The Yamaha SR250 makes for a sweet little runabout — particularly when it’s touched by the hands of a gifted builder. This ’83 SR250, nicknamed Diavoletta (Little She-Devil), was built as the city run-around machine for Nicci of Greasers Garage, located in Cape Town, South Africa.
Nicci and partner-in-crime Milo Marcer of Mr. Lucky Tattoos have been building bikes since 2012. Nicci piloted their landspeed racer to a 4th place finish in their own speed week, but needed something a bit tamer for blasting about the streets of Cape Town.
Below, we get the full story on the creation of Diavoletta.
Bratstyle Yamaha SR250: Builder Interview
(Words by Milo Marcer. Highlights by us.)
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I rode my first bike at age 15, and the fascination took hold. As soon as I started riding I started tinkering and just never lost the bug, it has been and on and off passion for me and though I am not much when it comes to engines I do understand style and design. I now own Mr Lucky’s Cape Town Tattoo, a successful tattoo parlour in Cape Town South Africa.
With my partner in crime (Nicci) we own Greasers Garage. We have been building bikes since 2012 and have done some great projects together; we built a land speed racer that Nicci piloted at our own speed week, in which she came 4th in the classic bike section after only 1 run. We also make custom leather bags and an all natural men’s skincare and shaving range under our Greasers label.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The bike we build is a 1983 Yamaha sr250.
• Why was this bike built?
The bike was actually build for Nicci to run around the city on, something she could cut through traffic, then pop onto a sidewalk and have a coffee before heading off again.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
What inspired the build was all the ugly SR500’s we had seen running around. As we had the 250 we decided to do it the way we thought it should be done. We took inspiration from the Brat Style shop in Japan and the way they build for the build doing the straight clean look.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
To get the look we wanted, first we raised the rear of the tank 35mm and then welded in a trellis frame in 4mm round bar from the new tank mount bar to the newly fitted rear hoop in the frame, that had been shortened. From the engine down tube we welded in a new mount that we used as the new headlamp mount, so we could mount the fairing we created out of the old rear fender without the interruption of a headlamp.
We decided to keep the frame, wheels and controls black and powder coated everything before re-assembly, the tank however was inspired in colour by the 50’s and the 2 tone schemes used back then so we chose cream and a mint, with a bright orange pin stripe.
As for the design I liked the idea of something asymmetrical as every one does the symmetry thing and we just wanted something different. The seat pan was hand made and then covered in saddlery leather and a Mexican basket weave was used to hold it all together, this was all done by our great friend Nielen, at Sparrow Leather works.
• How would you classify this bike?
We call it a brat, as it pays homage to the Brat Style guys in Japan, just with our own spin.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
This is hard to answer as we are proud of the whole bike but I guess what I love most is having the headlamp side mounted and the front nicely cleaned up by the repurposing of the rear fender.
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All photos by Tyrone Bradley, Tyrone Bradley Photography.