By James McCombe - 09 Oct 14
There are just too many interesting facts about the small Basque region nestling in the Pyrenees to list them all. For instance, the Basque language, Euskara, is the oldest in Europe. Unrelated to any other known language its roots can be traced back over 20,000 years in Europe. This is almost as long as Honda’s venerable CB250 has been around. Almost.
Ibai Moreno lives in the beautiful region and is one of the lucky few who enjoys his job teaching mechanical manufacturing almost as much as he does riding bikes. Since his 10 year old self zipped around on a Montessa Cota 25, two wheels have been a big part of Ibai’s life. Encouraged by what he was seeing others do, Ibai decided a cheap, cool town-steed was required to fill a hole and hopefully inspire those around him.A 1993 Honda CB250 residing at the back of a friends workshop was purchased for the price of a leather jacket and immediately stripped apart. This was to be a budget build utilising imagination and ingenuity to make a small, cheap and mechanically simple bike. As Ibai beautifully puts it. “Bikes that unlikely would take you too far, but would make you the happiest man on earth while you drive them to your workplace”. An eBay sourced CG125 tank provided the desired street-tracker direction coupled with a set of chunky Renthals. Ibai set to work fabricating the shortened rear end, brackets for the new gauges and lights, along with the Swiss-Cheese inspired under-seat battery box. The 5 spoke wheels received a coating of satin black and some fresh street-biased rubber. However, as with so many of our own projects, that annoying thing called life can get in the way; the project was temporarily put on hold. Thankfully a couple of Ibai’s friends tinker with bikes in their own workshop as a hobby under the name DUETT Garage. Once in their hands, the half-finished build came with just two requests from Ibai: Blue paintwork and a clean horizontal line from tank through to seat. DUETT enthusiastically cracked on, challenge accepted. A cleaned and painted engine breathes freely through either end, the reverse cone exhausts providing a soundtrack that belies the cubic capacity. Perched above is the intense blue tank, with both Honda and subtle DUETT logos, crowned with an engraved petrol cap. Bates lights and bobbed mudguards keep the extremities tucked tight, while mirrors and indicators keep the practicalities required for daily use. Although no powerhouse, it’s easy to agree with Ibai; “It is a bike to make me as its owner feel happy and proud.” As anybody who has visited the Basque region while down at Wheels and Waves or otherwise will attest, it’s clear that the roads are something to behold. The little CB250 is perfect for zipping through the towns and out into the country, smile on face, and sun on back. With the hunt on for another cheap donor bike, Ibai has more ideas and parts ready to fit to the next build, again planning to keep costs as low as possible. We look forward to seeing the next budget Basque blaster!