issues and was comfortable. It easily cruised at 70 mph and 80 was easy on motorways. The tank was a bit small but lots of modern bikes have small tanks. The only thing about the SR400 is it's significantly smaller. The best thing about the 500 was the torque but I would imagine the 400 would be okay. If you like it, buy one.
They only did 90!! and would weave all over the place at that speed.
The engine must have been zinging
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  #6  
Old 24 Dec 2013
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I also spotted that they are making a return and popped into my local Yamaha dealer to ask when to be told February or March.
I am also looking for something smallish, old fashioned and economical, Yamaha claim up to 96 mpg from the fuel injected 400 which sounds pretty good so it is on the short list.
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Old 26 Dec 2013
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Ahh the glorious Yamaha SR400 - In my humble opinion probably one of the nicest looking modern Japanese motorcycle made.

I owned one once for a very short time but had to out it when I was posted to the Orkney Islands. Mine was customized heavily using stainless steel parts and highly polished alluminium.

I'm a sucker for Japanese singles (hence my XBR500). I have also owned a Yamaha SRX600 in the past which used the venerable and bulletproof XT600 engine. All lovely machines worth keeping if you are lucky enough to find a good one.

Not many around these days.

I 'd love to see a modern copy...
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  #8  
Old 3 Jan 2014
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I own a SR 500 which I use for touring. You can take a huge amount of luggage with you, it's easy to ride once you are used to it and it is easy to fix!
The SR400 will probably be about the same like the SR500 used to be, except for slight modernisations like a injection system, I guess the carburator is not state of the art anymore
The size of the tank (14 l) has never really been a problem for me since the bike doesn't need a lot of fuel..
Oh, and I think the situations with spare parts will be really good for the SR400.. There are still many 400/500's running in asian countries and there is a big community in Germany.
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  #9  
Old 4 Jan 2014
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That's good to know. Thanks for posting. Do you ever carry a passenger? I need to go two up for the odd day out but then solo with luggage for the longer stuff. I think comfort is a bigger issue than performance, we have all day for a 150 mile round trip to the coast, it is just nicer if we don't need physiotherapy when we get there !

Cheers

Andy
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  #10  
Old 4 Jan 2014
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I carry a passenger from time to time for 130 mile trips, nobody complained about an uncomfortable seat so far (I use the original seat on mine). But keep in mind that it vibrates a lot more than "modern" motorcycles
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  #11  
Old 10 Jan 2014
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Hi Andy,

These are brilliant little bikes. No question!

I bought one second hand in Japan while teaching out there in 2007. I rode it two up with my girlfriend 36,000 km around Japan and back to North Yorkshire via Vladivostok, Siberia, Tuva, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria etc.

It handled 4,000km of off-road fine as its so light weight and easy to ride (A Japanese guy on a GS1150 we were riding with had to train his bike back to Vladivostok it was so rough). When something went wrong I could fix it. No combined brakes or electronic start here. Just a really simple little bike that thumps along under you and will not let you down.

Think of it as a Royal Enfield bullet but better! All the style but reliable as well. Is happy doing 65/70 mph all day and really comfy.

This little bike gave me an adventure of a life time. If I was taking off to South Africa tonight I would choose this bike again! Buy it.
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  #12  
Old 10 Jan 2014
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Thumbs up

I've been thinking of selling my little 125 and getting something a bit bigger. I was thinking a CBR250, but if that SR400 were available in Canada I would definitely consider it.
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  #13  
Old 11 Jan 2014
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Thank you.

Having just come back from a fairly typical little jaunt over the UK peak district on small roads through everything from a bit of snow to sunlight highways I'm all for something simple and a bit less powerful next time. I have until May 2015 to decide (when my WeeStrom is 3 years old and needs the MOT). My rather low tech plan is to cover everything above 65 mph on the Wee's speedo with tape and see how often I notice. I might have the cash by May this year, so we'll see.

I had a 500 Enfield which I liked. I tended to ride it more like a 125 because of the brakes and tyres and to try and avoid breaking down as often (this worked, 18 months with only a bit of wiring to fix). I'm an ex-MZ rider (last time mine ran was in about 2009) so I'm thinking a similar sort of experience, just with less smoke.

Cheers

Andy
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  #14  
Old 19 Jan 2014
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I am looking into one of these now, a visit to a Yam dealer to be sorted in the morning!
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  #15  
Old 14 Mar 2014
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Well, the good news is that Yamaha USA is bringing the SR400 to North America later this year. The bad news is that it's apparently going to cost $6000 US. I assume this is because it's built in Japan, at higher labour cost than a lot of their other small bikes now built in Thailand or China.

Yamaha Canada have apparently decided NOT to import the SR400, as they don't think it will sell for $6000. I think I would have to agree.
I just checked, and Honda's MSRP for a CB500 is $6299 in Canada, and a CBR250 is $4500 - and you can get discounts up to $1000 for heldover models.

I just can't see the SR400 selling for six grand, no matter how appealing it might be.
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