A TS250-Inspired Urban Scrambler…
Last year, we had the honor of featuring the first professional build from a young builder in Indiana, Spencer Parr of Parr Motorcycles, whose Suzuki DR650 “Retro-Moto” was one of our favorite bikes we’ve ever featured, an RM-inspired supermoto that combined modern performance and retro styling in one stunning package.
A police officer, Spencer spent five years on patrol before losing sight in one eye due to ocular cancer. Now he works as an investigator during the day and builds motorcycles by night out of his garage. Said Spencer when we featured his first build:
“I hope one day I can have an impact on the motorcycle industry like all my favorite builders have. My wife told me, ‘just go for it’, so that’s precisely what I am going to do.”
Spencer has done just that. His RM-inspired “retromotard” has made big waves in the custom world, garnering tens of thousands of likes on the interweb, invitations to prestigious motorcycle shows like the 2019 Handbuilt Show and Fuel Cleveland, and Spencer just rode the “Retro-Moto” some 750+ miles across multiple states for the Built to Ride Tour.
Now Spencer is back with another custom DR650, this time a 2012 DR650 “urban scrambler” — a build we closely followed for most of a year. Says Spencer of the design concept and inspiration:
“I saw a ’77 Suzuki TS250 that I fell in love with. The yellow long neck tank and white fenders really stood out to me and I knew it was going to be my design concept for the new build.”
We thought his first build would be tough to top, but this DR650 “Retro-Scrambler” has us slack-jawed — the perfect bike for ripping through the urban cityscape by day and drooling over by night. Below, we get the full story on the build from Spencer himself.
DR650 Urban Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
After the great response from the Retro-Moto build last year, I decided to build another DR. In came this 2012 Suzuki DR650 I picked up at the end of 2018. The bike was bone stock, with only 3K miles and in very good condition. Instead of a Supermoto build, I decided to go with an urban-scrambler theme since I live mostly around pavement. Around that time, I saw a ’77 Suzuki TS250 that I fell in love with. The yellow long neck tank and white fenders really stood out to me and I knew it was going to be my design concept for the new build.
When the build started, I disassembled the bike to a roller and cut off the rear subframe. Being a scrambler, I knew building a new subframe to lower the seating position was the right call. When I built the new rear subframe, an electronics box was also integrated to hold the Anti-gravity lithium battery and various electronics. After the electronics box I welded tabs to the DR frame to mount the 78 Suzuki TS250 gas tank I picked up from Canada.
With slight modifications and maneuvering, the TS gas tank fit the DR frame like a glove. After mounting the tank, I fitted ’07 RMZ450 Showa forks to the DR. The forks were gone through, rebuilt and fitted with little modification. A Scotts steering damper was going to be used, so an arm was welded to the DR frame to integrate the Scotts damper. Basically, the whole front end is from a RMZ450, including the BRP risers to hold the damper. After the frame was all complete, it was time for paint and Powder coat.
The design on the tank came from a 1974 Suzuki TS with my little spin on it. I couldn’t find white TS fenders in good shape, so I picked up white Suzuki TM fenders that fit the bill perfectly. After installing the forks and the Cogent rear shock (w/ Racetech spring), the motor and wheels were installed.
The wheels (19” front and 17” rear) were sourced from Warp 9 racing wrapped in Shinko 705 tires to go with the urban scrambler theme. Once the tank and fenders were installed, I could really start seeing the project come together.
The exhaust on the bike was like the first build, FMF powerbomb header with a custom tailpipe I made. This setup seems to be my go-to and one day hope to build this setup to sell. Some ask if it’s baffled because it looks like a straight pipe setup, but it’s indeed baffled.
I wanted the pipe to be high and level with my LED round taillight I picked up from the guys from Purpose Built Moto. An integrated license plate holder was made to mount the plate light and Motogadget blaze pin LED turn signals. The signals and turn signals thread into the holder and the wiring runs through the holder, into the frame of the bike, then into the electronics box so no wiring is seen.
Same concept with the handlebars, bar end signals, custom switches, push buttons integrated in the bar mounts, and the Motogadget Motoscope mini Speedo were all mounted so the wiring runs through the bars to add that super clean look. The push buttons on the bar mounts control the speedo information and the ignition start for the bike.
One of the biggest upgrades was the carb. It’s a Keihin FCR39 from an ’04 Yamaha YFZ450 ATV. The slide arc was increased in size, and the carb was modified to integrate the stock DR throttle cables. You can really feel the difference with the FCR, being it uses an accelerator pump compared to stock. This carb is a modification every DR owner should consider. A Uni filter was added to compliment the FCR.
Other additions to the bike include a Motogadget M-Lock ignition key, black seat with light blue stitching to compliment the tank, KC LED pro sport off road light is the headlight, Spiegler brake lines and Warp 9 shorty levers and some other goodies.
This build also means so much to me because I was building it when my baby girl was born. So, when this one left the garage, it was hard to see it go.
- Wheels- Warp 9 Racing (17×4.25, 19×2.15)
- Tires- Shinko 705’s
- Suspension- Rebuilt 07 RMZ450 forks and a Cogent rear shock with racetech spring
- Speedo- Motogadget Motoscope mini
- Ignition- Motogadget MLock
- Tank/Fenders- 78 Suzuki TS250 Tank, 73-75 Suzuki TM fenders
- Exhaust- FMF powerbomb header, I made the tailpipe.
- Carb- 04 Yamaha YFZ450 Carb rebuilt for DR
- Steering Damper- Scotts
- Headlight- KC LED off road light
- Taillight- Purpose Built Moto Orbit LED Taillight