Brat Style Yamaha SCR950
By Ross Sharp - 19 Oct 16
Yamaha's 950 based cruiser was given an overhaul earlier this year in the form of a scramblerisation, earning the model name SCR950. But a launch in this sector wouldn't be complete without first embarking on the now industry standard Yard Build Project. And who better than to call up to make his mark than one of the godfathers of the new wave era, Go Takamine, founder of the iconic Brat Style.
'Chequered' by Brat Style is a fully factory backed project as part of the Yard Built programme and in our view one of the most authentic to date. Remove the badges and decals and it's obvious that this is one of Go's bikes. Take a look at the Brat Style website (new and updated) and try and find a bike that you don't like. With zero intention of sounding sycophantic, I couldn't find one.
Here's the press release info from Yamaha and a bit of background about Go and his legendary Brat Style.
Yamaha’s Yard Built project is a regular visitor the land of Stars and Stripes. Both west coast and east coast builders have delivered stunning interpretations of Yamaha’s Sport Heritage range, including the New York’s Keino Cycles XJR1300 Rhapsody in Blue and of course California legend Roland Sands’ multiple Yard Built creations.
For the very first custom build of the new Yamaha SCR950, Yamaha has turned to legendary Japanese builder and California resident, Go Takamine of Brat Style. With a fearsome reputation for shaping custom motorcycle culture, Go Takamine was the perfect choice for this first special build.
Born in Okinawa next to a US military base, Go Takamine’s first exposure to motorcycles was witnessing the US soldiers having fun on dirt courses on the base. Roll forward to 1998 and Brat Style was born as a workshop in Tokyo, building cool custom street machines mixing the passion Go had for riding on all kinds of terrain. Now nearly 20 years later Brat Style is a resident of California who’s brand name is firmly established as a genre of custom bike, in no small part due to Go Takamine’s love for the SR400 and 500. The Japanese builder has created over 100 of the Brat Style SRs in his career, including his first Yard Built collaboration, the achingly cool SR400 B.S.R.
“The SCR950 Scrambler is a natural evolution of the Sport Heritage range,” commented Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing Coordinator Cristian Barelli. “It’s an iconic style of motorcycle that fits perfectly into our offering. Today the desire to keep going when the tarmac runs out is more and more common, so the SCR950 is made to let the adventure continue! To show this we turned to a builder we have wanted to work with for sometime, and the result is stunning. Go Takamine has perfectly captured the spirit of the scrambler, and his influence and style is clear in the build. We love how he was able to turn the single airhead SR into a scrambler style cool toy, and we wanted the same feeling with the SCR, which he delivered in proper Brat Style!”
“I really like the SCR950,” said Go Takamine. “It is powerful, comfortable, and very easy to handle. I had great fun riding it on the street, but also on an unpaved dirt road. I also like the colouring, it takes some design cues from the old Yamaha dirt bikes. It was an enjoyable challenge to customize it! As usual I fabricated most of the key body components to make this into a “Brat Style” machine; fuel tank, seat, fenders, side covers, exhaust pipes and handle bars. The fuel tank was especially challenging, I scrapped the finished fuel tank a couple of times to make it perfect! Also the fuel pump integration was tricky. I took out quite some weight compared to the stock SCR950, and now it’s even more fun to ride! Having worked on the SCR950 I think it has got good potential for customizing. It’s a simple, clean pipe frame with a good looking rear sub frame. That means it’s easy to swap around the exhaust pipe, seat & fenders. It wasn’t hard at all to clean up handle bar area as well. I believe that without changing many parts, SCR950 will allow you to add your personal touch to it!”
To create the ‘Chequered Scrambler’ Go Takamine cleaned up the front end, adding wider handlebars for better off-road control and a new smaller headlight unit. Brat Style signature engraving can be found on the beautiful fuel cap, paying tribute to Yamaha’s Faster Sons platform as well as a beautiful engraved custom air filter cover.
Custom rear suspension by Works Performance is added for greater travel and ground clearance and a handmade sub-frame and rear fender cleans up the back end to match the front. Chunky off road tyres are added to prototype wire rims and no Brat Style bike would be complete without his signature rear light unit. Custom exhausts run both sides of the Chequered Scrambler and a handmade heat shield keeps the legs from cooking! A handmade seat unit by Mauricio Aguilar and old school paint graphics featuring vintage Yamaha graphics and chequered flags by Denis Babin on the tank complete the bike and leave it ready for any scrambling challenge.
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And here's Chequered in action