Say you find a 40 year old motorcycle in Idaho with 200 miles on it. What do you do with it? Ride it like Yamaha intended and enjoy a new 40 year old enduro? Put it back in the barn for another 30 years? Park it in your living room and admire it? Flip it to the next person on Craigslist with visions of investment returns dancing in their head? Find this 1975 Yamaha DT125B with 500 miles on the clock for sale in Woodinville, WA for $2,600 via craigslist.
When Yamaha introduced the DT-1 in 1968, they invented the dual-sport or enduro category motorcycle. Prior to this, if you wanted a bike that could be ridden both on and off road, you either had to try to modify your on-road bike with a higher ground clearance or add a speedo and lights to your motocrosser. The Society of Japanese Automotive Engineers even voted the DT-1 as one of the Top 240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology. Yamaha kept the DT series alive thru the 1970’s and into the 80’s, but didn’t really keep up with the dual sports from Honda and Kawasaki. Yamaha introduced a 125cc version of the DT series, the DT125 in 1974 and boasted a CDI ignition and electric start For 1975 the only “improvement” was to move away from the candy metallic colors and stylish graphics of the 60’s to just one available color, red with flat graphics of the bell bottom era.
This bike was found in Idaho with 200 miles on the odometer and another 300 has been added. Judging by the photos, I see no reason to doubt it. Funny, every DT series gauge cluster I’ve seen has the crack-y background. Do you leave it as is (patina) or do you restore it?
The DT125 was powered by a 125cc two-stroke piston port single, producing 14 hp at its 7,500 rpm redline. If you’ve never ridden a two stroke bike you owe it to yourself to find someone willing to let you try it. Then you will understand the alure of the two-smoke. Back to our subject. This bike is amazingly clean, looking like it has never been off road due to lack of dirt on it anywhere. And it doesn’t look like it has been recently assaulted with a pressure washer either. It sports an Idaho collector plate and a clean title so you should be all set to ride it in your town. Just replace the 40 year old tires.
So the question remains: Ride it and enjoy a brand new 40 year old enduro, or store it for the next Beaney Baby investor? Give your opinion in the comments below.
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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent and resident two stroke fanatic. He thinks Elvis was never the same after he got out of the Army.