Over the last three years Yamaha’s Yard Built programme has worked with the world’s top custom builders to deliver fresh takes on the Sport Heritage range of motorcycles. The latest collaboration, with Belgian builder Fred ‘Krugger’ Bertrand (above, right), takes it to a whole new level with a stunning layer of MotoGP history worked into the custom Yamaha SR400.
Having agreed to collaborate together with Yamaha on a Yard built project, Fred chose to take inspiration from close friend and fellow Belgian Bernard Ansiau (above, left), who just happens to be a MotoGP mechanic for Valentino Rossi.
Whilst this role alone is enough to place Bernard as one of the most enviable mechanics alive, his CV is also littered with legends, having previously prepared the racing machines for Yamaha greats such as Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, Randy Mamola and Norick Abe amongst others.
Fred and Bernard agreed to take the Yamaha SR400 as the base, and then bring alive the racing spirit of the 1970s in a tribute to the Yamaha TZ machines and also to mark Bernard’s career.
“This Yard Built really is a unique piece of art,” said Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing Coordinator Cristian Barelli. “I think it’s impossible to have a custom machine that lives and breathes our racing history better than this. It’s such a beautiful bike and the longer and closer you look at it the more detail you find to enjoy. You wouldn’t normally associate the SR400 with MotoGP racing but this build is as genuine and authentic as it’s possible to get, a real Yard Built special.”
The little SR400’s engine gets some serious work, most noticeably with a beautiful Aisin 300 supercharger with custom plenum chamber. A one-off stainless steel exhaust system is complemented by an S&S 48mm carburettor in place of the fuel injection system. The beautifully polished front forks have been lowered and balance with a set of Fox shocks at the rear.
Fred’s obsession with perfection spills across the SR400. Motogadget speedo, switches and grips sit behind a tiny custom cowl at the front above a modified top triple clamp and custom handlebars. The brakes and clutch have been given an upgrade and are by Beringer, adding some power over stock to match the supercharged 400
The standard SR400 fuel tank has been kept, but reworked to be narrower and longer and a custom tail unit hides all the electrical components. A Yamaha Speedblock in blue and white makes the colour scheme, with the names of all the riders in Bernard’s racing career written into the design. Under the back seat is also a small light-hearted homage to the Doctor himself.
For more information on Krugger visit www.krugger.net