Lost love: Yamaha FZR 250R

Liam McCartney really had to figure out what to go for when buying his first ‘big bike’.

He wanted four cylinders but was on a budget that would not stretch to a 600cc machine.

The answer was a Japanese import in the stylish shape of a 1989 Yamaha FZR 250R – made five years before he was even born!

The four-stroke, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 249cc engine produced 45hp and loved to rev with the red line at 18,500rpm.

Sales executive Liam bought the FZR 250R in early 2013 for around £700 and kept it a couple of years before selling it to a friend. He had owned a 50cc bike and then taken his test on a riding school Yamaha SR125.

“It was my first big bike,” he said. “I really wanted a four-cylinder bike but couldn’t afford a 600.

“I liked the look of these and thought they were really cool. And it was just in budget and not far away.”

It also looked similar to his dream machine – a classic Yamaha FZR 750RR 0W01 sports bike.

But the FZR 250R needed some work.

“It needed the carbs completely stripped and rebuilt, because the fuel tank had rusted on the inside, and a lot of TLC and tidying up.

“It was my sole transport and I used to ride everywhere.”

It was generally reliable, if a little temperamental at times.

“It used to drop to three cylinders when it rained but, on the whole, it was pretty good.”

Liam sold it because he wanted something newer, with more power, and bought a Kawasaki ZXR400 Ninja. He sold his 250, for about the same money he had paid for it, to a friend who still owns it.

“Back then, I needed it for transport and, at the time, I didn’t realise how special and rare it was. If I had it now I wouldn’t get rid of it.

“But it went to a good home and my friend spent a lot of time and money on it,” he added.