Famous names are often surrounded by less famous names which, out of the background, make sure that these famous names stay famous. Bernard Ansiau is one of these less known names but as a long-standing mechanic in Valentino Rossi’s GP-Team, one could say he qualifies as a good example to support this notion. But from time to time, these backers are lured from the dark in order to honor their work. That’s exactly why this Yamaha SR 400 Tribute to Bernard Ansiau was built.
One thing at a time, though: Fred Krugger, also known as the sorcerer from Basse-Bodeux, built several outstanding bikes. His "Tribute to Japan"-Honda or the freakish "Nurb's" six-cylinder BMW are simply extraordinary and so, after Honda and BMW, Yamaha finally decided as well to provide a bike of choice to Fred in order to do his magic. A light and nimble SR 400, perfectly representing the essence of motorcycle riding with its simple single-cylinder engine, was selected for the project. Fred’s past as a racing-mechanic and thus knowing for the job these guys do in the background led him to dedicate this bike to his fellow countryman Bernard Ansiau.
The two Belgians quickly agreed to the line of approach: the SR was meant to arouse memories of 70ies racing bikes such as the Yamaha TZ while reflect the many stages of Bernard’s career. But anyone familiar with Fred Krugger’s idea of customizing knows that this guy never chooses the easy path and so, from the beginning, an Aisin 300 supercharger was thrown in the game in order to spice up things a little bit.
And therefore, the fuel-injection system fitted to the new SR had to make way for a 48mm S&S carburetor sitting on that Aisin 300 supercharger. The related flywheel and pulley, ensuring a nicely working blower, were manufactured by Fred himself.
The stock gas tank was narrowed and stretched while the gas cap was "frenched", that is lowered in its position. A hand-made tail section houses the ignition, the battery as well as all the other electrical components. All of the bodywork was given the well-known Yamaha Speedblock-livery on a white background. The attentive observer probably already noticed the famous names such as Mamola, Rainey, Roberts, Abe, Okada, Doohan or Rossi hiding in the blue speed blocks and representing the many stages of Bernard’s long career.
The frame was heavily modified with several new tubes altering the stock geometry underneath the tank as well as in the rear. Modified triple clamps, new front and rear fenders as well as a self-made handlebar were fitted to the bike.
The front fork was shortened by 60mm while two Fox rear shocks were mounted in the back. Besides the hand-made intake pipe for the supercharger, Fred also formed the exhaust manifold leading to a Moto GP-style silencer by himself. The rear-sets are manufactured by Krugger while grips and speedo bear the name Motogadget. The brake disc, the caliper as well as the levers are provided by Beringer while the nice suede leather is fabricated by Wildhog. A laser-engraved "Forza Bernard" plaque, manufactured by Atelier 8185 and mounted underneath the tail section, shows unmistakably where Bernard earns his crust.
While, at first glance, the Ansiau- SR might look less spectacular than Fred Krugger’s previous bikes, 4 months went by before the builder’s idea of a 70ies racing bike was met. And it’s only the second, closer look that reveals the astonishing quality and the breathtaking details of this Yamaha. Fred Krugger’s reputation for doing "cleaner" work than the factories themselves was met again with this build.
If you happen to have (yes, I admit it!) a sweet spot for Yamaha’s single-cylinder thumper it might prove difficult to take your eyes off of this specimen.
I strongly suggest you take a look HERE, at KRUGGER Motorcycles’ website and marvel over this "sorcerers" outstanding abilities.
All the pictures were taken by Thierry Dricot www.thierrydricot.be