Vicente Design EFI SR400 Board Tracker

EFI SR400 Board Tracker from Vicente Design

EFI SR400 Board Tracker from Vicente Design

Remember Vicente Design? Jean François Vicente is the man behind the Triumph Millenium 900 and many other really good looking custom builds and he sent me some images of his most recent design, this one based on the Yamaha SR400 and SR500. He calls it the EFI SR400 Board Tracker, a sort of rebirth of this vintage, but still very popular motorcycle, bringing new technology and design to the vintage bike.

EFI SR400 Board Tracker girder fork close up

EFI SR400 Board Tracker girder fork close up

The combo seat/tank is hydroformed from 2 titanium sheets welded together to act as a beam girder for the frame. It has perimeter disk brakes front and rear and a hard tail frame.

The carbon girder fork is inspired from a VTT Fournales fork more commonly found on mountain bikes. The underslung exhaust is hydroformed and has a large volume for efficiency.

Vicente has some very original thinking in his designs, very well done. It's another take on a smaller displacement motorcycle, something we're starting to see these days, as with Mac Motorcycles recently. Interesting.

Link: Vicente Design

EFI SR400 Board Tracker from Vicente Design

EFI SR400 Board Tracker from Vicente Design


  1. says

    Now this is the sort of design I’d like to see more of. Simple but clever use of unusual design features in a familiar shape. Advanced materials as well!

  2. Gitan says

    Yeah !
    Pretty good looking, but definitely not “the ultimate cafe racer” as he says…

  3. mike says

    talk about minimalism, tank, seat, and frame girder all in one, i really like it. dont know about the reverse hand controls though. im no engineer but i wonder if there would be problems with connecting the tank/support directly to the hard tail besides it being a rough ride.

  4. PeteP says

    I have 3 of these engines in my garage. Someone please build me this frame……….

  5. says

    Very nice “Artwork”, but I can’t get behind any bike with upsidedown handlebars. Thats just goofy to even comment on. Plus, I think the “Boardtracker” theme was played out about a year ago or so and there has yet to be a BT replica built yet that even comes close to having the essence of a boardtracker. The BT’s were very short in the wheelbase and this stretched out stuff totally misses the mark.

    But this bike here is just computer artwork, not an actual motorcycle, so in that respect, why not go ahead and design some cool handlebars?

  6. kachunk says

    From the renderings it looks like the kickstart would crash with the rearset.
    And I’m not seeing the upper linkage of the girder suspension. Maybe I’m missing it….
    It seems like there would be a lot of stress in the steering head area.
    Not sure how feasable this design would be in actuality, but I’m very interested in these types of designs (like MAC).

  7. says

    One good bump and the frame cracks at the seat.
    Art stops where function fails.
    Even attaching the neck to the front of the engine could work, and be virtually unnoticed.
    I am all for artistic exercise, but not at the expense of safety.
    In this configuration, the frame would have to so heavy to withstand the seat area stresses; that what is the point? A single loop cradle of lawn chair tubing would be stronger!
    This designer has shown great talent in the past, but leaves me wondering about this one.

  8. marvin says

    now that is a nice design and we already know he can really build!. Is the engine a stressed member? I can’t quite work out what is happening at the top of the head there. I think what I really like is the black box below the seat which I assume is hiding the battery and rear shocker. I am also a fan of girder forks simply because many a bike becomes uneconomical to keep on the road because the fork chrome has pitted, by the way could we not have stainless steel instead of chrome on the forks by now? Chrome just seems like something should have been outdated by now.

  9. todd says

    I could never bring myself to do this to the wonderful SR500. The original would go and handle much better than this ever could – not to mention a major step in the wrong direction as far as looks go. I imagine there is a tremendous amount of flex and strain in that top tube. The bike would be all over the place if you were able to continue riding it at all. Of course, maybe the frame is attached to the head but that would not help torsionally.

    Sorry, not my thing at all.


  10. Chris McC says

    Too many concept drawings, we can all sit in front of a software program and draw bikes. Lets see some real bike built and running.

    Also didn’t anyone else notice the front breaks wont work with the revers forks set up he has drawn? Get out from behind the computer and work with a real bike.

