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April 27, 2021 2 Comments

The tracker is a type of motorcycle preparation in vogue but however less common on the roads or on social networks than bobbers , cafe racers or scramblers .

The tracker, or also called flat tracker , dirt tracker is a type of motorcycle from competition . This motorcycle was developed to compete in American flat track racing , which is held on an oval-shaped dirt track.

The technical particularities of this bike are to have large wheels , a large handlebar , a small thin tank , a specific rear hull .

We are going to see how the tracker appeared in the universe of customization, then see in detail the list of the specificities of the trackers, the different types of trackers and a selection of trackers that we particularly appreciate.

TRACKER DEFINITION

 

Since the 1930s, races called "Track racing" have been practiced in the United States. These are races on an oval dirt track .

In this category, there are "Flat track racing". It is a competition a little different from "Speedway racing" because the motorcycles are equipped with only a rear brake . It changes the way you take turns.

Flat track tours range in length from 1/4 mile (400 meters) to 1 mile (1600 meters).

Video of a Flat Track race in 1971:

Since the 1950s, Indian and Harley-Davidson have been actively competing in this discipline, as have foreign manufacturers such as Honda, Kawasaki and Triumph.

In the 1970s, Harley-Davidson launched the XR750 , the most successful AMA (American Flat Track) competition motorcycle in this discipline:

Source: The Harley-Davidson XR-750 - What You Need To Know (A Brief History) (silodrome.com)

With the rise in popularity of modified motorcycles, many enthusiasts have chosen to prepare their motorcycles the Dirt Track style.

Today, the enthusiasm for this sport and this segment has increased considerably. Not only Triumph , Ducati , Harley and the Indians take part in the races, but also Royal Enfield which takes part recently. The brand even opened a flat track education program , and sponsored riders like Shayna Texter , the first woman to win an American professional flat track race.

And now some of those motorcycle manufacturers and others are offering flat track style motorcycles. We will see it in detail later.

FLAT TRACK TYPES:

DIRT TRACKER / FLAT TRACKER - THE COMPETITION ONE

A flat tracker is a racing motorcycle. The first flat trackers were converted road bikes. A flat tracker is designed to compete in American flat track races, which are held on an oval-shaped dirt track. The track is flat, there are no obstacles other than other runners. Drivers glide through corners and sprint down the straights.

The competition dirt tracker does not have front lights and brakes. The engines are also prepared for the race.

THE STREET TRACKER

So-called " street tracker " motorcycles are inspired by flat tracker racing (or dirt tracker, as they are also called).

Unlike racing motorcycles, a street tracker is equipped with a front brake and lights to make it usable on the road.

It is a civilized version of a flat tracker .


In terms of style, we separate street trackers into 2 categories:

THE CLASSIC

The classic tracker is a tracker based on a fairly old motorcycle and which takes up the aesthetic codes of the old competition flat trackers.

Here is a model made on a YAMAHA XS500 base by Hambrese :

Source: Twice as fun: A pair of classic Yamahas from Hombrese | Bike EXIF

THE MODERN

The modern tracker is a tracker based on a recent motorcycle and the tuner is often freer in performing the Flat Track style. This contributes to the evolution of the Tracker identity.

Here is a model made on a DUCATI SCRAMBLER base by DUCATI :

Source: How to turn the Ducati Scrambler into a tracker | Bike EXIF

This is a racing version offered by Ducati .

They also released a " road legal " kit version but it is less successful.

LIST OF CHARACTERISTICS OF A TRACKER

LIGHT PLATE

Dirt trackers use plates that are usually plastic or aluminum at the location of the headlight. This is the same type of plate found on motocross bikes . The driver's number is written above.

For a road version ( street tracker ), there are additional headlights that can be positioned between the fork sliders as DAB MOTORS does on its LM-S.

Here is an excerpt from their site: LM-S - DAB Motors

The headlight plate has an LED strip acting as a daytime running light and the lenticular projector is installed below. It's beautiful and it's approved!

We often find the same type of installation on many prepared 50cc supermotard type as well as on the recent FB Mondial Flat Track 125 .

Another solution can be considered for a street tracker: the flagship headlight with integrated LED optics. Here is a realization of the French craftsman CreativGarage :

HULL AND SADDLE

The tracker saddle is very specific. This is a single-seater saddle placed on a shell. The shell can be plastic, fiber or aluminum. The hull has wide "hips" and the shape looks (a bit) like a duckbill. It protects the pilot from earth projections.

