(Written by Jake Snowdon of Jadus Motorcycle Parts. Our highlights.)
There are many SR250 custom bikes. I could have made a top 50 list of my favourite SR250 customs actually, but these ones I present here in this list are ones that I consider a cut above the rest. Why? Cohesiveness — what is the bike as a whole. A good custom build should not just be a sum of its parts, nor should it be a display of the builder’s skills or flair in the workshop, or their ability to craft parts from other bikes onto the donor. Rather, it should be a well thought out, well proportioned, tied-together, complete-looking bike.
No. 1: Auto Fabrica Type 4A
Ah, the shameless love affair I have with their builds. They have created a distinct style that they carry throughout their builds, each being very individual, but at the same time, distinctly, Auto Fabrica. Their bikes tend to have beautiful flowing curves, classy finishes and subtle details that do not detract from the whole. I could have included three of their SR250’s in this list, all having their own special highlights, but this one really does take the cake. Perhaps it is because I am a sucker for creme and tan together!
From the hand-formed curved exhaust to the off-white tank with knee hugging scallops in the sides, to the aluminium finish on the guards, bars and engine, perfectly matched over the entire bike. With a neat touch, tying front to rear, matching handle grips and seat — the seat in itself a nice little treat, covered in two-toned suede leather with their signature triangle piece at the rear, nicely proportioned, not too short, not too thin, spot on.
More on Pipeburn.
No. 2: BB Studio Street Tracker
The tyre, seat, tank combination on this BB Studio bike absolutely kills it. If you don’t know those tyres, you should, they are infamous and they really bring this bike to life. The black rims, hubs and guards, plus the neatly tucked in headlight and tidy electrics all help to give this bike its sleekness. The unique colours of the tank are even reflected in the engine itself — a design detail I have not seen pulled off anywhere else in such a tasteful manner.
They also carried out a kick starter conversion, rad. Its proportions are almost perfect, but the stance is a little off — my only gripe. A drop in the front an inch or two and a lift in the rear with some decent shocks would have been the icing on the cake.
More on The Bike Shed.
No. 3: Corb Motorcycles Street Tracker
You can’t go wrong with a two-tone paint job and it’s even harder to go wrong with silver and black. The nice thing with silver and black, and especially in this build, is that you can place visual weight and lightness in different places of the bike. The wheels for example, blacked out from the tyres (obviously) all the way to the hubs — giving a nice heavy grounding.
Nice and light in the rear of the frame and also up front with the special and unique headlight/number plate — giving the feeling of light weight and flickability. That number plate thingy… Love it. A cool piece of custom fab work. Neat how the headlight and the speedo are sunk into it and how the indicators poke out the sides. Favorite parts of this build are however the seat and the exhaust header — love the way they pulled off a tracker style seat that can work for two up city riding, and love the straight lines of the custom stainless header. Kudos.
More on Return of the Cafe Racers.
No. 4: Yamaha SR250 Scrambler by Tim Harney Motorcycles
This may be the black sheep of the list. Why? Because it is such a departure from any other SR250 custom build I have seen. The proportions are almost outrageous, but at the same time, perfect. There is not a lot of info online for this build, which is perhaps how it slipped under the radar, but it does not lack in cool. It certainly looks like it has had a front end swap — the forks are long travel and pretty beefy and the rear shocks are super long — would have required removal of the brake lever spring bracket. But these mods match!
The bike sits perfectly level — as do the bottom tank line and the appropriately proportioned seat (none of this paper thin brat seat nonsense!). The tank looks right at home too — probably because it is off another Yamaha — most definitely one of the DT series, exact model unknown. Two more things I love about this build… The cool twin leading shoe front drum brake and the odd but curvaceous and awesome exhaust header. If this was a 500, it would almost fall into the desert sled category — I would not hesitate to blast through some dunes on this!
More on Cafe Racer Pasion.
No. 5 Trinta&Um Motorcycles ‘City Tracker’
This bike was built by a group of very talented artisans and it shows. I can just imagine someone calling BS on someone else’s hair-brained idea and then another person suggesting something better, then the decision is made, for the better of the build. What they set out to achieve, they achieved in spades — ‘The target was the scrambler style (city tracker), bigger and taller, with a proper straight line.’ The balance and proportions of the bike are spot on — the back bone of the bike being this ‘straight line’ they speak of — a perfect connection between front and rear, tank and seat.
Asides from the clean as a whistle finish on the entire bike (every part has been treated to some love), there are two stand out features for me. One is the seat, covered in ribbed tan and really working to complement the form of the SR250 frame, which is not easy considering it’s sweeping kick-up at the shock mount position. It also finds a nice balance between form and function — again, back to this not too thick, not too thin business. The other detail is the under swing arm battery position. Going this extra step to hide it there puts it right out of the way and has the added benefit of a lower centre of gravity.
More on BikeBound.
The Custom SR250: Harmony and Vision
Tying back into the beginning of the article, these builds are harmonious. The builders obviously had a clear vision from the outset, and they followed through. The garage builder at home can also achieve this, with patience, time, care, a bit more (just a bit more) money than budgeted from the beginning, and knowing when to outsource certain details outside of your own skill set – perhaps paint and upholstery for example. This will make a big difference — note in each chosen build how important the seat was!