If you’re anything like me, then you love the ‘90s era of motocross and supercross and the colourful style that came with it.
The Noleen Sizzler Yamaha squad sported one of the most iconic liveries of the decade, made famous by none other than the legend Larry Ward.
Built by Western Australian and ‘90s MX/SX tragic Brad Petricevic, this Larry Ward 1994 Noleen Sizzler Yamaha YZ250 replica is more than just a sticker kit and seat cover - fitted with period-correct parts and a selection of componentry actually used by the team, this build is something special.
It’s a funny a story of how Brad actually came across the bike in the first place - let’s just say it passed hands a couple of times, and when it came time to buy it back, it was missing its fair share of essential parts.
While he was able to source what he needed to get it back into standard trim, the whole idea of building the Sizzler replica bike depended on one thing - getting his hands on the exact Noleen pipe used by the team in the 1994 AMA Supercross season. As Brad explains, it almost didn’t happen…
“To get the ball rolling on this build was an original Noleen pipe that was on eBay,” says Brad. “I was going back and forth with the seller to get measurements and references because he wasn’t sure on the year - he ended up selling the pipe to someone else and I thought I’d never find another one.
“He said ‘nah, I’ll find you one’. Two weeks later, he sent me an email saying he found the correct one - we’ve become good friends since, and he’s a Honda man, so anything HRC I send him, and anything Yamaha, he sends me.”
It’s incredibly impressive the parts Brad has sourced to build this bike - and with no timeframe on its completion, he waited as long as he needed to obtain and fit the right components.
The YZ250 has the correct exhaust system, Ohlins suspension, and triple-clamp as the team used, while he’s installed period-correct Pro Tapers bars, EBC brake rotors and Sunstar sprocket.
He wasn’t able to secure the exact muffler used by Ward - which wasn’t available to the public - but he was able to modify the off-the-shelf option with some help...
“The Noleen muffler that you and I can buy I had to modify - they ran a much shorter muffler and you can’t see it past the side cover, so I had to chop it down and replicate the bracket.
“A guy on VitalMX actually has one of his old bikes, so he sent me some photos so I could get it spot on - it’s even got the AMA inspection decal with the correct number on it for that bike.”
The finishing touches include the unique purple plastics at the rear-end, graphics, and of course that famous seat cover sporting the Sizzler logo.
Admitting the plastics were a hassle to source, the graphics kit and seat cover surprisingly came together easier than expected.
“The purple plastics were a pain to get,” he explains. “I got the rear guard from the States and side panels came from Italy. It was just about being patient to find the parts - I’d much rather wait six months or a year to find the correct thing.
“Throttle Jockey helped me with the graphics and were actually interested in what I was doing, and the seat cover, well, Brian sent me the seat cover that was actually for a Suzuki RM250 and the plan was to cut it up, us the Kevlar part and then replicate the rest.
“My trimmer mate and I figured it was going to work anyway, so we used some thinner to get the RM250 off it and Rod Gilchrist painted the Sizzler logo on and heated treated it.
"That actually all went smoothly, and I thought it was going to be nightmare - Rod’s pretty good at bailing me out of tricky little shit like that.”
As I said - this bike is more than just a sticker kit and seat cover. The attention to detail and patience to get his hands on the right parts have resulted in an immaculate replica build that looks like it came straight from Anaheim in 1994.
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