Suspension is basic, just like it was back in the day. The fork is softly sprung—you can push it to the bottom of the stroke with a firm shove while standing over the bike—but there’s adequate damping in both directions of travel so the ride quality is pretty good on rougher city streets. The springs on the shocks are stouter than those in the fork, so the SR is well equipped to carry a passenger. Rear spring preload is adjustable. The rear drum brake is useful but predictably vague, while the single front disk is plenty effective—you just have to use it assertively.
Overall, the SR400 is a fine little bike, mechanically sound and terrifically styled. The silent question is how many Yamaha will sell at a hefty $5,990, which is fairly steep for such a simple, no-frills machine. But Yamaha likely scanned the Craigslist ads, saw what people were selling their non-running CB350s and RD400s for, and figured six grand for a brand-new and thoroughly reliable retro-styled bike was reasonable. You can almost see Yamaha’s thinking, since the 400 slots in between the base Triumph Bonneville ($7,899) and Suzuki’s similarly retro TU250X ($4,399). Or, maybe that’s just what it costs to make a profit on the little made-in-Japan SR.