With The Bride essentially complete, my thoughts have turned to the other bikes in my garage. The order of attack is Bultakenstein first, of course, then the Aermacchi-Ducati Special. The Benelli/Honda ATC250R hybrid is third in line, but I couldn’t help but ponder what I wanted the “Benelli 250R” to be. Appearance will be important. I’ve made one outrageously goofy bike; I don’t need to do it again. And while the Yamaha XVZ wheels I’d been considering are conveniently available, I’ve decided they don’t work on this bike. I will save those for the Retroblaster, as originally intended.

The vertical 2-stroke cylinder with radial fins reminds me so very much of the AMC 20T engine of the early ’60s. I thought about recreating the looks of the James Sport Captain 200, shown in the photos below.

I took these and a couple of other images of Captains (Sport and standard) and layered them in Photoshop, then superimposed the ATC250R engine and Benelli frame cradle over them.

It looks pretty much how I expected. Spoke wheels would look great. I have a Yamaha IT front hub I could lace up to get a small TLS front drum that would look the part. But I quickly learned that the SR250 swingarm I have is much longer than the James’s. That led me to consider going to 19″ wheels front and rear to keep the proportions correct. I like the look of Yamaha Virago/Maxim 5-spoke gold wheels, and in the past have thought about the prospect of using Virago front wheels front and back. But how would a pseudo-vintage bike look with cast wheels and disk brakes? I quickly pasted together a collage of photo bits to create this:

It’s very crudely assembled, and there are things like the rear disk being on the wrong side, but it gets the visual impression across. I’m totally digging this, but it reminds me more of a Montesa Impala or Ossa Copa circa 1980 than the James. I will have to decide if I want a ’60s or 80s vibe, and spec wheels and brakes accordingly.

I have two other bikes to build, so it’s not like I need to decide right away.

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