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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm the FNG now here. I was at the dealership where I purchase gaskets and other bits for my cam chain tensioner manufacturing. I check out the bikes and have the SCR950 and the XSR700 catch my eye for a street tracker look. The SCR kind of falls from graces based on lean angle, suspension travel, and cornering clearance. The only negative I have for the XSR is the wide cast wheels making it near impossible to size down to a more flat track-esque wheel/tire set up, but can live with that far easier than the problems with te SCR.

I see similarities between the AFT Production twins and AFT Twins Yamahas to the XSR700, I see a decent looking street tracker with a few minor changes like a tail section and some light modifications.

Anyone here into the fact that the Yamaha 700 twin is the base for a flat tracker and that Cory Texter is leading the AFT Production Twins on a Yamaha 700? It's been called an FZ, an MT, and I think a DT, not yet called an XSR, but we know it is related to all the 700s since the engine is the only part used. Of course there are the super hooligan races where the bikes are far closer to production, the XSR will likely show up there eventually.

Either way you see where I come from on this model. I don't have one yet, got to clear some garage space before doing so. But it is one of the few bikes I've really gotten interested in because it is so close to a bare bones street tracker looking like a bare knuckles brawler. I figure if I join this forum I can learn a bit more and maybe some riders may have similar interests in the flat track ties as I have.

I look forward to learning if my choice is a good solid choice. Seems like it would be. FWIW my brother is a bit of influence in that he has an FZ09. He said I should look at the XCR900, but I prefer the smaller bike and will probably never ride double. It is for the appearance while still having a very good road ride. Right now my bikes are a Zephyr 550 and a Zuma 125 I need to sell off, a KLX650 needing a crank rebuild, a KLX250S that I play with on back dirt/gravel roads and trails, an on going project SR500 street tracker, and my first bike, a Bultaco M27 Sherpa T. If the Zephyr and Zuma go, I'll do an XSR.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Check out Youtube for quite a few "Yard Built" offerings from all over the world. I think there are even a few places for spoke wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanx... will do. Kind of hope there are some people of like mind here. I think the future of American Flat Track lies in getting more manufacturers involved whether in the top tier AFT Twins or in the Production Twins class. I think riders also like to be riding something that is the basis for a racer, much like the sport bike and motocross bike riders.
 

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Welcome to the forum and thanks for visiting. I've had the FZ07, FZ09, Bolt and now the XSR700, all good bikes but for me the XSR fits the bill the best. I don't play in the dirt but I'm sure an XSR could be modified to do the job. It's the engine that does the job the best with it's 270 degree crank. That engine has the grunt and the ability to wind, in the same package. I'm sure if your really wanted to make a flat tracker out of an XSR700 it would be an easy task for the right person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do have a KLX250 for dirt/gravel. The thing I'd like to do is put a seat/tail section on the bike with some sort of different tail light to give it a street tracker look. Heck I don't have enough money to build an actual flat tracker that would be remotely competitive on an amateur scale, much less pro level. I just like the looks and was kind of hoping someone here had done some stuff like that. If I pick up one of them I may try a different approach with a solo saddle and a longer old school rear fender for the 60s flat track look, before the XR750 came out with the tail section. But first I have to move some stuff to get some space, then pick up a bike.

I need to get enough posts to post pictures. I have an SR500 doing the 60s look, but can't post pictures yet.

I forget where Gaylord is in MI. My grand parents had a cabin/boat rental business on Douglas Lake about 25 miles south of Mackinaw. I went back up there to Indian River with my brother to ride the trails with the KLX, but broke my ankle when the bike fell on it's side with my foot under the back. Even with older leather type HiPoints my ankle cracked. Now have Tech 6 A-stars. The trail sand was very loose and deep, on the single tracks the solid base underneath was bowl shaped so if you got off line the front wheel wanted to crab to that side, fighting efforts to get back to the center, like riding up a rut. I had that happen a couple times earlier and falling over at near a dead stop. The last time I tipped as I went to step off the bike my right toe caught the seat and I couldn't get my left foot out from underneath the bike. Two days in on a week ride... bummer. If it had only rained in the days preceding the sand might not have been so loose and hard to ride.

