MT’s Custom Yamaha SR400: Wheels in motion!

Date 02.4.2015

Presented by
  • Motorcycle Trader



MT’s custom Yamaha SR400

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It’s taken plenty of beans, grapes and hops, but we’ve finally narrowed it down. We’re turning our humble Yamaha SR400 project bike into a street scrambler from that ’70s show, with a fistful of urban rebel. Imagine a nuggety staffy with his nuggets hanging for all and sundry to see. Small, tough, agile with enough attitude to take on the bigger boys. Perfect.

Motorcycle Trader and Mid Life Cycles have been busy nutting out the finer points, sourcing the right parts and establishing the rules of engagement. We’ll be playing to the SR400’s strengths, which is why we canned the idea of turning it into a speedy café racer.

Here’s the plan: the bike has to be a practical build, reliable not radical; fun but not Fuzz-bait and proper custom but not expensive. Importantly, it has to be capable of registration in every state and territory when it gets delivered to the winner – wherever you live. So don’t forget to subscribe to Motorcycle Trader and earn 100 entries, complete the entry form, or enter online here for one entry.

You have until June 30.

To get around the registration hurdle, some of the modifications need to be reversible using bolt-on, bolt-off components. That means no angle grinding, no welding and no fittings that might attract unwanted roadside inspections.

For once, substance will have style bent over the desk. Damn right it’ll be cool, but also capable of confidently tearing up the ’burbs and bush trails.

So why all this then? The bike must also be capable of being replicated by a talented enthusiast or custom workshop using parts or a complete kit supplied by Mid Life Cycles (or a range of custom parts suppliers). So just like Mid Life’s Suzuki TU250X café conversion kit, you’ll be able to buy the urban scrambler kit from them for your SR400 and fit yourself or leave it with them to allow you to focus on the design. There’s no shame in being the driver and not the mechanic.

The Mid Life Cycles team has turned out some great café racers ranging from the modest to the exotic as well as high-piped street trackers, bobbers and desert sleds.

Where possible, we want to work with suppliers who have made a commitment to supporting the Australian industry. For their other builds, Mid Life Cycles have sourced top-line custom parts from Vanem and Motociclo in Sydney and a range of brand-specific specialists from around the country.

They’ve used Lightfoot Engineering for their wheel builds, and some of the best painters, fabricators, polishers and blasters around. They’ll be calling on many of these suppliers and services for this SR build.

Everything will be documented, so you can do the same with your own suppliers and know where to go for custom parts.

You can pop in to Mid Life Cycles in Cremorne and check out the build in progress, between pints of Melbourne’s finest at one of many pubs nearby. Otherwise follow the updates in Motorcycle Trader over the next few months as we give you the full rundown.

We’ll be unveiling the bike at the Penrite Broadford Bike Bonanza in Victoria over the Easter weekend, and you can complete an entry form on the spot. Remember, you gotta be in it to win it, innit?

Custom mods include:
– Wheels and tyres
– Forks and rear shocks
– Front and rear guards
– Lights and indicators
– Gauges
– Handlebars
– Tank – standard with custom paint
– Side covers (standard or custom), with paint
– Seat – solo or three-quarter
– Exhaust and muffler – custom low-pipe
– Engine – painted features, performance mods?

Mid Life Cycles team:
Concept and design brief: ‘Magic’ Mike Catchpole
Project Manager: Shane Walker
Bike Builder: Hayden Catchpole


> ENTER the competition here