This is the Whitford KTM Surf Tracker, it’s a custom motorcycle that was built by Nigel Petrie over at Engineered to Slide and the build was so professionally done the bike looks like an official concept motorcycle from a major manufacturer.
The bike started life as a stock KTM 530 EXC, a road-legal enduro four-stroke that weighs in at just 114 kilograms when full of fuel. Petrie rebuilt it into a surf tracker, a custom motorcycle with flat tracker styling and a surfboard rack on the side for finding new breaks on the southern Australian coast.
Fast Facts – The Whitford KTM Surf Tracker
- The KTM 530 EXC is an enduro motorcycle powered by a 510cc single-cylinder engine, with a single overhead cam, four valves per cylinder, a Keihin FCR-MX carburetor, and a wide-ratio six-speed transmission.
- The 530 EXC has a chrome-moly frame, a steel alloy that’s both lighter and stronger than regular steel. The bike rides on modern suspension including a WP 48mm open-cartridge USD fork up front and a WP PDS monoshock in the rear, both adjustable for compression damping, preload, and rebound.
- The Whitford KTM Surf Tracker project began when a man named Dale contacted Nigel Petrie at Engineered to Slide and asked him to create the perfect motorcycle for riding down the Victoria coast looking for waves with a surfboard in a rack on the side of the bike.
- Petrie sourced a KTM 530 EXC, sorted it out mechanically, and then began the rebuild into the motorcycle you see here. It’s now being offered for sale out of Geelong, Australia.
The KTM 530 EXC
The KTM 530 EXC was released in the early 2000s as the Austrian company’s new offering in the enduro championship winning EXC model series. At its core the 530 EXC is a road-legal enduro bike designed to allow you to ride from home out to the trails, spend all day exploring, and then ride home afterwards all in relative comfort.
As more and more trails become legally accessible only by road-licensed vehicles we’ve seen more and more manufacturers offering road legal versions of their enduro bikes – typically by adding the required lights, fitting quieter exhausts, and modifying the engines to meet emissions standards.
With its 510cc single-cylinder engine the KTM 530 EXC is on the larger end of the enduro bike scale, it does avoid excessive bloat however and weighs in at a reasonably trim 114 kilograms or 251 lbs when fully fueled and ready to ride.
The bike was specifically designed to be used at highway speeds, depending on your tire choice of course, the engine in the KTM 530 EXC produces a healthy 53 bhp at 7,000 rpm with the kind of broad torque curve that two-stroke riders can only dream about.
The engine is a single-cylinder with a single overhead cam, four valves per cylinder, a Keihin FCR-MX carburetor, a digital ignition, and a built-in, wide-ratio six speed transmission that’s designed to handle the lower speed trails right up to the sustained highway cruising that riders often need to do to get out to the trail.
Rather than aluminum alloy the frame is made from chrome-moly steel, a strong and lightweight steel alloy that often used in motorcycle frame and automotive chassis applications. Chrome-moly, or chromium-molybdenum, is weldable with common MIG and TIG equipment, it’s easily hardenable, it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, and it’s more corrosion-resistant than standard mild steel.
Up front KTM has fitted a WP 48mm open-cartridge USD fork and in the rear there’s a WP PDS monoshock, as you might expect both are adjustable for compression damping, preload, and rebound.
The 530 EXC quickly established itself as a major player in its market segment, a segment that’s been growing in recent years, and some adventure bike riders have even converted to the smaller KTM due to its agility off-road.
The Whitford KTM Surf Tracker
The Whitford KTM Surf Tracker is a custom motorcycle that more than one person has openly wished was a full production motorcycle offered by KTM off the showroom floor. It keeps all of the off-road prowess of the KTM 530 EXC that it’s based on while adding a hefty dose of classic flat track styling.
The build began in 2015 when a fellow Melbourne local named Dale contacted Nigel Petrie at Engineered to Slide and laid out his vision for the perfect motorcycle to use cruising down the coast with a surfboard attached to the side.
As it happens, Nigel had been thinking about building the same fundamental motorcycle for himself, and as a result he’d already done all the research that was needed to start the build. He sourced a good 530 EXC that was for sale nearby and did a few maintenance jobs on the bike to get it registered for the road. Once that was done the build could begin in earnest.
Nigel decided to go with a one-piece fuel tank and seat, a design choice that was famously made by Craig Vetter on the Triumph X-75 Hurricane back in the 1970s. With the Whitford KTM Surf Tracker the bodywork is made from fiberglass and it’s designed to lift off as a single piece to provide access to the inner workings of the motorcycle when required.
A new alloy fuel tank was designed specifically for this bike, it sits neatly under the fiberglass bodywork and contains 11 litres of fuel which offers plenty of range. A new headlight was fabricated in-keeping with the flat track design ethos of the bike, and a new seat was upholstered to fit the new bodywork.
The final major job was to create a surfboard rack for the side of the bike so that Dale could bring his board along for the ride when searching down the coast for the best break on any given day.
After many years of happy ownership he’s now decided to sell the bike, and it’s being offered out of Geelong in Victoria, Australia on Collecting Cars.
The bike currently has approximately 6,000 kms on the odometer, somewhere in the region of 3,728 miles, and it’s registered for the road. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.