In an era when more generally means more and thus better, Austria’s no-frills Vagabund have taken a Yamaha SR500 and stripped it back to the barest of bare essentials to deliver what amounts to a less-is-more manifesto. Take electronics. Or rather, take off all possible electronics from a standard 1990s Yamaha SR500, long a favourite of customisers. So there’s no Yamaha electronic control unit here. Not even a battery on this lean, mean, fundamentals-only SR500 Yamaha. Oh, and mudguards have gone, too, as has the conventional handlebar-mounted speedometer, replaced by a Motogadget Motoscope Mini unit. That's neatly incorporated in the fuel tank which, naturally, also isn’t standard but a modified slimline unit from an RT360 Yamaha. Result is that if you’ve been looking for a Yamaha SR500 for sale, you’ll barely recognise this custom build.
What is left is impressive, rugged and fairly screams “ride me!” Design and look of this Yamaha SR500 build might be about those essentials and nothing more but, says Vagabund’s Paul Brauchart, “We also ended up discussing what was important for the bike’s handling as we wanted it not to be an after-thought.” New rear shocks are by YSS, knobbly tyres might have looked better but would have hampered handling, rear frame is a complete redesign, switchgear is 3D-printed. As you’ll have gathered by now, this Yamaha SR500 build was an obsessive business, and then some. Every nut and bolt has been replaced and the engine has been totally overhauled. Exposed air filter is a K&N clamp-on unit and - illustrating Vagabund’s attention to every detail - one of Brauchart’s favourite items is the Domino Classic clutch lever. This is that sort of custom machine. We’d like it in our garage right now, please.