    Not my thing at all either, todd.


  11. Bob says


    I don’t see the problem with the brake. He’s got a girder fork, so the distance between the front axle and the brakes doesn’t change as the front suspension works. As for getting out from behind the computer, look at the bikes he’s built on his website that’s linked in the article. The man has skills and experience.

  12. FREEMAN says

    That’s a sexy bike.

    Does this remind anybody else of a Buell?
    Fuel in “frame,” perimeter brakes, underslung exhaust, and an overall mass-centralized look. Did the artist draw inspiration from Buell?

  13. BoxerFanatic says

    The front suspension seems unfinished, as mentioned, there seems to be little or no upper link, no damper or spring that are obvious.

    Outboard-hinged levers are a nice looking touch, and even put the largest clamping distance at the index fingers, where the hand has the most strength… but it would seem complex to engineer, and vulnerable to tip-overs…

    Have to agree with John Flower, this thing looks massively cantilevered, and vulnerable to stress, or horrifically heavy to compensate, if it is even possible. I was expecting a down-pipe from just behind the steering head, to the engine case, just to finish the frame, and stabilize.

    Similarly, if it is a hard-tail, there is no brace between the rear axle, and the seat pan area. Another point for stress and issues at the bend at the point where the rear non-swinging arm meets the vertical part of the frame.

    This is an interesting idiom, where motorcycling ventures closer to motorized bicycling, pared down, clean, and minimalist.

    But as has been said, it isn’t viable if it isn’t safe, no matter what it looks like.

  14. says

    I didn’t mean to criticize this man’s work. He’s obviously very creative and puts a lot of thought and work into what he does. It’s computer art so it doesn’t have to be street legal and if 100% of the design/function details aren’t worked out yet on paper, that’s not a problem. If you’ve ever seen a clay model of a new car in a design studio, you could say that it would get hot inside because the windows don’t go up and down and it doesn’t run very good, because it has no motor! But this is a design exercise, not a ready for production, riding motorcycle.

    Still don’t like upsidedown handlebars though. And I recommend that anybody that would like to build a “Boardtracker”, buy or borrow Steven Wright’s “American Racers,1900 -1939″ book. An awesome book with tons of pictures of REAL BT’s and bobbers(early racers), and a good source of design ideas for the retro crowd.

  15. pabsyboots says

    Wow !~ so many haters
    This isn’t even computer work its just an illustration…
    Clean lines and the guys a builder which is a lot more than some armchair jockeys
    I hope he builds it I think it will be amazing in the flesh and he has the talent to resolve the details, its artwork not an everday ride and should be looked at that way imo

  16. d. mansfield says

    Seems like it’s all been done before. How about a modern design with a modern engine to match? It’s a shame to spend all that ceative energy on an archaic engine – as with the majority of customs these days. It’s the opposite of good hot rodding…

  17. joe says

    Just the shot for people who are constantly posing and screaming for attention (look at me, look at me! ) and it would make a terrific lounge room/bar conversation piece . But, as far as a functional motorcycle goes, well, .it’s about as useless as tits on a bull.

  18. WRXr says

    Neat muffler design…and yes, I did think of Buell. But what makes this a “board tracker”? I’m not seeing it. This is rapidly becoming an overused term.

  19. Phoenix827 says

    Nice looking bike concept. I could never ride it though. The ergonomics are all wrong for me. Still nice looking. Now he needs to build it.

  20. AlwaysOnTwo says

    It’s gratifying that Kneeslider readers have finally begun actually examining the components and viability of these “renderings” and noticing the down-right ridiculous structural problems rather than just blindly saying “Oh yeah, looks cool”. Didn’t we all doodle with car/bike drawings as kids with the same lack of regard for reality?

    Using software to accomplish the same impossible childish result with just more emphasis on “coolness” is just, well, childish.

    The kid in me says wow, the biker in me says junk.

  21. Nicolas says

    you know what … let’s have Jeff Vicente build this thing, and then have all the guys who say here “too much this, not enough that, it will never work, booh ” come with their own build, and see how it compares …

  22. SlowCruisingOnAFastRide says

    Some readers are actually examining these “renderings”. Good.

