Retro Bikes Croatia SR250 Kokon
By Ross Sharp - 16 Oct 17
Sometimes here in the Shed we take for granted that every day there's a huge range of customs that roll into our arches. Small ones, big ones, fast ones, slow ones and everything in between. But not everywhere is fortunate enough to enjoy such diversity. Zeljko from Retro Bikes Croatia was telling us that it's this lack of variance that encouraged him to build this SR, saying "People here have the tendency to buy bikes as big as they can get, if they cannot afford a 750cc at least, they buy a Suzuki Burgman.. there's no small bike culture here but hopefully that will change in the future." A tatty 1997 SR250 with just 9000kms under its belt was spotted for sale and subsequently snapped up. The paint job was terrible and the tank full of rust but generally the little Yam appeared to have had an easy life. Once stripped the tank was treated to remove the internal corrosion and given a good few coats of fresh bronze semi-matt paint. The frame received the same level of attention and was de-tabbed and smoothed prior being powder coated. The looped subframe is a decent length to support a comfy looking cross stitched leather saddle which has ample space for a pillion, the rear pegs have been retained also. The rear triangle is completely open thanks to a tiny lithium battery being mounted below the swingarm, powerful enough to make up for the lack of kickstart on this model. A fresh wiring loom is nearly complete hidden and powers the tiny LED indicators, LSL Six Days headlight and Bates style tail light.
TRW low bars with Biltwell Kung Fu grips and mini speedo on a laser engraved ally plate make up the simple cockpit. A braided brake line adds a bit more bite to the rebuilt single caliper. The fork has also been overhauled and the legs powder coated black, along with the rims. YSS shocks are stiffer than the squidgy originals and a touch longer for a more aggressive stance.
With such low use the engine was deemed plenty strong enough for another 9000 kms at least so was given a thorough service rather than opening it up, and is accented with matt black paint, finished with shaved fins. The carb was rebuilt and up-jetted to perform with the freer flowing exhaust and UNI foam filter.
And why Kokon? Well that's the Japanese for old days which Zeljko thought fitted his brief of a fun, light machine with a vintage vibe. With 20hp on tap and a super nimble chassis he's really enjoyed riding Kokon and hopes the love for small capacity customs will catch on in Croatia. We hope so too, especially if they're this tidy.
Images by Vuri Matija Photography