This 1985 Yamaha SR250 was inspired by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo…

Yamaha SR250 by Lane Splitter Garage

Inspired by a black-and-white poster of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo this Yamaha SR250 farm bike has been transformed into a stunner by Lanesplitter Garage.

Picked up as an unfinished project, this Yamaha SR250 now takes pride of place at the Lanesplitter Garage in Brisbane. More used to building bikes for other people, Benny Yee at Lanesplitter Garage couldn’t resist buying this one when the original owner lost interest.

For those who don’t know, Benny is a proper bloke in a shed. He’s a programmer by training but loves bikes, getting his hands dirty and “filling his nostrils with WD-40”. He works on all sorts of bikes and is well-known for his postie bike conversions. Benny even taught himself to shoot and took all of the stunning photos of this bike.

Yamaha SR250 by Lane Splitter Garage

The original owner had bought it with the intention of spannering it up for his wife but life and an electrical gremlin got in the way and he lost interest in it leaving it to sit unfinished in a dusty corner of his shed. And that’s when Benny found it online.

“One of the reasons why the original owner decided to sell it was because of an electrical issue. I managed to track that down fairly quickly as one of my first tasks and the bike started up straight away. This saved me some sleepless nights and spending my life savings on blown fuses and a hair transplant,” Benny told MotoFomo.

The bike was in “fairly good condition with some parts already sandblasted and powder coated black,” Benny said. And it was the owner’s intention to build an-all-black bike that drew Benny to the project, he told MotoFomo.

“A number of the parts had already been blacked out, so I decided to continue on with the dark theme.

“I name all of my projects, and by doing so it gives them character, I normally find it helps with my design decisions. I also drew inspiration from the film noir genre, along with an original black and white poster of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”

Yamaha SR250 by Lane Splitter Garage

From unfinished project to all-black stunner, it took Benny around six-months of weekend work to get the bike finished. And there was a hell of a lot more to this build than just some black paint.

“The stock SR250 has a somewhat cruiser stance, which I wanted to level out. I did this by lowering both the front and rear ends. I also hand-shaped the bodywork and new tail section from clay then used fibreglass to create the mould,” Benny told MotoFomo.

Yamaha SR250 by Lane Splitter Garage

“I then added a couple of extra tabs to the frame to allow for the mounting of the new tail section. I also extended the existing wiring harness to allow for the new headlight and mini speedometer. The wheels were also treated to some new rubber and re-laced with some stainless spokes.

“For the paint I wanted a matte finish so I ended up trying a wheel coating cover to test. I wanted to see how it would look over the steel tanks and fibreglass.  The benefit of this paint was that if you needed to change your mind with the colour and finish, you could simply peel it back and recoat. So far it’s held up really well.”

Yamaha SR250 by Lane Splitter Garage

The Yamaha SR250 is a fairly popular base to build a custom bike and makes a great learner’s bike. At 130kg it’s lighter than most other learner bikes and boasts a character that few learner bikes can muster and their huge popularity around the world means there are spare parts for days.

The aim with this build was to focus on the look of the thing and keep the price down, so the mechanicals have been cleaned up but left stock. And we reckon that with all the lavish custom builds you see across the Interweb, keeping things simple and focussing on an aesthetic can be key to building a cool and functional bike without breaking the budget.

Yamaha SR250 by Lane Splitter Garage

So, what’s next for ‘Noir’? Benny reckons he’ll hang onto it for a little while longer and then eventually sell it to make room for another project. Can’t wait to see what he does next.

Lanesplitter Garage | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Lanesplitter Garage

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.