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The 'Yamaha Enduro'

1975 Yamaha DT125/175MX Hybrid

Entry 03: Saturday 27 August 2011

Slow Going!

it’s not come to a stand still, but I am rather ‘bogged down’. Progress since last update is TWO, yes TWO bolts removed! They are being rather stubborn fukwitty little blighters, and I have three more to go! So, another ‘How2” to follow; Drilling Out! Though to be fair, ONE bolt was the shock-absorber bottom pin, and its not actually a bolt, but a hardened steel pin. I found this out the hard way… and I don’t have pictures; not that I took many, because camera decided to save them to memory, not card, and I cant find that elusive cable!

However, to give you an idea, after much bashing, I realised it wasn’t going to budge the conventional way, with hammer and drift. Shock rotated on it, though, so I could slide it a ‘tad’ sideways, and get a hacksaw in between the swing-arm boss and the shock….. Three new hacksaw blades and MUCH swearing later…. I had a slot…. So push it the other way, and WEAR OUT!, not snap, WEAR OUT four more hack-saw blades on the other side! Angle Grinder, did I hear you say? Yes, not enough room to get in there with one of those; gap was barely 1mm wide!

So shock dropped out, bit of bashing got one section of the pin out of it, and that stacked to one side. Then I had to deal with the bits still stuck in the swing arm. One side bashed HALF way out… but after a little more heavy duty Thor-type persuasion, it budged! Other side was NOT so accommodating, and I tried drilling it… hardened steel, vs hardened steel… pin won, and some-what lighter of drill bits, I decided another tack was called for. So I ground the head off with angry grinder and tried bashing it the opposite direction…. It budged half way, like the other side! I ended up grinding down the ‘bit’ of pin out of the other side to use as a drift, and lots more Thor type persuasion, it came out! Donna thought I did a very good job of ‘crazy-paving’ my slabbed patio, though! So what do I have pictures of?

 Well, I bought a can of paint! Yellow, Plasticote….

Cleaned up a bit of the front mudguard, and did a paint test…. And no! Its HORRIBLE! Would make the think look like a Banana! SO… looks like I’m going to be hunting down some ‘expensive’ paint to get something that looks slightly less….. err… Lemon like!

Friday 2 September 2011


OK, lack of updates does not indicate lack of progress; it is merely one of the many stages ‘projects’ go through where there is very little two write home about! FOUR MORE screws have been removed! Two in the rear mudghrard stay, by drilling a 10.5mm hole through the bludy thing removing stud AND captive nit complete…. But they be GONE….. couple of big penny washers, be FINE I tell you!

Couple more sheared or stubborn screws were also similarly brutalised, and THAT meant, I had a bare frame, ready to go to the powder coaters. And I have found the camera cable and the pic of the shock-absorber bottom mount, having come out in three bits!

I have decided, after much deliberation, to go down the powder coating route; adds a BIG chunk to the project costs which are now almost double what I paid for the bike, and ALL I have to show for it is a big pile of scrap….BUT…. the bike’s a keeper, so going to be worth it. So, frame


and swing arm,

the two main bits, while we are at it; what else could I chuck in the tub?


bash-plate, chain-guard stay; foot-pegs, brake pedal; side stand, looked like likely candidates.


Well, headlamp shell and stays; handlebars; headstock & clamps; handlebar lever brackets; brake back-plates; brake arms, gear & clutch levers! Anything else? Frame - Chemical Strip, Shot-Blast, sand, powder-coat - £50 Swingarms, Yokes etc FROM £5 Petrol tank £20 Wheels FROM £30  I hate it when they say ‘FROM’…. £50 for the frame and HOW many bits they could charge a fiver a piece for?


Well, got a Super-Dream luggage rack, kicking about, and the headlamp shells of the CB750…. Horribly chitty Chinese Chrome, paint failed to smarten up for very long… Well chuck it all in the box, and see if we can get a ‘deal’ price; always use the ’extras’ as a haggle point & take them out again!

Three phone calls, over the space of two hours, to make sure they weren’t on Bank-Holiday Shut-Down for the week. Or anything… took it all to Digbeth, by the Bus Station, where the famous fly-over no longer isn’t!

Chap looked in the boot of the Chavic, looked at me… I looked at him…. A telepathic haggling process occurred, him thinking “What’s the number in his head?” Me thinking trying very hard to instil the number 125 in his head….. it worked!

