Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Yamaha SRX-6

Thu, January 21st, 2010

1986 Yamaha SRX-6
Yes, big thumpers are fun, but in the end you can't hide the fact that, compared to nearly any other 'real' motorcycle, this bike is pretty slow.
This bike makes you say 'wow,' no matter what else you've ridden. Sure, there are replica racers that have more grip and better suspension, but light weight and compact dimensions make this bike telepathic.
In that awkward era between traditional round frame tubes and full-on spar frames, there were a number of bikes that used square-tube cradle frames. Most looked horrible. This one proves they could be gorgeous. Add in narrow bars, minimalist instrumentation and just the right mix of elegance and post-modern café-racer funk, and you have a winner.
There's not much there to go wrong. With the addition of an aftermarket oil cooler, the engine will run halfway 'till forever.
The light weight and small size are detrimental to long rides, and the kickstart-only starting drill is equally detrimental to short ones. But on every trip, in between the start-up and the destination, light weight, maneuverability and neutral-but-sporty ergonomics will give you something to fall in love with all over again. They used to be a bargain; thanks to their cult following and rarity, they now pretty expensive for what you get, regardless of condition.
Forget dyno charts and quarter-mile times. Few other bikes are simultaneously as sexy as this and as easy to live with.
Ask anyone who's sold one if they regret it. But be ready; your shoulder will probably end up bathed in tears.