We did do one day I think on the west side of the area where there is more dirt in the base, actually getting up around Douglas Lake. It was a blast. I do want to go back some time.
 

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Hi and Welcome to the forums!


Interesting story you are telling. I only know that AFT built project:

https://www.americanflattrack.com/news/view/exclusive-part-ii-yamaha-mt-07-dt

But here in Europe nobody seriously follows an AFT series. We have our own Speedway thingy, which you find on sand, ice or gras with insanely tuned single cylinder motors and bikes fragile and lightweight built like spider webs:

https://www.speedweek.com/speedway/



There are some news and stories, that Indian for example is trying to support that Flat-Track racing to bring it to Europe. Maybe it gets popular as chewing gum or will last like Aerobics..., who knows.

BR
hombacher
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
It's gaining in popularity in Australia from what I understand. Here's what it is and where it is at in the U.S. A bit of history from my point of view.

Personal opinion is speedway is incredibly great and with the short race round robin format it keeps the races interesting. I think the appeal is that it has the teams that have fan bases along with some national ties in some cases. That is their draw. This isn't there in the U.S. It never took off outside California. I've seen some speedway and it has the same appeal to me as flat track. A few races were on a small slightly less than 1/4 mile track and some were on a long 1/2 mile track. All were pretty cool. Problem - no following to start and no brand recognition. Brand recognition is a huge factor as we here see in NASCAR and some of the sports car series. I think in Europe and Australia you see it in the touring car series. Fans cheer the brand and there is serious brand competition, especially when so closely related to the product bought at the dealers.

Flat track isn't that far removed, but takes bigger tracks, usually minimum 3/8 mile up to mile long. That may be an issue for parts of Europe, but I do realize some speedway long tracks are up to half mile. I think the best for flat track are the tracks like speedway, a cushion track allowing serious slides. Some flat tracks, commonly ones that have cars race them, are banked clay and develop a blue groove of rubber build up from the tires and "follow the leader" corners. On a cushion track it is like speedway with two-three wide racing, where a rider will lose speed and places if they slip off the groove by a foot. Both can present awesome racing.

The thing that is cool about flat track is the production relationship, much like the direct relationship in World Super Bike and to a lesser extent MotoGP. In the 1960s-to mid 70s the bikes were nearly all production based with BSA, Triumph, Harley, and Yamaha production machines. The unfortunate demise of nd Triumph hurt a lot, making it a two make race up to around 1974. Then it went off the rails a bit from around 1974 to around 2010 when the American Motorcyclist Association, then the promoter/sanctioning body, allowed Harley Davidson to build a race specific machine.

The XR750 went on to devastate the competition and virtually eliminate any other bike until some privateers tried a sideways CX500 engine punched out to 750. Fast but heat issues, never did well, but Honda got involved in 1985. The rally bike 750 V-twin engine, later the Africa Twin, became the base for the RS750 flat tracker that took down the Harley XR750. Still both had the problem of availability. If you wanted to win you had to have the race engine, which was not common production and easy to attain. Harleys were easier to get due to being around for 10 years by then, but so stressed out in build that maintenance costs were astronomical. Plus the AMA weighted the Honda down to the point of making it no longer competitive and Honda walked away. The next decade the Harleys were virtually the only brand on the track.

The AMA, still the sanctioning body, worked with some builders to try to make a more affordable racer. Problem was there were few 750 range twins possible to use. They tried some formulas to allow bigger engines, but it wasn't very successful and the brief period of multi cylinder engines was ended in 1975 for reasons of safety. Still eventually some worked with bored Kawasaki 650 twins and there was success. The era of the XR750 was going away, by then the costs were really crazy, $5000 crank work a couple times a season and tighter states of tune, not to mention no more engines being made since like 1980 was making it hard for racers. The Ninja was the start of something new and Harley made their 750 Street Rod, plus Yamaha came out with the FZ/FJ07. There were good possibilities showing up and competition among the brands starting. This breathed life into the sport...

