About the project: YAMAHA SR400 by Toma Customs
When we start a project, we first want to hear about the clients’ wishes and transformation ideas. It is a great opportunity for us to get to know our client and enables us to visualize what his dream bike would look like.
On this project, our customer (Benjamin) first idea was to turn his Yamaha SR400 into a British style “Between the Wars” inspired custom bike. He would use it mainly for daily commute in Brussels. He wanted the outlooks to be classic and elegant, and the use to be easy to ride on, and with a straight driving position. He also specified he wanted the custom to be subtle, not too flashy and matching his personality.
When Benjamin came to the workshop for the first time with his bike, we took the necessary time to know him better. And after a long discussion about details he wanted, we realized that his initial idea of the project was not perfectly aligned with his personality, the potential of the bike and that it did not really match the DNA of our workshop.
So, we proposed him to spend a few more hours in the workshop in order to start from scratch the creative process and disassemble some superfluous parts to see what potential was hidden behind his bike. After hours of discussion about style and possibilities for the project, we got into the vibe of his dream bike and we knew the exact outlook of how the bike should look like. We realized that a project inspired by the 60s’ flat track racing motorcycles keeping an ‘urban’ spirit would best fit his personality and also better match our DNA. We made a small sketch of what we had in mind and he was directly seduced by the new direction of the project, he could already picture himself driving the bike. This is an amazing feeling you know when you see you went beyond your client’s expectations and ideas. After that, we just know we have to make this a dream come true.
The only extra request that came out of the discussion and that we had to bare in mind during the project was to be able to create a removable extra seat as our client like to take his wife or kid for a ride during the weekend.
As Benjamin has is office not far away from the workshop, he came regularly to see the progress of the project and it allowed us to show him what we imagined for the next steps at each key stage of the project. He even came 2 times to try the saddle and the adjustments of the foam so it fits perfectly before we sewed the leather on it.
We love this kind of project and relationship with the customers, to take their ideas into account and try to achieve their dream motorcycle, even if sometimes it involves questioning their initial ideas and propose new directions for the project if we feel it’s necessary and right. It’s really about this kind of experience that we want to evolve and bring our customers to, discussing details, sharing what we do, make them come to the workshop to live the project together, not just buying a product, but live an experience together and build the motorcycle of their dream.
Regarding the modifications, the first thing we went looking for was a way to align the tank with the frame. So, we modified the subframe and create new fasteners. Once the tank was in place, we shortened the rear part of the frame and started to work on the design and creation of the 2 saddles that we then sewed by our workshop. The finish and covering is in black leather.
We also modified the handlebars to allow a straight driving position, adapted the front fender and tailor-made the rear fender in a retro flat track spirit.
All the electronics components have been replaced by new and more minimalist elements (headlight, tiny led indicator lights, taillights, speedometer). List of modification also includes the build of a bespoke plate holder and bespoke side covers.
Yamaha SR400 List of modifications:
- modification of the rear part of the frame
- aligned gas tank with the modified subframe
- bespoke front and rear fenders
- bespoke side covers
- retro headlight
- new set of tiny led indicator lights
- new flat track-inspired handlebars
- bespoke seat with black leather
- new speedometer
- removed a lot of original accessories that were superfluous
- Workshop: TOMA CUSTOMS
- Location: Brussels, Belgium
- Website tomacustoms.com
- Instagram: tomacustoms
- Facebook: toma customs
- Phone : +32 418.104.22.168
- Owner of the bike: Benjamin
- Owner of TOMA CUSTOMS: Thomas Jeukens
- Pictures: Robin De Nys
Contact: Thomas Jeukens, Workshop leader, +32 422.214.171.124, [email protected]