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The 'Yamaha Enduro'

1975 Yamaha DT125/175MX Hybrid

Monday 12 September 2011



City Powder Coatings, Digbeth, Birmingham. Thank-You.

The bits are back. And looking pretty good! I had a little altercation with them on the ‘phone on Thursday, because I was totally peed off, with the daily “Call us Tomorrow” routine. Chap I spoke to, to give him credit, DID get the idea I wasn’t having any more of it, and didn’t believe HIS promise the bits would be done ‘tomorrow’ and to phone to check; and DID when I told him HE would call ME, and before noon, or I wouldn’t have time to collect them before the weekend, DID call me…. At quarter to one! So the bits have sat there all weekend, until I could get over to collect them today.

There are a couple of bits that aren’t amazing; but they were in pretty poor shape when I gave them to them! The light bowls for the 750 and the spare super-dream rack; all cheap chrome, that didn’t come up too well on blasting; but, not really a fault on their part. Rest of it looks pretty good.

Coverage is good, coating thick, and reasonably blemish free, and the price was spot on. It’s only their ‘service’ or more precisely their unnecessarily ‘optimistic’ delivery promises that are a pain in the arse. They had three or four other bike frames in for coating, and it’s a side of the business I think they want to expand on, mainly refurbing alloy wheels; but as I explained; IF they have a bike frame to coat; its hardly likely the bloke wants a drive in drive out service! Bike resto’s aren’t twenty minute jobs, and bike has probably sat, going rusty ten or twenty years before it got there, and will probably take a few months to put back together after they have coated it; they don’t have to try and turn it around over night! Happy to wait a week or more for a batch of bits; JUST don’t want to be ringing them every day being told ‘Tomorrow’ very time!

So, do I recommend them? Well, yeah! Priced up that batch of bits; going by advertised rates, could expected estimates anything up to a couple of hundred quid; all those little brackets and bits and bobs are a ‘pain’ to keep track of and handle, and costs as much to coat a single footrest as it does a pair of handle-bars near enough; I wouldn’t have paid £200, at that threshold, it would have been a case of paring back the list to get it down to what I was prepared to pay, ‘around’ £150, ‘all in’ but I really would have preferred to get it all done for £100… so £125 was the price I had in my head as ‘right’ and that’s what they quoted. And for that price, they have done a ‘good’ job…. And warned, worth using, if they are local to you.

Other progress? Well, not a lot to show. A side-panel has been rubbed down ready for painting. I still have the other one to do; but I have run out of Hi-Build primer, so cant get on with those just yet.

And a few more ‘black-bits’, inner mudguard, air-box, have been cleaned and back-to-blacked. DID get some oven cleaner to crack on at the engine with though


Foam; soak; rinse, scrub! Slow going, but getting there. Discovered an auto-lube pump still hiding behind the primary drive cover though… have to find out if that works at some point.


So, ‘phone call to Yambits when I got back from Digbeth;

£150’s worth of parts on that list, which with the cost of the powder coating, means that TODAY, I have spent MORE on this bike than it cost me!

My wallet needs a rest! Its feeling feint! So I haven’t ordered the Fork Gaiters or the brake & throttle cable, nor the workshop manual, that were all also on the list!

Project Spend to date; my Excel spread sheet is telling me is: £573.40, which excludes such items as the Petrol to run over to Digbeth today, or go get oven cleaner or paint; or stuff I have ‘on the shelf’ like sand-paper, or plastic primer, and ‘stuff’. But I take solace; cost so far is still less than I could buy a working bike for. “On The Road” prices of these things starts at about £700, for scruffy example; and last night I spotted one, unregistered, needing full renovation with a £600 asking price. And I have the foundation of a solid little bike.

Frame is properly treated and looks like new; and bits will let me turn that into a roller; brakes, suspension and steering, the ‘important’ bits all fully reconditioned. So, if I can get this thing ‘to road’ for under £800 I think I’ll be doing OK… could only JUST afford to buy a roadworthy example for that price, and this one, whether it looks the part or not; mechanically should be pretty much like new.

Anomalies? Well, discovered from a 1978 magazine article, that the top yoke ought to be alloy. Mines not. One of the reasons had to wait until today to order head-race bearings; had to wait for the headstock to come back so I could measure it. Looks like it takes stock sized headrace bearings though; but forks are 1mm thinner than DT-MX forks; so the fork seals are actually RSX items! We think they are likely to be earlier Twin-Shock DT125 forks now.

Curiocity in the points & condenser though; never fitted to the plastic case, 6-speed engines. We did wonder that they might have been fitted to early 125’s, but apparently not. However, they are, we think ‘generic’ Yamaha points, as used on everything from DT50 through to XS650! So, have a couple of days to clean threads and stuff until the bits ordered arrive, then I can start trying to bolt stuff together!

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Getting my Bits Together!

So, Monday; went & got the frame back from the powder coaters. Snowie has been moaning at me ever since, for ‘fiddling’ with stuff! WELL… it was THERE… had to be fiddled with, DIDN’T IT! Wont put itself back together!

Big job to be got on with while waiting parts was de-coating. Opinion is divided on this topic; To Mask or not to Mask? Personally I don’t. Idea is masking saves scraping plastic coating from places you don’t want it; I reckon masking stops plastic coating getting places it could be helpful; and a I own a nice set of taps, I would use to clean out rusty old tapped holes anyway; may as well take out unwanted plastic coating while I’m at it, and cutting through the coat, often neater than trying to remove mask where coating can chip or tear when something stuck under it gets pulled out.


