We’re big fans of street trackers, flat trackers, and supermotos here at BikeBound. And we aren’t alone — so are you, our readers. One of our Top 10 Customs of 2021 was Max Wakefield’s “XR1450” street tracker, and flat track inspired builds continue to be some of the most popular builds on BikeBound. So we decided to follow up with a list of the most popular trackers and supermotards we featured last year, based on traffic and social shares. Just for clarification, this is an objective list based on the statistics we compiled. Stay tuned for our Editor’s Choice list coming soon!
Without further ado, here are the BikeBound Top 10 Trackers / Supermotos of 2021, presented in alphabetical order by builder.
Christian Boosen of Warsaw’s 86 Gear Motorcycles is a self-taught mechanic who grew up in Germany surrounded by motorcycles. His defining moment was a long ride to Istanbul on his 1981 Yamaha XT500 — he spent half the trip fixing the bike on the side of the road, but nonetheless returned home with a newfound passion for restoring and transforming vintage bikes. After a decade of hard work, that hobby has become his main occupation. 86 Gear Motorcycles works on all different makes and models — Japanese, German, and Italian. The bike you see here began life as a 2000 Yamaha XT600 commissioned to become a Supermoto. Christian and the team shortened the frame, adapted an XT500 tank, and matched a set of 17-inch supermoto wheels with upgraded front and rear suspension. The brakes were also upgraded, the electrics rewired with a lightweight battery, and the engine received a high-compression piston, TT600 crank, oil cooler, Mikuni TM34 flat side twin carbs, a hydraulic clutch, and more. The result is one serious supermotard: “The bike is a monster…without a gentle hand, you can end up on the back wheel in an instant. The fun being on this bike makes the rider either smile instantly or turns his face white and his legs shaking.”
For many of us, the love of motorcycles gets handed down from father to child. That was certainly the case for California’s Bill Brosius (@cleanedwithqtips), who grew up on the back of his father’s Harley-Davidson: “We would ride all over California and neighboring states. Every few years we would ride cross country. We loved flat track racing!” Fast forward to today, and Bill has owned some 33 bikes of all kinds, doing most of the maintenance and modification work himself. He’s raced AFM; he’s an instructor for Z2 Track Days; and he and his wife devote their free time to motorcycle-related trips, travel, and fun. The 2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster you see here is a tribute to Bill’s father and their shared love of flat track racing. This is a true form follows function build — nothing on the bike is just for looks. The front end is an Öhlins unit from a Ducati 1098, and the bike also boasts parts from the an Aprilia RS250, Kawasaki ZX, dirt track machines, and an array of components custom-made on Bill’s mill and lathe: “The concept is performance. It just so happens to look badass!”
Jake Drummond is one of the custom world’s brightest young builders. Not only is he the creator of a staggering Yamaha RD350 and Yamaha MT-07 “The Omen,” but he also runs the metal shop for the Polaris/Indian Industrial Design Department. At some point, he decided to scratch the itch for a Mad Dog flat tracker. Jake started with a 1968 Yamaha YCS1 frame and swingarm, which he matched to a 4-speed Lifan 140 engine, Grom forks, a pair of 17” Sun Rims with RM85 hubs, and some very cool custom-shaped aluminum pieces, including a replica aluminum Champion gas tank. Jake ran his first Mad Dog race on “The Mini” in 2021, and he thinks it’ll be competitive with a bit more horsepower. That said, the bike is built more for fun and skill development than taking home trophies: “It’s not a secret anymore that even the fastest racers practice on play bikes like the TTR-125. If you can ride a small bike to its maximum potential those skills carry over to riding the big bikes.”
Keiji Kawakita of Tokyo’s Hot-Dock Custom Cycles has more than half a century of riding history under his belt. He’s made a name for himself worldwide building V-twin customs since his shop opened in the mid-1980s. Keiji purchased a 2007 Buell XBRR engine with 0 miles on the clock and decided to build a street tracker around it — not a customer project, but a bike just for his own enjoyment. The frame is completely custom, a one-off unit that Keiji built from 4130 steel, with a Ducati swingarm mounted upside down from normal! As you can imagine, there were a number of challenges in putting this 150-hp race-spec fire-breather of an engine into a street bike: charging system, ignition, EFI mapping, and more. However, the result was certainly worth the effort. This is one of the baddest street trackers we’ve ever seen, period, and Keiji says the riding experience can be summed up in a single word: “VIOLENT.”
