portuguese bike builders nuno capêlo and ricardo santos transform the yamaha ‘SR400’ into this neo-retro café racer with a saddle covered in cork. yamaha portugal loved their design-idea so much that they decided to support them, so they had a brand new ‘SR400’ as a donation in no time. with a modest budget and limited resources, they decided to work together in ricardo’s garage.


all images © capêlo’s garage / elemental rides

 

 

nuno capelo is an architect-turned-motorcycle designer who has worked for ton-up garage, before launching capêlo’s garage last year. ricardo santos was a chef in his former life, but after a few years also working with ton-up, he took the decision to focus on his own projects at elemental rides. the two builders decided to build a café racer that would combine their strengths — nuno’s architectural background, and ricardo’s engineering knowledge.

 

 

for the bike’s bodywork the duo have created a fiberglass rear section, featuring a hand-shaped foam mold. the upgraded unit runs seamlessly from the modified fuel tank, and finishes in a bespoke rear light comprising acrylic fins that takes care of turn signal and taillight duties. they’ve integrated a clock and  tachometer where the seat meets the tank. as portugal is the world’s biggest producer of natural cork, the pair had settled to upholster the seat in cork for some time, with matching grips, and a monza-style gas cap to complete the look.

 

 

capêlo’s garage and elemental rides designed and built a bespoke belly pan, made to match the stainless-steel exhaust while giving the bike a muscular stance. the neo-retro front fairing is a revised version of one previously used by nuno on a custom ducati build. the lighting arrangement makes use of LEDs, and includes a daytime running light, plus high and low beams. the rest of the ‘SR400’ features minute details like modified side-covers, clip-ons, rear sets, a custom front fender, and custom markings on the engine casing.

 

 

the pair knew they wanted to make the ‘SR400’ as quick as the platform would allow, without modifying with the modest 399 cc stock motor. they fitted a set of upside-down forks from a yamaha’ YZF-R1′, with new internals from k-tech. at the rear they have added a pair of showa ‘piggyback’ springs, plus braced the bike’s subframe. the wheels are reduced to 17 inches at both front and rear ends, wrapped in cornering-friendly, extra-wide tires from michelin.

 

  • We like ‘Singles’. This has a nice stance. I would like to source ‘cork fabric’.

    Jim

    JimCan says:

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