Thursday, July 2, 2015

Indy Mile - Custom SR400 Street Tracker - 'King' Kenny Roberts Style!

Indy Mile - Custom SR400 Street Tracker - 'King' Kenny Roberts Style!

In Melbourne, Australia—on the Yarra River’s shorefront—you’ll find an outfit called Gasolina. It’s an unusual but very appealing business: a restaurant-cum-motorcycle design studio that doubles up as an event venue.

A few months ago, Gasolina played host to Yamaha Australia when they relaunched the SR400. The Yamaha guys must have had a good time, because shortly afterwards they delivered a fresh SR400 to Gasolina’s chief designer, Carl Cerra.

Carl has twenty years in automotive design under his belt, so he was the perfect candidate to pen some custom designs for the SR.

A few sketches later, Carl had settled on a direction. Drawing influence from Kenny Roberts’ illustrious career with Yamaha, he decided to build a modern-day street tracker—dubbing it the “Indy Mile”.

“The intent was to make it look like a factory bike from Yamaha,” he explains. “Instead of taking a new bike and simply trying to make it look old, we wanted it to look like a production tracker—with a little retro flavor.”

To increase the challenge, all the mods had to be bolt-on. The frame and drivetrain had to be left untouched, for warranty and reliability’s sake. That way, the Indy Mile could be offered in kit form—simple and affordable enough for the average garage builder to put together.

Starting with clay molds, Clay redesigned the Yamaha’s bodywork around the stock tank. He then made the new ducktail rear section, side covers and headlight shroud using fiberglass. (The final production version of the kit will use ABS plastic.)

On top of the tail section is a custom-made seat, and at the back are an integrated tail light and turn signals. The front mudguard has been borrowed from a dirt bike. The front suspension’s been left stock, but aftermarket gas units have replaced the rear shocks.

Gasolina rounded out the parts list with Biltwell Tracker bars, Pirelli Scorpion tires, and off-the-shelf grips and gauges. Danmoto built the gorgeous exhaust system to Carl’s spec.

When it came to paint, putting a modern spin on King Kenny’s iconic yellow, black and white livery was a no-brainer. Carl mocked up the design and Andy at Metzeffects executed it. Indy Mile’s mash-up of past and present is especially apt when you consider that the SR400 now has fuel injection—but is still kick-start only.

If you dig it as much as we do, you’ll be happy to hear that the kit is expected to go into production later this year.

Skip to 3:30 on the following video if you want to see and hear the most legendary motorcycle racer of all time, Kenny Roberts, hauling ass on the nastiest race bike to ever hit the dirt, the TZ750...

Indy Mile - Custom SR400 Street Tracker - 'King' Kenny Roberts Style!