The ride

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Just Built -

I’ve rid­den all thet­zrs be­fore, not to men­tion most of the NSRS and RGVS, and had a rac­ing KR-1 for a while as well, and yet see­ing Ja­son’s 3MA in the me­tal, even be­fore rid­ing it, re­mains an in­tense ex­pe­ri­ence.

There’s no flab, waste or pre­tence on these, the purest of the two-stroke GP racer reps. Where other copy­cats are of­ten ex­actly that – pla­s­ticky, faux looka­likes with lit­tle sub­stance to back up the style – the very best 250s of this era have al­most as much hard­core pres­ence, per­for­mance and spec as their racer name­sakes. Sure, the rac­ery dash has a speedo, and an off­set ig­ni­tion switch, but all I’m see­ing are those dimi­nu­itive, lithe Tz-alike lines, the clas­sic rac­ingyamaha livery, those tell-tail 3MA twin stingers stick­ing out the seat and, ba­si­cally, a lit­tle, hard bas­tard of a mo­tor­cy­cle the world sim­ply wouldn’t coun­te­nance to­day, sadly.

Let’s get on with it. Key on; choke up; kicker out (not for­get­ting to tuck away the foot­peg), a lit­tle prod and the stro­ker twin fires into a bur­bling, ac­cel­er­ated idle. But if I’m rather cramped and slightly in awe of this tiny, highly-strung buz­z­saw of a mo­tor­cy­cle, thetzr clearly isn’t in its happy place ei­ther. Even at stand­still it’s cough­ing and splut­ter­ing then, as we trickle out of town be­hind the pho­tog­ra­pher’s car, it’s ei­ther scream­ing revs or al­most bog­ging, slip­ping the clutch madly, try­ing to get enough pur­chase on the mas­sively tall first gear. Just like a proper racer in fact: mar­vel­lous.

As the traf­fic fades and the roads clear I

“Straight to 10 thou­sand revs ex­plod­ing like a bot­tle of pop be­fore you grab an­other gear”

open up thetzr for the first time: bur­ble, bur­ble, ding, ding (4 thou), pulling through, d-d-d-d-d (six), a slight dip of clutch (eight) and BRRRRRZZZZZINGG! Straight to 10, ex­plod­ing like a bot­tle of pop and grab­bing an­other gear.way-heyy. and when you keep it on the boil, the tiny, pure, fo­cused, scream­ingyamaha all comes to­gether: a chas­sis so lit­tle, light and lithe you al­most for­get it’s there; a ride so firm and ge­om­e­try so sharp, steer­ing is im­pos­si­bly in­stant and pre­cise and brakes that, de­spite their near 30 years, are strong enough to stop it on its nose.

I strug­gle to fit on tiny bikes now. But even I can’t fail to be fleet­ingly en­rap­tured by the beauty, un­com­pro­mised pur­pose and sounds smell and speed of Ja­son’stzr. If mo­tor­cy­cling is a drug there aren’t many more in­tense hits than this.

Thanks to:

Triple-s (, Bin­g­ley, for pow­der coat­ing The Tun­ing Works (https://www. thetun­ing­, Mans­field, for en­gine re­build work

First and only 250 with re­versed cylinders

Pow­der­coater man­aged to lose half a caliper

You have to like a nice pol­ish to live with this

Big man on lit­tle bike hav­ing MAS­SIVE fun

So worth the nasty sur­prises and bleak frus­tra­tions

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