Yamaha XS650 “MUTO” Tracker

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

“May the FUN be with you!”

Rémy Pagart of France’s MUTO Motorbikes has quickly become one of our favorite builders, a self-described “all-terrain artist” who brings a fresh boldness and joy to his work, operating with one of the great mottoes in the two-wheeled world: “May the FUN be with you!” In 2018, Rémy’s Yamaha XS650 “TRACTO” build was one of the more popular bikes we featured. However, Rémy wasn’t finished with the XS platform just yet:

“I was separated too soon from my previous creation, XS650 TRACTO, and had many more ideas in mind to create with this gorgeous Yamaha frame.”

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

Fortunately, he had another XS650 stashed away in a dusty corner of his workshop. This time, he again wanted to make the bike “look like a big toy,” but he didn’t want to directly copy his last XS — what would be the fun in that?  This time, he found his centerpiece in the form of a reproduction 1970s Maico fuel tank. The square angles and raw, polished aluminum would define the rest of the build, including the handmade side panels, headlight, and frame loop. The bike is also running Harley Fat Boy solid wheels, Harley Sportster forks and brakes, and a gorgeous seat from his friend Frederic of Auto-siège.

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

Rémy has given this bike the same name as his workshop, “MUTO” — a combination of Moto, Mutuation, and Mytho. Below, we get the full story on this XS650 tracker with more stunning photos from Patrick Leveque of Lille, France.

Yamaha XS650 Fat Tracker: Builder Interview

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

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

After working in architecture, design, decoration, art, sculpture…I wanted to be back in my workshop, creating, customizing motorbikes and make it art.

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

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

Yamaha XS650 Special, 1980.

• Why was this bike built?

Customer project.

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

I was separated too soon from my previous creation, XS650 TRACTO, and had many more ideas in mind to create with this gorgeous Yamaha frame. Luckily I had saved in a dusty corner of my workshop. It was about time to bring it out and magnify it.

I had this idea to make it look like a big toy, like the previous one, but couldn’t copy it, where is the fun otherwise?

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

• What custom work was done to the bike?

It became clearer in my head, I could picture the tank: less long, less round. Every good motorcycle builder knows it, the tank plays a huge part in the look and feel of your creation. Not much reflection needed, I had my idea for the tank: I had in stock a replica of the famous tank from the 70’s Maico Cross, the one in polished aluminium.

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

This gem were going to be the centrepiece of my new creation. No way I would paint over this beauty of a tank so the bike would have a polished aluminium total look.

My friend Vince refurbished the aluminium engine and I’ve added Fat Boy aluminium wheels.

What’s next ? I just had to build side panels, a tiny mudguard and a headlight in the same metal.

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

To move away from my last creation, I literally removed the original frame hoop and created a new one, more singular, which would fit the tank’s square shape.

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

On top of that, I’ve installed a beautiful seat, designed myself and made from the hand of a master, my friend Frederic from Auto-siège.

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

For the rest, I used the same ingredients as on the TRACTO: forks and brakes from a Sportster, Motogadget for electricity and controls, Shock-factory for shock absorbers…and my guts and my heart.

• Does the bike have a nickname?


Why MUTO? Good question…Hum! It’s a mixture of motorcycle, mutation, mytho… So! Moto x Mutation : Mytho = MUTO 😉

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

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

It’s super cool. Because of this cocktail of parts, the ride of this bike is unique. After a few kilometers, you feel you’ve tamed the beast. It’s like a horse dressage 🙂

Yamaha XS650 Tracker

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

Of course! I made a unique bike.

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  1. I actually like this thing. I like the wheels and the engine and the color scheme. However, I deplore these fenderless, truncated seat rear ends. They’re impractical (fenders aren’t just for rain water), unartistic, and dare I say even lazy. Reminds me of a Rottweiler’s butt, which is fine on a dog but not a motorcycle. It’s as if someone made a convertible out of a sedan by chainsawing the cab off right at the sill line. It would be eye-grabbing but simply crude.

  2. Really stupid looking without fenders!

  3. Not a fan of those modular looking front headlamps on those flat track-looking large front panels (Number Plate). OK for a security light overlooking a warehouse…but on a motorcycle…not so much. Needs some sort of fenders too! Of course…IMO!

  4. Bike Builder

    Wow, you have some anti-fender haters.
    I like it the way it is. Balanced and not just sticking things on to be doing it.
    Coming from a 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob former owner I can tell you that mud and water all up and down the back of your wife on the Tail of the Dragon wasn’t fun but that’s not what this bike is for. It’s for showing off at the coffee shop.
    I like it so much I looked up on Craigslist and found a donor bike I hope I can nab and build one myself here in the states. Only if Trump is re-elected.

    • I hear you on the moving art piece. There are bikes that are form before function. Yes, I’d demand they still be rideable, otherwise they’d be in the category of concept art, in which case they should at least be able to be straddled. But a bike like this, and maybe it’s partly compliment, that actually looks fun to ride, should have a goodly amount of function.

      I still maintain that just chopping the end short is lazy. I’ve yet to see a bike where I thought it worked. A Ducati Diavel looks good and is somewhere in the realm of the truncated rear end, but it isn’t a boring plank seat that abruptly ends.

  5. I don’t likes bald treat end like that. Need a rear fender of sorts

  6. I’m not fond of… er, I dislike… um, I HATE bikes without rear fenders. They look stoopid, and nothing anyone could ever say or show me will make me feel different. That’s it – I have nothing else to say…

  7. Frank Morris

    I would prefer fenders in my rainy state of Washington. Round headlights to me say “Motorcycle”, guess i’m just old fashion. I do like the bike, in the side view of the bike it looks like the seat slopes to the rear. Without much of a fender that could wreck havoc on your hemorrhoids, and put a strange wear mark on your blue jeans. As a kid who took his fender off his bicycle I know all to well the skunk streak of water and mud that goes from your butt to your head. Best ride it only on sunny days.

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