Above, a model that we offer on the store . The hull is supplied with the saddle and the rear light. This is a handmade model with specific dimensions for a tracker.

SIDE PLATE

Like motocross, flat tracks have side plates , generally square or rectangular, in order to register the number of the motorcycle and allow the pilot and his mount to be recognized.

We offer custom-made aluminum plates as part of a tracker preparation.

HANDLEBAR

The tracker handlebar is special, it is wider and higher than a scrambler handlebar.

Here is an 80 cm tracker handlebar .

EXHAUST

The tracker's exhaust is generally made up of a 2-in-1 collector (or more depending on the number of cylinders) which passes under the engine and is finished by a megaphone or disc type silencer inclined upwards or in high passage.

Here is an example of a Harley XR750 with a SUPERTRAPP DISC type exhaust.

We offer several versions of this type of exhaust: disc* exhaust - REMMOTORCYCLE

THE WHEELS

Trackers have the particularity of using large wheels. In competition, the rims used are 18 and 19 inches. It matters less for a street tracker.

They can be spoke or stick. Indeed, the latest Harley Davidson flat trackers use this type of rims.

Source: Harley-Davidson XG 750R – Moto-Station

Regarding spoked rims, we offer custom-made rims .

As part of a tracker project, it is not necessarily necessary to change the wheels. It depends on the base and the overall look of the bike.

THE RESERVOIR

The Flat Track tank is usually quite small and thin. It has the adequate capacity to carry out a race.

For a street tracker model, the capacity can be increased.

In terms of shape, they are often slender and quite simple in their style.

We have a perfect model for a flat track motorcycle preparation :

Product Link: Bratstyle Flat Tracker Tank - REMMOTORCYCLE

We also offer to paint and decorate the tank according to your wishes.

WHICH BASIS FOR MAKING A TRACKER?

HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER

Source: Sportster Hooligan Tracker by BCKustoms – BikeBound

Here is a superb achievement by the Bretons of Breizh Coast Kustoms made on a 1992 Harley-Davidson Sportster with a 1986 XLH 883 engine.

It has all the elements of a motorcycle tracker :

  • 19 inch wheel
  • Front plate
  • Side plates
  • Tracker Saddle
  • Tracker Handlebar
  • Specific Tank

It's a great achievement and a perfect example of what a flat tracker represents.

YAMAHA XS650

Source: Yamaha dirt tracker by Jeff Palhegyi | Bike EXIF

The Yamaha XS650 is one of the popular models for making a tracker.

Here is a beautiful example made by Jeff Palhegyi and which uses the iconic Yamaha decoration.

This is a street tracker as it is road legal. It has perfectly integrated lights and indicators and a plate attached to the rear.

We also like the exhaust which is very well done.

If you like this base, here is another realization made by the French of Felix Motocyclette :

Source: yamaha xs650 flat track (felixmotocyclette.com)

The style is close to the previous one and the execution is perfect. We like the big modifications on the frame to achieve this result. The integration of the front lights in the plate and at the rear, of the rear light at the level of the loop also make this flat track one of the most successful that exists.

ROYAL ENFIELD INTERCEPTOR 650

Source: Flat Out: Jillian Deschenes' Royal Enfield flat tracker | Bike EXIF

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is a versatile motorcycle that can be transformed into a cafe racer, bratstyle, scrambler but also into a tracker and the result is successful.

The bike below is the bike driven by pilot Jilian Deschenes for the flat track championship (AMA).

In addition to being suitable for competition, this interceptor 650 is a success from an aesthetic point of view.

MASH 400 SCRAMBLER / FIVE HUNDRED

The 400cc models of MASH Scrambler or Five Hundred lend themselves perfectly to the realization of a street tracker.

The example below (in progress) is the perfect illustration.

In addition, they have the advantage of being inexpensive. This allows you to have a good budget to devote to preparing it.

It is equipped with our fiber tracker saddle which has been painted black here.

HONDA XR650L

Source: https://www.bikeexif.com/nicky-hayden-tribute-motorcycle

Here is a different base than the previous ones, it is not a classic style motorcycle but a trail (aka dual-sport).

This model was made by Nicky Hayden of ANALOGMOTORCYCLES .

He did a lot of work by making the tank and the rear part (hull, side plates) in aluminum by hand.

The result is perfect.

This is a selection, you can create a tracker on a wide range of motorcycles.

