Da Vinci said, ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’, or was it Auto Fabrica? What started life as a standard SR250, Yamaha’s desperately sad wanna be chopper from the ’80’s, has ended up as a breathtakingly simple tracker that screams look at me, and ride me in equal measure.
Work started in earnest on the frame, with an overall mission of nipping and tucking everything to try and get the lines to flow seamlessly. To that end, a loop was welded to clean up the rear and shorten the length of the seat. This helped the proportions of the bike enormously, giving it a much better stance. The loop also gave an aesthetically pleasing shape for the seat foam to follow.
The rear fender mounting point was hidden away in pursuit of the minimalist approach. And the tank mounting points on the rear were modified in order to get a seamless transition from tank to seat without anything ugly getting in the way.
The engine was converted to kick start only, eliminating the battery and emptying the triangle on the bike. An obvious mod, but the guys really wanted the eye to focus on the seat and tank, and felt that adding an extra panel made the bike feel a lot heavier than it was. This was all about stripping weight, keeping the bike minimalistic yet usable. And besides, kicking a bike is just so much cooler than pressing a button.
The exhaust was pie cut which was the only way to get the right curve. This was one of 2 designs on the table and the guys went for it because they wanted to add ‘texture’ to the bike in an area where, according to them normally a lot of “bling occurs”. It also works well as it echoes the pattern of the knobbly tyres, and the colours of the untreated welds are similar to the bike itself. Now that’s attention to detail. We love the understated, but clever use of leather on this bike. Hand stitched grips out of thick brown leather add a vintage, yet classy look . And using the same approach on the gear lever and the kick start arm is, like all good ideas, blindingly obvious when someone else does it!
The guys say they wanted to keep this build incredibly simple, with colour and trim that they knew would work well from years of experience. They also say that they love the small and agile feel of the bike, adding that it’s effortless to ride, hop on and off of, and throw around corners, apparently it really puts a smile on your face. It’s certainly put one on ours, and on the face of the bike’s new owner, BSMC member, Gareth R. Lucky Sod. This SR250 is indeed the ultimate, in ultimate sophistication. Da Vinci would have approved, as does Da Bikeshed.
Posted by Ian@TheBikeShed