Then after AFT had assumed the role of sanctioning body and promoter. The racing was getting good, with the Kawasakis and Harleys going at it and some promise showing with the new Yamahas and even a few BMWs. Some Triumphs were racing too. They had gotten the very popular 450 Singles class going with Honda, KTM, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Husqvarna all relatively competitive while remaining fairly close to stock, no custom frames. It made for some serious brand support among fans. Then they made the mistake of allowing the race built Indian in. It has started a dominance like the XR750 had. Racers have little chance of winning unless on an Indian. So that is the state at the start of this season. Indian dominance of AFT twins and a great competitive 450 Singles class. The 450s have been incredibly popular among fans partly due to the arrival of Shayna Texter, one fast woman. She is near the top, almost winning the series on a Honda a few years back, placing well on a Husqvarna last year, and having some great rides and wins on a KTM this season.

The 450s show what may be lacking in speedway, but not affecting the sport other than in the U.S., and what is definitely lacking in the AFT Twins - brands of machines that develop fan loyalty. Super bike racing and the MotoGP racing both have the brand loyal fans along with the rider fans. I think the FIM knows it needs to keep as many brands in the hunt as possible for the fan base. I think AFT is learning that because they now have a Production Twins class that will have the engines based on commonly available street bike engines. Before the Indian came and devastated the competition with a purpose built bike, the racing was getting interesting with the Harley 750 Street Rod and the Kawasaki 650 Ninja based engines. Then some did a Triumph and a BMW, not quite as fast yet, and a couple Yamaha FZ07 based bikes came on strong. Real promise, competition among brands again. Then the purpose built available only to those qualified by Indian FTR750 took over the top class again. The races were "which Indian is going to win", no fun. But now the Production twins takes the purpose built engines out of the mix and AFT is trying to get more brands - the Yamaha is one of them and the XSR has some close looking ties to some of the racers.

That is part of why the XSR has caught my eye, the relationship to the race bikes. Bare bones purposeful and a good base to play with. I still don't have those **** 10 posts so I can't post pictures yet. I think some of you in Europe and Australia would definitely see the possible resemblance and some might even like it. I see a frame that can have either a 60s flat track vibe or a current flat track vibe, having the ability to easily mound a bit longer old school style rear fender or keeping the abbreviated one, or the possibility of putting on a flat track tail section. Very little modification and the bike has that replica appeal and is actually what the racing engines are based on. Kind of cool.

Take a look... Yamaha MT07 DT flat tracker and a look at [URL="https://www.cyclenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/JD-Beach-Estenson-Racing.jpg"]the bike that won the super TT race over here.
[/URL] Worth posting again. Whether you are a fan or not, the bike looks darn close to your own XSR and is something to cheer for at races.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thank you very much for the very, very detailed information around the flat track racing, @KLX678.

Here is one guy who made a XSR700 built, inspired by Flat Track: https://jigsawcustoms.com/yamaha-xsr700/

In my opinion a very good looking and executed built!
Here's a seat/tail for $299 here in the U.S.


Link to site - click here.

I can live without those covers on the side and the radiator decoration, probably no number plates, but who knows with that part. I like that raw bare bones bare knuckle look of flat trackers and that character in this bike. With that seat/tail out there if I can swing it I will have an XSR. Too darn cool!



Good on ya, I was hoping you'd take it as a bit of ribbing it was. :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looks like I'm springing for a new 2018 in red. Finishing arranging financing tomorrow, deposit on order, then wait for it to show up, the dealer worked a dealer trade since they sold their last one. Should make for a few fun fall weekends between grading school work and whatever crappy weather Ohio provides during that time. I just hope we can hit one of the beautiful colorful fall days before all the leaves fall.
 
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