The Yamaha XT600 was an evolution of the original Dakar-winning XT500 — one of the greatest enduro machines of all-time — and retained the original XT’s emphasis on simplicity, ruggedness, and reliability. Famed motorcycle historian and journalist Clement Salvadori says he noticed that many Europeans opted to take the big XT600 on their trips to Africa in the 1980s and ’90s:
“If you really wanted to go someplace rough, like the backroads of many African nations, you needed a bike that was stone reliable. And preferably reasonably light in weight in case it had to be dragged out of a muddy swamp, or put in a canoe should the need arise.” –Rider
The XT fit the bill perfectly, offering around 45 horsepower, plenty of ground clearance, a dry weight of 300 pounds, and a bulletproof reputation.
Enter our new friends Didier Hermann and Oliver Nadrin of Wayders, a new brand focused on creating custom bikes and a line of apparel for passionate riders. Didier has quite the technical pedigree as the man behind Tuning Box, the pioneer in the chip-tuning market. After more than 30 years in that business, he’s returned to his first love: motorcycles.
Olivier has been all over the world creating content for clothing, watch, and automotive brands. The duo has a few projects in the works, the first of which is this XT600 street tracker:
“Didier has always been passionate about trackers. As a subscriber to various magazines, he was inspired to make his own street tracker after seeing the achievements of other designers.”
Olivier says they really started the project with a pair of 19-inch flat track wheels and let the build develop in a natural step-by-step fashion. The donor bike is a 1990 XT600, though it’s now sporting forks from a 1995 Yamaha YZ750R, the swingarm/linkage/rear shock/exhaust from a 2010 Yamaha YZ250F, and of course 19-inch Excel flat track wheels with Mitas ft-18 tires.
The result is one gorgeous street tracker that’s unmistakably Yamaha. Below, we get the full story on the build from the men behind it.
Yamaha XT600E Street Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
The creation of the brand Wayders was born out of the collaboration of two different personalities with a common passion. Specializing in customization, Wayders is inspired by modern and old visuals to create bobbers, trackers, scramblers, and cafe racer type motorcycles. Wayders is also working on a clothing collection for passionate people like us.
Didier Hermann developed the first chip-tuning unit to optimize engine power. After 30 years of success with his business, Tuning Box, Didier now devotes himself to his first passion, motorcycles. Having acquired a lot of experience during all his years, he takes care of the design and production of our models.
Olivier Nadrin, photographer and videographer, has been able to create content for brands of clothing, accessories, watches, during his many travels. He then specialized in the automotive industry. He takes care of the designs of the clothing line as well as the communication and marketing of the brand.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha XT600, 1990.
• Why was this bike built?
Didier has always been passionate about trackers. As a subscriber to various magazines, he was inspired to make his own street tracker after seeing the achievements of other designers.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
This bike was built from just two flat track wheels — the ideas came step by step.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The bike has been completely stripped. The only original parts are the engine and the frame, which has been modified in the rear subframe area.
– Two 19-inch flat track wheels — Excel rims — Mitas ft-18 tires.
– The fork crowns and the fork are from a 1995 Yamaha YZ750r.
– A 320mm front brake disc from supermoto has been adapted.
– A vintage tank has been installed.
– A cafe racer style seat has been fixed to give an original look with its backrest.
– The exhaust from a 2010 Yamaha YZ250F has been mounted.
– Removal of the airbox, replaced with two foam air filters.
– The whole rear suspension, swingarm, linkage, and shock absorber are from a 2010 Yamaha YZ250F.
– The side plates were homemade in aluminum like in the old days.
– Handlebar without crossbar from a 2010 Yamaha YZ250F.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It’s a matter of taste. It’s very smooth and easy to handle. Those who have tried it find it very pleasant to ride.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The way the final result came to fruition without a fixed idea — and the site of creation being my workshop.