80s Enduro Turned Board Tracker – Yamaha XT550 Custom

In Custom, Japan by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

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Created by Dutch builder Maarten Poodt, this bike was almost entirely handmade with the exception of the engine and wheels. This build was supposedly prompted by a comment Poodt received on BikeEXIF, questioning the merit of the Dutchman’s endurance racer-style XS850 that the site previously featured some four years ago. So in 2016, Poodt set out to build a new bike with custom everything.

Maarten’s board tracker is powered by the 558cc, four-stroke single from Yamaha’s XT550. The early ’80s thumper received a custom hardtail chromoly steel frame — hiding an internal oil setup — and matching girder fork sprung by a pair of adjustable wheelchair shocks. There’s also a split tank (one for petrol, the other for oil), a custom seat that houses the electronics and also uses a wheelchair shock, and a Kreidler Florett headlight that now houses an aftermarket speedo. In addition, this custom incorporates K&N filtration from a Land Rover, rebuilt 21” wheels with drum brakes fore and aft, and an exhaust that snakes around the single.

Finishing touches include reverse levers, custom bars, a (removable) one-off license plate holder, and “heat shields” on the exhaust that are really plates put in Maarten’s collarbone and shoulder after a racing injury (and subsequently removed due to another racing injury). It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s an interesting, well-crafted bike, and a fun take on what a Yamaha board tracker might have looked like had they come on the scene three decades sooner.

You can find this custom Yamaha XT550 Board Track Racer for sale here on TheBikeShed in Zevenaar, Netherlands for €8,500 (or $9,500).

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