    We all doodled with drawings of fantasy cars/bikes as kids, with no care or concern for the realities of structural possibility or completeness of details. Using software to do the same thing, with the same lack of concerns, is just another childish endeavor.

    @Nicholas, you’re almost right. If the art is worth sharing with the world, then make the art in real metal. But more than that, if it just art and not functional machine, then label it so.

    The real test for any such excursions of the imagination is can it be not just built, but ridden. The little boy in me says the this rendering is somewhere between cool and lame, the biker in me says it’s junk.

  23. yes!havesome says

    I think the point everyone is missing is that these are preliminary drawings, meant to give you an idea of the overall look and feel of the bike. If these were final drafts then it appears the handlebars would move with the suspension and I assume the engine would also attach to the frame at the head, otherwise it would just be floating held only in place by the rear mount. As stated this man is a builder with many credits to his name, surely he knows by now what works and what doesn’t. Then again if nobody tried something new, where would we be?

  24. frozen prairie says

    The air-cooled XT/SR 500 also existed as a 400 in several countries because of tax/insurance issues. The original twin-shock XTs and SRs continued to be sold in those markets long after they disappeared from North American showrooms, and were only discontinued about two(ish) years ago.

    I read recently that Yamaha will once again be building the SR400, but with fuel injection, for the Japanese market. That’s the engine Vicente uses in this bike.

    I, for one, would like to see an air-cooled single craze hit the motorcycle world.

  25. B*A*M*F says

    I think this is fantastic. It looks amazing.

    I’m a product designer professionally and I would love to be able to illustrate like this fellow. It’s nice work.

    I find the naysayers pretty fascinating. Gotta love the “it’ll never work” crowd. Sometimes they are right, and other times they are so caught up in the way things have always been done that they don’t see any other way something could be done. Titanium is pretty strong, and no thickness of the material for the tank/frame was given. Nor was a method of attachment to the swing arm or engine. It could be some wonder concept we’ve never seen. It could also just be a super illustration along the lines of a Hot Wheels car.

  26. B*A*M*F says

    As for old tech not being the soul of a hot rod. Hot rodders have historically taken what they have access to and combined it with homemade bits and such to create something faster, more potent, and otherwise better. Using a widely available engine seems to me the embodiment of that spirit.

  27. SteveD says

    Given the current economics of the MC industry, it makes sense to air out a concept before investing the time to build it. For a small maker, that could be the edge that keeps you in business. I like the looks of this one, but not sure about the ergos. At least it has rearsets.

    I also like the small bike approach. There aren’t enough quality small bikes out there. (Note I didn’t say “none”; I’d just like more of a choice.) My wife loves her Suzuki Savage in terms of size and easy “ridability”, but we would like to be able to purchase a better quality version.

  28. J-Dawg says

    I have owned a ’78 SR500E since new. I have owned many bikes in the last thirty years and still love and ride my SR any day I choose ! It has never failed start once in over 30yrs. and is always a pleasure to ride in a purist sort of ride. I always appreciate any interest shown in this model M/C and encourage customs from B/T’s to super-stretches. I wish Yammer would reissue this bike here so I could be assured of a parts future. (I’ve only had a need for very few) I know sooner than later I will need a major component. Hey like maybe EFI. Now that would be cool!

  29. rafe03 says

    Lets take these images out to the shop & get the MIG warmed up. We got bikes to build. PeteP, bring some of those engines over & any spare parts. I’ll get the frame jig put together tonight. Square, chalk, tape measure, some MDF, a bit of muffler tubing & we can have a buck together by Sunday night. Have 2 of them finished & ready to go for a Spring Ride!

    Everyone knows that “virtual” bikes don’t even need round wheels; they will never touch asphalt anyway. Images are fine but its out in the shop where bikes are actually made. Until its steel & rubber & motor, it’s just a sign of imagination & intentions.

    Jean François Vicente has built a bike or 2 & will probably build several that look a lot like these images. Just have a look at his website to see what he has already done! Can any of you complainers ride over on your own garage-built bikes to show him up?

    Lighten up! This is supposed to be FUN! — rafe03