Ah those heady days of studentdom. When the world was your lobster and anything seemed possible. Tim and Rafael, students of product design at the HFG in Offenbach am Main, Germany, had far loftier ambitions for their formative years than chasing tail and sampling every libation from the back bar, instead the pair decided to invest their time in the building of a custom motorcycle. Excellent decision gents.
The duo settled on a Yamaha sr 250 as the donor machine for the project.
“We had in mind to build an attractive street tracker, which is capable of busy traffic in the city and small distance travel in suburban areas… Without expanding the budget of a student. It was important that the bike is reliable and cheap in maintenance and insurance, without lack in its appearance.”
They blame this very publication for offering the inspiration to private builders such as they to bury themselves away in sheds and garages for hours on end, which is exactly what we like to hear. Rafael and Tim enjoyed the well appointed facilities of the university workshop for their part fabrication before completing the build in a small one car garage.
The donor SR had racked up around 25,000 km on its odometer in the custody of a single solitary owner so the strong little engine required little more than a tune up. The frame needed more work, it was de-tabbed before a rear loop and a mounting bracket behind the tank for the repositioned ignition key were welded on. The frame, along with the original hubs, was then dispatched to the powder coat shop.
To adjust the geometry of the bike the freshly finished hubs were laced to 2.5 x 18“ gloss black Excel rims and fitted with some proper Dunlop K180 flat track rubber.
“After tying out serval rear shocks, we decided to go with the stock ones, and also to lower the front fork 4 cm by the springs and 4 cm by the triple clamps. to get a more agile steering angle and the right side line.”
The battery was replaced with a condenser and a kickstart unit from the familial, engine sharing xt 250. The wiring was adjusted to accommodate the repositioning of components and all visible wires were tucked away into the frame tubes to keep the visuals as clean as possible. While they were at it the boys wired in a neat charger for that most essential of student accessories.
A tank from a little Honda Cb 50 was teased into place to give the desired horizontal flow line. The seat was custom fabricated from two different tones of leather to imitate the cowl of a flat tracker. A pocket to house both the charger and a phone was also stitched in. The graphics were kept simple, contrasting bands of silver and turquoise diagonally cross the tank connecting the lines of the frame. The highlight turquoise also found its way onto the edge of a pair of the engines cooling fins, a super stylish design touch.
Making a custom motorcycle street legal in strict Germany is a notorious pain in the arse but Tim and Rafael managed to tread the line between form and function by including classy details such as the Motogadget bar end winkers and a super slim rear light beneath the mudguard tip. They did however manage to squeeze a crow bar, re-appropriated as a side stand, passed the inspectors eagle eye.
“The pictures were taken in the University’s photo studio after a test period of round about 900 km. With a dry weight of about 115 kg and 20 hp, we are happy that we succeed our goal to build an honest, tidy looking, light and nimble everyday street bike, on which you count smiles per gallon instead of miles.”
The pair named the machine Fräseli, as written in the rear mirror, it is an expression from Rafael’s native Switzerland for being fast through traffic. Rafael now finds himself living in Shanghai where a meeting with former Bike Shed featured builder Matthew prompted him to send us in finished pictures of the stunning Fräseli. Tim back in Germany has a monopoly on all of the two wheeled fun for the time being, we feel your pain Rafael… surely the time has come to build another one?