French Custom Recreates Flat tracker Magic WIth An Old Yamaha XT
Full Retro Style With Modern Mechanicalsby Harry Fisher, on
A really cool re-imagining of the Yamaha XT660 trail bike into a flat tracker by French company Motorieep. Keeping the chassis and motor virtually stock, the suspension has been fully upgraded and changed to a twin-shock set-up at the rear, as have the brakes. Bodywork and exhaust are custom made and the bike has shed a huge 94 lbs of excess weight. Not only is it very cool, you’re not likely to see too many on the road.
Yamaha XT 660 Flat Tracker By Motorieep of France
Yamaha’s XT660 was possibly the last of the ’analogue’ large trail bikes, a class of bike that would be largely superseded by the ubiquitous ’Adventure’ bike with its ever-increasing bulk and complexity as the 2000s wore on. Alongside bikes such as the BMW GS, Triumph Tiger and Ducati Multistrada, the XT660 was positively flyweight by comparison.
Bikes such as the XT660 were favoured by extreme adventurers looking to traverse large swathes of the globe due to their ruggedness and simplicity. With a 659cc single-cylinder engine producing 48bhp, it had decent power but was, however, a little overweight in standard guise at 390 lbs. As this weight equated to durability, something that was matched by the ability of the engine to soak up all sorts of ham-fisted treatment, it was accepted as being necessary.
Due to the simple construction of the bike, the XT660 has become a favourite of customisers, helped by the large numbers produced, meaning a good supply of donor bikes. Because such bikes are not going to be subjected to brutal hard work on long off-road trails, weight can be pared away with no fear of compromising its longevity.
Motorieep of France are doing good business with their retro version of the XT660, called the 670 XTE. But what really caught our eyes, however, was the flat-track version of the bike, called the 670 ST. This is one of the coolest and best re-imaginings of a bike ever.
This is a brilliant re-working of the 660 with retro styling and losing a whopping 95 lbs along the way.
The engine and frame have been left largely alone, but that’s about it. front suspension has been changed to Showa upside-down 48mm forks, which are double-cartridged and adjusted for a travel of 160mm. At the rear, the set up has been changed from a monoshock to a twin-shock set up, using Showa units.
Rims have been changed for Excel items, the handlebars are now Renthal (standard Yamaha ’bars were known to be made of really cheap and thin tubing), and the stupidly heavy exhaust has been replaced with a custom made stainless steel system. The front brake master cylinder is now a Magura HC1 working on a Beringer caliper clamping a 265mm wavy disc. Rear brake is 225mm, clamped by a Nissin caliper.
The tank looks very much like an XT500 tank and the seat unit is custom fabricated.
As with all the best re-imagined custom bikes, the 670 ST by Motorieep ditches the worst bits of the donor bike and keeps the best bits to make something properly eye-catching, marrying performance and reliability with cool style.
For more information, head to the Motorieep website.