Yamaha XT600Z Ténéré Tracker from the French Alps!
The first-generation Yamaha XT600Z Ténéré, aka the 34L, was named after the toughest segment of the legendary Paris-Dakar Rally — a brutal desert crossing through the southern Sahara. Introduced in 1982, the bike was built as a street-legal replica of the factory rally race bikes. It was a highly innovative enduro for its time, with a front disc brake, 43-hp motor, three-tier oil cooler, and 8-gallon fuel tank…giving the bike a range of nearly 500 miles!
Enter Nicolas Masse of Egerie Moto, based in the French Alps. Nicolas needed a new flat track bike for himself, and he wanted a vintage look. An old English bike seemed ideal, but those very pricey, and he knew he would be afraid of wrecking a vintage survivor. So, instead, Nicolas decided to built his flat tracker from one of the toughest enduros ever produced, the Yamaha XT600Z.
The result is a vintage-inspired, Dakar-tough flat tracker that’s sure to slide tail-happy around the flat tracks of Europe for years to come!
Yamaha XT600 Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I started building and restoring old bikes 4 years ago. I have had a professional workshop for two years (Egerie Moto). My workshop is in the French Alps. I do everything 100% myself — mechanics, paint jobs, welding, seats…
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha XT600Z (34L) Ténéré 1984
• Why was this bike built?
First it’s for me to replace my actual flat track bike, but if it interest someone I can sell it and/or build another one.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I wanted a vintage-looking flat track bike. The best is to use an old English bike, but it comes with two problems:
- The total price
- You don’t want to crash
The solution: use a bike without collection value, and make it look like a vintage one.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- 19” rims
- Suzuki 600 Bandit Fork
- twin shocks (swing arm and frame modifications)
- small fueltank
- custom number plates and seat
- wiring simplification
- new oil tank and relocation
- engine rebuild (complete)
- complete paint job
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
It was “routine”, lot of things are perfectible, this bike is one of my best but I hope the next will be better!