Looking for inspiration? Something to hang on your wall (bedroom, garage, FB) that will allow your mind to wander to better things, better places, better times? The modern equivalent to that poster of the Bimota Tesi, Ducati 916, Ferrari F50, or Lamborghini Countach?

If the sheer number of people who've come up to me and said, "I'd buy one in a heartbeat if Yamaha made it," is any indi­cation, I truly believe this Jeff Palhegyi Design's DT-07 Street Tracker is that bike, the motorcycle that will inspire a new generation. And not just because of its crisp lines and purposeful stature. But for the experience it offers.

If you recognize those crisp lines, that's because they come directly from the DT-07 Concept Bike unveiled at the 2015 AIMExpo, a bike Yamaha tasked Palhegyi with building as soon as it realized the engine's potential in flat-track racing. To know that bike is to know where this bike comes from.

Palhegyi explains: “Early on, Yamaha had come to me and said, ‘We’ve got this new 689cc twin. It’s probably going to make a good dirt-track racing motor. Let’s build a concept bike and see what it would look like.’

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker sliding on pavement
SUPERBIKE LOOKS: Palhegyi says he took a photo of Yamaha’s latest factory R1 Superbike and knew right away that was how he wanted the DT-07 Street Tracker to look. Good call, Jeff.Jeff Allen

"Once we started building that first concept bike, there were mumblings of selling them and getting Yamaha back into dirt-track racing," Palhegyi continues. "I'm a dirt-track fan, and so pretty much right away I took the oppor­tunity to build an extra frame and start collecting parts. I had an opportunity to buy an FZ-07 engine from the beginning, so I was just collecting everything to build another. Six months later I pretty much had them all put together. That's this bike."

Circling back, what makes the DT project so special is that Yamaha wholeheartedly supported the build from the very beginning. “They took it very seriously,” Palhegyi says. “So much so that in the design phase, they gave us access to the race team’s rear suspension data software. Keith McCarty [Racing Division Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation] had the idea to build a modern dirt-tracker using the roadracing linkage because of what Öhlins could do with suspension and what they could make it do with this software. So we used that to design all the rear suspension. On the concept bike we actually used the superbike linkage and shock.”

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker static side view
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen

Palhegyi’s street-tracker uses the exact same linkage and geometry as the concept bike but swaps the pricey superbike shock with a TTX36 unit, a still very high-tech piece, just one that’s more readily available than, you know, a full-factory superbike shock. Meanwhile, up front it uses a stock R6 fork and single brake disc/caliper. Adjustable triple clamps from Durelle Racing are mated to a custom chrome-moly frame that’s “really stiff between the points,” Palhegyi claims. “I won’t say exactly what the geometry numbers are because that’s what Yamaha will probably use if it ever goes racing. But it’s all adjust­able, and it’s the standard geometry that any dirt-track bike should have.”

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen

Except for engine tweaks, there’s little to differentiate Palhegyi’s tracker from the essentially “full race” concept bike. The 19-inch wheels are from Propulsion Lab, tires are from Dunlop (DT3), and the handlebar is a Vortex J. Murphree bend. Proper flat-track stuff.

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen

“This bike got complicated because of the stuff we did to make it a streetbike,” Palhegyi admits. “But if I couldn’t get proper lights on there, I’d be bummed. So many people build street-legal stuff but just don’t do a good job at it. I really wanted to make this one look right.”

Looking right and functioning properly are different things, of course, and that last part is where Palhegyi struggled. As it turns out, it’s difficult to get a bike running without the necessary parts. “I had ordered the wiring harness needed to run all of the electronics, but apparently I was supposed to get a box of parts with it. Me and Rodger, my wiring guy, spent something like 10 hours last Friday, and the thing just wouldn’t run. I took it down to Yamaha and they told me, ‘You don’t have any of the right stuff. This thing’s never going to run.’”

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen

Good karma comes around, fortu­nately, as the end result was Yamaha taking off all the parts from one of its dirt-track bikes and putting it on Palhegyi’s tracker. “We changed the injectors, all the sensors, everything,” he admits.

Other suggestions that this is basically a DT-07 flat-track bike with headlights? How about the custom-tuned airbox and dual-air-filter setup that’s identical to the concept bike’s (which Palhegyi and Yamaha came up with after much dyno tuning to help it resonate properly, make maximum power, and fit in the limited space), the fully custom Graves titanium exhaust, fac­tory race ECU, and beautiful billet aluminum oil pan, which replaced the square pan that guys racing FZ-07s engines had been grinding down on the track.

Palhegyi suggests that, with all this, his bike makes something between what a stock FZ-07 would make (68 hp at the rear wheel, per the CW dyno) and a Yamaha-built "race" engine (which is claimed to make between 95 and 100 hp). "And it weighs right around 300 pounds," Palhegyi adds.

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen

If that sounds like a recipe for a good time, that’s because it is. I mean, hell, the standard FZ-07, at 397 pounds wet, is already fun, nimble, and full of personality. Plus totally user-friendly.

Riding Palhegyi’s Street Tracker though, now that is an experience. That user-friendly feeling of the FZ-07 is still there thanks to a smooth power delivery and surprisingly decent ergos (Palhegyi admits footpeg placement was decided by the exhaust routing), but the bike feels 40 percent more willing to get you in trouble. The big wheels/tires don’t upset the handling like I thought they would, and the brakes are terrifyingly strong. The DT-07 still feels predictable and stable at corner entry, without too much instability from that short length between wheel centers. And its stance… Its stance and its look change you. You’re a different man on the Street Tracker. An inspired man.

I ask Palhegyi if he thinks we could see a lean and light, dirt track-inspired bike like it in Yamaha’s, or anybody’s, lineup one day. To which he replies, “It’s an interesting thing because nobody has really tried that. For a production model, you can’t make a tracker with two-up seating position or storage.”

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen

After a pause, he adds: “I think it’s a matter of getting people psyched up enough. But then is it really workable? Engineers might look at what I’ve built and say, ‘Okay, well you did this wrong, you did that wrong, and we can’t do it because of this.’ There are just so many dimensional challenges. And the motorcycle industry doesn’t have the money to reinvent every single part of a bike when they want to make a new model.”

I’m more optimistic. I like to think there’s a very serious contingent of consumers who’d jump at the opportunity to own a tracker and a manufacturer who, at some point in time, will realize the sales opportunity there. I’d also like to think that Yamaha specifically will use this experience with Palhegyi to make its official return to flat-track racing. Then take the excitement it’s created around the bike and build a replica for the street—not with custom chrome-moly frame and single-piece body but something that does its racebike—and flat-track as a sport—justice.

Until then, I’ll suffice with a photo of Palhegyi’s street tracker hung on my wall and wander off into sweet dreams of crushing a perfectly graded fire road on it. Because street tracker.

Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker static left-side view
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen
Yamaha DT-07 Street Tracker
Yamaha DT-07 Street TrackerJeff Allen