Bringing you the world's best café racers, bobbers and custom motorcycles

Honda GP250R Café Racer

Posted on November 30, 2012 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 69 comments

By guest writer Ian Lee.

Inspiration. It can come from so many sources, and affect different people in different ways. Some people take no notice of inspiration. Some people use just their surroundings for inspiration. And some people actively seek out inspiration, grabbing it by the collar and headbutting it into submission. Darrell Schneider from DS Restorations (DSR) is one of the latter. After more than 25 years in automobile restoration, Darrell decided he needed a change, and a challenge. A long history with motorbike riding, with no further thought than fueling them up and riding them, gave Darrell a basic idea of where he could start. The challenge brought up the bike we feature here today, the DSR GP 250R Café Racer. Built mainly around CRF250R components, with inspiration drawn from numerous bike builders, it’s proof that sometimes it’s worth it to challenge yourself, you never know what might happen…

Darrell hit Google hard in the design process of the GP 250R, searching through ‘thousands of project bikes’ before coming to any decisions about build style. Drawing inspiration from bike builders such as Ron Woods, Roland Sands, Richard Pollack & Marcus Motos,  Darrell decided that he knew what he wanted to build. In his own words: ‘the bike had to be a new twist on an old style, nothing show bike fancy, something you want to ride. I wanted the old-timers as well as a 20 year old to think this bike is cool’. Now research was done, Darrell was a man with a plan.

Starting with a CRF250R donor bike, the engine was taken out and fitted to a custom aluminium subframe. Manufactured into the frame is the bracketry for the fuel cell, fuel tank cover, seat, rear fender, air cleaner, and rearset uppermounts. All normal bike stuff, I am aware, but the custom subframe allowed Darrell to not be restricted to CRF250 parts in the build. While playing around with aluminium, the radiator shrouds, lower body panels, fenders and fork covers were also manufactured, with mucho lightness making the bike light in weight, to fulfil it’s sporting credentials.

Bodywork is all custom, with the front fairing, fuel tank cover, seat, rear fender, body side panels and air intake all being produced in house to suit the bike. Each individual panel was made of wood, foam & body filler, refinished, molds made and the current panels being cast from the molds. A lot of effort, but handy should any of the parts need to be reproduced at any point. Using inspiration from his childhood (and from Jack Phinn’s 450 flat tracker), Darrell modelled the fuel tank cover on the Honda Elsinore tank, a bike much sought after when he was a kid.

The CRF250R suspension has been fitted, albeit tweaked by RaceTech Suspension, using their super single setup, triple clamps and fork lugs, a Durelle Racing shock height adjuster has been fitted to the rear. A Honda CBR600 has donated it’s calipers to the build, mounted on custom mounts, working on Brake Tech iron rotors. The hubs are Talon supplied, the Sun rims wrapped in 17 inch Michelins.

Taking care of the exhaust side of things is an Arrow Special Parts titanium dual system, modifiedby Darrell to just have a single outlet. This is due to Darrell’s belief of how ‘fat’ bikes look with two mufflers at the rear. Cooling duties are given to a custom radiator, using AN fittings and hose, to add to the racing image the bike gives off.

Visually, the bike looks like a healthy mix of bike styles. Spoked rims, the Elsinore style tank cover give the bike an old school look, mixed with Moto2 styling, and a hint of Ducati OEM aesthetics rounding it out. To take the initiative to challenge himself, to research his butt off, to have the ability to do the majority of work himself, has allowed Darrell to produce this rolling work of art. Using dirtbike components, with his skills learnt over his time working with cars, the dSR 250R GP is a new age café racer, hand built to please anyone’s eyes. It’s amazing what inspiration can do.

Check out DS Restorations Facebook page for lots more build pics.

  • Chris E.

    Game Changer

  • ShiftToKill

    perfection…simply inspiration at it’s finest. time to change my pants!

  • lmfg

    One of the most inspired bikes I’ve seen in years. Amazing.

  • Akshay


  • $52244477


    i know this bike!
    i’ve watched its progress during the last couple of years…
    bravo darrell!!!

    it’s finally completed…
    and on its way for world wide acclamation!


    cheers dsr

  • arnold

    Excellent thought and workmanship. But, er, what’s it’s purpose?

    • Andrew@Pipeburn

      What’s the purpose of any art?

