Street Tracker Comes To Life

This past Winter was unusually cold for the Houston area. We had snow, a couple of freezes and all around nasty stuff that lasted through April, one of the longest winters in quite a while.

Traditionally during the winter months we take on some sort of project. We have done a few vintage restorations over the years as well as helping a few of our Racer clients prepare and set up their racebikes. This year, our 29th in business, we decided to do something different, a project for ourselves. After some serious though on the matter we decided that Chopper/Bobbers have been done to death and since we have been wanting to build a Street Tracker (Street legal flat track Racer). For some time thats the direction we would go.

We had a Rusted 1975 Yamaha XS650 chassis that had been out behind our shop for about 16 years as well as 3 XS650 engines residing under our stairwell for about the same amount of time. . We pulled em into the shop and had a starting point. Our concept was to use as many parts off of bikes we had laying around the shop and buy as few new parts as possible. Instead we would refinish, replate, repaint, and refurbish parts off of any brand bike that we could make work. We ended up with Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Harley, and even a few take off parts from a Custom Triumph flat tracker that our buddy Mark Lanoue races at Pikes peak every year on our project. We had help from many friends, James Moody machined the custom rear wheel sprocket adapter, Mark Lanoue and Shane Davis waterjetted brackets for foot controls and Rear Brake hanger.

Shane Davis and Mark Martinez helping with the frame paint as well as design and airbrushing of the paint scheme on the tank & tailpiece. Sam Romeo at Sam’s Cycle Salvage Found us a great deal on a pair of Kawasaki ZRX 1200 shocks. John Easton at Jemco Exhaust Systems built the Exhaust that looks so good on the bike.

Kevin Felle built the air filter adaptors to mount them to the carbs. It really became a sort of community project which is what makes these builds so much fun. Our techs here, Jeff Wisenbaker & Ben Brooks also worked tirelessly in their spare time to help complete the bike.

We also had many parts donated that saved us lots of money. Doug Holland gave us the rear gold supersprocket that came off of his Z1000 Kawasaki, Mark Lanoue donated a Brembo rear caliper, a Grimeco master cylinder and a set of take off tires that had gone up Pikes peak. Of course the Exhaust system from Jemco Exhausts, Grips from JP over at Blue Sky Distributing. Danny McMillan got us some Vibration resistant ISO mounts for our seat mount. Many other customers helped out with other parts and some even helped us with the actual building and painting and we really appreciate their help! Its so nice to have everyone pitching in and then being able to see the results, very rewarding.

Here is a list of components that went into the project:

  • Frame is a 1975 Yamaha XS650, gusseted and modified at Cycle Sports.
  • Engine & carbs are from a ’77, Both left stock but painted polished & carbs rejetted
  • Front suspension & fuel tank ’81, steering stem bearings,seals & progressive springs
  • Swingarm ’86 Yamaha Radian with needle bearings
  • Kaw ZRX 1200 Shocks, Repainted and re cadium plated
  • Foot controls are Kawasaki Ninja 250
  • Tailpiece XR750 Harley, seat recontoured , firmer foam inserted and recovered
  • Tailpiece is also rubber mounted to the frame on viabration absorbing Iso mounts
  • Headlight & Brow from a Harley Sportster, custom mounts made here
  • K&N Air Filters with custom adaptors made to mount to the carbs
  • Pipes were built down the street from us by John Easton at Jemco Exhaust Systems
  • Stock front caliper and rotor with Grimeca mastercyl & stainless lines
  • Brembo Rear caliper with custom water jetted hanger and stabalizer bar, stainless lines
  • Stock front brake rotors turned, drilled & painted
  • For the wheels we used two stock front Xs650 hubs & Spokes
  • Custom built billet sprocket adaptor made by James Moody at Leeco Springs
  • The Rims are rear Honda CRF450 Excell 19″ take offs donated by Honda of Houston
  • Paint scheme graphics were designed by Shane Davis at Graphtec Inc in Houston
  • All paint was done here in our shop, the only powdercoated parts are rims and fuel cap
  • Trailtech computer for speedo, tach, odometer, tripmeter, clock, temp, shift lights
  • Trailtech also has an optional bezel with all the idiot lights needed, rubber mounted
  • We custom built the turn signals and lic plate & taillight bracket
  • Hard to spot the front signals but they are there
  • Custom built the electrical box and wiring harness.
  • Hi performance YTZ10s sealed battery, electric start only.
  • All lighting is LED except for the Headlight.

We had a great time building the bike and plans are to ride it some and show it at several events around the area. We also have a couple of National magazines that have shown an interest in doing an article on it. Watch the next couple of issues of Motorcyclist, Cycle World and Moto Retro Illustrated for possible sightings.

Anyone interested in having a custom street tracker of their own built or in need of help building any custom bike, be it with parts, machining, or any other help you may need please feel free to contact us, We would love to help in any way we can. We feel that we can help you get your own prized possession on the road.

Ken Fontenot

Jeff Wisenbaker

Ben Brooks