Back in 2020, we featured Wilco Lindner’s Yamaha RD125 street tracker built “for the love of screaming two-strokes.” That dyno-tuned 125cc twin would become one of our Top 10 Customs of 2020, a pint-size weapon inspired by Kenny Robert’s TZ750. Then, when Roland Sands stepped up to host the Corona Virus Bike Build Off — a way to support and recognize bike builders since all of the traditional bike shows had been canceled — Wilco already had a pit bike frame and a vision in mind: “I always had the idea to put a way-too-big engine underneath it. So when Covid kicked in, this idea turned into reality.” The style recalls a mini flat tracker, though Wilco let his imagination run wild with the design. The subframe and lower tube of the main frame are both handmade, as is the aluminum bodywork, while the 80cc two-stroke Derbi engine has more than 100 dyno runs under its belt! The finished mini bike absolutely rips: “I had friends ride the thing who are used to motorbikes, and at half throttle they pulled off and told me the thing was insane, haha.” We weren’t the only ones who were impressed. This hot little smoker earned 2nd place in the #coronavirusbikebuildoff — congrats, Wilco!
Four years ago, Frank Palestini of Oakland’s RATicate Racing was riding his 2017 Husqvarna 701 when a driver pulled an illegal left-hand U-turn right in front of him. The wreck put Frank in the hospital with a collapsed lung and several broken ribs, and the Husky was in even worse shape: “The bike was snapped in half (at the triple clamp) and we didn’t want the insurance company to scrap it, so we decided to rebuild it from the ground up.” At first, he and his shop mates were going to do a simple rebuild, but somewhere along the way, things turned more serious: “We wanted to build the absolute hands-down craziest 701 on the planet. What started off as a simple rebuild turned into a year-long process of creating our vision for what we thought the 701 should be.” The upgrades included custom GP Suspension fork cartridges, Öhlins rear shock, Warp 9 wheels, Tekmo Racing swingarm, Rottweiler Performance intake, SC Projects exhaust, and more. The RATicate Racing supermoto was a highlight for us from the 2021 One Moto Show “We are just extremely proud that not only did this bike not get turned into scrap metal at a junkyard but that it is in all likelihood the trickest Husqvarna 701 supermoto on the planet.”
The 1973 Suzuki GT250 you see here is the first build from Satset Garage of Jakarta, Indonesia. Shop owner Raka (@raka_vdp2604) says the bike came to them in original but very bad condition, necessitating a full rebuild. Given their love of vintage flat track machines, the crew decided to build this bike into an attention-grabbing two-stroke street tracker. They dubbed it the “SS001” — “SS” for Satset, and “001” to signify their shop’s first public build. The bike is dripping with one-off bits fabricated in-house, including the bodywork, foot controls, airbox, front number plate, and even the kickstand. The result is one of the baddest two-stroke street trackers we’ve seen — and one that spends time on the track, not just the street.
The Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE is the factory scrambler we were waiting for — a machine that backs up its retro aesthetics with real on/off-road performance. The 1200cc liquid-cooled, 270° crank-angle parallel twin puts down 89 horsepower and 81 pound-feet of torque, and the top-of-the-line XE model has long-travel 47mm Showa forks and Öhlins fully adjustable twin piggy-back shocks with 200mm of wheel travel. In 2021, one of Thornton Hundred’s returning customers had a vision for their 2021 Scrambler 1200 XE: something nimble and agile, modified for twisty back-road ripping. A supermoto! Jody and team whipped up a custom exhaust, carbon mudguards, and a host of TH-developed parts to complement the 17-inch supermoto wheels and tires. The result is a British-built supermoto that’s a hoot to ride: “Super agile, something that can really handle well compared to the stock bike. The build is also lighter than the stock bike and has more power due to the exhaust airways breathing better.”
Last year, we heard from one of our favorite photographers in the two-wheeled world, Kati Dalek (@kayadaek_photography), who’d recently shot a pair of 500 singles that got our hearts thumping. They’re the work of Oli Geier of Vulture Moto: “I discovered my love for trackers around 2010. Light, agile, uncomplicated, simple, functional — I can’t imagine any other way.” For a time, Oli was building bikes for clients, but took a two-year break to build a new home workshop and think about what he wanted most out of his new project after the hiatus: “What I would like most about the next project: 500’s and vintage, just kick-start, pulling through and fun…that was clear to me after a while.” Oli was interested in a pair of 500 singles from different manufacturers, the Yamaha SR500 and the Honda XL500S, so he decided to build them both at the same time! “Both are not for sale and only for myself. I already use the SR as a daily driver and the XL is just getting a little update because I want to use it on the dirt track.”
Didier Hermann and Oliver Nadrin are the duo behind Wayders, a new brand focused on creating custom bikes and apparel. Didier has quite the technical pedigree as the man behind Tuning Box, the pioneer in the chip-tuning market, while 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.