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‘Type 7c’ Yamaha SR400 – Auto Fabrica


Posted on June 1, 2016 by Andrew in Scrambler. 14 comments

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The custom motorcycle scene can be a competitive game, for all the comradery and sense of community that makes the industry such a wonderful thing to be part of, businesses still have to make a quid. For the workshops that build custom bikes that means selling at least enough of them to pay the rent, it’s fair to say we all take a pay cut for our art, but a man’s got to eat. To achieve this Auto Fabrica from North-East London have created a series of bikes that act as rolling advertisements for the quality of their work and what they can deliver. Based on Yamaha’s SR400 platform their Type 7 series offers customers a versatile machine that’s as comfortable ripping up a rain-soaked field as it is posing for the cameras at the local bike show. Designed with clean lines, executed with quality workmanship and utilising the best parts around it’s easy to see why customers are coming calling!

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“For us, the Type 7 really is the essence of what a motorcycle is; light, powerful and full of character”

“Since we launched the Type 7 last year, we have had an exceptional response and constant interest. For us, the Type 7 really is the essence of what a motorcycle is; light, powerful and full of character, a true riders bike that is as much at home on a country trail as much as it is taking a cruise through the city.” This fine example is the fourth build in the series and wears the code name Type 7C, offering a unique and personalised experience while still sharing kinship with its predecessors. Brother’s Gaz and Bujar always start with a clean canvas and taking the SR back to its barebones allows them to shed any unnecessary components. On the Type 7 this starts with the frame which has been smoothed out, detabbed and customised for their back to basics look. The rear subframe has been cut back with a new loop end welded into place and the rails modified to create a smooth and flowing arc that meets the tank in a seamless fashion.

The tank itself has also undergone changes over stock with the edges rolled and returned for an exceptionally clean look that also takes away any hard lines. The clean aesthetic is then finished out “painted a clean gloss white for an understated and yet bold finish”. That theme is continued with the fenders, the big stock chrome items ditched, in favour of handmade aluminium items front and rear. Functional and yet unobtrusive to the theme they are finished out in black along with the frame and swing arm that allows the tank and engine to take centre stage. Sitting neatly on the new subframe is the custom seat that offers plenty of comfort for a day in the saddle and still looks the part in black leather that includes the signature Auto Fabrica triangle in brown fretted leather at the rear.

While many leave the SR engine relatively standard Gaz and Bujar like to extract a few extra ponies and add years of reliability to their builds which can only come from a complete rebuild. Given that they also offer an aqua blasting service as part of their business it is no surprise that the engine itself is perfect in appearance but it’s inside that things get interesting. Along with the full rebuild and new gaskets and seals they’ve also given the cylinder head a mild upgrade for increased breathing ability. Supplying the extra air and fuel mix is a change to a Mikuni VM34 that draws its oxygen through a foam pod filter. The exhaust not only adds a brilliant sound and extra get up and go but the hand formed stainless pipe with custom internal baffle adds yet another custom touch for the eyes to feast upon without disturbing any of the uncluttered lines created in the body work.

If there is one aspect to the build that is anything but understated it’s the in your face, buzzsaw looking Maxxis rubber. Sure it might be best suited for when the customer is using the bike off-road and form has been given a little leg up over function in some aspects, but everyone does realise that in 2016 tyres can be changed rather quickly right? But before the big rubber bands could be fitted the hubs front and rear were treated to the quality Auto Fabrica aqua blasting and along with the other aluminium components on the bike come up like new. They’ve then be relaced to 18inch rims front and rear, a first for the Type 7 series, that creates a very neutral stance. To bring the SR closer to the ground the front end has been lowered 30mm while the rear end is now controlled by Hagon shocks with progressive springs to soak up the abuse any surface can throw its way.

Overcoming the clutter of the gaurdy twin pods that hold the standard instruments is the fitment of a Motogadget Motoscope “tiny” speedo which is as the name suggests is very small at just 49mm in diameter. With a small Bates-style headlight fitted lower down near the bottom triple tree the already ultra-light SR400 gains the appearance to match its very flickable and fun riding characteristics. The clamps have also been given the aqua blasting treatment with the risers holding tracker bars that feature stunning black grips and machined ends. The rest of the functionality is kept as minimal as is humanely possible while still being street legal with tiny indicators mounted front and rear and an old school tail light sitting on the new rear fender.