Tackled the headstock first; lots of holes to tap. If you look closely, two of the bar clamp threads are shiny where they have been cleaned out; other’s aren’t!


 Bearing seats had to be trimmed back, cutting through the plastic, you can trim it quite neatly, where if it had been masked, could tear out, or the whole stem left bare.


 Head-stock all prepped, and loose assembled with old bolts. (Sorting out what was what & what needs to be cleaned or replaced. Then the frame and swing arm to do…. All in and around other ‘stuff’, which means yesterday, Snowie’s second Mod 2…. I shall merely say, she will be returning to Road-Training on Monday….. she didn’t have a good day! Meanwhile THIS MORNING!


£140’s worth of parts from Yambits arrived. Doesn’t LOOK like that much does it! Anyway, all the bits in the list, inventoried, so Wey-hey! Chance to get this thing moving!


Back to the head-stock to get those nice taper roller bearings in! First fit bottom seal.


Drift home lower bearing race


Coating cut back around lower race rebate; note how coating is inside the headstock; bonus of NOT masking this metal gets protected too.


Then lower-outer race can be drifted home, and process repeated for the upper race.


Then the stem can be lifted in, and the upper race droped on and locked up.


Trial fit; the taper rollers are a bit thicker than the old ball and cup bearings, and the upper yoke was only half on the stem…. A little headscratching later, I noted that the castle nut was rather thick, and dished, only 2/3 of it actually threaded… so I ground it down! Brake Shoes Next:


Coated Back-Plate cleaned up around the camshaft, camshaft fitted, and a little coppa slip on the pivot pin and cam face.


Fitting the shoes the easy way… just make sure you get them the right way round.. I haven’t. Pivot to pivot, cam to cam! BUT, ignoring that little oversight in my eagerness…. Fold the two shoes together to hang the springs….


Then line up one shoe, with the other folded on top…. And then…..

 Lift them over the pivot and cam, and….

Open like a book, to slot onto pivot and into cam, without all the faff trying to hold the shoes apart against the springs…. Really EASY when you know how!

And racing randomly along, I didn’t take any pics of putting the new swing arm bushes into the swing arm…. Have to say £27 does seem a bit expensive for what look like two plastic bottle tops, two washers with a bit of rubber round them and a metal tube…. BUT…. Honda charge £10 for each plastic top-hat bush on the Super-Dream and use four of them JUST on the swing arm pivot… they use about a dozen more in the rest of the mono-shock linkage!

This simply has a pin…. Or ought to have… I had to remove mine by cutting, in three pieces, remember. This was vexing me. I turned up nada on evil-bay; Yambits told me they got one for some-one ONCE, and my local Yamaha dealer told me it was ‘discontinued’…. I measured up and figured an M12 bolt, with 110mm unthreaded portion would about do the job. My local hardware store didn’t have any. Screwfix listed a 130mm M12 that looked promising, but in bags of 50 at near £30 a bag!

But I had a wheel in the car; no idea what its from. 21” steel, trail bike wheel with a disc brake; possibly a DT-LC wheel, but rather tiny spindle….. Its now a Yamaha Mono-Shock Clevis pin! Yup it was JUST the right diameter; so I cut it to length, ground a flat on it and drilled a hole for a split pin….

Serendipitous that; drilled a pilot hole, and the drill snapped in the hole. Tried over drilling it to shake it loose, but wasn’t having any, so peeved I decided to rotate 90 degrees flat and drill another a little offset from where I had started the first hole. BUT, incredibly half way through drill snagged and snapped!

When I looked I had rotated the pin a full 180 and drilled EXACTLY onto the original hole, from the other side! If I had TRIED to do that… never in a hundred years! But Whey-Hey! Looked at my little pilot hole, and now dislodged broken drill bit, got another unbroken one; and opened it up; job done!

Had to put the inner mudguard on before the shock and swing arm though; but apart from getting the shock eye to line up in the top tube, which was a bit fiddly, in as much as it must have taken me ALL of ten minutes… to find taper drift! I am beginning to appreciate old Yamaha’s, and wondering why I EVER thought fixing up old Super-Dreams might be ‘Fun’!


So headstock now all greased up and properly assembled, and handle-bars fitted… they were lying around!


And onto the forks. No pictures of fork seals going in, or forks going back together, I was on too much of a roll to be messing with the camera! Which is why…. Well can YOU spot the not so deliberate mistake? I actually DID check, and twice, and STILL cocked up…. But….. I’ll sort it…..


Engine got painted this morning, and has spent most of the day with a blow lamp pointing side on in the exhaust port to get some heat in the fins to cure the paint! Then walloped into the frame. I was fed up of the thing wobbling about ion the stand, forks and engine help weigh it down a bit! Note the Generator removed, so I can fit new points and condenser.


And last pic before bed. Engine needs a bolt replacing; the carbs fitted, and new oil line trimmed to length and fitted. I have ideas to make an Auto-lube reservoir from an old battery acid bottle to get the auto-lube functioning.

Gearbox breather fitted and routed; and side panel rubbers fitted… so I decided to trial fit panels, and tank and seat and exhaust… MOST of its all going to get stripped back off and progress will be less dramatic, as I fit and fettle detail bits, BUT, what a days work!

To go from two big boxes of ‘bits’ to something resembling a motorbike!






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