UK-based Old Empire Motorcycles pairs old-school design with contemporary rides. They create a variety of one-off custom bikes that get their name from Great Britain’s maritime, automotive and aeronautic history, allowing OEM to pay homage to the people who first designed the machines that continue to inspire them today. This build in particular, dubbed The Snipe, is a souped-up Yamaha SR400 that’s been given the classic OEM treatment.
To get started owners Alec & Rafe stripped down the bike to the bare essentials, that is the engine and rolling chassis, and worked to obtain the OEM stance. In doing so, they shaved the forks and lowered them by three inches and 3D-machined the yokes as necessary. The internal tunnel of the fuel tank was modified as well to lower the vessel to a sleek aerodynamic shape. They also hooked The Snipe up with a hand-beaten aluminum front and rear cowling, open exhaust, and a Bates headlight that throws things back a couple of decades. The whole beauty rides atop a pair of Dunlop K70s sending this Yamaha back in time indefinitely.