Retro-Tracker: Honda XR650R by Parr Motorcycles

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

An XRR street tracker inspired by the legendary Honda RS750…

Since the inception of the AMA Grand National Championship in 1954, Harley-Davidson has been the most dominant manufacturer in flat track racing. However, in the mid-1980s, Honda knocked the Motor Company from its throne and won four championships in a row, campaigning their purpose-built flat tracker, the Honda RS750 — an air-cooled V-twin with an overhead cam and four-valve heads. Today, Bubba Shobert’s is on display in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at AMA headquarters, decked out in that legendary red, white, and blue livery.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Enter Spencer Parr of Parr Motorcycles — a true rising star in the world of custom motorcycles, and one of our very favorite builders. In 2018, we had the honor of featuring Spencer’s first professional build, his Suzuki DR650 “Retro-Moto”, an RM-inspired supermoto, and last year he followed up with his Suzuki DR650 “Retro-Scrambler” — one of the most popular builds we’ve ever featured. Now Spencer, who’s always had a soft spot for the RS750, is back with his “Retro-Tracker”:

“The design concept was a street-legal Honda tracker inspired by the legendary Honda RS750 flat track bike…Between its success in the 80’s and bold design, I’ve always wondered what a street-inspired version of that bike would look like.”

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

For the base bike, Spencer decided on the Honda XR650R — a legend in its own right. Introduced in 2000, the XRR would become the undisputed king of Baja during its heyday:

“The liquid-cooled 650 was a purpose-built, high-speed Baja cruiser designed for the obsessive goal of winning the Mexican 1000.” —Dirt Bike

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

We’ve followed Spencer’s work on the XRR for the last eight months, witnessing the forethought, detail, and drive that went into the build. Today, we’re thrilled to showcase this stunning “Retro-Tracker” — a fitting tribute to the legendary RS750, and one of the baddest street trackers we’ve ever seen. Below, we get the full details from Spencer himself.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker: In the Builder’s Words

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Summary of build:

After finishing another Suzuki DR650 build, I decided to change things up and build a Honda to add to the stable. The design concept was a street-legal Honda tracker inspired by the legendary Honda RS750 flat track bike. With such an iconic design and success behind its name, I knew I had to build a roadworthy Honda tracker to give praise to the RS and do it right. When searching for the donor bike, I knew I’ve always wanted to build a XR650R. Being one of the best dual sport motorcycles ever built, I knew it would be perfect for this build. Finishing one proved difficult but after a month of searching, I picked one up a state away and the build soon started.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Going into the build I had much of the design already done because its been in my head for years now. Red, white, and blue tracker with high pipe exhaust was the gist. When the build started, I stripped the bike to only the necessary items. First order of business was the tank. With a 2” square backbone, I knew I would either have to build a tank or find one that fits. I purchased a ’74 Elsinore tank just to see if it would fit, and with slight mods, it fit like a glove.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

To get the proper stance, suspension was next. I swapped the stock forks for CRF Showa forks that I rebuilt with Racetech goodies and lowered. The rear shock uses the stock shock rebuilt and lowered. With the proper stance, I started on the subframe. The subframe had to include an integrated electronics box, license plate holder, keyed ignition and the rear needed to be angled higher so motorists could see the integrated LED brake lights.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Next was the exhaust which needed to compliment the look of the classic flat track vibe. A left side dual exhaust was made with SuperTrapp mufflers to add some flavor. I then started on the seat/tail section which was made to sit flush with the gas tank and include a small number plate as well. With all the main parts made, it was off to paint.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

The most important part of this bike was the paint. It needed to compliment the look of the RS750 but also be different. I wanted to the paint to flow front to back instead of having the design stop at the tank and tail section. I knew the red, white, and blue was going to be bold, but this bike needed it. Once I got everything back from paint, the newly rebuilt motor was installed in the red frame immediately. Soon the bike was sitting on the 19” Dubya Excel wheels wrapped in Mitas H-18 tires. Soon everything came together including the subframe, dual left side exhaust, and tank. To compliment the dual LED brake/running/ and turn signals in the rear, I added LED strips in the radiator guards for the running lights and turns in the front. They are bright and work great!

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

For the carb, I chose the Lectron based on reviews and reliability, works flawlessly! Some other electronic items added was a Baja Designs S2 Pro for the headlight, a Motogadget Motoscope mini was used for the speedo and mounted to the tank is the TrailTech temp gauge. Push buttons on the handlebars controls all the functions of the bike.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

For the seat, I wanted it to have a little flare but subtle. I decided to have the seat wrapped in black vinyl on the sides and Alcantara in the middle.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

For the brakes, they were rebuilt and Galfer rotors help stop the pig. The XRR does not come with a key, so a keyed ignition is integrated into the electronics box. After 8 months of building this bike, its now complete and coined the Retro-Tracker!

Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

My name is Spencer Parr and I live just west of Indianapolis. Grew up racing most of my life, so anything with a motor has been a part of my life from an early age. Been riding most my life but did not pick up my first street-legal bike until I was 18 (Sportster). Always enjoyed building and making motorcycles my own. After landing my dream job as a police officer and being on the road for five years, I was diagnosed with ocular cancer which led me to be blind in one eye. At that moment, I told myself if it gets to be a safety risk I would walk away and resign as a police officer. Soon I resigned after multiple safety concerns and in 2018, I made my builds public after a push from my wife and took off from there. Currently build motorcycles out of home garage but soon will have another location to expand operations.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

2002 Honda XR650R.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Why was this bike built?

I needed to get another Honda in my life and this build has been on the backburner for years. Once I picked up the XRR, I knew it would be a perfect candidate for this build.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

The legendary Honda RS750 flat track bike. I’ve always had a soft spot for the classic RS750. Between its success in the 80’s and bold design, I’ve always wondered what a street-inspired version of that bike would look like. Here’s my best take on that concept!

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

What custom work was done to the bike?

Most everything on the bike was taken off minus the frame, motor, and swingarm. Everything was handmade to include the number plate, subframe, seat/tailsection, radiator guards and exhaust. The tank was from a 74 Elsinore.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Does the bike have a nickname?

Retro-Tracker.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

Well it rides like it looks which is great. Feels light when you are one the bike and quick when you throttle. Handles great and the seat is surprisingly comfortable.

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

Just the overall styling of the bike. It took me 8 months to build this bike. While most of that time is from being a dad and other priorities, every piece of this bike was designed and thought out. I wanted this bike to have the wow factor on every piece you look at including the paint. Overall, I am very pleased with how this bike turned out. One of my favorites I’ve ever built based on styling and performance!

Honda XR650R Street Tracker

Follow the Builder

Facebook: Parr Motorcycles
Instagram: @parrmotorcycles

3 Comments

  1. Stunning! I want one. For me Trackers are the king of the road. But I find them to be either good or bad, with almost nothing in between. If they don’t have the stance, the flair and the nuys; they just don’t work. This has it all in spades, including an exceptional dose of nostalgia built into a modern masterpiece. The bike I would build for myself, if I had the time, resources and talent. Just phenomenal!

  2. An absolute work of art. This is one of the cleanest badass looking trackers I have seen. Great job!!!

  3. John white

    Nice bike. I’m 72 years old now and riding a 1980 BMW R100 that I’ve turned into a dual sport scrambler though it’s a handful I must admit. Your bike reminds me of the old Triumphs we used to ride in the Arizona desert when I was a kid. We would take off as much weight as possible and ride them every where. A good friend of mine and I were suspended from school for 5 days for riding our bikes the length of the hallway. Bad idea. Keep up the good work. I hope you’re cancer free. All the best. J.O.White

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