Modern race bikes leave me cold, but vintage machinery gets my motor running. It’s mostly because you can actually see the bike with older machines, rather than a garish mish-mash of graphics fighting for your attention.
This clean, sharp-looking Yamaha YZ250 flat tracker is a case in point. It was built by Italian Lorenzo Buratti, who wanted to go racing without breaking the bank. So a YZ250 two-stroke was a wise choice. “There are a lot of used YZ250s in good condition,” he says, “And if you work on the engine you don’t have to spend too much. They have a lot of horsepower, too …”
The engine is almost completely new, rebuilt with OEM Yamaha parts. Inside it’s absolutely stock, but that’s enough for most riders: there’s a solid hit of power in any gear, and well set-up YZ250 motors were renowned for having a strong bottom end and fast throttle response. Lorenzo did add a new FMF exhaust system though: he chose an enduro pipes rather than a motocross setup, to soften the sudden hit of power.
He also fitted harder fork and shock springs, and laced new rims to stock YZ250 hubs. The wheels are specific to flat track racing, with a 19 x 3.0 at the back and a 19 x 2.5 on the front, shod with Maxxis DTR flat track tires.
The frame is now painted black, with the seat stays lowered an inch. The body is in fiberglass: “I started with a reproduction fiberglass body for an old historical Ducati racer,” says Lorenzo, “fitted on the YZ250 frame with the help of a grinder and then modified with more fiberglass.” The graphics are clean and simple, and a world away from the usual headache-inducing motocross decals.
Taking all costs and the purchase price into account, the YZ250 owes Lorenzo 3,000 euros—around $3,800. That’s got to be one of the best value bikes we’ve seen in a long time.