Tamiya's 1/12 Yamaha SRX-6

Single cylinder charm...

In this age of multicylinder, semi-racers and complex motorcycles with aerodynamic fairngs, Yamaha chose to introduce the simple and charming SRX-6 with a 608cc single-cylinder, acceptable performance and a unique mixture of elements from yesteryear, along with today's technological concepts...

   If a motorcycle is to be simple , it has to have the least possible number of cylinders, which means only one! At the same time, to be charming, it has to bring some memories from the past! And, speaking in motorcycle terms, the true single cylinder past is non other than the nowadays legendary BSA Gold Star and the Triumph 500, nto forgetting Yamaha's own legend, the SR500.
(Click on above image, to view it larger)
    Yamaha had tried this concept, once again, in the mid-seventies, with the SR500, which reminded to a great extend its... british forebears! The SR500 utilised the engine of its dual purpose sister, the XT500. When the XT500 grew up and became XT550 and eventually XT600 and Tenere, this seemed the road to follow, for the SR, which finally was rechristened as SRX.
   The SRX got the new enlarged motor of the XT600, with a slightly bigger displacement, at 608cc, instead of the 595cc of the XT, along with a few changes in oil cooling and the addition of an external oil cooler.
    The electric starter of the Tenere was not transferred to the SRX. In its place remained the long and awesome kick-starter.
    The frame, according to the latest technological ideas, is made of steel rectangular tubes, painted in the color of aluminum. the fuel tank is sculptured to contain the rider's knees, while the seat is large enough to seat a rider and a passenger in comfort. The suspension is rather simple: At the rear a pair of adjustable piggyback gas/oil shocks are used, while up front there's a simple telescoping fork with no adjustments at all. The swing arm, like the frame, is of steel rectangular tubing and painted in aluminum. The wheels remind us of those running under the RD350YPVS or those of the FJ600/XJ900 range. The tires are made by Metzeler, being a 100/80-18 Laser, in front and a 120/80-18 Perfect ME99A.
    One noteworthy item is the single dial, which brings back romantic memories. The speedometer, which is placed in the middle of the steering clip-on base, has a white face and red numbers and needle. The smaller tachometer, is placed on the right of the speedo, in a way that seems like it was put there after the SRX project was finished!
    The brakes are three large disk brakes.

the Tamiya 1/12 kit

When at first you open the Tamiya kit box, you are fronted with the about 90 plastic parts, placed in 5 frames, the 6-page instruction sheet and the tiny decal with the 7-8 stickers and the dials of the bike.
    The construction is described into the construction sheet and is very simple, conducted in 12 steps. The model itself is of a rather simple motorcycle, when compared with some four-cylinder "monsters" with fairings and a ricing disposition. The whole model was painted with brushes and not an airbrush, using the colors of Gunze, Molak and the Humbrol Metalcotes.
    The construcion, as we said is simple. The engine is made of only 13 pieces and its assembly is a piece of cake. Next is the frame, which was painted with Gun-Metal, and the complex of the swingarm with the sprockets and chain. Putting on the shocks, the bike is almost ready!
    By doing a small alteration on the shocks, we can make them move! Here's how: Cut the shock piston completely, and then glue the steel spring on the two halves that remain. It's advisable to use a cyanoacrylate glue, for better results. Clean the remainings of the glue and, presto: We have a moving rear suspension, although a little... hard!
    The exhaust system on the SRX is cosisted of the two chromed exhaust tubes, continuing to a short silencer, almost completely hidden under the frame. It's worth to mention here, that the protection cover of the model's silencer, is given in aluminum in the kit!
    We can paint the exhaust tubes with a Clear Orange paint, as Tamiya instructs, emulating the image of silencers that had "worked hard".
    The front suspension and wheel/tire and brakes are rather easy to assemble. Care is needed in assembling the tire and discs, which all must be put in one way. As for the dials, we've already said some things...
    The faces are given in small decals. One of the last assembly steps is the "dress up" of the SRX. The "costume" is simple: The fuel tank is assembled from two parts, over which you will glue the embossed and chromed Yamaha logos. The rear stoplight-taillights-and-turnsignals complex is simple, too: It consists of just five items.
    A small detail: The Yamaha SRX600 has only a side stand. This is supposed to be glued either open or closed. However, with a little... goodwill and using one of those tiny small screws that were left from that VFR750R/RC30 model, you can make it swing, while, in the same time using the transparent stand supplied with the kit.
    For the final finish, Tamiya suggests using a Gloss Black or Aluminum color. However, we used the Mr. Metal Color Aluminum from Gunze.

When we first started the assembly of the rather tiny and physically smaller SRX600, we had fears that it would... disappear into our garage, which was full of multicolored offroad and equally colored racing and street multi cylinder bikes. In truth, though, the SRX stands apart, thanks to its glistering color and to its biggest advantage: The single cylinder!
    Since the real model was never officially imported to Greece, at least we can imagine it running those mountain strips, maybe with a pace slightly slower than a supersport bike, but emitting that single cylinder sound, which is truly "single"...

This article was published in the Greek Modelling magazine, in its 6th issue, dated October 1990.
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