Hoxton Moto’s 1992 Yamaha XT600 Street Tracker…
Introduced back in 1983, the Yamaha XT600 would remain in production until the early 2000s, earning a reputation as a worthy, rock-solid successor to the original twin-shock XT500 of the 1970s.
The big 595cc air-cooled thumper was a workhorse capable of grabbing groceries, riding trails, or crossing continents:
“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
At this year’s Bike Shed Moto Show, our photographer Roberto Garagarza (@roga___) spied this new XT600 street tracker build from our friends at Hoxton Moto, who produce motorcycle films for their dedicated Youtube channel and also get their hands dirty with custom builds like their Ironhead Beach Racer and Yamaha XS650 Special.
We immediately reached out to Hoxton headman Shaun Fenton to learn more about the project. Says Shaun:
“Having previously restored the iconic Yamaha XT500 and built a Honda NX650 Street Tracker, we were keen to build yet another lightweight thumper. This time with Yamaha’s last 4-valve air-cooled single, the 1990’s XT600.”
We’re especially enamored with the unique headlight setup, DT250 tank, bespoke wheel spoilers, and the fact the bike has full mudguards. It was one of our favorite bikes from the entire Bike Shed Show, and possibly the most fun to hoon around town and the local trails.
Below, Shaun gives us the full story on this ’92 Yamaha XT600 street tracker. Indoor show photos courtesy of our man on the ground, Roberto Garagarza (@roga______).
’92 Yamaha XT600: In the Builder’s Words…
After finding a neglected yet suitable 1992 XT600 — which, fortunately, had already been customised with a set of Yamaha TDM front folks, twin disc brakes. and an 18’’ wheel — we rolled it into the workshop to start our minimalist design.
First, we removed the seat, tank, handlebars, airbox, loom, mudguards, lighting, indicators and instrumentation. This allowed us get a good look at the existing symmetry and sketch out the lines for a streamlined design.
Our first modification was to fit the dual-purpose rugged Pirelli Scorpion Rally Tyres, which instantly gave the bike an aggressive supermoto style.
Discarding the original tank, we found a Yamaha DT250 tank at an autojumble, which had the right length and profile we were looking for. With a bit of persuasion and re-positioning of the oil return and breather pipe, we fitted it to the frame. This set the lines for the build.
After shortening the frame and fitting a loop, the conventional subframe tubular supports didn’t look right for this bike. Instead, we designed sturdy support brackets. With mastery from Jake Robbins Engineering, these were welded to the subframe and frame. This greatly added to the uncluttered and clean line look.
The front and rear mudguards we handmade from ally using an English wheel. We created an unusual flat profile and finished them off with a cut-out detail.
This styling was subtly carried through to the handmade chainguard design.
We fabricated the seat pan and modelled the foam shape. Although it’s a simple, practical, and comfortable seat, we were mindful to retain the symmetry and balance of the build. The upholstery was done by Dave at C A Upton & Son.
When it came to the exhaust, we used the original down pipes and found an aftermarket silencer. After positioning the silencer, Kevin from Zero Exhausts made the curvy linking section.
One of the main features of the bike is the headlight assembly. As we’ve always been drawn to the front grilles on early race cars and hot rods, we decided to fabricate that shape for the headlight assembly.
It had to be both practical (to mount LED strip lights within) and be in proportion with the rest of the bike design. The headlight assembly has proven to be eye catching, and also has the practicality of an interchangeable lens.
After completing the major frame surgery and fabrication, we completely rebuilt the engine. We then fitted Renthal handlebars, analogue speedometer, minimalist switch gear, bespoke hydraulic brake hoses, and K&N pods. We also repositioned the rear brake master cylinder and built a loom in-house.
Standing back, we decided wheel spoilers would give the bike a slightly sinister look — so hand cut discs to fit both front and rear wheels.
Finally, the paint scheme. After a lot of mock-ups and deliberation, we eventually decided on a nod to the 1979 XT500 with a simple but striking no fuss livery. This homage to the black and white iconic bike was finished off with bespoke red XT decals. This also determined the paint scheme for the headlight assembly. Painting was done by Matt at Alchemy Paints.
- Front forks: Yamaha TDM with twin disc brakes.
- Wheels: 18″ front, 17″ rear, with Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres.
- Subframe loop and supporting brackets
- Adapted Yamaha DT250 tank
- Custom seat
- Original down pipes, aftermarket silencer, and custom link pipe.
- Unique headlight assembly, with LED lamps and interchangeable lens.
- Handmade front and rear mudguards with flat profile and detailed cut outs.
- Wheel spoilers front and rear with decals.
- Re-positioned bracket for rear brake master cylinder.
- Handmade chainguard.
- Custom Brake hoses by Venhill.
- Old school analogue speedometer.
- Minimalist switches and grips.
- Rewired with in-house loom.
- Original levers and brake master cylinders.