Flavio Vianna of Brazil’s Mr. Ride recently completed an internship with none other than Kaichiroh Kurosu of Cherry’s Company in Tokyo. Upon returning home, he knew his first cafe racer project would need to be challenging and flawless to stand out in the Brazilian custom scene.
Enter the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, Big Green’s flyweight sport bike. This 30-hp, liquid twin has long been lauded for keen handling and surprising pep, but it’s a rare platform for customization. Any modern sport bike certainly presents challenges for the custom builder, given the frame design.
Flavio took those challenges in stride, creating a modern cafe racer that punches well above its weight class. Below, we get the full story from the man himself.
Ninja 250R Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words
(Words by Flavio Vianna. Highlights by us.)
When I came back to Brazil after an internship in Tokyo at Cherry’s Company‘s Kaichiroh Kurosu, I decided that my first project would have to be very challenging and flawless to be able to stand out in our customization scene. I invited to help me on this mission a friend architect, Fabio Matiolli, also a motorcycle enthusiast, and together we started Mr. Ride.
And what does Mr. Ride mean? In a reference to the movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mr. Ride is about helping people to rescue their true self, helping them to release their alter ego through a very special way: an unique bike.
And to start, we chose the Kawasaki Ninja 250 2011, which being a sport bike, would certainly present many challenges to become a legitimate cafe racer. What also helped in the decision was the fact that there were very few projects with this model around the world.
The question that we tried to answer to define the project was: how would have been the bike that gave birth to Ninja in the past?
Since Brazil is a country with many restrictions regarding customization, we chose to build as many parts from scratch as possible to make the bike truly unique, avoiding using parts purchased from China as most people use to do.
In this way we fabricated in metal sheet the tank, the tail, the fenders, the plate holder, the side plates, among others.
Finally, we chose a painting pattern that highlighted the design of the parts and I was responsible for the painting myself.
As a tribute to the past of the brand, we set in the tank a replica of the old Kawasaki logo, bought by me in Japan.
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