The Yamaha Motor Company has been dominating the motor vehicle industry since its inception in 1955 and the SRX 600 (occasionally referred to SRX-6 for short) not only drives that point home but takes it around the block at max speed and zooms off down the street with it.
Adding the Incredible Yamaha Legacy
Yamaha Motor Company was founded in 1955 and almost instantly became a wildly successful manufacturing and design company. Yamaha would produce motorcycles and other motor vehicles for decades before beginning production of what would become one of their most iconic motorcycles: The SRX 600.
The SRX 600 was conceptualized as an attempt to ride the coattails of the previous SRX 500 design; and, in 1985, Yamaha managed to blow expectations clear out of the water by placing a high-powered, bulky engine inside of a lightweight, agile frame.
Big Engine, Little Frame
The frame and engine used for the construction of the SRX 600 weighed a combined total of about 387 pounds wet. The engine that went into the original model shot that weight up from what otherwise could have been much lighter, though much less powerful without such a heavy-duty engine.
With a total horsepower of 41 at 6,500 rpm coming out of a 595cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine, this superbike was capable of handling top speeds of about 106 miles per hour.
Two Generations of Greatness
Two generations of the SRX 600 went into production, each of course receiving minor year-by-year adjustments to account for oversights in design or shifts in market demand.
- Yamaha SRX 600 (1985-1990)
Most of these models were designed for sale and distribution in Japan only, although a few were made available for American buyers in 1986. With a 600cc engine, 42 horsepower, and a top speed of just over 100 miles per hour, this was relatively slow for a superbike but fast for a casual motorcycle.
- Yamaha SRX 600 (1991-1997)
In 1991, the SRX had its frame modified to give it a more powerful silhouette and a sleeker design that was not only more aerodynamic but also more comfortable at higher speeds and on longer rides.
Beginning in 1991, the SRX was modified to allow improved speed, increased engine displacement up to 608cc, and increased horsepower up to 45 at 6,500 rpm.
The SRX 600 in the News
As of August 17, 2018, the SRX 600 was back in the news when one of the more famous models came out of its collection and set its wheels back to the asphalt. Oh, did we mention that this bike’s original owner was none other than King Henry Roberts?
Pop Culture Fame (or Lack Thereof)
These motorcycles were almost completely ignored in the United States because of their lack of any kind of electrical ignition, strange 600cc displacements, single-cylinder design, and of course that classic 1980’s disdain for the model’s fashion sense.
Social groups are much more common for this style of Yamaha motorcycle overseas, particularly in eastern Asia, making them hard to find in America. Here is a Facebook group with more than 2,000 members.
The SRX 600 – A Rejected Classic
Although the SRX 600 exceeded expectations from Hong Kong to Tokyo, it was almost seen as a total failure of design by Americans in the 1980s. Fortunately, thanks to a better understanding and affinity for this style of motorcycles, superbikes, and scooters, the SRX 600 has retaken its rightful place as a respected and renowned classic.