Over the decades, the humble little Yamaha TW200 has usually been used as a farm or ‘ag’ bike. But more recently, companies like Deus Ex Machina have been turning these reliable thumpers into beach trackers with fat tyres and surfboard racks. So when a client brought one into Purpose Built Moto (PBM) that had already been given the beach cruiser treatment, they weren’t overly enthusiastic to start with. “To be blunt, I wasn’t excited at all when this bike first rolled in the garage,” recalls Tom from Purpose Built. “Having been previously built in the surf tracker style, with the long swingarm and tiny aluminium tank, it was less than appealing. That said, the guy who owned the bike seemed like a legend, and I like working with good people. So we took it on.”
The customer decided he wanted an “urban assault vehicle”, which Tom translated into “street tracker”. Tom had to ask: “Can I get rid of that stupid tiny tank? … He answered yes, thankfully, so I started to form an idea of how this bike was going to look.”
The first thing they did was lose the saddle and build a new seat section that hugged the frame. With that done and the rear frame tidied up, Tom mounted a better fitting and larger tank onto the little Yamaha, finishing it off with a welded-in pop-up cap.
The bike had previously been taken to Dynomite Moto for a host of engine mods, “to try and milk a bit more juice out of it.” Unfortunately the oversize carb was now jamming on the rear shock. To fix the issue, Tom removed the shock, rebuilt it and fabricated new mounts on the frame, moving it further back to allow more room for the FCR carb.
“The silhouette of the bike was starting to make sense, even with that ridiculously long swingarm,” said Tom. “The TW still wanted something more, it sort of looked like a half-assed farm bike with street tyres and it took me a little while to figure out why. While I was working on another project I looked across and it hit me. Those bloody wheels….”
The Yamaha TW200 runs a 19” up front and a 15” in the rear — that was the problem. As well as hugely limiting the tyre selection, the wheels took away all its street appeal. Tom knew right away they needed to change. “My solution was to run a set of Motard size rims, 17” x 3.00 on the front and 17” x 5.00 excel rims on the rear and fit them up with a set of Shinko Hook-up Drag tyres.”
The last big fabrication job on the TW200 Street Tracker was the custom exhaust. “With the extended swingarm, they were left with almost enough room to fit a second engine in there! But instead we opted to route the exhaust rising up the rear and fitted a 1.5” Torpedo muffler under the seat at the back, filling a bit of room and adding to the “why the hell not” design characteristics of the TW. To finish the tail end we used our minimal all in one brake/tail/turn lights, with a swingarm-mounted plate holder. All of the electrics are run by a PBM Black Box module hidden neatly under the seat.”
With the bike shaped up, it was now time to finish dressing it with all the trick touches. They fitted a set of high rise Renthal handlebars in an anodised blue, matching the electric blue colour scheme of the frame and tank. PBM 3 button switches, Ariete blue grips and ISR levers dress the handlebars. Rounding out the front end is a 7” flashpoint headlight and a set of black dome LED indicators. Utilising the aluminium front fender and some fabrication slugs, the fender mounts were kept stock and the fender lowered onto the new 17” front wheel.
“My favourite modification of all on this bike is the side-mounted gauges: they’re odd-sized, ridiculous and totally impractical. That’s a list of reasons why I like it, by the way. A 48mm and a 60mm Daytona Velona gauge — such a simple thing but every time I look at them I smile.”
When it came to the colour scheme of the bike, there were a lot of ideas thrown around, but they eventually landed on the electric blue. “The underlying theme was a retro throwback, so with that in mind, and keeping with the Tron style black/blue idea, I went to Popbang Classics with a huge box of parts for paint. The frame, brackets, hubs and front disc were to be an electric blue, with the tank getting a retro stripe design in satin black and faded blues to top it all off.”
To finish off the throwback tracker vibe, PBM enlisted the skills of Timeless Autotrim to make an asymmetrical stitch pattern on the seat using black leather and Alcantara with blue stitching.
The TW200 Tracker is never going to be a high-performance machine, but what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in smiles. “This bike delivers so much fun ripping through suburban streets, making any ride, at any speed, a trip to look forward to. The long wheel-base and wide tyres add an undeniable feeling of novelty to this urban assault weapon.”