250cc four-cylinder scrambler built by a race mechanic…
There are plenty of builders who can build a machine that’s aesthetically pleasing, but only a rare few have the technical expertise in racing and geometry to build a bike that handles as well as it looks. Enter Mario Dengra of Dengra Racing Machines, who has been a race mechanic in a staggering array of championships, from World Superbike to the 125cc MotoGP class to the Isle of Man. About six years ago, Mario got into custom bikes and fabrication:
“I really wanted to use my knowledge on racing and geometry setup on hand made bikes…”
Indeed he has done just, making a name for himself with builds such as this Urban Rider Kawasaki W650 scrambler. Mario loves building scramblers, which he calls “the best bikes for a daily basis.”
Enter this Suzuki Bandit 250 (GSF250) scrambler, built for the son of the owner of London’s CRC Motorcycles. Mario loves 250cc four cylinders, as well as the look of motocross tires paired with big engines (the Bandit 250 motor looks big despite the quarter-liter displacement). But this build was much more than slapping a pair of knobby tires on a naked four-banger.
Mario changed the steering position by three degrees, in order to allow more aggressive turn-in, and cut the forks 15mm. When he could not find stainless steel motor mount bolts, he shaped them himself on the lathe. Meanwhile, the headlight is from a John Deere tractor! Mario is especially proud that he did everything on this build himself apart from the seat cover.
Below, we get the full story from Mario himself.
Suzuki Bandit Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
My name is Mario Dengra, I’m 39 year old and I’ve been a motorcycle mechanic for more than 25 years — most of these year working as racing mechanic in many different championships (Spanish championship, British Superbike, World Superbike, MotoGP 125cc, Isle of Man and many others). I have been living in the UK for the last 6 years and I worked as a racing mechanic for the first two years and then I started to be attracted to custom bikes and fabrication, and so I started looking for a job as fabricator (I really wanted to use my knowledge on racing and geometry setup on hand made bikes).
I have been working for companies as CRC Motorcycles in London (one of the best workshops I’ve ever seen) and Urban Rider in London too. Now I’m moving back to Spain and I will carry on building bikes there and I am also going to open a motorcycle mechanic school.
Let’s talk about the bike.
The bike is a Suzuki 250cc Bandit 1997. I chose that bike as I love 250cc four cylinder and I thought it could be a nice base for a crazy scrambler. I built this bike for the son of the owner of CRC Motorcycles after the company close.
I decided to go for a scrambler because I think it is the best bike for a daily basis and it is really versatile and nice to handle. I also love the look of big engines with motocross tyres. I know this is just a 250cc but it really looks like a real big engine.
Jobs done on the bike:
I fully modified the chassis by changing the steering position by 3 degrees making the steering more radical and fast on slow corners and I also refabricated the subframe for one that suits the scrambler look of the bike with simple lines and no cables or battery showing. Everything powder-coated for me in satin black finish.
The front forks are also been modified as I cut them 15mm and new spring are been fitted in them and adjusted the internal to make it work as I wanted. The wiring loom is been completely redone to suit the new location of the battery relays speedometer and lights. New front and rear mudguards has been added with a really nice hand-made fittings.
Every bolt on this bike has been replaced for stainless steel shaped on the lathe in other to give it more of a racing look. Also brass washers have been added to match the gold touches around the bike. New Daytona speedometer fitted with really nice hand-made brackets.
Engine has been fully reconditioned and painted on black. I also have to build from scratch the engine mount bolts in stainless steel as I could not get them. The head light I used a John Deere tractor light as I love the look of it.
- Renthal low Motocross handlebar
- Domino grips
- Motocross aluminium foot pegs
- Wheels powder coated on gold
- Rear shock absorber fully reconditioned and powder coated on blue and black
- Aluminium seat pan that copies the shape of the subframe with a cover made by Derek Smith Coach Trimming in Redruth, Cornwall. (This is the only job that I haven’t done on this bike.)
- Fuel tank painted on black with gold paint stripes
This bike has plenty of nice details and a lot of hours of work. What really makes me proud of this bike is that I managed to do everything on this bike by myself, welding, wiring, powder coating, design… Everything apart frm the seat cover. I’m sure I’m missing some details but there are to many things to list that I could be writing for ages. Thanks you very much for everything.