So we carried everything inside, emptied the box, and I came home, told to call him Monday to find out if its done….. He said that last time, and I called every day for a week, to find out it WASN’T done….. which is annoying, because it didn’t matter, but I had better things to do than spent two hours at a time, waiting for him top answer his sodding telephone!

I reminded him of this, and told him… “It doesn’t matter; it’s not a rush job, just give me a day it WILL be done, so I’m not hanging on the phone the whole while….” “Naw, T’ll be dUn, MunDee, prom-eece!” he said. In that really reassuring comic accent of a true Digbeth Brummie, living and working in the Diocese of St Martins, now fully renovated, for the rejuvenated ‘Bull-Ring’…. Complete with new, unfathomable one way system!

So! Back home… WHAT can I be getting on with? Well, been compiling a shopping list, but some bits need checking with the suppliers before I drop an order on them. So e-mails sent to Yambits & JTS, concerning fork-seals, brake shoes, and ignition parts amongst others.

Jobs list: What’s the ‘Plan’ look like?

Brakes, Steering, Suspension!: As always, lets get the basics ‘sorted’. Lets be sure we can stop, before we go…. So, bolting serious head back on for a moment; the usual suspects vis mechanical integrity. Sort the brakes…. We now know NEED some fairly serious sorting, steering and the suspension….. THAT is a case of ‘whatever it takes’… we don’t stint on these bits.

OK, well, wheels are off, brakes stripped. Back Plates are at the Powder Coaters, and order ‘pending’ for brake shoes, cable & lever; nothing more can be done with the brakes then, for a while.

STEERING; headstock also at powder coaters; bearings on the pending order list. Nothing happening on that one either!

SUSPENSION; forks stripped; waiting on fork seals. Frame and swinger at powder coaters…… THIS isn’t looking very promising so far…..

Engine It has one. It runs! That’s ’good enough’! So, no getting carried away; sort what we got, scrub, fettle and make as good as. When we get to it, IF it needs more, we’ll wait and see. For now. Exhaust can have a bit of paint; engine can have a bit of paint. Carb can be cleaned again, and if its LUCKY I’ll treat it to a new spark plug!

Neither’s this; hadn’t ‘planned’ to do anything with it. Though discovered points ignition inside it, so put new points and condenser on the shopping list. Well, could try and get the rotor off, see if my fly-wheel puller…… DOESN’T FIT….. answers that one! Add flywheel puller to shopping list!

Electrics & Equipment: It has a lamp on the front, and another on the back, and there’s some wires poking out the magneto cover….. Hmmmm…… by Construction & Use regulations in force when first registered, doesn’t ACTUALLY need any lights or stuff…. COULD for the use I’m likely to give it, get it tested with no lights, under both granddad rights and exemptions for ‘machines adapted for off-road use’. Nope. Think I need lights at least. Especially as its already starting to get darker earlier. Snowie reckons I ‘ought’ to have indicators, and I’m sort of in agreement, but hey! Got to make from scratch whatever its going to have, so ‘we’ll see’!

Hmmm… well, I got a heads up on a possible way to convert to 12v electrics on the Yam-Dirt forum….. uses the stock DT magneto, because it actually produces a lot more than 12v, and a Pit-Bike regulator-Rectifier to regulate it at 12v instead of 6v…. INTER-ES-TING!

Thought to give that one a go! So, found a pit bike reg/rect on e-bay. Also found some early type ‘round’ indicators; second hand, so gave them a punt too, and won auction for under a tenner. Which pleased me as pattern replacements are like £21 a pair!

Donna reckons they look a ‘bit big’, especially as the thing has a diddy ‘off-road’ tail light on it. I’m inclined to agree…… she Is after-all a woman! However, tried buzzing out the tail lamp assembly, and it wasn’t looking hopeful; so that may yet not get re-fitted. I have a bunch of bits in the back of the Range-Rover though and think I have one or two others I might be able to make use of.

My mind has been mulling, various notions, and one of them is, IF I can get the generator to charge a 12v battery, it will be a small one, AND warning from the bloke that has done it on later CDI ignition DT engine, is that although he hasn’t had to top-up charge the battery, at tick over revs, it wont be making enough volts to give any useful charge. So, thinking LED bulbs, like Donna's bike…… this budget is getting stretched again!

