Of late, I’ve found myself kicking around, looking for something to do. Next years plans are made (a trip up the Alpe D’Huez and a quick whizz up the Galibier will be the highpoints, literally), project adequate ZXR has been an overwhelming success, culminating in a trackday up at Cadwell Park where I rediscovered an aptitude for riding (and drinking beer with Scotty) that I thought I’d lost along the way. I also nearly wrote a blog post with the most cringe-worthy toe-curlingly embarrassing pun for a title regarding re-covering the seat. Honestly, you’ll thank me for not writing it. So, what to do next? I’d dug out all my old radio control gear ready to make another plane, but, well, I’m not quite ready for the pipe and slippers yet. Only one thing for it. Another project bike.
So, I fired up eBay, and found a really nice ZRX400 to get to work on. I really like the shape of the ZRX, and I’m more suited to middleweights rather than big 1200 musclebikes. So, that was easy. Just need to get on with it. Ohhhh, what’s this? An email from old mate Kev asking for help bringing his TZR250 back from a state of dereliction? Well, that was easy… And so, this morning, I popped along to Downtown Funky Broxbourne to fill up the boot of my car with boxes of TZR250 and drink lots of tea.
On first glance, things aren’t too bad. The bodywork is shabby, but it’s a 27yr old 250 two stroke – so it’s been crashed. Lots. The engine turns over, but will need a lot of checking and new pistons and rings at least. The chassis is, well, just mucky. I don’t think it’s ever been cleaned. So my first job was to strip the frame right back, and give it a damn good seeing to. And after a few hours, it’s looking good. Only one seized bolt so far, and the finish on the frame is something that Suzuki owners can only dream about. With a bit of elbow grease, it’ll scrub up nice. Bang tidy.
Bits of the bike are baggy where they should be firm (forks) and stiff and crinkly where they should be supple and flexible (carb rubbers) but I can’t complain. I’m suffering the same symptoms as I get older too. But, all in all, I reckon this is the start of a great project. I still reckon that on UK roads, a 250 2-stroke is the perfect bike. And while Kev won’t sell me this one (believe me, I’ve tried) I’m now on the lookout for another one. So, if you’re reading this, and you’ve got a basket case TZR, RGV, NSR or KR1S, I’m all ears. I’d even swap the ZXR for a good one – that’s how much I rate them.
 yes, I know the story about the mis-spelling.