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Retro Bikes Croatia 1997 Yamaha SR250 “Kokon” – the story

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3

They say that the SR is a legendary model, that all the major customizers built at least one… They say that SR has a cult of followers in Japan… I’m not sure, maybe 400 or 500cc versions, but they all are an exotic breed here in Croatia.

People here have the tendency to buy bikes as big as they get, if they cannot afford a 750cc at least, they buy a Burgman. No small bike culture here but hopefully that will change in the future.

So, when this 1997 SR250 appeared for sale, with 9000kms on the clock, ugly green paint scheme and a rusty gas tank, we didn’t think twice.

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Scott from Retro Moto Co in South Fremantle in Western Australia sent me this email and the pics above to see if one of the major blogs were interested in featuring it. It didn’t get picked up so I’m featuring it here for my followers.

Peter McKiernan knew what he wanted in a bike when he approached us to build him his ultimate CB550. Go before show. The original Honda metallic orange paintwork on side covers and tank could stay, while everything else got upgraded, replaced or modified. We tackled this one in stages, first a no holds barred engine rebuild, top of the line suspension, exhaust system, carb rebuild, new ignition, custom seat and guards. After a few weeks of shaking down the new engine Peter brought it back in for a wide wheel conversion which set the bike over the top. The result is not over the top wild and eye catching, but a classy understated bike that still turns heads, with performance nearing some of the race bikes we build, but keeping enough road manners to ride it daily. In short, we love this bike!

Lots and lots and lots of details and info on this bike, I’m not so good with words and junk so best for them to maybe discuss and pen it however they like, or i can spend more than 2 mins on it and send something better, but this is where my inexperience shows, not sure what they are looking for to get it noticed, I’m always too close to the bikes, i get off on all the tiny details like the modified rearsets that clear by millimeters but work perfectly, or the way the Lossa engineering Yoshimura replica exhaust came out once we cut and welded it to sit a little tighter on the bike (not to mention how it sounds, auditory porn that is) That sort of stuff probably doesn’t come across well in print format though so I assume best left unsaid. Anyway, take a look, see what you think, let us know. (photos by my wife btw, could get bike back for a proper shoot, this was a quick half hour session in Freo one evening)

Cheers mate


Retro Bikes Croatia 1997 Yamaha SR250 “Kokon” – the story

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3

The engine was cleaned and painted, generally serviced and is good for decades to come.

We did a major upgrade to the suspension, with progressive springs at front (and a fork complete service), and a new set of YSS shocks at the back. It is nice and firm now and the suspension works.

New spokes were installed onto freshly powdercoated satin black hubs and rims with a pair of Heidenaus to match the overall appearance. Front caliper was overhauled, new pads and brake shoes and a steelbraided hose in front.

We installed chrome mudguards and positioned the front one high, like on old enduro models, so the bike has a completely different vibe now, compared to stock. The rear end is raised to match the new stance.

A LSL six days headlight was installed, all in black with clear glass and a smaller diameter than stock.

A TRW low black handlebar was fitted, with the new aluminium dash/plate and a small speedo with integrated idiot lights, Biltwell Kung Fu grips close the deal.

Photos by Vuri Matija Photography