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.
Triple-s (http://www.triple-s.co.uk), Bingley, for powder coating The Tuning Works (https://www. thetuningworks.co.uk), 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