DOTi builds another single-cylinder roadster…
The Yamaha SR400 has become a cult classic in many parts of the world — a short-stroke thumper derived from the legendary Yamaha XT500. Introduced in 1978, the SR was developed in the style of the British singles of the previous generation, using similar styling cues as the Yamaha XS650 twin. The 500cc SR500 was exported while the shorter stroke SR400 was mainly intended for the Japanese home market, built to comply with the country’s licensing regulations.
You might assume that everyone would gravitate toward the SR500, with its 100cc of extra punch, but the rev-happy SR400 earned a cult following over the years. Says Marlon Slack:
“You’d be surprised to find the engines actually behave quite differently. Mechanically, the only difference is the crank, but the 500 feels a bit more vibey and hesitant to rev. It’s got more personality, but if I had to pick an engine to keep stock I’d go with the 400. It revs more happily and just seems easier to live with.” —ROTCR
It’s an incredible testament to the bike that Yamaha reintroduced an only slightly modernized SR400 to the Americas, Europe, and Oceania in 2014 — 34 years after its original launch! And 2021 is the last year this beloved retro machine will be produced, complete with a 2021 SR400 Final Edition.
“As the name suggests, this will be the last iteration of this retro machine, so if you’re in the market for this specific bike, better get a hold of one as soon as possible.” —Ride Apart
Our friend Nguyen Dinh Trung (@doti.ndt) of Vietnam’s DOTi Motorcycle is quickly becoming the “SR King” of Southeast Asia, turning out a stable of high-spec Yamaha thumpers whose retro aesthetics and restomod-style upgrades are combining into a signature style that we love. Nguyen grew up in a small town in Vietnam, became interested in motorcycle customization in middle school, and started a business making and selling moto accessories while he was in college, starting with just $100 of capital.
“I used the money to buy a bigger motorcycle, a Suzuki Bigboy 250, which I modified with the help of my friends. I sold that bike for a higher price, and then did it again, working my way up to motorbikes with a higher capacity: CB400SS, SR400, Harley XL1200…”
It’s been about a year since Nguyen opened his shop, and his builds have been getting attention all over the region and world. Today, we’re proud to present one of his newest creations, a 2000 SR400 built for a customer. Says Nguyen of the build:
“This custom is made not only to be a daily rider/commuter, but also appropriate for short tours with comfortable seating position, steering damper, big tires, etc.”
The bike is outfitted with a veritable arsenal of parts, and it’s a bike that goes as well as it shows:
“The torque of the SR is impressive — you’ll literally lean back if you hard roll the throttle. Moreover, the sound of the OR exhaust is amazing — I’m sure that everyone’d love it if they had a chance to ride this bike.”
Yesterday was the owner’s birthday, so we’d like to wish him a Happy Birthday! from BikeBound and many years of fun and adventure on this lovely SR. Below, we talk to Nguyen for a few more details on the build.
Yamaha SR400 Custom: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha SR400, manufactured in 2000. This is a project for my customer.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
This custom is made not only to be a daily rider/commuter, but also appropriate for short tours with comfortable seating position, steering damper, big tires, etc.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We use lot of custom parts from well-known brands like:
1. H-type TAKASAGO 17-18 rims
2. WM gas tank with dark green color
3. “Biturbo Italia” steering damper
4. “OverRacing Japan” exhaust, with cool shape, more powerful
5. Handlebars from “Hardy Racing Japan”
6. “AdeLin” brake and clutch levers
7. “Daytona” speedometer
8. Font and rear “Posh Japan” signals
9. “Marchal Yellow” headlight
10. RCB rear suspension.
11. Installed radiator core
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It’s very exciting and easy to handle. The torque of the SR is impressive — you’ll literally lean back if you hard roll the throttle. Moreover, the sound of the OR exhaust is amazing — I’m sure that everyone’d love it if they had a chance to ride this bike.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Many people have told me, I have customized this bike perfectly, like a motorcycle manufacturer, not simply modified. I think the color I painted the gas tank is most unique for this bike, too.
On the Road
Follow the Builder
Your workmanship looks fantastic. The components are top-of-the line. You have started with a fantastic bike, the SR has that classic look. This one is now personalized & won’t get lost in the car park. Perhaps the only thing I don’t understand is that steering damper. Just my opinion, but I don’t think this humble commuter bike deserves a steering damper. I doubt the rider will experience head-shake on the run to the coffee shop. It sticks out like a monstrosity & I would ditch that. Otherwise, it is a beautiful bike!
This SR is really well done. Tank position is just right. Subtle mods, great paint.