This 2010 Yamaha SR400 retro pocket rocket is big in Japan. Will it sell ? It's got all-mod-cons and perfect credentials but it remains to be seen. Let's hope so.

A little wikipedia wisdom on the evolution of the Yamaha SR400:

1978 witnessed the debut of both the SR400-a bike with a super-long reign as a top seller in the mid-range class and that even now maintains a deep-rooted popularity in Japan-and its sister bike. The SR500.

The SR400 was born with the same air-cooled, 4-stroke, overhead cam, 2-valve, single-cylinder engine from the big XT500 off-roader, but with a shortened stroke and refined for road sports use, resulting in a final capacity of 399-cc.

Equipped with a decompression lever, dry sump oil lubrication that used a portion of the frame for its tank, and a kick indicator for the kick-start engine, the SR400 started more easily than any single-cylinder motorcycle had up to that point. The front fork, the rims and the brakes were all taken from the TX650 and the tires employed a semi-block pattern for running on dirt, like a flat-tracker.

In 1985, a drum brake was adopted in the front, and the front wheel size was dropped from 19 inches to 18 in order to produce a retro look. Greater reliability was also targeted for the engine through a change in oil lines as well as other parts. From 2001, hydraulic front disc brakes were installed, and the SR400 evolved to a machine that provided even greater enjoyment during acceleration and deceleration than was usual for a sports bike of its age.

Since it is a single-cylinder bike, you'll experience the advantages of the lightweight, compact, slim body as soon as you get on. Not only is it easy to balance at a stop, but Yamaha's return of the footpeg position to that of the initial model, coupled with the repeated improvements made to the seat, were also effective in creating a comfortable riding position with only a slight bending of the knees.

The motor is still kick-started. An understanding of the four stroke engine, and careful positioning of the piston just past the top-dead-center position aid in easier starting. All starts use the choke, cold starts benefit by first twisting the throttle a couple times to inject extra gas in the carburetor. The engine should never be started with the throttle in the open position due to the chance of dangerous kick-back.

Handling displays a calm, straightforward character from beginning to end, and the engine also doesn't necessarily value response over all else. Rather than winding all the way up to high revs, shift up a little bit early and you'll experience a smoother ride while enjoying the beat of the engine and the surrounding scenery. That's the kind of relaxed running that's most suitable for the gorgeous SR400.

Yamaha Fizzy

Yamaha FS1-E (Fizzy)

The Yamaha FS1-E is one of the definitive 1970s sports mopeds. They were produced in their un-restricted form between 1972 to 1977 then in various other forms to 1980. They were all 50cc but the later ones after August 1977 were restricted for legal reasons to a maximum of 30mph, the earlier ones were capable of about 45 to 50mph and returned about 95+ miles per gallon.


The Yamaha FS1-E, or more commonly known as a "fizzy", was a must have moped for 16 year olds from it's UK introduction in 1972 to the late 70s, when in 1977 the British government introduced new legislation to restrict the maximum speed of mopeds to 30mph. The Yamaha FS1-E has a 49cc single cylinder 2-stroke air cooled rotary valved engine with a four-speed gearbox. It originally was only available in one colour, Candy Gold, and this was know as the SS model, the last of the Candy Gold ones were badged FS1-E in 1974. The SS stood for "Sixteener Special". In 1974 a second colour was introduced, Popsicle Purple and the model name on the side panel was changed to the now infamous "FS1-E". The model was FS1 and the suffix "E" stood for England (differing from the models sold in other countries as the FS1-E had pedals). Yamaha changed the colours over the years (Baja Brown, Competition Yellow etc) and introduced various improvements such as a front disc brake (FS1-E DX.) and an autolube model with a 2-stroke oil tank and oil injection (so you wouldn't have to manually mix fuel and 2-stroke oil any more.)

The FS1-E has enjoyed a renaissance for the past few years as the original 16 year old owners have now become 40+-year olds with some spare cash are looking to relive their youth by buying and restoring these wonderful classics. Such is now the demand for Fizzys, the prices for both the mopeds themselves and the spare parts have risen sharply with some restored models fetching in excess of £3,000. I am also pleased to say that the FS1-E also has a new generation of owners with many 16-year olds opting to own an old classic Fizzy rather than opting to buy a modern scooter, and thus keeping the Fizzy spirit alive going forwards.

There have been various enthusiasts clubs and websites set to cater for this renewed interest. The extent of work carried out varies greatly, from simply getting a bike running to complete restorations and engine transplants (usually from the similar YB100).

In total there were about 200,000+ produced for the UK market and it is estimated that only 2,000-3,000 still exist so finding one in a barn or old lock-up is becoming increasingly rare.

Pedals The FS1-E had the ability to be powered by pushbike type pedals since this was a legal requirement in the United Kingdom at the time for mopeds.

The special pedal cranks allowed both pedals to be rotated forward so that the pedals would form motorcycle-style footrests in normal operation. To engage the pedals, the left-hand pedal crank could be rotated back and locked and a drive gear engaged allowing the user to pedal. A short chain connected the pedal drive to the main engine-chain drive system. Pedalling was hard work for the rider: there was no freewheel and the pedal gearing was very low. The engine could be started with pedal drive engaged, causing the pedals to rotate under engine power when the bike was in gear.

In practice, the cam and shaft arrangement to engage the pedals frequently seized (in normal operation, a rider would never engage pedal drive; it was less tiring to push than to pedal).


Engine: Two Stroke 4.8 bhp rotary disc valve induction, single carburettor, wet sump, 4 gears, with a 20: 1 mix of petrol to 2 stroke oil.

Frame: pressed steel tubular backbone type.

Electrics: 6v lead acid 3 cell battery, backlit speedometer with neutral light, horn, high and low beam light switch and indicators switch. 3 position ignition switch (off, on, lights). On most models this was mounted on the L/H side panel, however the switch was moved to the conventional position between the handlebars on the DX.

Performance: Maximum Speed 40-45 mph, 95 mpg or more. Right hand side panel contains a basic toolkit in a plastic case, pliers, 3 spanners, double ended screwdriver, plug spanner.