Project X-Tracker: Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

A BMX-inspired street tracker…with bicycle rack!

The Yamaha XT500 is one of motorcycling history’s great success stories, and one of our favorite bikes of all time. The twin-valve four-stroke enduro won the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1979 and 1980 — the first two years the legendary event was run — and an XT-powered works racer came in the top 10 in the 1977 500cc World Motocross Championship…against an army of two-strokes! Cycle Guide stated it best, reviewing the XT500:

“As a general all-purpose off-road recreation machine, you just can’t do better.”

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Enter Jerrett Bellamy, a 33 y.o. mechanical engineer from Ontario, Canada, who’s raced BMX, flat track, supermoto, and cross country.  Today, in addition to his engineering day job, he runs MOTO-cycle Metal Works on the side:

“I make various art/functional pieces out of old bicycle and motorcycle parts. The majority of the build was funded through that.”

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Believe it or not, Jerrett’s father owned this very same bike when he was a kid, putting more than 30,000 miles on the clock before he sold it. Fortunately, the ’77 XT stayed in their hometown of Port Elgin, and they got it back some four years ago. After an engine rebuild, Jerrett tore the bike down to create the build you see here, Project X-Tracker:

“The goal was to keep it simple, clean and balance a mix of modern performance parts and vintage character of the bike.”

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Our friends at Pipeburn published a wonderful feature on the build, but then Jerrett upped the ante with a custom moto bike rack so he can haul around his BMX!

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Below, we get the full story on the build from Jerrett himself, along with some stunning photos from Dave Levitt Photography.

Project X-Tracker: In the Builder’s Words

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

My name is Jerrett Bellamy and I recently built a 1977 Yamaha XT500 street tracker. I’m 33 years old, from Ayr Ontario, Canada (100km west of Toronto) and a Mechanical Engineer by day. I do check BikeBound regularly.

There is a pretty cool story with the bike. It was my Dad’s when I was a child. I have pictures as a baby sitting on the seat and I remember at 5 years old going for rides on it with my Dad, sitting in front of him using foot pegs that he made that would screw onto the frame.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

He put 50,000 km on it riding to work and back. He had it setup as the stock dual sport bike as well as a street tracker. He sold the bike but it stuck around my hometown. We ended up getting it back almost four years ago now.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

My Dad did a light restoration and engine rebuild then I tore into it to build the custom street tracker I had in mind. I’ve changed nearly everything except for the frame, swing arm, engine, side covers and fuel tank. The goal was to keep it simple, clean and balance a mix of modern performance parts and vintage character of the bike. Brought inspiration from my history of riding BMX and racing flat track, supermoto and cross country motorcycles.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

I documented the build on my personal blog: www.jerrettbellamy.com and Instagram @jerrettbellamy.

Here’s a run down on the build / parts:

Forks: 1996 GXS-R750. I shaved all extra mounting brackets.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Headlight: LED light bar (scored it as a sample from a supplier at my day job) recessed into an aluminum number plate with custom mount brackets that incorporate front brake cable clamps. 6v to 12v conversion to run the LED lights.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Handlebars: ProTaper off YZF250. Motogadget bar end signals. Mini push button switches & Motogadget relay used for signals. All wiring routed through the handlebars.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Front brake: Brembo radial master cylinder (left over from supermoto race bike), 6 piston caliper (off ZX6R), 310mm rotor (off Triumph Trophy 1200).

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Wheels: 19” cast Yamaha front wheels with custom machined hub carrier for disc brake & the rear wheel has incorporated drive sprocket and brake rotor on the same side of the wheel. The rear wheel setup was one of my engineering challenges for the build. I had modeled everything in solidworks 3D cad to make it all work. Shinko flat track tires.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Rear Brake: GSX-R master cylinder, custom link to use stock rear brake lever, Brembo caliper (off Ducati Monster), 310mm rotor (off Triumph Trophy 1200).

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Exhaust: Stainless steel, Hoos racing header, Cone Engineering 12” reverse cone muffler, 18 degree bend.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Seat Pan: Knight style fiberglass – the same one my Dad had when he had it setup as a street tracker. Good thing he doesn’t throw anything out!

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Seat: Custom made by Haversack Leather. I made a fibreglass base to match the seat pan contour right to the rear of the fuel tank.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

Misc: Aluminum inner fender, stainless steel mx style foot pegs, aluminum mini skid plate, Works connection motocross clutch lever with hot start lever for decompression, KTM handlebar mounts. All hardware changed to socket head bolts. Aluminum gas cap & oil tank cap. Custom made license plate bracket, LED light strip mounted to bottom side or rear frame loop. Machined aluminum fuel tank mount spacer that matches the number plate and seat pan washers.

Yamaha XT500 Street Tracker

My side hustle is www.motocyclemetalworks.com where I make various art/functional pieces out of old bicycle and motorcycle parts. The majority of the build was funded through that.

The Moto Bike Rack

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