Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

STILETTO SCRAMBLER SR400 by Fuel Bespoke Motorcycles

Posted on October 8, 2017 by Scott in Event, Scrambler. 14 comments

Looks like we aren’t the only ones who enjoy riding inappropriate bikes in the desert. For the past six years, the guys at Fuel Bespoke in Barcelona have been holding Scram Africa; a ride, over 2000km, that tests the skills of riders through the south of Morocco on roads, trails and dunes. A trip specifically for nostalgic riders inspired by the original 70’s scramblers – sorry, you’ll have to leave that KTM at home.

This project started when the guys at Fuel were approached by their good friend Marco who had joined them on many Scram Africa rides in the past, but wanted something new for the latest adventure.

“The idea was basically to make an interesting bike with a low budget” says Karles from Fuel. “Improving the aesthetics and, at the same time, improving other aspects of the bike for off road riding.” They decided to base the build on the trusty 2016 Yamaha SR400. The SR400 is no newcomer to custom builds, but the usual suspects are café racers or street trackers often spotted in urban environments. Not usually built for a desert ride like this, across some very challenging terrain.

In order for it to be Scram Africa race ready, it needed quite a few modifications. The first thing Fuel needed to sort out was the handling. The bike needed to carry Marco forays over some rough and rugged desert tracks for 10 days, so the rear shocks were swapped out for those by YSS. Plus, the spring forks were changed for more progressive ones – these mods greatly improved the handling of the bike straight away.

Then they worked on the looks and the riding position of the bike. Some obvious changes, like new off-road footpegs and a more tracker style handlebar were added,  giving it a more upright and comfortable riding position than the original. The exhaust manifold was also modified in order to allow the silencer to get a better angle than the stock one.

The rear of the bike is where it gets interesting. The guys at Fuel added a bit of Spanish influence to this Japanese classic by adding a modified fibreglass seat cowl from a vintage Ossa Stiletto. “The Ossa Stiletto was also known as the ‘Moto-Cross’ or ‘Scrambler’ and was introduced to the English market as ‘Avenger’,” says Karles. “That seat cowl plus a single scrambler style seat gives a new line and a totally different image to the original model.”

To finish the bike off, Marco really wanted the colour of the bike to be “joyful & fun” – which also reflected the spirit of the Scram Africa event. So what may have seemed like an inappropriate bike to take on the Moroccan desert turned out to be the most fun and reliable bike to finish this gruelling ride – is there anything the SR can’t do? I don’t think so.

[ Fuel Bespoke Motorcycles ]

  • MayDayMoto

    Very nice, and not at all inappropriate given that the SR engines have been the basis for Yamaha’s dirt bike engines for the last thirty-forty years now. And chassis wise, this looks like it handles just fine, since the terrain is sand and packed dirt roads, not trails with rocks, stumps, logs, steep inclines and deep mud pits, which is when you would want a higher riding enduro setup. Looks like a lot of fun! Pretty and functional, the marks of serious build.

    • martin hodgson

      Totally agree, the engine is perfect for the task and less to go wrong like a stone in the radiator of a water cooled bike.

      Bloody cool seeing a bike that wouldn’t look out of place at a show charging hard across all kinds of terrain!

      This is living!!!!

    • Agreed. But inappropriate compared to the modern adventure bikes that are more commonly found on these rides.

      But I would prefer to ride this SR!

      • guvnor67

        This’d be luxury compared to what the DRs had to ride at El Alamein and Tobruk.

      • MayDayMoto

        I get where you’re you’re coming from, but frankly, those big “adventure touring” bikes are inappropriate themselves, despite their ubiquity. They are heavy and mechanically complicated. Only thing they really have going for them are their huge gas tanks and ability to carry a lot of crap. And if you look at the fine print on the BMW GS models for instance, they say something along the lines of “not for offroad use”. Of course that doesn’t stop people from using them, but I’d much rather have something light and nimble and simple, like this bike. Only thing I’d look into would be a bigger gas tank. Now, the Honda Africa Twin, that’s what I’d call appropriate if you wanted to go bigger and badder (and more modern)…

        • Are you talking about the new Africa Twin, or one of the old ones?

          • MayDayMoto

            I was talking about the new ones, but the old ones are pretty awesome too.

  • Tom Parker

    I save PipeBrun for the last thing I look at on the computer at the end of the night before the horizontal. Want to see something lovely before sleep. You never let me down. Thanks.

  • Dave Coetzee

    Love the bike and this type of review. The bulkiness and possibly weight of the rider’s ruck-sack reminds me of an (only 250km) day-trip I undertook with my BMW G450X, after which I suffered neck spasms after not organising some not so cool looking baggage holders.

    • Sounds like something I would do. Style over function… 😂

  • I like this way better than the modern adventure bikes. Lighter, handy, air-cooled and much, much prettier. Also, a guy with a normal inseam can flat foot this beauty. Fuel created a vintage style, a la Husqvarna, Bultaco, Montesa yet with modern electrics, etc. Inapropriate? Maybe, but didn’t a modified Honda CL350 win the 1968 Baja 1000?

    • Jonesy

      1968—- Gary Berquist/ Larry Preston on a Honda beat the auto team in a Bronco

  • Fast2Furious

    The name of the venerable Spanish marque was actually an acronym Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anónima and should be written OSSA.