Is a new Yamaha SR400 headed to the US?

Recently, I saw Cycle World had a teaser of a potentially exciting addition to the American tarmac; they had spied a SR400 - a 400cc single in the Southern California hills.  This is a relatively lacking category here in the US but I feel has great potential.  Lighter, smaller displacement bikes with retro styling and smaller price tags are sure to attract first time riders, cafe racer enthusiasts as well as riders who maybe had one in the past.  I feel there is room in US showrooms for this bike.  What do you think?

Here is what Cycle World had to say:
Spied in the U.S.: 2012 Yamaha SR400
Manufacturer plate on a Japanese-market SR400 Single in Southern California.

There are a few key elements that come into play when I select a location for a CW photo shoot: a twisty road, clean surface, eye-pleasing scenery and low traffic levels. It would appear motorcycle manufacturers search for the same qualities on their evaluation loops.

At least it sure looked that way when I was snapping photos recently on a secluded backroad for an upcoming story. A brand-new-looking, cream-white Yamaha SR400 cruised by and, whaddya know, it was fitted with a manufacturer plate! Because my camera was sitting on a tripod across the street, I was unable to get that rolling “spy” shot my boss surely wanted, but the bike looked just like the one in the picture above lifted from Yamaha Japan’s website.

I guess Honda, with its new CB1100, is not the only Japanese manufacturer that thinks buyers are looking to shop retro. And what’s more retro than the kickstarter on this super-cool Japanese-market 400?!

Manufacturers bring lots of bikes sold in other markets to the U.S. to test. I wonder if Yamaha might be thinking about bringing the SR400 stateside. What do you think? Is there a market in America for a retro-style 400cc Single?

'Tis the season...

Happy Holidays...from our garage to yours!

RAEN x DEUS Limited Edition Frames

RAEN x DEUS collab

I teased you all with a sneak peek of an exciting collab a while back between Raen Optics and Deus Ex Machina. I've been a busy little bee and stayed on top of this. I got word from a buddy over at Raen a few days ago that the frames are out but had to wait until they gave it the official announcement.
RAEN X DEUS Collection and prices below.
Deus Ex Machina Collection


- Matte Woodgrain limited color way
- Green CR39 Lens - Optics by Carl Zeiss Vision
- Price $92

- Matte Woodgrain limited color way
- Smoke CR39 Lens - Optics by Carl Zeiss Vision
- Price $117

- Matte Woodgrain limited color way
- Smoke CR39 Lens - Optics by Carl Zeiss Vision
- Price $132

'Truzzaracer' :: Custom Triumph Thruxton Cafe

I stumbled across this nice little number on the Triumph RAT forum recently.  After getting in touch with owner Marsellus from Modena, Italy we exchanged some emails in English and Italian - neither of us speak the other's native tongue making for interesting conversation.  I think Marcellus did a terrific job of creating a simple and clean cafe racer.  What are your thoughts?

Arrow full exhaust
Dynojet carburetor kit
working head and conducted
Lowered head gasket
Circles Alpine tubeless
Ohlins 36DRL rear shocks
Ohlins fork cartridges
Nissin pump 14
Brembo 4-piston caliper adapter with tailor-made
Brake disc pmf with interchangeable track
Custom battery tray
Seat by Saddle Craft

International Motorcycle Show 2012 :: Long Beach, CA

I cruised on over to the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, CA last week.  Can't say I was totally blown away this year but it was still a good time.  The tall cans made it more enjoyable and I had a laugh getting noticed a few times as "that dude from the Cycle World NC700X event".  And I thought my 15 minutes of fame was up...

Did you make it out this year to the show this year at any venue?  What was your favorite bike?

Eric Bostrom's Time Warp :: A Gary Nixon Tribute

I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Bostrom at Lossa Engineering during the course of this build and was amazed at what an all-around nice guy he was.  After kicking the tires and discussing his build, "Number Nine", he wanted to talk about the Bullitt OG.  He was genuinely interested in my bike and was very personable.  Eric set off to build a cafe racer from a modern four-stroke Z1000 to pay tribute to Gary Nixon's famous KR750 on which he finished second overall in the 1976 Formula 750 world championship.  The build was ambitious and had it's fair share of challenges but I'll let Eric tell you in his own words below.

Eric Bostrom for Cycle World Magazine:
"Welcome to the magic of the café-racer era, a time when a single model, the Vincent Black Shadow, held the production motorcycle speed record for nearly a quarter-century. If you were a tinkerer, this was your moment in the sun. Bolt-on performance parts were in their infancy, leaving enthusiasts to ponder, “What does speed look like?”

