Retro Enduro built by Argentina’s Low Budget Customs…
The Honda XR250 Tornado was a Latin American equivalent of the XR250L, sporting an air/oil-cooled 4-valve DOHC tuned for better low-end torque and slightly less peak power (23 hp). They are cheap, bombproof bikes, capable of going 150+ miles on a tank. Says one Tornado enthusiast:
“I’ve owned 4 Honda Tornados in 3 countries… Why? Because they are a great lightweight adventure bike out the box.” -Bruce of Honda XR250 Tornado Resource
Enter our friend Juan Taurel, founder of Argentina’s LBC Motorcycles, who opened his shop in 2012.
“I ride, design, build and eat motorcycles 24/7.”
Previously, we featured another Honda Tornado custom of his, as well as his stunning Suzuki DR-Z400 street tracker. Now Juan and crew are back with this Honda Tornado 250, built for a graphic designer and enduro enthusiast who wanted a functional bike that could tackle both the city streets and weekend trails:
“A modern enduro motorcycle with an aesthetic inspired by the dirt bikes of the 70s.”
Many of Juan’s recent builds capture this style, built with a “Factory Concept” in mind — functional, modern bikes that look like they could have rolled out of the factory decades ago. The style translates straight into the riding experience:
“You can ‘feel’ the machine, the vibrations, the sound of the exhaust — it’s more like an old bike, with a smooth suspension and electric start. We chopped out several kilograms of the original bike. It’s very light and so fun to ride.”
Below, we get the full story on the build, as well as more photos from Rafael Delceggio (@rafadelceggio77).
Honda Tornado 250 Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Juan Taurel, I ride, design, build and eat motorcycles 24/7.
I’ve owned a custom garage since 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, called LBC Motorcycles.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Honda XR250 Tornado 2019.
• Why was this bike built?
This project was for a customer, he wanted a functional motorcycle to ride all week in the city with the Vintage Moto-X look.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The customer likes enduro bikes and is also a graphic designer, so we were able to work together to reach the final design. A modern enduro motorcycle with an aesthetic inspired by the dirt bikes of the 70s.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We redesign and build a new sub frame, new gas tank, hand-made side panels and fenders built in aluminium, modified exhaust, LED lights and lot of details, always with a “Factory concept.”
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Honda Tornado 250 Scrambler.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
You can “feel” the machine, the vibrations, the sound of the exhaust — it’s more like an old bike, with a smooth suspension and electric start. We chopped out several kilograms of the original bike. It’s very light and so fun to ride.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The final product makes my proud. This is one of my favourite bikes to ride in the city and have fun in the dirt.
Follow the Builder
Photos by @rafadelceggio77
I like it so much more than the donor bike. Aluminum fenders/mudguards are so cool retro. I have a 1972 Honda SL350 with those same unpainted aluminum fenders. May I ask: Was there some back-and-forth about painting it red?
Just unreal workmanship of making a bike better looking than the original !
Sacrelege to stuff up the original bike.
The XR Tornado is a classic in it’s own right.
People that ruin original bikes should all be condemned to an island in the pacific for 30 years!
Fantastic. I have a couple of vintage mid ’70s Elsinores which I love but they’re old so not nearly as reliable as a new bike. I’d love one of these! Honda is really missing the boat by not offering a modern street legal motocrosser with the look and feel of a 70s bike.