Tiger Shark: A Yamaha SR400 street tracker from Taiwan

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles
The venerable Yamaha SR400 has been customized in every way imaginable—which is a testament to both the plucky little single’s longevity and its versatility. This 1988-model comes from Ken Ken Motorcycles in Taiwan, and it’s the perfect example of this. It combines the stance of a street tracker with the sensibilities of a chopper, to create something truly unique and charming.

Based in the port of Kaohsiung, Ken Ken Motorcycles is the one-man-operation of Ken Ken Jung. He isn’t short on imagination, and his portfolio spans myriad makes, models and custom build styles.

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles
“The style is a mix between scrambler and tracker,” says Ken. “We kept it old school with some new ideas. Almost 70% of the components on the bike are hand made.”

The good news for Ken, was that the Yamaha SR400’s engine was in a decent condition; hooray for Yamaha’s legendary reliability. Most of the work happened on the outside, where he fitted a Keihin carb and a pod filter. Some of the engine’s original patina is still present, but other bits have been cleaned and polished.

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles
The SR400 stands a little taller now, thanks to a set of forks scalped from another bike, and aftermarket rear shocks. Ken wrapped the fork uppers in custom made sleeves to bulk up the front end, and built a flat headlight nacelle that blends tidily with it.

The original hubs were relaced to a set of 19F/18R wheels. Ken decided to keep the drum brakes at both ends, but fabricated a ribbed aluminum cover for the right side of the front hub. The trials-style tires are from Shinko.

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles
Next, Ken went to town on the frame by lopping off and rebuilding the subframe. It’s a cut above your average cut-and-shut job though, and is littered with tidy details. Note the end caps and recessed fasteners on the rear fender struts, and the drilled dress-up plates on the frame gussets.

Sitting up top are a custom-made fuel tank, seat pan and rear fender. There a hint of the SR400’s original design in the fuel tank’s silhouette, but the entire arrangement is refreshingly unique. The tank flows neatly into the seat, which is separated from the rear fender by a boxy tail ‘bump.’

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles
Tucked into the frame triangle below the seat is a bespoke battery box that shows off more of Ken’s creativity and skill. Like the front hub, it’s adorned with ribs—this time echoing the pleated stitching on the custom seat. Ken also fabricated a sump guard for the Yamaha, new mounting plates for the foot pegs, and a host of other stuff that he’s probably forgotten to tell us about.

The few off-the-shelf that the SR wears fit right into the vibe that Ken has created. Those include a set of flat tracker bars from Bratstyle Japan, foot pegs from Posh Japan and grips borrowed from a SYM Wolf 125. A single mirror sits next to the top yoke, with vintage-style micro switches adorning the bars.

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles
Bullet-style turn signals sit just behind the upper shock mounts at the back, and on a custom mounting bar just in front of the engine. The taillight’s finned housing is a custom part—and the bike even features a sensibly-located license plate mount. Finishing things off is an elegant high-mounted exhaust, running up the left side of the bike.

The bike’s earned the nickname ‘Tiger Shark,’ so Ken opted for a livery to match. Executed by Jeffrey’s Finishing Touch, the paint job is meant to mimic a row of shark fins. The effect is carried all the way to the rear fender; sitting in between is upholstery by Chac Leather.

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles
Ken’s Yamaha SR400 has just the right balance of slick and raw finishes, with an easygoing nature that belies just how much work went into it. We’d ride it—and show it off at our local hangout—in a heartbeat.

Ken Ken Motorcycles Facebook | Instagram | Images by 蔡宗蒲 | With thanks to Saoirse Tien

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Ken Ken Motorcycles

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