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1984 Yamaha SR400 – Zoku Motorcycles

Posted on March 4, 2013 by Scott in Brat. 41 comments

By guest writer Ian Lee.

Here at Pipeburn we have a soft spot for thumpers. The thud-thud-thud of a single cylinder is music to the ears… and when wrapped in a custom motorcycle, it is even better. Based in Sydney, Australia, Zoku Motorcycles are also fond of single cylinder power – especially in the form of the legendary Yamaha SR. These bikes make for an easy starting point for custom builds, easy for any novice to try it, as the boys from Zoku found out when commencing the build. But it was worth it in the end, as they have produced a great build, with that thumping sound to boot.

The feature bike had already been customised before it rolled into the Zoku workshop, the finish best being described as ‘wonky’. Getting to work, the rear end was taken to with a angle grinder and a short fender fitted, flanked by mini indicators. Ditching a double seat setup, the single seat was fitted and the battery box/air box removed from the frame. The original SR fuel tank was retained, although mucho thought was put into it’s look. The tank was taken back to bare metal, masked, powder coated and then sanded by hand to achieve a nice balance between the bare metal and the powder.

Chancing upon a set of Daytona shocks in a box of old parts, they were put to use on the tail end of the bike. The handle bars have been replaced by clip ons, hand wrapped in leather to match the seat. The front end has been lowered slightly, and is now packing Brembo braking power. Firestones are the tire of choice on this build, 4 inch wide at the front, slightly wider at the rear at 4.5 inches. A set of black rims, laced with stainless spokes round out the rolling stock nicely.

The engine has gained a coat of black engine enamel during the process, the exhaust ceramic coated and the header shortened. White heat wrap was added to the header to finish off the look the owner was after.

Zoku has taken a ‘wonky’ SR400 and put their special touches on it, creating a bike that looks as good as it sounds. It’s low slung stance, fat rubber and awesome finish on the tank all work together to produce a bobber style look. On the other hand, the clip-ons, pipewrap and removal of the airbox/battery from the frame all give it a sort of café racer aesthetic. But ultimately Zuku made the right choice in bike, because on top of all the customisation the icing on the cake would have to be the distinctive note of the single cylinder. Thud-thud-thud.

  • Joel

    Any chance of a youtube so we can hear this baddie?

  • Troy

    Black paint to hide flaws and cut corners is becoming second nature to some of these so called bike builders. I see nothing special here.

  • revdub

    I like the overall look and stance. I am doing something similar with my RD tank. It will be satin clear over mostly sanded bare metal, with a little rust hanging around. I'm into the juxtaposition of new and old, clean up against some "dirty." The leather grip idea seems to be growing in popularity. Looks good on this bike. The only thing I would change, if the bike were my own, would be the seat. Just a preference. Nice SR.

  • Wayno

    Looks like another project from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. Are we finished Nurse Ratched, No way.

  • niels.d

    Please, please, please always include a proper straight up profile shot of all bikes! I can't tell if I like the porportions of the bike or the seat, because I have no idea what the whole package looks like. Artsy shots are nice, but only to supplement practical photos that actually show the bike as a complete package!

  • Arnold

    I agree niels.d. Left profile, Right profile, maybe an overhead, and the rest is showmanship.But if every one thought as I do it would be a dull world indeed.ald

  • I like this bike. I think it has a certain raw edge that gives it character.

  • Beach

    How about some proper pictures of these bikes. The first three photos are all from the same damn angle. Also, what a boring bike.

  • Arnold

    I remember the last time I rode my B50 mx. I was walking it back to the road due to a 30 year old flat front tire , looking at my out bound tracks. I could see every power pulse written in the loose dirt. That inspired me enough (yeah right) to fire it back up and ride it back to the shop, rather than abandoning and hitching. I've never had a single leave me hopelessly stranded yet.

  • MF

    Surely it should be a rule to provide dead straight front, back and side shot of these bikes, prior to the 'artistic' shots? I can barely see the seat or the engine.

  • agree, may I offer you some Wine?

  • seeny


  • Sammy

    Raw and simple I love it!

  • Greybeard

    Always wanted a SR if for nothing more than to install some redz por vida goodies, but apparently they've gone the way of all flesh.

    Still would like one.

  • Oldnbroken

    Looks good unless it looks bad in profile, which I would not know would I. This new comments format, I don't like it. Hey Arnold do I qualify for a wine too and could I have a little cheese with that please.


  • Cheese too, if you keep the board track material coming.

  • Arnold

    Wesleydale, apologies to Wallace and Grommit.

  • Oldnbroken

    2 by 4's are on the dock, just waiting for the warfies to finish there 4 week lunch break.


  • weez

    But for the faux-rusty tank and perennially awful & hackneyed Firestone Deluxe Chumpions, I'd ride it. I'm a bit over pipe wrap, too.

    Aesthetically, it needs a big twin-leading-shoe drum up front, but the big disc would surely work better and make the bike more rideable.

  • Unicorn

    Wow, so many hating keyboard warriors.
    Get out from behind your monitor and go build something so other keyboard warriors can pick on your build.

  • Tony Stark

    It's OK. Wish the photos weren't so "artsy."

  • Zoku = so called bike builder

    Bought a bike from that guy (Zoku Motorcycle) in the past. He's an amateur and a crook.
    The bike had multiple dangerous flaws (he didn't even check if the tyres he put on the bike were meant to be tubeless). Had to spend a lot of $ to make the bike even ride-able.

    I know for a fact that I am not the only one who had problem with the quality of his work.
    So called bike builder.

  • Apologies if you have left comments on this post and they have disappeared. We have been having a few issues with our commenting software. It all seems to be sorted now. Thanks.

    • Mike Cambareri

      It’s ok, we still love you.

    • Thanks for fixing the comments section. The other system left me feeling old and confused – wait a minute – I am old and confused.

    • Oldnbroken

      The other system left me feeling like Manx. Well done for the fix and keep up the good work Andrew.


  • arnold

    Some how, we still appreciate your hard work and drive to make this one of the best ‘go to’ sites available. My PC has been slammed pretty hard since the first of the year, I can only imagine what the blog sites are going through.

  • revdub

    Overall look and stance are great. I am doing something similar with my RD tank. It will be a satin clear over partially sanded metal, with a little rust allowed to remain. I like the juxtaposition of new and old, clean up against some “dirty”. Leather grips are gaining in popularity and they look good here. Nice SR.

  • I like the stance, tank, and fat tires. A raw, old school look with SR reliability. Everything is easily changed on this bike to suit one’s taste including pipes, seat, paint – but I like it just the way it is.

  • Troy

    exactly what tony stark said before the last comments mysteriously vanished (perhaps conveniantly for this bike)… So called bike builders.

  • zoku is a crook

    Zoku is an amateur and a crook. Avoid that guy. his builds are not only sloppy but dangerous

    • RKade

      why do you say that – i am looking to get a custom from them

  • grumpy

    There is not one single decent shot of the WHOLE bike! What does this bike look like?! “Shoot the subject”

    • arnold

      highlight the good, ignore the rough, looking forward to your many posts. Don’t think that we aren’t all grumpy in many ways, beyond motorcycles, but a small acorn into a mighty oak grows.

  • Chris Gillham

    First time commenter long time looker. This bike seems more first garage build then pro custom shop build

  • Omar

    Unique style real cool and rough vibe. Love the tank work.

  • matiberio

    not a single shot that highlights the saddler… 8^((

  • awesomenesss

  • Anyone know what that throttle assembly is?

  • Ezetman

    What type of rear turn signals are those. I really like how they fit inside the frame right where it was cut.