The Tengu: Yamaha SCR950 Urban Scrambler

Yamaha SCR950 Tracker Scrambler

From Bullet Bob Moto: “1 of 1” Yamaha V-Twin Tracker / Scrambler…  

In 2017, Yamaha unveiled the SCR950, a retro-style street scrambler based on the Bolt cruiser platform. The 942cc air-cooled 60° V-twin put out 51 bhp, and the bike was intended to compete against similar production scramblers from BMW, Ducati, and Triumph. The bike’s aesthetics struck a chord with the motoring press:

“There was a palpable sense of excitement in the room full of jaded motojournalists, and it seemed to overshadow the cutting-edge, high-performance FZ-10 that was unveiled soon after… The SCR950…is a heartwarming classic, with a knockabout profile burgeoning with the allure of possibility.” –Rider

Unfortunately, the SCR would be available for only one year in the States and three years in the UK. Poor sales were mainly at fault, and like most of the production scramblers of the time, the bike was more form than function, with short-travel rear shocks and unimpressive ground clearance.

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

However, our good friend Jared Morris of Bullet Bob Moto saw the hidden potential in the SCR platform. You may remember Jared from the pair of IT200 “twins” he built with his best friend — two of the more popular builds we’ve ever featured.

Bullet Bob Moto: IT200 Supermoto x Dirt Twins

Jared was particularly inspired by the rash of Harley-Davidson Sportster “Bajarleys” and “hooligan enduros” we’ve seen in recent years — big V-twin cruisers converted for off-road racing. Why not do the same with Yamaha’s V-twin?

“This bike was built in an effort to take a bike that didn’t sell well and wasn’t built correctly for its name and truly make it what it should have been. With my own flair of course…. I really have loved the dirt movement I’ve seen with all the Harley guys building bikes for Rally and Baja so I drew I a lot of influence there. I also want to keep my tracker supermoto theme going with my builds, and I went for more of an urban scrambler version of one of the Bajarleys.” -Jared

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

Of course, there’s a bit of a recipe now for such a Sportster build, but Jared would have to forge his own path with the SCR — just how he likes it. And the bike would need to do more than look good — it would need to perform. After all, Jared was riding and racing with his late father when he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and he took home victory in his class at Barber last year on his IT200 supermoto.

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

The build began with an XSR700 wheel swap and front end conversion, complete with RaceTech Gold cartridge emulators for the forks and Dunlop Mutant rubber. The original removable subframe was gussetted and welded to the frame for better rigidity, and the rear shock mounts were relocated and fit with longer Fox shocks.

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

There’s a custom Dean Speed Customs exhaust, K&N air filter, skidplate, Koso cockpit display, supermoto front fender, and more details that Jared highlights in our interview below. Jared did all the powder-coating himself and hydro-imaged the carbon fiber, while our mutual friend and incredible artist Chastin Brand handled the hand-painted scheme throughout the bodywork. Jared is an avid fan of AMA Supercross, and Atlanta’s own Cheryl Lyons did up the seat in the gripper-style of pro SX/MX bikes.

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

Given the bike’s Harley-Davidson inspiration, Jared has aptly nicknamed the bike the “Tengu” — a mythical Japanese creature that often takes the form of an eagle. The end product is an SCR950 unlike any we’ve ever seen, and an alternative look at what Yamaha could have done with the Bolt/SCR platform…or the home builder could still do themselves. Best of all is the way it rides:

“The bike corners like a dream now being on 17’s with some awesome Dunlop Mutants hooking up everywhere. The suspension has it feeling so good on the twisty mountain roads around north Georgia where I live. The only thing better is the sound it makes when you’re on the gas.”

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

Jared, we absolutely love the Tengu, and we just hope you’ll allow us a test ride the next time we’re up your way!

Scroll down for our full uncut interview with Jared, and photography credit goes to Tyler Stokes (@5t0kes). Enjoy!

