When a picture of this minimalist KTM tracker garnered well over 6000 likes on our Instagram account (@bikeboundblog), we knew we had to do a feature on it. Clearly it’s not street legal, but we’re stoked at the idea of spending some time in this saddle.
The builder, Nigel Petrie, is by day a prototype machinist for Ford Motor Company, and by night a visionary custom builder with incredible fabrication skills. His shop, Engineered to Slide, is a one man show operating out of his garage in Geelong, a port city in the State of Victoria, Australia. The series of incredible bikes and cars he has built are detailed on his blog–all unique, all amazing.
As Nigel says:
“I believe in the creation of objects from raw materials, through using these objects for their intended purpose, they gain a type of personality and the story of their creation comes to life.”
The HiRider’s personality comes through loud and clear.
KTM 250 SX-F Tracker/Scrambler: Build Story
Nigel’s close friend Dean Walters, a photographer and collaborator, was doing a photo shoot when the subject mentioned that he had a box in his office containing what appeared to be a dirt bike, and Dean was welcome to it. As Dean and Nigel had been hunting for something new, different, free, and fun, the timing was perfect. A proverbial basket case, Dean couldn’t even tell what kind of bike it was. However, after telling Nigel that “it needed work,” it was quickly loaded up and deposited on the doorstep of his shop.
Unpacking the box, Nigel determined that all the necessary parts were there. Engine, frame, suspension, swing arm, wiring, and a bag of bolts. The engine had compression and the top end appeared to be okay. So after pressure washing the engine and cleaning the carb, he tossed it in the frame, hooked up the wiring, and it fired up. It appeared that the bike was aKTM 250 SX-F, a championship-winning motocross bike from the Austrians in orange.
Now the question, where to go from here? After fitting up a pair of 17-inch supermoto rimsfrom a prior build, Nigel felt it looked ridiculous with the height of the stock suspension. However, while searching through his parts cache for inspiration, he found a 2012 KTM seat and put it on the top tube. The line was perfect and the project now had direction.
With 0.9mm sheet metal and a TIG welder, Nigel crafted a pair of fuel tanks to line up with the seat and wedge into the back of the radiators, together with a tubular mounting frame for the seat and radiators. Then it was time to ride.
As the pictures show, this puppy is a blast to ride, on one wheel or two.
Nigel sums up the build:
“Every motorcycle has the potential to become exactly what you want. If you can’t buy it, you must build it. We took a box of parts and some sheetmetal and came up with a good time on two wheels. It’s as simple as that.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Article Credit: BikeBound & Engineered to Slide | Photo Credit: Dean Walters
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