For so many of us, the love of two wheels begins with the childhood bicycle. That first taste of freedom — the wind on your cheeks, the road humming beneath your tires. At some point, riding a motorcycle becomes a natural evolution, an extension of the same sensations. After all, the great poet James Dickey once called the motorcycle…
“A bicycle fleshed with power.”
So it was for Daniel Peter, who decided to build a motorcycle based on the same principles as a BMX bike.
“There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”
The donor bike is a Yamaha SR500 — the fourth 500cc Yamaha that Daniel has built. Having road-raced an SR500, he knows how to make these bikes fast and light. In fact, this incarnation tips the scales at just 282 lbs — 66 pounds lighter than stock! Combine that with a hopped-up 540cc motor, as well as upgraded suspension and brakes, and the result is an absolute ripper.
“This bike is very nimble, sounds amazing, and absolutely rips while still being a practical daily rider. It will get you to your favorite taco joint before you can say carnitas.”
Yamaha 500 Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
When I was 4 years old, my BMX bike became my life. It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.
Thirty years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.
This is the fourth Yamaha 500 I have built to date. The most simple, yet the most thorough build of the bunch. Having road raced an SR500 for a few seasons, I learned how to make these light and fast. This bike is very nimble, sounds amazing, and absolutely rips while still being a practical daily rider. It will get you to your favorite taco joint before you can say carnitas.
This latest reincarnation tips the scales at 282 lbs wet. For comparison, the stock dry weight is claimed at 348lbs.
The engine is a 540cc single, with a long list of go-fast parts: lighter XT500 crank, 10.5:1 compression JE piston, 25130 Megacycle cam that gives great bottom-end torque, R&D valve springs with titanium caps, Powerdynamo ignition, and a Kedo high flow oil pump for added reliability. Every single bearing and seal in the engine was replaced.
The carburetor is a 39mm Keihin FCR flatslide. The scrambler-style exhaust exits via a Cone Engineering muffler.
Brakes are a very strong Brembo/Beringer combo, with an RCS 14 radial master up front.
The bike is rolling on 17″ supermoto wheels (KTM front and CRF450 rear, if you’re curious) with Pirelli MT60 Corsa rubber.
The front is a 120, and the rear a chunky 160 on a 5″ rim. It juust fits.
The forks might look stock from a distance, but they’re actually a 41mm, fully adjustable set from a 95 ZX6R. Slightly lowered a re-sprung to match the light bike. The rear sports a set of 13.75″ adjustable Gazi shocks and a beautiful aluminum MotoLanna swingarm.
Toxic Moto chain block keeps the DID chain from biting into the tire.
Very minimalistic LED lights are shining bright at both ends. The taillight is my own design.
The tank is aluminum, from an XT500, with a paint scheme inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.