Nostalgia is a drug. But that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Nostalgia often leads artists to create elegant and tasteful pieces that allow people to reflect on the past. And in the motorcycle community, that means awesome custom builds that transport us back to decades past where designs looked much different than they do today.
Something as little as a paint scheme can take you back; case in point, this 1975 Yamaha XS650 we spotted at Mama Tried. The bike was built by Dan Riley of Gunn Design, a one-off custom motorcycle builder out of Minneapolis.
The paint job on the late ‘70s YZ80 gas tank is is obviously meant to mirror the block and stripe design of ‘70s era Yamaha board trackers, in particular, the likes of the Yamaha TZ750 that Kenny Roberts used to win the 1975 Indianapolis Mile. Riley’s motorcycle, named the “Techno Tracker,” is a stripped-down tribute with just as much power.
The build began after Riley reached out to Tucker Powersports to collaborate on a build. He pitched the idea of building a custom bike using parts sourced from brands distributed by Tucker to its dealer. Most pf the outward appearance is comprised of mainly bolt-on parts, which was meant to serve as an example of what can be done with a cost-efficient budget.
“I wanted to build something that’s super stripped-down and super light,” Riley said. “I have a little bag to carry my phone and keys and there’s just enough gas to get me around the block. It’s just a pure ripper, tear up the neighborhood type bike.”
“I wanted to do some Mini Ape Hangers but still keep the moto vibe, so I went with the ProTaper EVO Adventure High handlebars with eight inches of rise and used DTX wheels off of a 450. On the left side I have a full system of stainless exhaust with Two Brothers Racing exhausts.”
The motorcycle also features a motocross seat cover, a fender off of a RMZ450, and a Motone Customs Bates style taillight with turn signals. The taillights and signals are virtually invisible during the daytime, letting the bike keep its dirt bike vibe.
The full build list is below:
- 266260 – BikeMaster Angel Halo Headlight with CCFL
- MT1094 – Motone Customs Bates Style Taillight
- 425694 – Dubya Front Wheel Assembly w/Talon Hub and Excel Rim
- 425695 – Dubya Rear Wheel Assembly w/Talon Hub and Excel Rim
- DF301RWZ – Galfer Tsunami Wave Front Brake Rotor
- DF515W – Galfer Wave Rear Brake Rotor
- 198734 – Galfer Stainless Steel Brake Line
- 682706 – Maxxis M7302 DTR-1 Dirt Track Tires
- 777922 – Progressive Suspension 13” 444 Series Shocks
- 426015 – Mikuni VM34 Carburetors
- 594830 – Two Brothers Racing Comp S Exhaust
- 531063 – Helix Racing 52mm Exhaust Springs
- 024027 – ProTaper EVO Adventure High Handlebars
- 022822 – ProTaper Rubber Handlebar Mounts
- 586000 – CRG Hindsight LS Left-side Mirror
- 586001 – CRG Hindsight LS Right-side Mirror
- 024837 – ProTaper Half Waffle MX Grips
- 024101 – ProTaper Profile Clutch Lever
- 024096 – ProTaper XPS Front Brake Lever
- 061053 – Motion Pro CR Pro Throttle
- MT1064 – Motone Customs Triple Button Microswitch
- 152856 – SP Gadgets Moto Bundle
- 023203 – ProTaper Platform Footpegs
- 033214 – ProTaper Race Spec 46T Rear Sprocket
- 023100 – ProTaper Stainless Sprocket Bolts
- 023107 – ProTaper Gold Series 520XRC Chain
If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected]