Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

‘83 Yamaha SR500 Flat Tracker

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Andrew in Tracker. 24 comments

Here’s something that you probably didn’t know. The movie ‘On Any Sunday’ not only won an Academy award, invented the world’s first helmet cam and single-handedly changed the Western world’s attitude to motorcycling – it also introduced large areas of the world to the wonders of both Flat Track racing and BMX bicycles. Which, if it’s not too long a bow to draw, means that it’s probably also responsible for today’s star bike. Meet Poland’s Pan Sławomir and his very mean, very green flat track Yamaha, ‘Storm Buddy.’

“My name is Sławomir and I am 28 years old. I grew up and still live in Warsaw. Although I’m not a professional mechanic, I was have always been interested in anything with two wheels. In my youth it was BMX bikes, but when I started to earn some money and I could afford a little more, I decided to get a motorcycle.”

“After several years of riding a stock bike, me and my best friend Paul decided to build our first custom bikes – my choice was a Yamaha XS400 in a café racer style, however it turned out that it just wasn’t what I was looking for; it was way too uncomfortable for daily rides and to be honest the build was not properly done. It had some major flaws – mechanically and visually. Then I realised that I was probably capable of building something decent myself, something that I would be proud of, too. So I decided to prove my theory and build myself an SR500 tracker.”

Then Sławomir found someone selling an ‘83 SR500 near Warsaw. It was in decent condition and was going for a reasonable price. And so began a process that lasted nearly two years. Yes, the daily grind got in the way, but Sławomir notes that there were also delays while waiting for the various paint, metal and blasting subcontractors or simply because he had more pressing things to do. More pressing than build a bike? Do such things actually exist?

The work all began by cutting, redesigned and making the bike’s rear frame section – a job that has . “After that it was time to fit the fuel tank; it was a gift from a friend who found it in the scrap yard. I don’t know exactly what bike it comes from, but most probably it was a small 200cc, 2-stroke Yamaha.

Then came time for the engine. From the beginning I wanted to paint it to match the overall design, so I had to disassemble it down to the last screw to prepare it for glass blasting, a head shave, a bore and a larger, higher compression piston. After painting the selected parts, it was rebuilt with new genuine bearings, seals and gaskets. In addition to the new engine, a Mikuni TM36 carburetor was fitted.”

“Next on the list was the lights and electrics. I’d decide that the whole flat track style really required a number board, which I handmade from steel with an aftermarket headlight built-in. I’m also a big fan of the ‘clean look’ so I decided to build the tail light into the frame. Then I added a new, smaller battery under the seat, relocated the ignition there as well and rewired all the electrics.”

Of course, A faster bike needs more powerful brakes, so Sławomir repurposed some Brembo 320mm discs with two piston calipers from a Yamaha FZ6 and master cylinder from a Kawasaki ER5 to supply the squeeze when needed. Of course, the bike’s wheels, frame and rear arm also got some attention in the form of a good ol’ sandblasting and some new powder coating in addition to some new bearings, seals and spokes.

“The paint job is from Drozd Design and is intended to reference the Yamaha racing designs from 70’s. As mentioned, the bike was meant to be as comfortable as the street tracker style will allow while keeping it street legal, so it was necessary to add some mirrors, indicators and a handmade front fender.”

“And last but not least, I have to thank my best pal Paul who spent countless hours helping me with this project. I named it a “Storm Buddy” as a nod to him. It’s also a reference to the ‘Ted’ movie and, obviously, so is the teddy bear paint on front plate.”

  • Scott

    I just watched the hare and hound desert racing video over on and they used helmet cam. That was in 1967 and on any sunday was made in 1971. Who invented the helmet cam?

  • bjparker

    Confession: my current build is monochromatic, so I dig that kind of thing. This bike, however, is such a refreshing change. I think we’ve started to see people buck the steel and black thing and start throwing in pops of color-and it’s a welcomer change. I also really appreciate the overall build. It looks like it’s executed well and brakes and fenders are always helpful.

  • arnold

    Wielkie spojrzenie *motorcycle*. Dobrze zrobiony.

    I cannot pronounce it, I hope that it isn’t too insulting.ald

  • revdub

    Great looking build and awesome photography. This thing looks like a lot of fun. Are wheelies encouraged on a dirt track?

  • The best looking paint scheme I’ve seen in a while – I kinda get tired of the same muted colors that have been showing up lately. The green is refreshing. I like the overall stance and nice job on the custom number plate.

  • Pan mate, for me this bike has it all; aesthetically pleasing, power and daily-driver reliability. I know, I’m boring in a meat-and-three-veg way when it comes to customs but hot dang, this just does it on so many levels for me. Doubt it will make the pipeburn final 10 for the year but this is my fav bike of 2014 so far. congrats.

  • Jeffrey Wallis Bell-Zekas

    love flat trackers, love this bike… grew up in Southern California, riding at Indian Dunes and Saddleback Park, or out in the Mojave Desert… amazing childhood… just like the movie…

  • James duke

    Nice home built machine . you have to take into account the guy is in Poland . Parts and funds are most likely very limited . I like it and would sport it around.

    • Wiz

      Well that’s a false impression about Poland Sir. This is not a 3rd world country. However this kind of work is still not appreciated in Poland but things are going into right direction…hopefully.

      • James duke

        Oh fine Sir I was not dissing Poland by any means. I have family that spends a lot of time there on business. He loves the food an the people so do I . Polish people are the salt of the Earth kind an very nice. But as we both know they don’t have the readily available things like custom parts paint ect that we do here in the states. My Polish Brothers are the best an have proven that many times over. Props to them an you fine Sir The dude 🙂

  • Luke

    Hard not to chime in here and agree – great bike. I love bikes that I want to look at AND hop on for a spin. That thing looks like fun. Great proportions all around. It’s amazing how much lighter (visually) bikes get by emptying out that area behind the engine under the seat. I’m guessing he put in a real small Lithium battery to help with that.

  • I’d rife the bejesus out of this thing…

    • James duke

      Me too Andrew 🙂 The reason I visit pipeburn pretty much everyday is that a bike does not have to be some kind of trailer queen show bike to be featured. Some of the bikes are true works of art and I enjoy those also. Keep on doing what you are doing 🙂

      • When it comes to bikes, I’m like a swinging couple from the 70s; i’m pretty much open to trying anything…

        • James duke

          LMAO Andrew 🙂

    • Junior Burrell

      Shouldn’t it be mandatory for all sr500 features to include wheelie pics?

  • Junior Burrell

    I’d wheelie the hell out of it!!!!!!!!

  • Juno

    Hello from Poland 🙂 At first – “Pan” means “mister” in English 🙂 The name is Sławomir.
    At 2nd – That’s great to see awesome project from Poland like this 🙂

  • TwoSmoke

    Very cool, definitely different. I’m surprised TJMartin hasn’t come in here yet to shit all over everything. Anyhow what exactly is the green creature pointing the gun on the number plate?