What Is a Street Tracker Motorcycle?

Modern motorcycles take many designs and features, so there’s something for every rider to pick from. If you’ve been contemplating investing in a street tracker motorcycle, it’s essential to understand what a street tracker motorcycle is and what it offers you as the rider.

Keep reading for the answers to your burning questions about street tracker motorcycles.

A Street Tracker Motorcycle Defined

Are you wondering what is a street tracker motorcycle? Essentially, this bike is a street-legal bike with customizations or designs that make it look and operate like a flat-track racer bike. Street tracker motorcycles usually have a tail section with a single long seat that curves towards the back along with rearsets or mid controls.

These types of bikes typically sport MX-style or superbike handlebars. Wheels with 18 and 19-inch specifications are among the most popular choices for street trackers. Riders who favor these motorcycles incorporate upgraded brakes, suspensions, and adjustable levers that harken back to the vintage bikes street trackers modeled after.

While you could flat track race in these, the stripped-down dirt track racer appearance and plethora of features makes street trackers legal for all your on-road expeditions.

History of Street Trackers

Check out the brief history of street trackers below:

  • Street trackers go back to the 1960s and 1970s when the AMA Grand National Championship series was the top motorcycle race.
  • The AMA featured events occurring on varying sizes of dirt ovals.
  • Racers wanted to enjoy their bikes on the track and on the street, so they modified their bikes with mirrors, lights, a horn, front brakes.
  • Before long, both professional racers and everyday bikers wanted a street tracker of their own.

Street Trackers vs. Cafe Racers

It’s easy to confuse vintage motorbikes with each other. Cafe racers and street trackers are both widely popular with vintage riding enthusiasts, but they are each distinctive in their way. Street trackers are much lighter than cafe racers are, which is why the original riders were able to slide around direct tracks without reducing their speeds.

Street trackers have much higher exhausts than cafe racers. Rocker groups initially used in the 1960s in Britain to take quick jaunts between favored cafes. Cafe racers were mainly for on-road use to get from Point A to Point B, which street trackers were the rough-and-tumble cousin pounding it out on the oval dirt tracks.

The Top Street Tracker Models

If you’re in the market for a street tracker to add to your bike collection, custom street trackers are an excellent route to consider. Bike manufacturers have been much slower to join the street tracker bandwagon. Harley Davidson, for example, gave the classic street tracker a go not once, but twice. However, the last official street tracker went out of production in 2013.

Street trackers typically feature a wide set of bars that are ideal for the type you’d need on a track. Most street trackers look their best with a small tank. The classic Harley Davidson XR750 is fantastic in terms of used motorcycles values and the potential for customization.

You can transition the tank to a narrow seat with fear ease, and the rear fender is small enough to protect the taillight. With 19-inch wheels and spokes or cast wheels, you’ve got your very own street tracker.

The Zaeta 450 and Zaeta 530DT, bring back memories of the old racing days, with both retailing at motorcycle values of $19,999. Featuring a somewhat similar design and aesthetic to the original street trackers, these are all quality options to consider that you can customize as you like.

Why is it so difficult for manufacturers to get the ball rolling with mass-producing street trackers? The price of motorcycles is a significant hurdle. Someone building a street tracker in their backyard might be pleased with the bells and whistles they can add.

However, consumers expect much bang for their buck with mass-produced machines. The costs of producing street trackers to full specifications could be high.

Usage is another issue for manufacturers. There’s not as high a demand for these types of bikes as there are for your regular street motorcycles. Ultimately, profit wins. There are also pesky legal requirements that cause issue too.

There’s the balance between making the bike look attractive and including all required emissions equipment and electronic devices. All these regulations are just another reason why it doesn’t look like bike manufacturers will be mass-producing street trackers anytime soon.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t build your street tracker or purchase a similar model. Any of the models noted previously are either excellent options to customize or leave as is for a similar look and feel to the original street tracker bike.

Wrapping Up

It doesn't matter if you decide a street tracker is the next best thing or you prefer the easy look of a cafe racer. Don’t purchase your next bike before plugging the numbers into a motorcycle loan calculator.

Do you plan on customizing your new bike? Budgeting will be key to ensure your customizations comply with manufacturer design requirements and your local legal regulations without breaking the bank.

The road to finding a street tracker motorcycle isn’t easy. You may have to purchase a different bike and make it your own to achieve the final look that you want. 

Before your bike rubber meets the road, whether it be on your favorite race track, field, or on the highway, don’t ride again before you purchase motorcycle insurance for your vehicle. Motorcycle customizations could affect your insurance premiums. It’s essential to speak with an agent to find out what could be possible for your policy and to secure the best deal on coverage for your biking needs.