The latest addition to Yamaha’s Yard Built lushness is this inconspicuous SR400 retro racer. Built by Belgian custom builder, Fred ‘Krugger’ Bertrand, the 1970s lookalike takes inspiration from one of Valentino Rossi’s mechanics, Bernard Ansiau – who has also spannered for the likes of Wayne Rainey and Kenny Roberts.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you take a previously fairly guff motorcycle – as standard – and turn it into something fucking cool. It’s a striking nod to TZs of that era with tangible aesthetical pleasurings available at every angle yet, bizarrely for the Yard Built series, the styling isn’t the SR’s fundamental feature. Oh no, that’ll be the Aisin 300 supercharger that’s been offered up to the little 400 motor, complete with custom plenum chamber that no doubt supplies the minerals. Krugger also binned the stock fuel injection system and replaced it with a 48mm S&S carburettor, and there’s a one-off stainless exhaust to complement the added ponies. Beringer brakes and an uprated clutch furthermore answer the supercharger’s questions.
In keeping with all Yard Built customs, the frame remains unmolested. Standard forks are also utilised, albeit lowered and polished and mated to a custom top clamp, and a set of Fox shocks support the rear. It wears Dunlop K81s – apparently the first tyre to lap the TT course at over 100mph – and a stock fuel tank has been trimmed and lengthened to form part of that intrinsic TZ Speedblock look, along with that awkward-looking seat cowl.
And then there’s the multitude of engineering subtleties and hidden trinkets, and custom touches like names of riders that Bernard has looked after. Chapeau! Want.