For café enthusiasts back in those days, a low gas tank and humped seat were compulsory. But how much steel could you remove from that slug sitting in your garage? What could be drilled out or replaced with aluminum? Bolt on those modified heads, fit up some bell-mouth carbs, hang that megaphone exhaust and, most importantly, get rid of those upright bars so you could lie flat on the tank—time to do The Ton.

Inspiration for my café-racer project was simple: capture the memory of my friend, hero and legend, Gary Nixon. Number-one requirement was a strong powerplant, but I wasn’t out to replicate a 50-horsepower Triumph. No, I was instead headed in the direction of one of the biggest, baddest, fire-breathing engines of its time, a two-stroke Triple built by the company that broke Vincent’s speed stronghold—Kawasaki. Yes, I’m talking about the famous Erv Kanemoto-tuned KR750 on which Nixon finished second overall in the 1976 Formula 750 world championship. But, because I couldn’t use a rare, decades-old, competition-only machine, I started with a modern four-stroke Z1000.
No surprise, my project was declared “ambitious” by famed café-racer builder Jay LaRossa of Lossa Engineering. As the “Café Racer” TV cameras began cranking, the transformation began in my garage with parts flying and the cutting wheel spinning. How could I turn this big, 1000cc inline-Four into a compact likeness of a two-stroke 750cc Triple? Everyone—including me, the eternal optimist—had their doubts.
Bike stripped to its bare frame, measurements were taken, and Lossa Engineering went to work on a custom gas tank, seat pod, front fender and 17-inch mag wheels. LeoVince got ahold of the bike and busted out an unorthodox 4-into-3 exhaust system, utilizing canisters intended for a KX250F motocrosser. Meanwhile, my oldest brother, Torsten, welded up a subframe and mounts for the headlight/tachometer pod, fender, radiator and battery box.
Build Day approached like a Midwestern thunderstorm. Toiling to find the best way to hide the many wires present on a modern-day machine, Torsten and I had been up for nearly a week straight, and the Z1000 was barely more than a motor and chassis. But the show must go on, and the cameras were rolling when the Lossa crew finally arrived with their many custom parts. Those guys looked a lot like we did—exhausted! Would the new parts fit? A track test at Willow Springs International Raceway was scheduled for the following day. Would we fail?

Maybe it was luck, but the parts fell into place beautifully. Even the ’70s Tomaselli clutch perch and Grimeca master cylinder fit, bled and stayed in place, a miracle in itself. The café gods were smiling on us. The final look is long, low and compact, with the exposed motor clean and sleek. When I pressed the starter button, the engine roared to life, a low, calm grumble that became screechingly two-stroke-like at high rpm. We did it! “Number Nine” is her name.
Your idea of a café racer will no doubt differ, as will your starting platform, be it a diminutive Yamaha SR500 Single or a behemoth six-cylinder Honda CBX. But if you’re a motorcyclist, this is a spiritual pilgrimage you owe yourself. It’s your vision, your personality, your image of victory—your café racer.

You can see the original article HERE.

Custom Triumph Thruxton cafe racer

For Sale :: 2008 Triumph Thruxton Café

Killer Triumph Thruxton for sale

So you're in the market for a cool cafe racer are you?  You love the look of the Triumph Thruxton but want to make it a little more customized and unique?  Maybe you don't have the skill, resources or time to create your own...well look no further.  This baby is single and looking to mingle!  Specs and price below.

The owner picked it up used in 2010 in completely stock form and since then has been transforming the bike piece by piece over time.  Everything is bolt-on including the Carrozzeria wheels, Ohlins rear shocks, Arrow 2-into-2 exhaust, airbox removal, Ducati carbon front fender, one-off lowered gauge bracket, and a bunch of little bits.

Specs include:
- Black Bonneville carb'ed tank
- Black Corbin Gunfighter Smuggler seat
- Carrozzeria Forged Alloy Wheels w/ Conti-Attack tires
- Arrow 2:2 Stainless exhaust
- Ohlins Rear Shocks (PL36 I believe)
- MAS Engineering Side Number Plates
- Steering Dampener
- Nology Hot Wires + Ignition
- One-off custom gauge lowering bracket
- Triumph Alloy front brake reservoir
- Monza Flip-up gas cap
- Sixty8 sprocket cover
- Ducati carbon fiber front fender
- Rizoma Class mirror
- Triumph black alloy skid plate

This bike can be yours for $9,900 as it sits.

Contact pat(@) if interested.

Video Inspiration :: Passion

Inspiring me to get off the computer to either wrench or ride.  You should too!