Honda XR250 Silver Sand Is Among the Best-Looking Custom Scramblers Out There

Honda XR250 Silver Sand 13 photos
Photo: Michael Korkaris
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Urban Mechanics (UM) may not get as much attention as some of Europe’s other custom bike shops, but their work is nothing short of mind-blowing. Co-founders Mike and Tom go about their daily business in Athens, Greece, where UM had been established back in 2016. We’ve been intrigued by their work from the moment we first saw it, and a lot of you probably feel the same.
Not too long ago, we had a look at a breathtaking Honda CB250 scrambler they’ve dubbed Velos, which left us genuinely awe-struck for many reasons. The project we’ll be looking at today is actually a bit older than Velos, but it most certainly doesn’t look any less enticing. It calls itself Silver Sand and is also a scrambler, great for an overnight camping trip, beach cruising, or joy-packed rides out in nature with some friends.

Cosmetically, Mike and his teammate were somewhat inspired by Ducati’s old-school 350 Scrambler. The project’s starting point was a 1999 variant of Honda’s XR250 lineup, perfect for the sort of conversion that UM’s specialists had in mind. Its power source is an air-cooled 249cc single good for up to 30 ponies and 18 pound-feet (25 Nm) of torque.

That may not sound like much, but the motorcycle’s 229-pound (104-kg) dry weight makes it extremely agile and fun to ride. With the little Japanese dual-sport delivered to their shop, the UM duo started by taking all its factory plastics out of the equation. This left room for a much classier attire, which was pieced together using a mixture of repurposed and custom-made components.

Finding a suitable replacement for the fuel tank was the first thing they had to take care of, so that the rest of their mods could be based around it. A chrome-plated Hodaka item was soon found on the web and shipped right over, then the serious customization work got underway. Mike and Tom made all the necessary adjustments for the retro tank to fit its new host, but the real challenge came when painting it.

Honda XR250 Silver Sand
Photo: Michael Korkaris
Applying paint onto a chromed surface wasn’t exactly straightforward, so it took three attempts for Urban Mechanics to achieve the desired outcome. As the primary finish, they borrowed a yellow hue from the Ducati SportClassic color palette, while leaving some exposed chrome on the sides. Up top, we see a black stripe traveling the length of the tank from front to back.

The laser-cut aluminum badges on the flanks are UM’s own reinterpretation of the Honda logo, and they look absolutely fantastic. When the Greek artisans were done with the gas tank, it came time to work their custom magic elsewhere. They installed chrome-plated fenders nice and high at both ends, while tweaking the XR250’s rear subframe to accommodate the new setup seamlessly.

We spot a bare-bones license plate bracket hanging off the mudguard’s rearmost tip, accompanied by a minuscule LED taillight a bit further ahead. Moving northward a few inches, you’ll come across a pillion seat pad and a leather strap made for carrying some bare essentials. Now, we’re not quite sure what purpose the former is meant to serve, because there are no passenger foot pegs to speak of.

Honda XR250 Silver Sand
Photo: Michael Korkaris
Either way, the whole arrangement scores maximum points in terms of aesthetics, also aided by an elegant leather saddle and two oval side covers. These number boards are off-the-shelf parts from C-Racer, and a third, similar-looking item can be seen at the front. It’s placed right above the fender and behind a retro-style headlamp, which lives inside a chromed bucket. The cockpit is home to a Tommaselli handlebar with Biltwell grips and bar-end blinkers.

The forks got lowered ever so slightly to achieve the desired posture, and the shock spring out back was painted yellow to match the fuel tank. Although the XR250’s original wheels are still present, they’ve been rebuilt with fresh spokes and wrapped in Mitas tires. In addition, Urban Mechanics had the rims powder-coated black, just as they had done with the frame and swingarm.

Wanting to let the engine breathe a bit more freely, the guys rejetted its carb before capping it off with a DNA air filter. They kept the standard two-into-one exhaust headers, but replaced the muffler with an aftermarket substitute from Biltwell’s catalog. Chrome made its way onto the lower engine covers, too, while also appearing on a bespoke exhaust heat shield manufactured in-house.

UM upgraded the electronics with new wiring and a lithium-ion battery, and they ultimately finished things off with a compact aftermarket speedo. That concluded the transformation process, so the XR250 Silver Sand was neatly buttoned up and prepared for hitting the road (or trail). We reckon it would look right at home next to an authentic vintage dirt bike, bearing very little resemblance to its former self but still packed full of off-roading prowess.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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