The Honda FTR250 was a factory street tracker styled after the company’s purpose-built flat tracker, the legendary Honda RS750, which broke the long dominance of Harley-Davidson in the AMA Grand National Championship, winning four championships in a row during the 1980s. The FTR250 — a Japan-only model — featured an RFVC head based on the XR series. According to our friends at Bike-urious, the bike made around 19 horsepower and became an 80s classic:
“Sharing a surprising amount of components with the smallest Honda Shadow, the Honda FTR250 was a solid canvas for Japanese customizers.”
Enter Hirofumi Takeda of Ignition MC, who’s had a long career in the moto industry. He currently works at a local shop and builds customs in his free time. When it comes to custom work, his “master” is none other than Kengo Kimura of Heiwa Motorcycle — one of the most legendary builders in Japan and beyond.
The bike Hirofumi about two years to complete, working in his own space and at the Heiwa workshop in his free time. He was inspired by old motocross bikes — in particular, the narrow shape and simplicity of design. The result is “Ignite,” an FTR250 street tracker / scrambler that’s unlike any other 250 single we’ve seen. Below, we get the full story on the build.
Honda FTR250 Tracker / Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My career in motorcycle industry is quite long. I’m now working at a local motorcycle shop. The custom work at Ignition Motorcycle is my personal project, so I have to work on the bike in my free time. That’s why it took me two years to bring the bike to completion – too much time! Haha.
By good fortune I have a great master for custom works, Kengo Kimura at Heiwa Motorcycle, one of the most famous builders in Japan. I did more than half of my work at the Heiwa Motorcycle shop and the rest at my own place. He gave me proper advice so that I could produce things out of my images. I’m very grateful to him.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Model: MD17 FTR250
• Why was this bike built?
It is for personal, but also for promotion.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design concept was racer. I derived inspiration from motocross bikes when building this bike. The narrow shape and simplicity is cool.
• What custom work was done to the motorcycle?
It might be hard to notice the difference in the photos, though, the bike is fitted with a one-off handlebar (MXLOWBAR) which I made with my own hand bender.
The gastank is a junk item I found at an auction. I had been looking for a small one. I restored and built it up so that it fits the body well. I processed the seat-cowl in a linear shape to make it look more racerlike.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• How would you classify this bike?
It’s like a scrambler and street tracker rolled into one.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I rebuilt the twin silencer a hundred times so that its line can fit in its ideal position.
Follow the Builder @ignitionmc
That gives ugly a whole new definition!