I have also been doodling wiring schematics…. WELL!.... What else can I do? Don’t have any bolts left to wave spanners at! Ah! PAINT!

Frame & Cosmetics: Lots of deliberation on this one. Idea of having frame powder coated as good ‘base’ for anything else I do was pondered very seriously. In all though, while the frame would only cost £40 and the swing arm £25, how far do I go? Adding in the fork jokes, lifts that £10, then there‘s the brake lever, another £5, and the footrests, what about the fork sliders…. And so it goes on, and on and on. So hold the ‘phone! I have had my Montesa since 1985. It got sand-blasted that summer, and painted in Red Smoothrite… it has lasted over quarter of a century of competitive trials action, with ME riding, or more often falling off it, taking chunks out of the paintwork! It’s had the occasional clean down and another coat chucked over, and had some of the bigger scratches or patched touched up between times. If the bike I have had a life time has survived without plastic coating, can I really juistify shelling out that kind of money, on a ‘pocket money toy’. Short answer NO! So, Black Smoothrite, a brush and a tin of thinners! Which leads me to the tank and panels, which, scruffy, I could probably get away with, ‘as is’… but the paint is cracked and flaking off the mudguards, and there is a bit of rust round the seam of the tank…… and Donna reckons it needs ‘painting’, so OK….. maybe just to smart it up….. but NOT going to town on it with five base coats and three colour coats, custom decals and laquer again! Seen some nice Plasticote for £3.99 a can, in a sort of orangie yellow…. Maybe that will ‘do’, possibly some period ‘pre-DT’ decals.

OK, well I bought that can of plasticote yellow…. It was horrible! Meanwhile notion of NOT powder coating has gone out the window in the face of the intricacy of the frame! Well, that sorts THAT one, and leaves the ‘Pretty Bits’ to have a look at….. AND… when the frame comes back, I’ll want to plow in and get it up as a ‘rolling chassis’ ASAP…… WHICH will require forks…. WHICH if I can sort this order out and get seals for, I COULD get built up before the frame comes back IF I get some paint, and get the sliders painted!

I have a JOB to get on with!

So, back to the expensive paint, and a trip to Nuneaton Replacement Panels to be asked “STILL not got a compressor yet then?” before I even SUGGEST I want rattle cans! “Nope; where’s your swatches; need a ‘yellow’” And I start perusing. ‘Yamaha Competition Yellow’ is not a ‘listed’ catalogue colour; has numerous equivalents, BUT it’s actually pretty darn close to that Plasticote ‘Lemon’ yellow! I wanted something a little richer, a bit more custard, or mustard, maybe… WHAT THE HECK! I sound like a woman, choosing SHOES!

Curiously Donna, stood next to me was completely apathetic; “Its Yellow! Was all she could offer. Hmmm yes, right! I’ll remember that next time she’s showing me Charlies Angels Jump Suits on e-bay and telling me its NOT pink, it’s Cerise!

Massey Ferguson, ‘Internatioonal Yellow’….. looked a lot like JCB yellow, to me…. Actually put the two swatches side by side, and NO! I couldn’t tell the difference…. Bit too bright; bit to….. cement mixer…. I wanted something a tad more ‘orange’… couple of shades with French or Italian sounding names that probably just translate as ‘Yellow’ looked fairly promising, but ultimately plumped for…. Paint: Golden Yellow (7-330 Vol 2000T) BUT, need something to put it on before I show you what it looks like! So lets get on with it!

One pair of fork slider’s, previousely stripped and cleaned up; now lightly sanded and washed.

Coat of white primer going on…. I do like these shots, against black night sky, using flash to catch the actual ‘mist’ of paint actually going on… only holding can with one hand and camera with other framing was rather out and without the aerosol can, it’s rather missing a vital element! No re-takes once the paint’s on though, unfortunately!

Nibbed back, primer didn’t take out all the nicks and ripples in the slider, either old skuff marks or wire brush whirls… so quick dusting of Hi-Build…

Quick Nib, and another coat of white primer; leave over night, and its ready for colour coat….. OH! The suspense! I want to see that YELLOW! Well….. OK, I’ll get on with it!

LITTLE bit more ‘orange’ than colour that was on it, and NOT ‘Kenny Roberts Yellow’, I think, rather a nice ritch yellow, that will be quite striking when done, without screaming…. But we’ll see!

What ELSE can I paint?





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