Life is like a piston, filled with up's and downs. Sometimes you go through downs and just as quickly get back up. Sometimes we stumble further down the rabbit's hole, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Stumbling isn't always a bad thing. For instance we stumbled across this SR250 in a web filled with sports bikes and cruisers! What is it I hear ya say? A cafe racer Yamaha SR 250? Hell yeah!!
The Yamaha SR250 has been in production since the good old 80's and is somewhat the smaller, uglier brother of the SR400/500. That was until we came across this bike from Garage Project Motorcycles located in Perth, Australia.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the Garage Project?
In early 2010, I had to convince the organisers of the Perth Jap Bike Show there should be a separate class for cafe racers. When they agreed, I entered my W650 Cafe racer confident i would walk away with the first place trophy. The cafe racer scene is slowly growing now but back then there were only three entrants. A tired SR500, my W650 and the best looking W650 Flat tracker i have ever seen. There wasn't a class for flat trackers so they lumped Brad's tracker in the cafe racer class. The voting was close but the flat tracker won.
During the day, Brad and I got talking and I told him I had a nice CB350 sitting in the garage after I won it on ebay by accident. There was no reserve and no one bid higher! I was keen on building a brat style bike and so was Brad so if you can't beat them, join them. We got together and built it in time for the 2011 show. 8 weeks before the show, a fellow member of Perth Street Bikes forum had had enough of their SR250 cafe project and wanted to sell it to someone who'd finish it.
To date it is the most viewed build thread in DTT and PSB history so we thought it only right that it be finished properly. We were able to finish it in time for the show where it picked up first place.
I was mucking around on ebay again and somehow picked up 4 x CB750 SOHC from the states. Garage Project #5, #6, #7 & #8 are about to be started.
Where did you get the inspiration to build such a project?
Have a look at my blog page and peruse the build threads (links on blog page) for the detail.
When the opportunity came up to buy the unfinished project, we knew how many people were following the build so it was an easy decision to buy it and finish it. There seems to be quite a few SR250 projects on the go at the moment so I'd like to think that lunar_c and ourselves have provided some top notch inspiration. The previous owner "lunar_c" gave us a big thumbs up on the completed bike which is great and the voters at the show obviously loved it.
What is the essence of a café racer to you?
This is a good question. Unlike a lot of people I don't believe that the defining properties of a cafe racer in 2011 have to be the same as they were in the 60's. Unlike the riders, the style has evolved and split into hybrid styles. A cafe racer does not have to have clip-ons, a bum stop seat, and a polished aluminium tank with chequered flag sticker down the middle. If you want to build a replica of a 60's cafe racer then you're going to need all that but a modern cafe racer can have scrambler pipes, ace bars, drag bars, flat seats, old style tyres, pipe wrap, digital instruments, EFI etc
As long as you have your open face helmet and pushing the limits with a smile on your face you are a modern day cafe racer. (touche fine sir)
It had a 16" rear wheel so we changed that to an 18" which lightened the look heaps.
The wheels and spokes were painted with rattle can silver which looked shit house so we powder coated the rims and hubs black and then put stainless spokes on. It really lifted the look and quality of the bike.
Lunar_c had gone to a lot of trouble of rewiring it with a proper fuse box but we couldn't get it to work so we junked it (he wasn't happy) and rewired it ourselves.
We replaced the carb with a mikuni so it is very smooth now.
Replaced the front brake with a twin leading shoe setup.
Changed the pod filter to a velocity stack and the oil breather tube to a K&N filter.
The clocks were sitting way to high so we brought those down closer to the triple clamp.
Changed most of the bunnings bolts for something more attractive.
We custom made the seat and the tank graphics.
Due to it's incredibly short first gear, it is the fastest accelerating bike in the world to 8 km/h!
A huge thanks to Garage Project Motorcycles and Rex Havoc. Stay tuned as we will be featuring a few more of his builds in the coming weeks!
Another huge thanks to photographer Scott G Trenorden from the aptly named Scott G Trenorden Photography who took these awesome shots!