German Built: The Yamaha SR250 Tracker
Looking For An Urban Run-around? This Yamaha SR250 Tracker Is What You Need
Although the Yamaha SR series has been a staple donor bike for many a custom builder over the years, there are still some gorgeous SR customs out there worth talking about. You’d think that the SR pedigree would’ve shown us everything over the years but every now and again, something jumps out at us and makes us think ‘the SR has still got a lot to give’. Yamaha themselves agree, and that’s why they’ve re-released the SRs recently and they know they’re on to a good thing.
Now, the SR250 doesn’t get a hell of a lot of exposure; in fact, a lot of small capacity bikes go unnoticed because they don’t have the ‘power’ or ‘top speed’ that their big cc brothers can boast and it’s a real shame. Making a 15 grand bike into a 20 grand bike is pretty easy when compared with turning a 2 grand bike into a 10 – and that’s why I love these smaller customs. For a small capacity donor, you can’t go wrong with the SR250: it’s as reliable as sin, clocks a top speed of around 80mph and has a great fuel economy. It’s light, it’s nimble, it’s a lot of bang for your buck and for a custom builder, it’s the obvious choice for a donor machine. Who wouldn’t want a Yamaha SR250 tracker?
Enter Tim Besler and Rafael Berti, two German design students looking to make their first foray into the custom scene: it’s no secret that the SR250 is a great base to work on but when they stumbled across one with a mere 25,000km on the clock, they jumped at the chance to give it a complete makeover. The goal was fairly straightforward and consisted of a brief that highlighted simplicity, maximized output and a classic aesthetic. Obviously, to make the most of a 21bhp engine, removing everything that isn’t necessary is the first step.
Now, before anyone jumps on the ‘hate’ bandwagon: yes, stripping something down and adding a few choice aftermarket parts is hardly the mark of the world’s greatest bike builder but let’s not forget that this is their first attempt and like with all good custom bikes, it’s all about the details.
To make this Yamaha SR250 tracker look the part, they stripped the bike down and carefully replaced the essentials and scrapped the superfluous bits and pieces. The air box was the first thing to go and was replaced with a very tidy pod filter. The electrics were carefully rewired and hidden under the bike’s beautifully upholstered seat and upgraded to include an iPhone charger (which is pretty neat). The lights were also filed under ‘scrap’ and replaced with newer units, including the headlight, tail light and indicators. The new indicators are a set of Motogadget units that nestle at the end of the handlebars.
Around the bars is a completely minimalistic approach to instrumentation, with a single odometer, elegant switch gear assembly and that look you can only get with a drum brake at the front, no master cylinder. The mirror is a bit ugly but you can swap that out anytime you fancy.
The overall paintwork is a testament to their design skills – in fact, the first few images we saw of this bike tricked us; we thought it was a rendering, which is a massive compliment.
Since they’re new to the game, I’m giving them a round of applause and can’t wait to see how they follow it up. I hope it’s not a ‘difficult second album’ moment. Until then, if you’ve got a taste for the SR, check out this masterpiece of an SR400 by Auto Fabrica.