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The end result is everything that the SR400 promises from the factory just done in a much better way with stunning looks to match. The already lightweight machine is now less than 150kg, the torque friendly thumper engine offering up even more fun with a twist of the wrist and the aesthetics taken from classic commuter styling to a no compromise approach to customised clean lines. When you’re tucking the seams of a fuel tank you really do take slick styling to a whole new level, which should come as a surprise given the design background of both Gaz and Bujar. With builds like the Type 7C rolling out the door and their catalogue featuring everything from insane custom builds to practical and personalised it’s easy to see why Auto Fabrica is not only paying the rent but delivering customer bikes that induce a very big smile!

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  • John Wanninger

    I dig it. I’m a sucker for all things SR, so I am biased, but this is a cool little whip nonetheless. I even like the knobbies. Gives it a sort of troublemaker look. At home in the urban setting, as well as the outlying areas.

    So much fun to be had on a 200lb bike that you know will start for sure when the cops come.

    Have fun trying to catch me down the single track… I’ve got lawns to ruin! Braaap!!

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      The front tire’s way too wide for the single track and both tires will fail you on the pavement which means the cop’s will have your keister ticketed and possibly in the ole Paddywagon quicker than you can say Jack Sprat .

      • John Wanninger

        No Way Hardley. I rail.

        I’ve outsmarted/run the sheriffs around here one much lesser bikes.

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Such a cool little bike build . Such a horrible choice of tires . Worthless in the dirt and equally worthless on pavement all but guaranteed to wash out on the slightest hint of a curve . Seriously custom bike builders . When it comes to extreme knobbies ;

    Just Say No !

    • the watcher

      How many race-reps actually get raced (or scramblers scrambled, or whatever)? In the first place the chances for financial ruin are enormous, and, at least here in the UK, the opportunities for off-roading are very limited for most. Motorcycling is an aspirational hobby as well as an exhilerating one. Extreme knobblies, like Firestones; be careful out there, it’s your cash and your neck. Ill-considered clap-trap, HTW, you know what to say, if not how to say it.

  • Jester the Clown

    Those tyres, the hole in the middle.
    At least it’s got mudguards though; sort of.

    • With a bike that’s this ‘airy’ I don’t think you’d call it a hole…

      • Jester the Clown

        Perhaps “gap” would be a better word!
        It just looks; as do all bikes following this current trend, as if there’s something missing.

        • raymo

          What’s missing is all the extra weight that somehow people are so used to seeing they can’t see past the minimalist design.

          • Jester the Clown

            I understand the theory but calling it “minimalist” or any other fancy artistic title doesn’t alter the fact that, visually, it looks unfinished.
            That’s not just a criticism of this machine. There’s a whole raft of builders out there at the moment going down the same route.
            It would seem that knobblies, gaps and bits missing in general have become the new chromed everything and long forks.

  • jlgace

    No comment on the fender clearance? Also the front tire looks a little big, possibly the same size as the back. I take no issue with the knobbies but I wouldn’t want to deal with that fender packed full of mud. Either way, it’s unfortunate this bike is going to be judged on something as easily replaced as tires – though in the custom 4-wheel world this is something that can really make or break your ride. I admire the quality, time, effort and thought put into this bike and it really is very clean looking and seems to be made to ride and enjoy.

  • John_Tangeraas

    I like it a lot, but would keep or “beautify” the airfilter box. I have an SR500 & an XT500, using the XT/SR offroad or in the rain, without an airfilterbox, causes misfires. I would also keep the chainguard, nasty business if the chain comes off. Otherwise, supercool.

  • Andy Rappold

    Auto Fabrica is one of my favourites…clean, super slick looking and capable of day to day use…great machine!

  • the watcher

    Another beaut from Blighty’s finest. BUT. Subtle variations on a theme are great for a customer-base, but less so for a compendium web-site, e.g. if I see another Macco Trumpet I’ll scream.