      • arnold

        Art it is. I am glad to see the crafts making a revival.
        Canvas and marble are so yesterday.
        Except poker playing dogs on velvet of course.ald

        • Oldnbroken

          One day those dogs will be worth a lot of money Arnold, you hang on to your collection and one day you will be the envy of the art world mate.


        • Manxman

          Maybe we can put my Elvises and bull-fighters on velvet with your poker dogs and have an exhibition at a local gallery. I’ll even bring the wine and cheese. ;^}

          • Tony Stark

            Make sure it’s Gallo and American.

          • Manxman

            I always carry a can of Kraft aerosol cheese where ever I go. Great for fixing flats.

          • Tony Stark

            I thought your bike looked kinda cheesy.

          • arnold

            I do think we should invite cowboy boot flag girl to the gallery opening, Alicia Elving, and Shasta Smith.

            And this woman is definitely A listed to the gallery.

          • Tony Stark

            Tearing it down is the easy part…

          • Manxman

            Yeah, Tony, but I noticed she didn’t use a hammer – not even once.

          • Tony Stark

            I’m pretty sure she did. And another person.

          • arnold

            I had a wife once that took apart my old Beezer with a hammer. When she broke that, she finished the job with a pipe wrench. I may have deserved that, but the poor old bike didn’t.

            —American Folk Lore

          • Manxman

            At least it was a metric pipe wrench (I hope).

          • arnold

            Whitworth, inventor of standardized threads.

          • Manxman

            In that case I’d better bring something a little classier than Gallo – a fine Mogan David might do the trick.

          • Oldnbroken

            Please send me a invite as I hate to have to gate crash.


          • Manxman

            We’ll send the limo.

      • Tony Stark

        One purpose of art is to get one to think, so I can see why you don’t get it. BAHZINGA!

  • Brendan Sullivan

    Spoke wheels, inverted forks, high-strung single cylinder, sexy bodywork

    Absolutely Perfect.

  • Стефан ‘Dobermann’ Петров

    Supermoto front, cafe like seat, and in addition… streetfighter fairing…

  • revdub

    I’m going to be staring at this for a long while. The body work and overall design have me picking my chin off the pavement. I’m left with almost nothing to say. Amazing work!

  • Manxman

    Beautiful job taking a dirt bike to cafe racer. Great stance and proportions. Coolness all around.

  • Now&Zen

    SuperMoto revisited . I mean its nice and all . Well done and cleanly executed , but I’m not so sure what all the excitement is about to be honest with you .

  • mikey

    gorgeous work. i love the completely new take on this idea, and the design is just perfect.

  • Nicholas Warn

    This is the first bike that has forced me to leave the lurker shadows and actually post something. Freaking amazing build. This bike is as close to perfect as I have ever seen. Well done.

  • Nickolas Kapetanakis

    I have followed this site for a long time and this is the best bike to be posted. Unreal.

  • MotoTrooper

    The skills are obvious but the execution leaves much to be desired. No doubt it is an entertaining ride but visually… I don’t know maybe it is also the white background but the ivory paint is annoying or maybe it’s the red frame. Is that the stock air box/cookiejar? It’s not very attractive black would be better for it. Is the seatpad hidden behind some cloaking device? I understand two-toning the paintwork to visually break up the beaky fairing. Maybe it looks better in the flesh. Really to much going on -just my opinion.

    • Park

      I gotta agree. I really dig the lines of the frame, but the paintjob and fairing kinda make it too busy for my taste. I’m sure it’s a fun bike though.

  • madmusk

    Man, if I didn’t know any better I would say this is the result of frustration at KTM’s refusal to sell their smaller supermotos in the US. Hang in there man. We may get the Duke 390 just yet!

  • ffjmoore

    Unbelievable bike. I love the body work on the frame. For me, to clean the bike up would be to ditch the fairing and also go with a low pipe to clean up the flow of the bike. Besides that Best bike on here for a while.

  • JBB2
  • Tony Stark

    I agree with many that this is the future of the cafe. Don’t get me wrong; the old bikes will always be platforms for customizing. But as more sport bikes run down and hit the junk piles, we will see more of this. And I’m OK with that (smiley face emoticon.)

  • Manxman

    I’m not sure where the supermoto comments are coming from – it ain’t a super motard, it’s a cafe racer with clip-ons, rearsets, cafe seat and a new take on the bikini fairing. And a really nice one at that. It’s more like a street-going Moto3 than anything else. Like Tony says this is a new way of looking at different platforms for cafe builds.

