The flat tracker look is a style that’s really starting to catch on in custom circles at the moment: The bobbed back-end, flat-bottomed tank and fender-less front wheel are all trademarks of the pared-down half-miler. But this custom-built flat track racer from the UK, featured in Trailbike & Enduro Magazine, doesn’t just look the part—it’s the real McCoy.
It was built for racing in Blighty (where the tracks are shorter) by American ex-pat and former dirt racer John Roeder. Roeder wasn’t interested in building yet another go-fast-turn-left-bike: He wanted to create something that looked and sounded different to the regular 450 motocross bikes that usually form the basis of these racers in the UK. And like any good custom builder, he wanted his flat track racer to embody the look of the classic machinery he grew up on.
Roeder’s creation cannibalizes parts from some very different machinery. That includes a Suzuki DR350 (hello swingarm, pegs and rear brake), a Yamaha FZR600 (forks) and an Aprilia RS125 (radiator). The shock is from a V8 hot-rod, and a few other bits and bobs have been stolen from Roeder’s own Ducati 916 road bike. But it’s the engine that’s the most unusual item: nestling in the frame is Honda two-stroke power in the form of a lightweight and ultra-powerful 1986 CR500 lump.
It’s the kind of machine that would work brilliantly as a road-going custom too. It probably wouldn’t be that hard to fit lights and a plate…but keeping your license clean would be another matter entirely.
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