Yamaha is a big supporter of the custom bike scene, encouraging builders from all over to make their Yamaha their own. As part of the Yamaha “Yard Built Project,” talented builders are asked to customize certain models to help inspire others, with the possibility of making their custom parts available for purchase to the masses.

The “Checkered Scrambler,” introduced today at AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida, is the very first build of the new SCR950. Yamaha turned to legendary Japanese builder and California resident, Go Takamine of Brat Style to make it unique. Born in Okinawa next to a U.S. military base, Go Takamine had his first exposure to motorcycles when he would watch the U.S. soldiers having fun riding motorcycles on the dirt courses that meandered throughout the base. Fast-forward to 1998, and Brat Style was born in a workshop in Tokyo, where Takamine built cool custom street machines that arose from his deep passion for riding motorcycles on all kinds of terrain.


Now, nearly two decades later, Brat Style is a California-based company whose brand name is firmly established as a bellwether of custom bikes, in no small part due to Go Takamine’s love of the Yamaha SR400/500. The Japanese builder has created over 100 Brat Style SR-based machines in his career, including his first Yard Built collaboration, which is the exceedingly cool SR400 “B.S.R.”

For the SCR950, Takamine essentially stripped the standard bike bare and fabricated his own tank, seat, fenders, side covers, exhaust pipes, and handlebars. He comments that the fuel tank was especially difficult, having scrapped several finished iterations until he built the one he was finally satisfied with. To make matters even trickier, Takamine had a challenge on his hands to integrate the fuel pump.


Of the SCR950, Takamine says, “I think it has good potential for customizing. It has a simple, clean, tubular frame with a good-looking rear subframe. That means it’s easy to swap around the exhaust pipe, seat, and fenders. It wasn’t hard at all to customize the handlebar area, as well. I believe that, without changing that many parts, the SCR950 will allow you to add your own personal touch to it.”

To create the “Checkered Scrambler,” Takamine revised the front end and added wider handlebars for better off-road control, along with a new, smaller headlight unit. Brat Style signature engraving can be found on the fuel cap, which pays tribute to Yamaha’s Faster Sons platform, as well as a beautifully engraved custom air filter cover.


Custom rear suspension by Works Performance was added for greater travel and ground clearance, and a handmade subframe and rear fender tie the back end of the bike to the front. Off-road tires were added to prototype wire rims, and no Brat Style bike would be complete without Takamine’s signature taillight unit. Custom exhausts run along both sides of the Checkered Scrambler, and a handmade heat shield keeps the legs from cooking.

A handmade seat unit by Mauricio Aguilar and an old-school paint scheme featuring vintage Yamaha graphics and checkered flags on the tank complete the bike.

To find out more about Brat Style, visit www.bratstyle.com.

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  • Kenneth

    The only thing of interest to me, here, is the modified rear subframe and longer-travel shocks. I just can’t grasp how something so essential could have been that much more expensive for Yamaha to adopt this for its production SCR950, to replace the minimal cruiser-type suspension?

  • DickRuble

    Garbage straight out of Waterworld.

    • Gabriel Owens

      I wait patiently for your first positive reply.

      • Old MOron

        Pay attention, Gabe. He thought the new Vespa was “awesome”.

      • DickRuble
        • Kevin Duke

          What a piece of garbage! The seat will be uncomfortable after 30 seconds, and it’s way to far from the bars to be good for cross-country travel. And why have an inverted fork on a retro bike! And look at that muffler blocking the view of the tire, plus it’ll ever pass emissions testing! Totally unsafe with no turnsignals, and good luck bringing a passenger! Junk!!! 😉

          • DickRuble

            You’re learning. Some of your objections are valid.

        • Born to Ride

          You post a lot of air cooled Ducatis as your examples of cool bikes. The Bimota a while back comes to mind and I seem to remember you posting an NCR on here once upon a time. You post a third and it’ll officially be a pattern.

          • DickRuble

            I must admit that this was not the best example of what I think is a great bike Just a quickly found example of a better custom job, contrasted to the one presented in the article. Liquid cooling is generally required. The SR400/500, Bimota Tesi, and Multistrada 1100S are the only exceptions. I don’t recall any NCR.. Maybe a Honda NSR..

          • Born to Ride

            Oh really? maybe I was mistaking it for the supermono. In any case I’ll post one for you.

          • DickRuble

            They seem to be race ready, but with that big oil radiator, is it really air cooled?

          • Born to Ride

            All the big 2V motors have an oil cooler. I’d say that one is about 20% bigger than the ones on my monsters and multi. But yeah they make it a lot more prominent on the NCR bikes. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4f87e48cd6b41c132da976d5552ccaeb732a408aacd00b3629080e5cd19fbec.jpg

          • DickRuble

            The supermono was liquid cooled.

          • Born to Ride

            Hence the operative word ‘mistaken’.

  • SRMark

    I’d want a front fender. And a dirt bike helmet. Gonna have little pebbles flying up your nose. Very nice though. Go see if Yamaha will buy your rear end design.

  • TheMarvelous1310