  • Darrell Schneider

    Thank you for the comments on my bike, I have read them all a few times and it is overwhelming.

    • Vikki

      I am from Russia and I want to say that your work is amazing.This mototskil

      Thank you very much for such a work of art and a little more inspiration to

    • Vikki

      Darrel, I run a small blog dedicated to motorcycles and customizing .130,000 subscribers
      .Maybe you will agree to give us an interview?If you do not mind, send me an
      email please.

  • Eric Flowe

    Is there a second pipe peaking out beneath the bike? I love this thing. It’s like an express pass to a run in with the sheriff. Definitely built for short, fast trips, judging from the seat. Simple and mean. Bravo.

    • Darrell Schneider

      Yes there is a second pipe underneath, good eye.

      • Oldnbroken

        Well done with that second pipe, I did not see it until I looked at your site and the build pics.


  • Ivorybull

    Beautiful bike and looks well executed. Maybe my ex race Kramit 250 smr might get a face lift. The colour scheme makes me think the designer might like a can or two of Murphys Stout!

  • Mule

    This a major undertaking and I’ve seen pictures of it all along it’s design and build-up phases. No part on this bike was starved for attention. There is huge value in a bike being built by someone outside the bike world! None of the pipewrap, Firestone, cookie-cutter rat/cafe style that saturates the internet. There is a mountain of fresh thinking, innovation, ideas, skills and execution in this bike. All plus’s in this world of bike building sameness. Incredible job. No, the chopper guys won’t get it. But people that actually understand engineering and pride of build are/will be impressed beyond words. Great job!

  • Justin Turner

    I am so overexposed to custom motorcycles these days… I usually scroll my feeds with nothing catching my attention from day to day. This grabbed me by the balls. It hurts. I want to burn everything in my garage and start again.

  • Mule

    Oh yea, it could use a little seat padding I think!

    • Darrell Schneider

      I do not even notice the lack of a seat pad, it did need the grip tape to keep from sliding up on the tank during braking. It is built for short fun runs.

      • Mule

        You mean to tell me that this is NOT a cross coutry bike????

  • Oldnbroken

    I love the idea of turning a dirt bike into a road bike, it is in fact exactly what I am doing for my first build but while I am aiming at 60’s styling you seem to have hit 2020’s retro with total style.


  • Mgmue mgmu

    What a beauty. Beautiful enough it would not have been surprising to see Bimota stamped on the side.

  • itsmefool

    Yep, love this one, too, and I was fully prepared to hate it since I’m not a fan of these types of bikes. Great job! I’m just worried that rad isn’t big enough!

  • Mister Oddjob

    As someone who owns 3 bikes all under 450cc, I love this bike. I’be been thinking about building a cbr250r based cafe for my next build. I’m also thrilled to see a bike that mixes old style with modern technology. But I do have one nit to pick. The shape of the headlight nacelle in profile is something seen on a lot of modern bikes and it just looks awful to me. Harley spent $1M developing the V-rod headlight and when I saw it I thought it was a lot of money to design something that resembles a saggy breast. Now I see this design language everywhere and I’m surprised I’m the only person who doesn’t like it.

  • Janus Motorcycles

    Well done. The aesthetic concept is extraordinarily complete, and it sounds like the performance matches as well. Congratulations on an fantastic and original build.

  • Hamish Lamont

    This is just awesome Darrell. So much thought has gone into it, and following that an equal amount of attention to detail! I haven’t seen anything quite like it. Visionary and totally fresh. Truly impressive. Mule summed my thoughts up perfectly.

  • Nick Trocano

    Darrell! STUNNING build quality and looks like a blast on the track! How much $$ and time is into this build? Great job!

  • barneyfife

    Nice building skills…shame about the radiator….hate them.

    • Tony Stark

      I wonder how the split radiator style of the V-Rod would look on this? Anything to get rid of that big black box on the front.

  • Bryan Cox

    I need to do this to my 450, excellent craftmanship

  • Bryan Kerswill

    This is one stunning bike with the attention to detail beyond reproach. Having read the write up twice you read it again to take in the work that has gone in. Well done Darrell you have raised the bar….i,d bet this is a hoot to ride….please

    • Darrell Schneider

      Thank you.

  • Ryan Passini

    And how is this not in production and being sold to the public???

  • cdean

    If it is a single outlet arrow system why does there appear to be a second can under the bike?

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