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Even better than the real thing: Two ‘new’ BSA trackers

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
In the annals of dirt track history, one of the most famous race bikes is the BSA Trackmaster. Dirt fans will know that it was campaigned by the charismatic but crash-prone Dave Aldana, who also featured in the movie On Any Sunday.

In 1970 Aldana was beaten to the Grand National title by Gene Romero, but fifty years later, there are still plenty of folks who remember the BSA he raced.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
The classic BSA ‘Trackmaster’ even has fans in Europe, and some of the most passionate are to be found in a small French village called Ouerray—a few miles west of the ancient cathedral city of Chartres.

That’s the home base for the workshop Atelier Chatokhine, which has built these two street legal replicas of the 1971 BSA racer.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
‘Chatokhine’ is a familiar name to French fans of British motorcycles. Established in 1972, it has an long history in the entwined worlds of motorcycle restoration and customizing—probably because it specializes in old Brit iron, pre-1983.

Founder Roland Chatokhine started up the business as a Norton Villiers workshop, and handed over the reins to his son Frank in 2004. But it’s still very much an old school operation, working with traditional skills and machinery.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
“In the workshop, every detail is studied,” says Zoé David, a mechanic with a background in architecture. “There’s machining, a lot of complex parts, and manufacturing.”

These two BSAs are ground up builds, and showcases for Chatokhine’s skills. They each weigh just 165 kilos (363 pounds), but with 65 horsepower coming from the 750 cc engines, they have plenty of grunt to keep up with modern traffic.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
Chatokhine has history with BSA Trackmasters. Frank and his crew built one in 2017 as a tribute to Aldana, but that machine was not road legal.

“These new motorcycles are a variation of it, but are completely street legal,” he says. “They’re made from scratch with lots of details, lots of machining, and a lot of thinking.”

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
The frames were made by Co-Built in UK, and are close replicas of the flat track frames of the 70s. “The Trackmaster frames are all very different,” says Zoé. “We chose according to aesthetics and behavior. ”

The Ceriani forks are replicas too—with a 38mm diameter to suit the vintage vibe—and the aluminum-bodied shocks come from the same supplier.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
Chatokhine have used A65L engine cases for these builds, as used in the BSA Lightning. “They are practically twins, since the serial numbers have only 18 numbers in between,” says Zoé. “They were surely manufactured on the same day at the factory in 1965.”

The rest of the engines are brand new, though, built up to 750cc with an aluminum big bore kit, and forged aluminum connecting rods. Chatokhine have machined the original cases to allow the 750 kit to fit—which was also modified, because it was originally intended for cases with small studs.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
The cylinder head intakes have been reamed out to 32mm diameter, and the exhaust sides were also tweaked to fit the custom headers. Frank and his crew also designed and built the mufflers in-house.

The tanks are based on the shape of vintage Gold Star models, used on BSA’s smaller capacity bikes, but with an added 5 centimeters (two inches) in height. Chatokhine used a mold taken from their 2017 Trackmaster replica, and crafted the new tanks from glass fiber.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
The braking system is a work of art in itself, with several components machined in the workshop from blocks of aluminum. The Barnes replica discs were specially made for these motorcycles, then fitted with Brembo calipers: four pistons in the front, two pistons in the rear.

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
The rear brake master cylinders are hidden under the gearboxes on the right side, the goal being to hide parts that have no aesthetic interest. “A system of bronze bushes has been designed,” says Zoé. “Bronze does not seize and works with all the metals. Mechanically, nothing will have changed in ten years.”

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine
These BSAs are a beguiling proposition for anyone who loves classic racing style style, but not the endless maintenance that comes with a 50-year-old bike. And being able to ride on the road as well as bumpier terrain is a bonus.

It would probably cost a substantial sum to commission one of these BSAs—but we’re betting it’d hold its value. Let’s hope we can still buy premium gasoline in 50 years’ time.

Atelier Chatokhine | Instagram | Images by David Marvier (outdoor) and Dimitri Coste (studio)

New BSA street tracker motorcycles from Atelier Chatokhine

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