PROJECT BIKE Little SDR will soon be smoking again
This little bike is my SDR200. If it’s unfamiliar to you then you’re not alone. It’s not a very well-known model because Yamaha only produced them for one year during 1987, and even then they were for the Japanese market only. A unique design, the chrome trellis neatly houses a 200cc power valved, single-cylinder two-stroke engine, and everything about it is just dinky.
I came across it while browsing the bikes at Extreme Imports near Norwich and it piqued my interested because I’d never ridden one before. As I was looking for a new project to keep me occupied, I snapped it up for £1400. The bike was sold to me as a non-runner with the engine in bits and in need of attention, so I have a fair bit of work ahead of me.
My first job is to find out what parts are still available, as the engine needs to be reconditioned. In order to do this I’ll need some main end bearings, a new piston, and also get the crank rebuilt and the cylinder rebored.
A close inspection of the crankcases has revealed damage and, as I’ve been unable to track down any replacements, I’ve decided I’m going to get them repaired – and ace special builder and top man Allen Millyard reckons he can help. So I’ve packed off the cases and posted them down to Allen for him to take a look at.
Locating some of the engine parts has necessitated using some pattern bearings, while gaskets and seals have been sourced from other models with similar engine architecture. Bikes like the early Yamaha TZR125, DT200R, and Yamaha Blaster all seem to have shared various bits at some point.
As for the chassis, I’ll strip it down and give all of the parts a close inspection and some TLC which will involve getting some bits refinished by powder coating and painting.
My goal is to have a tidy-looking SDR200 by July, but I’ve got to rein myself in and ensure I don’t get carried away making everything concours. This isn’t a nut-and-bolt restoration but a rebuilt bike that I won’t be scared to use. I want to spend my summer enjoying this unique little Yamaha on my favourite roads.
Only produced for one year and never sold here but Dunn’s trying to get his running ‘I want to spend my summer enjoying this unique little Yamaha’
1987 YAMAHA SDR200
Trellis frame but it’s no Ducati. The SDR should end up looking the bike, top right!
Bruce snapped up the SDR as a non-runner but has the know-how