Just over a month ago, we caught a glimpse of a freshly painted SR400 engine along side an unusual aluminum tank on Salty Speed Co.'s Instagram feed. Based on what we knew Australian natives Matt Hipsley and Sam Connelly were capable of, they had our attention. You may remember the first build from Salty Speed Co., a simply styled CB250 Brat Tracker. Since then, Matt and Sam have churned out four more builds outside of their day jobs, the latest being the 1988 Yamaha SR400 you see here.
Built as Matt's personal ride, the bike can serve as a rolling business card for what Salty Speed Co. can do. "I originally picked it up as an import from Japan, rode it around stock for a while and then had a few weeks between client builds to do something for myself. The SR is a popular platform for customizing, and I wanted to see what we could achieve with one. Whilst we have built a number of 70’s Honda CB’s, the SR offers a slightly more modern and reliable base bike. No dodgy charging systems to deal with!"
"When I first fitted it, I hated it. However, as the build developed I found that it suited the aesthetic I was trying to achieve perfectly."
Matt focused the builds inspiration around one element – the aluminum scrambler tank. "When I first fitted it, I hated it. However as the build developed I found that it suited the aesthetic I was trying to achieve perfectly. With the aluminium tank, fenders and wheels, as well as the airbox and battery removed, the bike is now considerably lighter than stock. So even with retaining the stock carb and engine specs, the performance has increased. I’m not sure what you would call it. It’s sort of a brat-scrambler-tracker fusion."
Owner: Matt Hipsley – Salty Speed Co.
Year/Make/Model: 1988 Yamaha SR400
Fabrication: Salty Speed Co.
Assembly: Salty Speed Co.
Build Time: Six weeks
Engine: Stock SR400 with Oil Cooler. Detailed with hi-temp paint and stainless fasteners.
Carburetion: Stock SR400
Exhaust: Supertrapp muffler
Air Cleaner: K&N
Frame: Custom rear hoop and frame gussets.
Shocks: Stock at the moment – Ikon on the way
Front Wheel: 1.85" Powder coated aluminium with stainless spokes
Rear Wheel: 2.15" Powder coated aluminium with stainless spokes
Front Tire: Dunlop K70 18/4.0
Rear Tire: Dunlop K70 18/4.0
Front Brake: Stock drum
Rear Brake: Stock drum
Fuel Tank: Custom aluminium ‘Scrambler’ tank
Handlebars: Posh low-rise
Headlight: Posh 4.5"
Hand Controls: Stock SR400
Foot Controls: Stock
Electrical: Battery eliminator
Painter: Nil. Powder coat by South Coast Powder Coating
Graphics: Salty Speed Co.
Polishing: Unknown! A friend of a friend.
Seat Pan: 1.2mm steel pan with neoprene rubber.
Upholstery: Rob Wilson Upholstery
Other: Aluminium front and rear fenders. Daytona mini speedo.
The finished bike seamlessly integrates the tastefully these components into a bike that could have rolled off the assembly line this way. Matt and Sam's inspiration is drawn from their influences in the moto industry like Classified Moto, Wrenchmonkees, Deus and CRD. However, they find motivation from another source that explains their incredibly clean aesthetic. "My biggest motivation comes from Jonathan Ward of Icon 4x4. His design ethic and the attention to detail he puts into his product is mind-blowing. Whilst it’s pretty hard for us, operating from a simple garage, to achieve the level of finish and innovation that they achieve at Icon, they inspire me to try to achieve a super clean and simple aesthetic with our bikes."
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