It’s True: King Kenny Roberts’ Yamaha SRX-6 Is Back On The Street. And It’s Not For Sale.

KR’s SRX-6 the last time I saw it. It’s now back on the street and he’s putting miles on it. Ok, kilometers.

Anybody recently been passed by a guy riding a very stock, silver SRX-6?

The last time I saw it, Roberts’ personal (1985) SRX-6 (a gift from Yamaha Japan the same year that he rode his RZ350 into the ocean, but that’s another story) he had it in storage. Looking at it, dusty and lonesome, it seemed like a bike someone pathetic enough to already own three SRX-6s (me) would be dumb enough to buy. So I asked him if it was for sale.

No, it’s not for sale, Roberts said. He added that he actually likes the simplicity of the single cylinder machine and explained that he’s put a lot of miles on it over the years.

I’m from Minnesota, so I can rarely tell when he’s serious or when he’s pulling my leg; but this time I thought for sure it was the former. There’s no way he could be serious.

Mmmmm¬† … what’s a guy like you doing on an SRX, I asked him? You know, the whole ‘they don’t pay me enough to ride that TZ750 Miler’, the 680cc two-stroke GP bike for Daytona, and etc. You of all people own an SRX?! Sell me the bike.

Nope, he replied. I don’t want to sell it. I like it. I actually like to ride it, he said, again.

I gave him my “sure, sure Kenny” look and decided to bestow on him my short list of transgressions the SRX has committed against the very people who own them.

Like, for instance, they are slow. How slow? So slow that if you look at a clock before leaving on an SRX ride and then again when you return from an SRX ride, it’s basically the same time. Not just slow, but time-stands-still-slow.

Roberts had a retort (shock).

“I’ve never had a problem passing people on the street on that SRX,” he said. “I think your problem might be operator error.”

Next up: SRX-6s don’t like to start, hot or cold, or basically ever, I told him. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why. You will be kicking it over until you are blind with sweat. But one of the first responders called on scene for ‘white male possibly dying while trying to start old motorcycle’ will come up, kick it once and the SRX will start.

All of the kickstart SRXs were possessed, I told him. Possessed against the very people who own and occasionally love them: their owners.

“Never had a problem starting mine. It starts great,” he countered. I could tell he was going to bring up operator error again so I skipped all the other things that piss me off about SRXs and went for the big one.

What about flat-out insane twin-carb set up on the SRX, but only one starting circuit?!, I asked him sounding like a mildly angry prosecuting attorney. Assuredly this flaw would bring Roberts to the selling point. Two carbs but only one has a pilot jet?!

You go to Japan all the time, I added him, don’t you just want to find the engineer who designed that system and strangle him?

Roberts: “It has two carbs?!”

Roberts said he called Sukoshi Fahey at Avon, ordered and then mounted fresh tires on his SRX, kicked it over and off he went. 

I opened my mouth to say something but Roberts cut me off.

“Not for sale. My SRX is not for sale.”

Kenny's SRX-6 in 2019.
Kenny’s SRX-6 in 2019. Tomo Roberts

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