NEW TRACKERS OFFERED BY MANUFACTURERS

YCF FLAT TRACK BIKE S 187

The French dirt bike specialist has recently offered a Dirt Track version of their dirt bike in order to offer a model on the French market and introduce fans to this little-known sport in France.

This version is equipped with the Daytona 190cc engine renowned in the mini 4-stroke world. It provides about twenty horses for 77 kgs.

What to practice on the clay ovals. This motorcycle is not homologated on the open road.

It is sold from 3299€ for this version. The 150cc version is sold for €2,299.

Source: FLAT TRACK BIKE S 187 - YCF FRANCE (ycf-riding.fr)

Here is a demonstration video of this little monster on the track:

FB WORLD FLAT TRACK

FB MONDIAL is a brand with a marked style. Their Flat Track 125 proposal is proof of that.

This model has a very modern, even futuristic style that contrasts squarely with the Flat Tracker 125 from Mash.

It respects the aesthetic codes of trackers by bringing their own style.

We like the integration of the front lights below the numbered plate.

It is available from €4485.

FANTIC CABALLERO FLAT TRACK 125 AND 500

Fantic has a market position very close to FB Mondial . However, his style is less divisive. The pencil stroke is softer.

This Fantic Cabellero Flat Tracker 125 uses some tracker codes but that's it. We forget the specific rear shell to make way for a duo saddle but which has a specific shape. At the front, no plate, Fantic installed a traditional LED headlight.

It is offered at 5190€.

In 500cc version:

https://media.motoservices.com/media/cache/vehicle_detail/media/vehicle/2103/fantic-caballero-flat-track-500.jpg

You can play the 7 differences game for your the difference! Yes indeed, there is the 500 logo on the gray radiator guard.

It is marketed at the price of 6790€ for the 500cc model.

MASH 650 DIRT TRACK 2020

Source: Mash 650 Dirt Track 2020 - Motorcycle details - Motoplanete

Mash is the only manufacturer currently offering a classic style street tracker .

This 650 Dirt Track is part of the new 650 range powered by a big 40 horsepower single cylinder.

Mash has revised the headlight plate for 2021 and replaced it with a classic round headlight. Indeed, the plate was little appreciated.

However, to keep the style, they could have offered a few things close to DAB Motors. The LM-1 has a superb headlight plate.

This model is also available in several cylinder sizes: 50cc, 125cc, 250cc. It has an attractive price of 4000€.

INDIAN FTR

Source: Indian Motorcycle-France-FTR–FTR

Indian has a great history in Flat Track competition. In 2017, they presented a superb Flat Track concept from which this FTR 1200 derives.

Unfortunately, the style of the motorcycle has changed a bit to be closer to the roadster.

We can therefore call it roadster-tracker given these inspirations from the past.

It's a good motorcycle that was appreciated by the testers.

It can also be a perfect base for advanced Tracker preparation.

The FTR 1200 is sold from 14690€.

CONCLUSION

 We have seen in detail the peculiarities of a tracker. Planned for racing, trackers now travel our roads with an atypical style that characterizes them (Headlight plate, hull and special saddle, handlebars, exhaust...).

Do you like this style of preparation? Tell us in the comments.

You are now ready to build your own or opt for a new model.

Remmotorcycle can assist you in your project.


2 Responses

Crochet Frédéric
Crochet Frédéric

June 10, 2021

Merci pour votre article très intéressant. J’ai découvert la YCF FlatTrack bike s 187, paraît très simple et ludique pour s’initier à cette discipline ! J’ai acquis une Caballero FlatTrack 500, en regrettant le manque d’identité, notamment le choix d’un phare traditionnel, le compteur qui fait très plastoc. J’ai l’intention de la transformer pour lui ajouter une plaque, un phare dédié street tracker, et un compteur minimaliste. J’ai déjà fait installer un pot racing, un sabot moteur. Pour revenir à l’article, il me semble que les constructeurs, plutôt que de faire l’impasse sur la plaque avant, devraient la valoriser en utilisant des matériaux plus nobles et plus flatteurs qu’un morceau de plastique aux formes bios !!

Fred

Raigneau
Raigneau

May 13, 2021

C’est une préparation qui me tente bien, je pense faire mes armes sur ce type de prépa avec une petite 125 histoire de me faire la main et pourquoi pas monter en cylindrée après.
C’est une prépa qui je pense se fond bien dans l’espace urbain et une façon de rouler différemment

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