Café racers might be all the rage, but we’re still suckers for a super-sano street-tracker—which is why we were so
pleased to see this gorgeous gray 1973 Yamaha TX650 take top prize in the Motorcyclist-sponsored “Retro-Mod” division of the 2012 Ultimate Builders Bike Show U.S. Championship, held during Bike Week at Daytona Beach. Built by Mark Webster of MW Performance in Flower Mound, Texas, this ’tracker was inspired by the thunderous, big-bore milers the builder grew up watching race each weekend in his native Northern California.
The project began with a long-rod version of the 650cc parallel-twin Webster acquired in exchange for two bottles of scotch. The engine was disassembled and freshened up with headwork by 650 Central in Sonora, California, plus 34mm Mikuni carbs on custom intakes and authentic Jemco mile pipes. The frame was sourced off Craigslist, cleaned of all tabs and its subframe, and then fitted with a Yamaha Radian swingarm and Kayaba shocks from a Kawasaki ZRX1200. A pair of 19-inch aluminum rims wrapped in Goodyear DT-II rubber and Harley-Davidson XR750-style bodywork cap off this trophy-winner.