Rodando Sur builds a burly 293cc Tornado…
While Honda’s lightweight dual-sport in the US and European market is now the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected CRF250L / CRF300L, the company has continued to produce the air-cooled XR250 Tornado for South American and African markets.
The CRF and XR both weigh 317 pounds wet and make 23 hp in stock trim. Interestingly, the older school, carbureted XR250 scores some wins in terms of specs:
“Scan over them and there looks to be very little in it: same weight fuelled up; same number of gears; suspension travel within an inch. Even the power’s the same, though the XR’s tank is half as big again and there’s 10% more claimed torque at 1000 less rpm on the Tornado (23.7Nm @6000rpm).” —Adventure Motorcycling
When it comes to customization, the XR250 is the more obvious choice as a donor. No radiators or coolant plumbing to address, simpler wiring, and the more attractive centerpiece of a finned, air-cooled engine. It’s not the sexiest machine in the world in stock trim, but it’s a tough, simple, proven machine abundant in the Southern Hemisphere.
Recently, we heard from our friends at Argentina’s Rodando Sur (“Rolling South”). Based out of Buenos Aires, this group of friends began building bikes first for themselves, then branched out into customer builds like the one you see here, a 2020 XR250 Tornado for which they did all the design work and fabrication.
Nicknamed the “Pig Tracker” — the owner is in the pork industry — the bike is sporting a one-off custom subframe, custom saddle, full LED lighting, and new gauges, paint, wheels, and tires. What’s more, the team punched out the engine to 293cc with a big-bore kit, giving the bike a significant bump in power and torque.
The team is especially proud of the work they did in stainless steel, namely the full stainless exhaust system and intake.
The “Pig Tracker” is perfect for curb-jumping antics around Buenos Aires and light off-road duty on the dirt and gravel roads. And it’s only a set of bigger fenders from tackling heavier off-road duty, should the owner want to go chasing the wild boar of the Pampas!
Below, we talk to Federico Faro of Rodando Sur for more details on this build. Photos courtesy of Juan Aguirre Beierbach (@pampa_aguirre).
Honda XR250 Scrambler / Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
We are a group of friends who are lovers of custom bikes. So we started to build our own bikes, and then customers’ bikes as well.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
The bike is a Honda XR250 Tornado, year 2020.
• Why was this bike built?
This build was a customer project in which we did all of the design and work.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
We want to build a street tracker, completely different from the original machine.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We designed and fabricated a new sub-frame, created a new seat, changed out all the lights to LED, and installed a new speedometer. We swapped out the tyres and gave the bike a full new color of paint. Also we fabricated a complete new exhaust out of stainless steel.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
“The Pig Tracker.”
• Any idea of horsepower, weight, and/or performance numbers?
We worked to increase the power from ~25 hp to ~30 hp.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It’s so fun to ride this bike both in the streets and also off road.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
We are particularly proud of all the work we did in stainless steel.
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