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The 'Yamaha Enduro'

1975 Yamaha DT125/175MX Hybrid

Monday 5 September 2011

Y'Keep Me Hangin' on the Tel-e-phone!

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

Right when was that? Last week some-time; been to bed since then! BUT it’s Monday… So I called him….. “Mi Bits done?” I asked….. “Beetz? Owright, Oyl, jus gow-a-ask-eem!”……. “Wull, y’BEETZ|’ur dun… bu’y’frame, nid-a’nuva’co-Wt’in!”

So, I got to call him Wednesday, now…..So WHAT’s been painted?

NOT A LOT! You have seen the fork sliders; well they have had another coat. Other than that, I have painted the front mudguard. THAT is as much painting as has been achieved!

Remember, I had part stripped the front mudguard to ‘just try’ that horrible yellow plasticote…. So back to work, taking that, and the rest of the old paint off got me here:


 Nicely shaved and sanded, back to bare plastic.


But at some point, some-one had drilled holes in either end, for mud-flaps or something….. so I cracked out the plastic welding ‘bit’ for the soldering iron, grabbed a cable tie snipping, and filled them!


After filing and sanding, it got a coat of clear plastic primer, to ensure good paint adherence, then a quick coat of primer, and then some high-build to help smooth it out. A Wasp conveniently landed on it to demonstrate the effectiveness of the yellow and black paint scheme…


Hi-build nibbed back smooth, then given a topper of white primer as base for the yellow. Could probably do with a second coat, BUT, more pressing things to worry about… I started to repeat the process for the rear mudguard!


NOW, you MAY just notice that this mudguard, has more holes than a swiss cheese! After stripping it, I pondered; and with all the added holes drilled in it over the years, presumeably to mount different, or alternatively position aftermarket tail-lamps, it would be slightly more effective as a colander, than something to stop mud flying every where! So, I had GENIUS Idea to do like the front mudguard, and fill all the holes up, bar the mounting holes, then after painting I could, drill to suit whatever lamp I chose to fit, and where I preferred to fit it…

This was a VERY bad idea….. on a bit of plastic more HOLE than plastic, I wound up with a lot of very molten plastic!

Bludy thing sagged in the middle and twisted all out of shape! NOT HAPPY….. So I set about starting to clean the engine up for painting…


See I have started taking the rubber blocks out from between the cooling fins. Managed to get all but TWO out without snapping the links between them, too! But then I ran out of oven cleaner…So I gave up for a bit and considered Decals….

This is merely a mock-up; the colour taken from the photo of the painted fork legs, and the computer has made it a LOT more orange than it really is…. Tinted over a stock shot of some-one elces renovated DT125MX. It LOOKS like I will have to get Corf on the case and get some ‘Custom’ Vynal cut for the bike.

This is, to all extents and purposes a 1978 DT-MX, in Yellow. The ’78 model year is a cross-over model, made for just ONE year; apparently there are more detail differences than I had thought; the round section swing arm, the points ignition and flat side panels.

Apparently the indicators ought also to be round; later ones were square; luckily ones I won on e-bay are correct! And the air-filter and two stroke reservoir (I don’t actually have!) are on opposite sides!

Anyway; ’78 model year is one of the rarest of the breed, and more yellow, OF COURSE one of the least common colours. Black, White, Red, all had a similar tank decal, which IS still available, but first ‘square’ in the panel is blocked in in red…. Which doesn’t look right on a yellow bike…. I have seen pictures, because THAT is the only ’78 Decal you can get!

Looking around, various decal schemes exist, and the ‘Kenny Robberts’ block stripe is readily available, and was used on numerous years of YZ motocross bike, and TY Trials, as well as earlier Twin-Shock Enduro models. Later ‘Euro’ Decals for all ‘standard’ colours of later bike, white, red, blue & black; also readily available… you can even get full ‘Restorers’ Decal packs complete with the E lable for the headstock and the De-Carbon Shock Absorber warning & info sticker! Yellow ’78 model… nada!

And the side panels were BORING….. just said ENDURO on them, and either 125 or 175 depending on cylinder displacement! So, playing with it, seeing if I can come up with a variation on the theme that still looks ‘factory’ and ‘period’.

So, today, between attempts at calling the powder coater, I had a final attempt at that rear mudguard. I had researched replacements, and there is ONE used example on e-bay currently bidding at over £35 + postage.

Pondering tail lights, though I can get an Acerbis ‘Enduro’ mudguard with integral tail lamp for £30, so that looks more likely….. however, giving it a go with the plastic welding…..

Chopping out the ever more messy molten mass from the middle of the end… I spliced in a square of similar plastic cut from a big plastic emulsion bucket! Lots of heating and blending, bending and cracking, re-melting, reforming, stretching later, I have SOMETHING resembling a mudguard again, WHICH bit more work, should look half reasonable…. Luckily if I use aftermarket tail lamp and rubber number-plate flap, should ‘hide’ most of the repair! Should have just left the bludy holes! But hey-ho…..

Dunked a load of black-plastic bits in the bath, while Donna was out, with scolding hot water and biological washing powder. Does a great job of decreasing. Chain guard needed a bit of encouragement with a scourer though. Cam up quite nice with a bit of back to black, after.

Seat came up quite good too, though there are a couple of holes worn through near the rim; but too good to NEED recovering just yet.


So, there you are; THAT is a week-ends worth of progress! Not much to show for it, all told, really, is there?

Still waiting on a reply from part suppliers; if no word by the time the frame is back, have to chase them. Need swing arm bearings, headrace bearings, fork seals and brake shoes to get this thing back up on its wheels. THOSE bits are pretty much on the critical path.

Once they are fitted up and it’s a roller, I can muck about with all the bracketry to my hearts content, all I’ll likely need is new nuts and bolts here and there, for a bit.





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