All Tests – Yamaha SR400 test: the return of the granny – Do not push granny towards the exit

Yamaha SR400 test: the return of the granny

All Tests - Yamaha SR400 test: the return of the granny - Do not push granny towards the exit

Evicted from the French catalog in 1982, the SR400 reappeared in 2014! With its good old single-cylinder motorcycle, Yamaha intends to vibrate the nostalgic chord of French bikers. Site was able to test it for a day. Contact !

Don’t push granny to the exit

Without ABS – even as an option – the SR400 offers a front brake a little too timid to attack the lever. It therefore requires firmly grasping the right lever to effectively stop the bike and you necessarily lose precision..

The rear brake is more satisfying: the small drum is both more biting and more dosable than the 298 mm disc and its double-piston caliper. Who would’ve believed that ?! For a bit, we would almost require the return of the drum to the front too !

In the end, we are still satisfied with the braking of the little roadster. After all, like its sisters or classified in the Yamaha "Sport Heritage" family, the SR400 is not a sport, even old..

The maximum engine power is also far from the values ​​reached by the multicylinders of the 21st century: while the parallel twin – "crossplane"! – 689 cc mounted on the latter develops 74.8 horsepower, the 399 cc mono is content to let go of 23.2 … ponies ?!

It must be said that the engine of the SR400 is not stressed: its compression ratio is only 8.7: 1 (against 11.5: 1 for the MT) … Let it be said, this mill is not intended for "idiots in a hurry", but for bikers who take the time to live, even on weekday mornings on their way to work !

The single cylinder, however, has its small character. If he does not kick the ass – his revving is terribly linear – he expresses himself by spreading his tremors to the body of the pilot, from idle.

Discreet on the handlebars and footrests – but much less on the rear brake control – vibrations are sensitive in the thighs and buttocks. They become more pronounced as the tachometer needle approaches the red zone located at 7000 rpm, i.e. a hundred revolutions before the (somewhat brutal) intervention of the breaker.

However, it is useless, not to say counterproductive, to climb so high since the maximum torque is available from 3000 rpm. To get the maximum power, you have to climb 3500 revolutions higher, but the tingling of the saddle encourages you to give up before: you must not push grandma SR in over-revs !

We will therefore take care to keep the engine as far as possible from the red zone, including when driving in fifth gear. This consequently reduces the average on expressways, since we prefer to stall the SR400 at a reasonable 100 km / h (4500 rpm) to scroll through the landscape, peacefully and without too much crackling..

The "Vmax" of this Yamaha is 140 km / h meter, but the jerking of the piston makes the experience uncomfortable. We also note that the motorcycle struggles to climb beyond the 130 (regulatory!) And does not manage to do so on false dishes: even on departmental roads, the radar flashes should remain off.

Without these maximum speed tests and those of times, the average consumption of the SR400 should be limited to 4 l / 100 km. During this first contact of 75 km, Site consumed 3.3 liters of gasoline: ""real" SP95 or SP98, but better to avoid SP95 E10", advised us the staff Yamaha Motor France. Enough to cover, at this rate, 272 km with the full 12 liters.

Back in business in 2014, the "granny" SR400 is crisp in many ways. Aesthetically of course, but also dynamically thanks to its extreme ease of handling. At its helm, we forget the sometimes stressful 21st century and its always scary radars…

A small motorcycle, simple like that, it’s good for morale and for the license! Suddenly, we could almost pass the sponge on the too thin saddle and its vibrations too present past 4500 rpm, which further reduce comfort.

Unfortunately, the little Yamaha is paying too much for its charms. Posted at € 5,999, all bikers who are apparently interested will not agree to ride it. For comparison, its price is 300 euros higher than that of the seductive and young MT-07…

"The competitiveness of the price level of the latest generations of mid-size roadsters can indeed appeal to the customer facing a SR400 at € 5,999", agrees Gregory Lejosne, Motorcycle and ATV sales director at Yamaha Motor France..

But according to him, "MT-07 type machines respond to ultra modern industrial processes for which the entire value chain has been redesigned and therefore optimized: from the choice of subcontractors to industrial rationalization (industrial policy of the chassis-engine platform which will be declined in several models, etc.). An SR400 thus responds to a traditional and undoubtedly more expensive production method.".

In the “retro” department, the SR400 is found alone on its engine capacity: but marketers know it, the scarcity of a product makes it possible to increase its price. And compared to the competition, the SR400 remains less expensive than the, and, not to mention the and its. More confidential, the Royal Enfield brand offers – – its Bullet Standard at € 5,475. Not given either !

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