Yamaha XS650 Tracker by Colt Wrangler

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

A two-up tracker for a Texas young gun and his lady…

Colt Wrangler has quite possibly the best name of any custom builder in the world — and the skills, style, and heart to back it up. We were lucky enough to meet Colt at last year’s Handbuilt Show in Austin, Texas, where he’d brought a stunning Honda CL175 built for Bexar Goods.

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

At only 26 years old, Colt has been building bikes for more than half a decade, with most of his work now being commissioned builds. As is so often the case, client builds end up taking precedence over his own ride. About a year go, Colt sold his one and only personal motorcycle. Fortunately, friends don’t let friends fail to ride. Colt’s buddy Tanner handed over his 1981 Yamaha XS650, saying:

“I don’t care what you do to it or when you bring it back.”

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

For Colt, the bike had to meet two criteria:  1) be able to race some hooligan flat track, and 2) be able to carry his girlfriend. The result is this street-legal-ish, two-up XS650 tracker, built with the “whatever works” mentality of the old-school hot-rodder. Below, we get the full story from the young gun himself, along with an array of photos from Ian Ellenwood (@ian.e.photography).

Yamaha XS650 Street Tracker:  Builder Interview

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

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

My name is Colt Wrangler Lyons (I know it’s hard to believe) and I’m 26 years old. I started playing with my own bikes at home about 6 years ago and once I realized that I had a knack for customizing, I started Colt Wrangler Motorcycles in 2015. My shop is currently based in New Braunfels, Texas, focused on custom motorcycle design and fabrication. The majority of my work is commissioned builds.

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

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

Yamaha XS650 1981.

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

• Why was this bike built?

My friend Tanner Kothmann owns the bike. He builds bikes out of his garage as a hobby and this bike was one of his first projects that he had built into a cafe racer. About a year ago I sold my only motorcycle, a custom H-D Sportster street tracker, to purchase a new TIG welder and some metal shaping tools. Tanner realized that I had a need for a bike and he had a need for more garage space so he offered me the bike. He said, “I don’t care what you do to it or when you bring it back.” Great deal right?

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

I was able to enter a few Hooligan races in the past with my Sportster, so I really wanted something that I could take to a race or two and take my girlfriend out on. It was really just those two functions that dictated the design process. It had to be a tracker, it had to be street legal-ish, and it had to be able to carry two people.

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Before I got ahold of it, it already had a new set of Mikuni carburetors, the Pamco electronic ignition with E-advance, straight pipe exhaust, and battery/air box delete with pod filters.

For the rear half of the bike, I added an 18” rear wheel, 1” rear shock extenders, tail hoop, universal Ebay seat, rear fender from a Triumph T100, MX pegs, LED tail light mounted to a custom license plate bracket, and a set of custom exhaust mufflers, with steel scrubbing pads inside for added baffling (whatever works).

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

For the front half, I used a gas tank off of a Yamaha DT175E, a set of tracker bars that a friend gave me, a brake lever turned upside down for the clutch (again, whatever works), and a custom number plate with small LED bars so that people can see me (like I said, street legal-ish).

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

Also added were a set of used Shinko Trail Pro tires, XSCharge PMA kit with a capacitor from Mikes XS, and a starter delete using an automotive freeze plug. The bike is kick start only. I used some pipe fittings from a hardware store for the petcock so that the tank would fit. Cost $12 (WHATEVER WORKS).

Side note: It’s said that you can’t run the E-advancer with a capacitor, but with my experience you can with minimal LED lighting.

• How would you classify this bike?

Street Tracker

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

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

The mufflers. I’m considering offering them as a product, through my online store.

Yamaha XS650 Brat Tracker

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2 Comments

  1. james w. roberts

    whata’ POS

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