Classy Yamaha SR400 Scrambler Is What Happens to Japanese Thumpers Down Under

Yamaha SR400 Scrambler 18 photos
Photo: Andrew Jones of Machines That Dream
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With so many great custom bike shops hailing from Australia, the nation is undoubtedly among the world’s prime customization hotspots. We seem to stumble upon a fantastic project from down under every other day, and the one we’re about to look at was put together in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville. To be more exact, it comes courtesy of Andy Dorr and Giles Colliver at Sabotage Motorcycles.
Their remarkable work has already been the subject of our discussion on multiple occasions, so there’s very little need for any sort of introduction. With their top-tier craftmanship and unwavering dedication, Andy and Giles have garnered plenty of well-deserved attention as the years went by. They never stopped to rest on their laurels, though, and the bikes they come up with could easily hang with the big boys of the custom motorcycle scene.

Zooming in on the tasty one-off pictured above, it started out as a stock Yamaha SR400 from the model-year 2014. The bike was virtually brand-new when purchased by Sabotage Motorcycles’ client, only showing a few kilometers on the odo and with all its paraphernalia being in tip-top shape. Unfazed by the motorcycle’s pristine condition, the owner quickly got in touch with Giles and Andy to give his fresh ride the custom treatment.

Like so many other builders, the guys at Sabotage are rather fond of the SR platform from Yamaha. This affinity comes as a result of the model’s versatility for the most part, as it can be used as a great basis for projects ranging from bobbers to cafe racers and just about anything in between. Regardless of whether you’re working with a modern variant or something older, they will certainly serve you well.

Although the client did initially try to tackle the customization process himself, he soon found out that his schedule simply wouldn’t allow it. The decision was made to hand things over to the pros, and the transformation process got underway as soon as the Sabotage duo took over. Building a classy scrambler was the main objective here, all while keeping the SR’s spirit very much alive.

Yamaha SR400 Scrambler
Photo: Andrew Jones of Machines That Dream
First things first, the Aussies busied themselves with a nice bit of structural work at the back, deleting the OEM shocks in favor of longer aftermarket items. All the subframe tubing behind the shock mounts is new, manufactured in-house as a loop-style structure. Hanging on to the replacement rear framework on the flanks are LED turn signals from Posh, but then there is that shiny rear fender.

Built from scratch out of stainless-steel, this bespoke mudguard supports the license plate bracket and a boxy, retro-looking taillight. Moving northward, we come across a handmade seat upholstered in elegant black leather, while items such as the fuel tank and side covers are still stock. They were, however, stripped of their original livery and repainted in a stunning color combo.

It merges a faded shade of blue with silver accents and white pinstripes, but then there is that high-mounted front fender. Also made by Andy and his teammate, it was polished to a mirror finish prior to installation just like its rear counterpart. Not much has changed down in the unsprung sector, with the wheels and brakes remaining as they were off the assembly line.

Yamaha SR400 Scrambler
Photo: Andrew Jones of Machines That Dream
The rims are now wrapped in road-friendly trails tires from Vee Rubber, though, providing the off-roading capability that Sabotage Motorcycles’ customer was after. Of course, the project’s authors didn’t have to worry about refurbishing the single-cylinder engine, as they were dealing with a machine in impeccable condition. Some fresh breathing equipment was deemed appropriate, nonetheless.

Even though the lads were flirting with the idea of swapping the electronic ignition system with a carburetor, they ultimately decided to retain the EFI for its reliability. On the other hand, they didn’t think twice about ditching the standard exhaust system. In its stead, we now find a custom stainless-steel setup capped off with a reverse megaphone silencer, ending nice and low near the right bottom shock mount.

There is some more custom sorcery to be admired up in the cockpit area, where most of the real estate is taken up by a cross-braced MX handlebar. The lack of any mirrors keeps things as tidy as possible, and so does the internal wiring for the SR400’s stock switchgear. Gone are the Yammie’s twin dials, making room for a single aftermarket unit to further reduce visual clutter.

Right beneath it lies a compact retro-looking headlamp, tucked nice and close to the forks for a clean look. With all these goodies in place, it came time for the scrambled SR to be handed back to its lucky owner, who is sure to have a blast riding it for a long time to come. In essence, there’s nothing too wild about this build, as understated charm appears to have been the name of the game here.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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