IMG_3980 (800x533) (Copy)
Yamaha have always had an undying love affair with the two stroke motor. Even today, with the two stroke’s demise almost complete, there are rumours of Yamaha producing a new generation performance two stroke motorcycle. Based on this, Yamaha were slow to react to the competitive need for a four stroke powered motorcycle. The first four stroke motorcycle produced by Yamaha was the XS 650 parallel twin in the early 1970s, followed by the single cylinder XT 500 commonly known as the “Thumper”. Both of these motors were born out of the nostalgia surrounding the British motorcycles of the 1950s and ‘60s. The simple single cylinder, single overhead cam thumper motor eventually found a home in the road version SR 500 in 1978. A legend was born.
IMG_3971 (533x800) (Copy)
The SR 500, second only perhaps to the XS 650 twin, is the most desirable Yamaha motorcycle in international café racer building terms. Unfortunately in a horsepower and engine capacity mad South Africa, neither the XS or SR were big sellers and were rarely seen on our roads, even when new. If only we had known back then…
IMG_3974 (533x800) (Copy)
IMG_3983 (533x800) (Copy)
IMG_3965-Recovered (533x800) (Copy)
Luan, without a doubt, has built in his garage at home, a SR 500 café racer which will hold its own in any international, professionally built company.
IMG_3967 (800x533) (Copy)
IMG_3977 (533x800) (Copy)
His attention to detail and beautifully executed modifications have created the look and feel of what Yamaha were possibly trying to achieve with the original motorcycle. This one could have been British.