Yamaha SR500 Tracker from “Kid McQueen”

Yamaha SR500 TrackerA 70s-inspired SR500 tracker from 20-year-old Moritz Bree…  

Back in 2016, a 12-year-old custom phenom from Austria, Moritz Bree, came onto the scene. He was involved in designing custom bikes for Free Spirits and Zaeta, as well as a custom Yamaha MT-03.

Yamaha SR500 TrackerIn the eight intervening years, Moritz has stayed busy. He’s done a motorcycle mechanic apprenticeship at Reier Motors, built more custom bikes of his own, and raced motocross, flat track, and even ridden the Wall of Death. More recently he did a 12-day, 9-country, 4500-km tour of the Balkans, passing through Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia and back home again to Austria.

Yamaha SR500 TrackerJust this week we heard from our friend and world famous moto-photographer, Kati Dalek, our woman on the ground for the 2024 edition of Wheels & Waves in Biarritz, France. Kati was meeting up with Moritz (now 20 y.o.) to shoot his freshly finished Yamaha SR500 tracker.

“Now he is grown up and maaaan you should see him riding bikes….like a young Steve McQueen. I call him kid McQueen ;)” -Kati

Yamaha SR500 TrackerThe donor was an 80s Yamaha SR500 Moritz bought from a friend. The engine was already built complete with a 630cc big bore kit, hotter cam, Mikuni carb, and other go-fast goodies.

Yamaha SR500 TrackerThe bike had sat in Moritz’s garage for about three years while his focus was on other projects, but when sponsorship turned up from a trio of his favorite brands — Red Wing Vienna, Dickies Europe, and Kedo Hamburg — he decided to build the bike in time for W&W.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

As many of you know, Wheels & Waves is more than a single custom show or rally — it’s nearly a week’s worth of racing events in the French and Basque countryside, including the Punk’s Peak sprint races at Mount Jaizkibel, the Swank Rally enduro race, and the El Rollo flat track races. Given Moritz’s love for racing flat track, he decided a flat tracker was the way to go — a bike he could both race and show.

Yamaha SR500 TrackerHis inspiration would come directly from the 70s, including the psychedelic Rolls Phantom V limousine of none other than John Lennon:

“I want to give her a super 70s touch. Like a bike from a 70s-style bedroom or living room. Lots of color. I’m a fan of that time, that style. I liked the Rolls-Royce of the Beatles, so it had to be funky.”

John Lennon’s ’64 Rolls-Royce Phantom

Well, this young Austrian moto mastermind absolutely nailed it.  As Kati says:

“When he open the van door…I got goosebumps!”

Yamaha SR500 TrackerAs we said, Moritz’s friend Gregor Girlinger had already rebuilt the big single-cylinder engine with some extra grunt. Moritz detabbed the frame, outfitted the bike with 19-inch Excel wheels and Hoosier flat track rubber, lowered the forks, added a custom swingarm, and welded up a new subframe with help from his friends at Germany’s Loose Screw.

Yamaha SR500 TrackerThe bodywork is custom, including the tank, tail, and yellow plexiglass numberplates engraved by Carsten Esterman. Meanwhile Sattlerei Ralf Sam upholstered the seat and Moritz’s friend Christian Schaber laid down the incredible paintwork.

“I have a super cool painter as a friend who helps me with colors, I’m bad at making decisions… 🫣”

The bike is decked out in parts from build sponsor Kedo, and Moritz’s sister inlaid the oil filler cap with a flower from their garden — too sweet!

Yamaha SR500 TrackerThe bike looks absolutely stunning through Kati’s lens, and although Moritz hasn’t had much testing time, he says the bike is a hoot and a half to ride:

“I didn’t have time to put her on a test stand. But she goes up on the back wheel in third gear, haha!”

Yamaha SR500 TrackerWe can’t wait to see how much fun Moritz has on the bike this week at Wheels & Waves, and we can’t wait to see what comes next from “Kid McQueen.” Below is our full uncut interview with Moritz for those who want to delve deeper into the story, and thanks goes out once again to Kati Dalek (@kayadaek_photography) for the incredible photography!

SR500 Flat Tracker: Builder Interview

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

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

My name is Moritz Bree and I am 20 years old. I got my passion for motorcycles from my father. He bought me my first PW50 when I was about 3 years old.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

So I started an apprenticeship as a motorcycle mechanic at Reier Motors in Austria. After work I started building my little custom bikes. I enjoy creating something different. After I finished the apprenticeship I opened a small bike shop at home. Just for me and my friends. That way I earn a little money, can repair my motorcycles, and still have a lot of time to travel with my old XR600.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

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

The bike is a SR500 Yamaha from the 80s.

I bought the bike three years ago from a friend of mine. He sold it for good price and the engine was already done with all the big bore kit tuning stuff!

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

• Why was this bike built?

So I had the bike for a long time in my garage…and bought some parts over the years, but I never started to work on it because I had too many other projects. I built the bike for myself. So it’s my style. On my bikes I don’t care about street legal stuff…it just has to look good and ride good!

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

I wanted to make a new build…and we got Red Wing, Dickies, and Kedo as sponsors! Super cool to have them.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

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

Phew, I never had a clear idea of ​​the bike. I started building it in February and had to finish it for Wheels and Waves. So not much time for decisions. I want to give her a super 70s touch. Like a bike from a 70s-style bedroom or living room. Lots of color. I’m a fan of that time, that style. I liked the Rolls-Royce of the Beatles, so it had to be funky.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

I have a super cool painter as a friend who helps me with colors, I’m bad at making decisions… 🫣

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Puhh a lot! Engine is fully rebuilt with a big bore kit and tuning parts: 630ccm, hotter cam, Mikuni carb. All the covers on the engine are self-made, the tabs are cut out, the rear frame is self-built, the swingarm, and a lot of parts from Kedo!

The front end is much shorter, about -6cm.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

It has 19-inch Excel rims with Hoosier tyres and black sprockets.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

The filler cap my sister inlaid with a flower out of our garden.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

The gas tank, the tail, and the numberplates I built myself, and Carsten Esterman did the engraving. Also the handlebars, a lot…

• Does the bike have a nickname?

Not yet, I have to ride the bike to find the right name for her.

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

• Any idea of horsepower, weight, and/or performance numbers?

No idea yet. I didn’t have time to put her on a test stand. But she goes up on the back wheel in third gear, haha!

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

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

Super fun, light, powerful…super much fun!

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

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

I think the bike is like a masterpiece for me…I did my best!

Yamaha SR500 Tracker

• Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Loose Screw help me out with the rear frame!
Carsten Esterman engraved the number plates.
Sattlerei Ralf Sam made the best seat.
Christian Schaber did the best paint job.
Gregor Girlinger did the engine!
Red Wing Vienna & Europa for sponsoring
Dickies Europe
Kedo Hamburg, super super cool guys with super cool SR parts!

I am super happy to have friends like these to help me out!

More Detail Shots

Follow the Builder @moritz.bree

Follow the Photographer @kayadaek_photography


One Comment

  1. Where are my freaking sunglasses?!? Nice piece though.

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