1980 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Hi People,

Just bought a 1980 Yamaha SR250 from a very nice young lady in Newton Abbot, Devon UK. I got the bike for £425 and I'm paying £120 to have it delivered to me in Gosport, Hampshire, UK (Friday). The bike is fully taxed and tested, runs well (so I'm told), but is a little tatty - not a problem as I'm going to be stripping her right down. I love trackers and have fancied building my own (first build) for a while. The frame and swing arm are going to be powder coated black and the tank is going to be orange (with black center stripes) Here is a shot of her now:

Yes that is a massive top box (the only thing that looks happy on the bike), and the indicator lens looks like it is held on with gum, but she is all mine. ;D
 

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jay-runner

New Member
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Jubilee

Hey Steve,

Neat bike, I'm looking forward to following your project - I'm in the market for my first bike, thinking it'll be something like an SR250 (a least something around the same kinda price..)

Good luck!
J
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

Cheers J,

I had her delivered today, she's rough, but that is what I expected - more fun and satisfaction making her look good. The reason I chose a SR250 was it as all the makings of what I like to think of as a 1960's real bike - twin shocks, front and rear drums, spoked chrome wheels and a very simple 4 stroke, single cylinder, air cooled engine - basic, functional and beautiful in its own way.
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

A little progress:
 

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jay-runner

New Member
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Jubilee

I like you're way of thinking.

Cool pic, keep them coming!

Where are you going to start?
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

Hi J,

The first work I'll be doing is de-tabbing the frame before getting it powder coated. I can't decide whether to get the rims re-chromed or powder coated black - what do you guys suggest? The hubs will be polished (got a new bench polisher) and the spokes will be de-rusted - does anyone know a good way to stop the rust coming back? has anyone clear coated them? I can get new stainless spokes fitted for £130 ($200) but I'd like to use the originals if possible. I'll be fitting a new mini speedo, tacho, headlight, indicators, bars (Renthal ultra lows in black (I think). I may fit new shocks, it depends on how the old ones clean up.

That all starts on Saturday as I'm working nights until Friday - then I have 2 weeks off work - so I should make some progress.

Cheers

Steve
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

I'm pricing up getting my spokes zinc plated, don't know if will be cheaper than buying new spokes.
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

And so the spending begins. I've just ordered a few new bits for the bike. Renthal ultra low bars in black, 60's/70's vintage blue motorcycle grips by Granturismo Italy (shipped from the US) and a set of Chrome Bullet indicators.
 

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SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

Cheers Captmilk,

Also found these cracking shocks, which I feel are better than the originals. And an original style exhaust.
 

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SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

A quick update. The bike is now fully stripped down ready for a few bits to be cut off. I found that new brake shoes and steering bearings had been fitted recently. Had a nightmare getting the 32 year old swing arm bolt out - much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Same goes for the center stand pin - had to grind the bugger off in the end - who needs a center stand anyway ??? Still can't decide whether to get the rims powder coated black, or re-chromed. Either way the spokes are going to be zinc coated and the hubs polished - should the hubs be clear coated after polishing? Same question about the forks.

If you are looking for a new socket set (in the UK), I bought this one from Halfords last week, it is their 150 piece professional set with 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" drives, it has metric and imperial sockets and ratchet spanners. The good news is that it on sale at half price (£99). It also comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Also, I'll be stripping down the wheels tomorrow, don't know whether to polish the nipples, buy new ones or get them re-chromed - any suggestions?
 

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tsbigdog

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Jubilee

Cool project you've got going on there. I'm starting to really like these non-CB builds just because they are a little different. In regards to the wheels, I love chrome or polished stainless spokies. If you go with chrome it will require a bit more maintenance than powder coating.
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

Cheers tsbigdog,

The bike was a mess when I got it and I'll be changing most parts. The good news is that it was mechanically sound and ran well. A bit of grinding and wheel dismantling tomorrow, then it's polishing time.
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

Had a slow day. I thought I would quickly strip down my wheels - wrong. The spokes must be originals and at some point the nipples have got very rusty inside the rims. I had to strip the front wheel down with an impact screwdriver and ended up grinding 13 of them off - bugger. I was hoping to get the old spokes and nipples zinc coated, but now I need two all new sets. I phoned around and got 3 quotes of around £220 ($340) to rebuild both rims with stainless spokes. - not happy. However I have found a company that can supply the spokes for £110 (delivered) so I'm going to have a go at lacing them myself (just ordered a spoke wrench off ebay). Has anyone used a swing arm as a stand to true their wheels?

Also I had a bit of a time getting the front tyre off - the back is a no-no with the puny wrenches I have, but the local bike shop said he will take it off for £10 - not bad, but you'd think he'd do it for free to build up a customer relationship.

I managed to get the frame and swing arm cleaned and degreased ready for powder coating. As I said before, the frame and swing arm will be red, but I'm not sure whether to have the triple trees red or black. Will red trees be too much? I'm doing the bike red, white and blue, but I'm trying to be subtle about it - I don't want to look like a fat Evil Kenevil - so I've decided the rims and hubs are going to be powder coated black, which should be cool with the stainless spokes.

See ya.
 

Green199

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Jubilee

Cool start man...looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

Cheers TB_J,

Not much done today. Had my first attempt at polishing, it's not bad, but I may go over it again:
 

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SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

A few bits done today. One of them was the petrol cap, it's a real mess, but I be buggered if I'm paying £60 for a new one. So I've filed out as many pits as I can without going all the way through - it's very thin metal. I then wet and dried it and finished it off with my polisher. It's not great, but I think it will look good enough when it gets chromed:
 

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SteveG

Been Around the Block
Re: 1981 Yamaha SR250 - A Tracker named Mexico

Result! I've just managed to order a Genuine NOS MAIN / CENTRE STAND for £30 delivered. Now I just need to spend a few quid on a length of stainless bar, do a bit of drilling, add a couple of split pins and the bike will have a brand new center stand and rear brake pivot.
 

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