SCR950 Scrambler / Tracker: Builder Interview

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

My name’s Jared with Bullet Bob Moto! I started riding and racing off-road when I was really young with my dad. My passion grew into us building a bike together, a 1976 RD400 street tracker, and ultimately put me on the path to wanna build some awesome motorcycles. I went on to finish that build after my dad passed from Lou Gehrig’s disease and show it at Handbuilt Show in Austin Texas in his honor.

RD400 “Bullet Bob Special”

The inspiration I got from that show in addition to my newfound love of customization in motorcycles I took one of the last bikes my dad had and made it the prospect for my new build. A 1986 Yamaha IT200 was my platform and I had a best friend with the same bike to build them together! You can check out that story in the BikeBound archives! My attention now turned to a new build and I went outside of my element on this one. A modern V-twin. Still a Yamaha though!

• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?

2017 Yamaha SCR950.

• Why was this bike built?

This bike was built in an effort to take a bike that didn’t sell well and wasn’t built correctly for its name and truly make it what it should have been. With my own flair of course.

Yamaha SCR950 Custom

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

I really have loved the dirt movement I’ve seen with all the Harley guys building bikes for Rally and Baja so I drew I a lot of influence there. I also want to keep my tracker supermoto theme going with my builds, and I went for more of an urban scrambler version of one of the Bajarleys.

Yamaha SCR950 Tracker Scrambler

• What custom work was done to the bike?

To start I did an XSR700 wheel swap and front end conversion, retaining the stock internals for the right rake length. Then I got some awesome RaceTech Gold cartridge emulators for the front forks so they are feeling plush and perfect.

Yamaha SCR950 Tracker Scrambler

Then I went to the rear end and had to get some more height out of the bike for the occasional fire road and that led me to have the rear shock mounts re-located a bit higher in the rear and had the subframe gussetted and welded to the frame for stability. The SCR has a removable rear subframe since it’s a parts bike of the Yamaha Bolt variety.

Yamaha SCR950 Tracker Scrambler

Then I made a custom skid plate for the front for some proper protection of my engine and frame. I sourced a handmade exhaust from Dean Speed Customs and a K&N air filter to get it singing and running its best.

Yamaha SCR950 Tracker Scrambler

I then got my favorite Rental bars and some handguards put on in addition to the retro Acerbis headlight to get the vintage off-road vibes in place. The front fender was replaced with a supermoto fender that fits and looks so much better under the headlight compared to the stock fender right over the tire. I then got rid of the terrible stock clock display and installed a sleek Koso unit that gives me all the information I could possibly want!

• Does the bike have a nickname?

The Tengu.

With this being a V-Twin and the jokes about how many eagles a Harley has inside the engine coming to mind, I figured what better than the Tengu, a mythical Japanese supernatural being that takes the form of an eagle!

Tengu (Japanese: 天狗, lit. ’Heavenly Dog’) (/ˈtɛŋɡuː/ TENG-goo, Japanese pronunciation: [teŋgɯ]) are a type of legendary creature found in Shinto belief. They are considered a type of yōkai (supernatural beings) or Shinto kami (gods or spirits). The Tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey and a monkey deity, and they were traditionally depicted with human, monkey, and avian characteristics.

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

The bike corners like a dream now being on 17’s with some awesome Dunlop Mutants hooking up everywhere. The suspension has it feeling so good on the twisty mountain roads around north Georgia where I live. The only thing better is the sound it makes when you’re on the gas.

Yamaha SCR950 Tracker Scrambler

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

Aside from doing all the powder coating myself and really sticking to the colorways and not going overboard I also wanted to have the sickest paint job of all time. After I hydro-imaged all the body work in carbon fiber I had Chastin Brand do an absolutely epic hand-painted scheme throughout the bike that was everything I asked him for and more. To really cap it off I had one of the best upholsters in Atlanta, Cheryl Lyons, do my seat to look like the gripper style seats you would see in pro motocross and supercross.

Yamaha SCR950 Tracker Scrambler

Follow the Builder

Instagram @BulletBobMoto
Facebook: Bullet Bob Moto
Photography: Tyler Stokes (@5t0kes)

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