Resurrected Elegance, The Yamaha SR400 by Black Cycles Australia
When a motorcycle has stood the test of time, spanning over four decades, you can be sure it has a tale or two to tell. The Yamaha SR400, initially conceived as a humble single-cylinder commuter, has lived a life beyond its wildest dreams. From the possession of a rockstar to the hands of a dedicated bike collector, this iconic steed has undergone multiple metamorphoses. Its latest transformation, masterminded by Australia’s renowned custom bike builder, Noel Muller of Black Cycles, has filled this build with enduring allure and readiness for its next exciting chapter.
A few years ago, this Yamaha SR400 found its way into the Black Cycles Australia workshop. As Noel puts it, “It had been slightly modified before and had seen better days.” However, this humble bike was about to undergo a radical transformation under the stewardship of its owner at the time – Joel Birch, the charismatic frontman of The Amity Affliction, a prominent metalcore band from Queensland.
Joel had a clear vision for the bike: it had to be “murdered out” – entirely black. Thus, the SR embarked on a full custom build that left a lasting imprint. The tank was painted in 2K black with Joel’s artwork subtly incorporated into the paint on the tank and fender. Sadly, Joel’s time with the bike was short-lived, thanks to the disruption caused by the global pandemic. He was forced to part ways with the SR, but its journey was far from over.
Enter Simon, a passionate collector of custom cars and bikes from Sydney, who became the SR’s new custodian. Determined to keep this remarkable machine in pristine condition, Simon eventually decided it was time to give it an update. The bike was sent back to Black Cycles Australia in Queensland, where Noel would once again weave his magic.
With this background in mind, let’s delve into what makes this Yamaha SR400 a true work of art.
Rebirth: Refining the Frame and Stance
The first step in the transformation was to smooth and clean the frame, followed by the removal of the tail. A shorter, narrower hoop was crafted for a cleaner and more refined appearance. Achieving the perfect stance was crucial, so custom billet short shocks were installed at the rear, while the front end underwent professional lowering and refurbishment by Chris at XXX Rated Suspension.
The Wheels: An ’80s Classic Yamaha Look
For this version of the bike, the wheels received a meticulous overhaul. The alloy rims were replaced with gold alloy rims, and new stainless spokes were installed, evoking the classic Yamaha look of the early ’80s. Adding to the character, Dunlop K180 flat track tires were chosen, providing both aesthetics and road performance. A customized aluminum fender hovers over the front tire, offering adequate protection without compromising style.
The Tank: Benelli Mojave Inspired
A Benelli Mojave-style tank was modified and fitted seamlessly, enhanced by a pop-up flush-mount fuel cap and a frenched-in Motogadget Motoscope Pro digital speedo. Positioned perfectly over the backbone, the tank exudes elegance, and the classic Yamaha Yellow and Speed Block combination, applied by Justin at PopBang Classics, adds a touch of Italian flair. A fuel level tube and breather complete the tank assembly.
The Seat: A Masterpiece in Leather
The seat, skillfully reupholstered by Adam, now features a laser-etched Black Cycles logo. It’s a perfect match for the custom seat base created during Joel’s ownership.
The Heart of the Machine: The Engine
The single-cylinder engine, which was already in good shape, was given a sleek black finish. A pod-style filter was added, and a 44.5mm stainless steel exhaust, wrapped in black, was crafted in-house. This exhaust culminates in a 20cm SC Project muffler, adding a distinctive note to the bike’s symphony. Notable in this dark palette is the custom stainless ‘knuckle duster’ kick-start pedal, blending modern carbon fiber with classic aesthetics.
Controls: High-End Precision
Attention to detail extends to the controls, where the triple trees were smoothed and filled. Clip-on bars with micro buttons, Motogadget bar-end indicators, and glassless mirrors provide a clean and streamlined appearance. The lever perches were expertly welded and smoothed into the bars for a polished look.
Lighting and Electronics: Functional Sophistication
The fork covers were designed to support the Purpose Built Moto LED headlight. The rear was fitted with Kellermann’s all-in-one micro tail light assembly, mounted on a sleek number plate bracket. Justin, the wiring expert, re-wired the bike, integrating Motogadget’s mo.lock keyless start for added convenience.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride: A Grand Showcase
With its journey of transformation complete, the Yamaha SR400 was now poised to make its grand entrance at the Sydney staging of The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Showing off Noel’s craftsmanship and attention to detail, this SR400 stands as an elegant symbol of timeless design and classic allure, ready to grace the roads for many more years to come. Find out more on Pipeburn.