A slightly wheezy Kawasaki 250TR and a Moto Morini with headaches

Green (not very) meanie about to get a trans­for­ma­tive wake-up call

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Inside -

HE TR is not very fast. Pretty, yes. Nippy, no. Flat out is 75mph, and that feels very flat out in­deed. Lots of me­chan­i­cal thrash­ing noises and not very much in the way of speed. A 1971 BSA B25 is prob­a­bly faster (but would have blown up long ago if sub­jected to the abuse the poor TR’S had).

Stage one will be a free-er breath­ing pipe and a big­ger carb with a less re­stric­tive fil­ter. The aim will be to get the TR to 85mph and per­haps a bit be­yond. If this proves to be not enough, then we’ll have to look at re­pro­fil­ing the cam to get a bit more lift. And there are big-bore kits avail­able in Ja­pan, but only to 265cc, and for way too much money by the time they’re shipped here (£200). There will be pis­tons closer to home that would fit, but I’m fer­vently hop­ing it won’t come to that. This TR has got so few miles on it (12,000), it would be a shame to tear into a top-end that’s still fac­tory fresh.

It’s only a two-valve en­gine with an un­fash­ion­ably un­der­square bore and stroke of 66 x 73mm and 9:1 com­pres­sion (hot four-stroke sin­gles run at 14:1). The same en­gine pow­ered the Kawasaki Estrella, a soft retro cruiser thing, so its po­ten­tial is lim­ited with­out go­ing mad on it with big­ger valves and other ex­er­cises where the cost to ef­fec­tive­ness ra­tio be­comes ut­terly ridicu­lous. If we can take a few re­stric­tive OE bits off and bolt some hot­ter parts on, this is as far any rea­son­ably sen­si­ble per­son would want to go [Not you then – JM].

The chas­sis has al­ready ben­e­fit­ted from a pair of Fal­con al­loy-bod­ied shocks to re­place the cheap and not at all cheer­ful orig­i­nals. Strangely enough they came off a CZ 175 Trail I used to have and with new mount­ing bushes sup­plied by Fal­con, they gave an ex­tra half inch of rear ride height with 13-13-inch cen­tres. It’ll get a fork ser­vice and some braided brake hose shortly too.

With the speed of to­day’s traf­fic, it feels like rid­ing an AP50 back in 1976 – mas­sive flat-out hi­lar­ity, but you could al­ways do with an­other 50mph. This will change. Maybe not by a whole lot, but enough for it to be worth­while. We hope.

“The aim is to get the TR to 85mph and per­haps a bit be­yond with bolt-ons”

Looks like a 500, goes like a 125. Hop-up re­quired (bike too)

32mm CV to be swapped for a 33mm Kei­hin CR smooth­bore

Qual­ity Fal­con shocks a huge im­prove­ment

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