When building or heavily customizing a bike, at one point, you have to make a decision if you want to keep it street legal, or throw the book out and make a crazy toy.
When Paul Miller stumbled on a pile of parts that happened to be a 1977 Yamaha TT500, he decided to go the street tracker route with it, and keep it legal. Although an occasional motocross racer, street trackers are something that interested him, and the idea of laying the power from the 500 down on pavement was just brilliant.
The TT500 was one of those bikes that came straight from the factory as both a lightweight and powerful off-road bike. So to make something more of an already good bike, Paul needed to really work subtly on every part. And that’s just what he did. The only parts he left untouched were the engine and the front part of the frame.
Paul decided to work on everything he didn’t like about the original design of the bike. So it’s no surprise that he only replaced the gaskets and upgraded to steel braided oil lines for the engine. Then hooked it up with a handmade exhaust and a reverse cone muffler. The tank is an Omega Racer aluminum tank that matches the feel of the bike overall, and the clutch cover was taken from a 2015 SR400.
Visually, Paul wanted to balance the look of the bike, so he repositioned the shock mountings to match the angle of the front forks by using a new rear sub frame and a MotoLanna swingarm. The rear shocks have been replaced with Gazi units, while the forks are from a 1980 XS650 and have been smoothed and polished. He also added a steering damper for stability. The rear subframe he made by hand, as is the aluminum tail section, inner fender, and electrical panel.
All the brackets, the brake caliper, brake and shifter controls, and rear brake fluid reservoir are handmade. The LED headlight is hidden behind the number plate, and the turn signals you wouldn’t know we’re there until they blinked. New ignition and switches hooked up to Renthal bars all keep the front clean and purposeful, and with the change of bars and seat, Paul also changed the foot pegs to a more comfortable position.
The details don’t stop there, he’s used SR500 mag wheels, Dunlop K70 tyres, and brakes from a 1999 Ducati Monster. The frame and triple tree have all been powercoated uniquely in white.
Paul has now setup a new workshop, PanicRev Customs. If this piece of mechanical art is anything to go by, we will be seeing a lot more from PanicRev in the years to come.