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1977 DT250

31 Jan 2020 11:58
Wax
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1977 DT250 #1
It was one of those late night Youtube black holes where I started out researching LED replacement bulbs for my daily driver and ended up watching a review of one of those $1,200 Chinese enduro bikes.

The next day I was reading specs on CSC dual sport bikes when a co-worker asked if I was thinking about getting one. I wasn't seriously considering it, but I did want to get a bike.

He dropped the bait "I've got a complete bike you could have for half that price."

A prudent person would ask some questions. What model bike? What year? Does it run? How much? Has it ever caught fire?

I'm not a prudent man. I said "I'll take it."

The bike in question turned out to be a '77 DT250 he purchased in Tennessee about 5 years ago. His plan was to make a cafe racer, but it never got started. Thankfully he hadn't taken an angle grinder to it yet.

My own workshop was nearly overflowing with half started-never finished projects. I held my own personal clearance sale and at the end of the week I had a fistful of wrinkled (somehow oddly moist) dollars that always seem to come from Craigslist sales.

I dropped $400 on his desk and he said "Are you really going to buy this bike sight unseen?"

A tingle of fear rolled down my spine, but I plowed forward confidently. "Hell yes I am"

He just shook his said and said "You're as dumb as me."

So yesterday I went by his house and when he rolled up the garage door and I laid eyes on it my first thought was that maybe (juuust maybe) I should have asked a few questions.



I tried to kick start it 5-6 times at my friend's house and it sounded close but never fired up. This is starting to seem like one of those "it was running when I parked it" situations

During transit back to my house I mistakenly left the fuel petcock to the ON position and when I got home I saw a steady dribble of fuel coming out of the overflow valve on the carb bowl.

I rolled it off the truck and gave it a kick. Success!

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I wanted to hop on and take it for a quick spin, but there's no filter in the air box which means I probably shouldn't have been running it at all.

Also as a rule of thumb it's probably not smart to ride anything that comes with a box of bolts.

Turning the key to the off position and clicking the stop switch on the handle bar didn't kill the engine so I switched the petcock off and let it run dry which is why you're probably saying to yourself "sounds like it's running a little lean"

I think I heard one you say "box of bolts?" Don't worry they're mostly small bolts. I don't think they're important.
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31 Jan 2020 12:15
Gr8uncleal
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1977 DT250 #2
As I said in my reply to your first post, a nice project! :likey

Once you've made an inventory of what parts you want/need, you can use websites such as Partzilla or CMSNL to see what other models shared a particular part - select the individual part, scroll down and both sites will show all bikes (for which they hold parts lists) that part was fitted to. This might enable you to widen your search.

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31 Jan 2020 14:24
yamahahaha
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1977 DT250 #3
Not knowing where you live I can't say if that was a deal or not. I think most guys on here will agree depending on where you live usually determines the availability in finding these old Yamaha enduros and what you can expect to pay........ I still say :likey
One thing for sure. You will learn things you probably did not know before once you dig in and you will enjoy doing so....
Also you are on your way to becoming a Yamaholic ... Enjoy the ride
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01 Feb 2020 17:45
Wax
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1977 DT250 #4
Thanks for the tip on the parts!

Before I picked up the bike I took a little stroll on Google and found this forum.  I downloaded the service manual and am reading through it trying to educate myself a little.

Let me throw this out there - I know almost nothing about working on bikes.  I grew up riding bikes and have some expertise in doing damage to them, but I not mechanically inclined. These bikes seem to be as straight forward as possible, so I'm optimistic.

In additional to what was pictured I have a few more parts.  I have the last section of the muffler, the air box cover and the auto-lube reservoir.

Short list of what's missing - both fenders and side plastics, brake light and mount, rear turn signals, fork boots, hand grips and the rear passenger footrests.

I found the broken connection that was preventing the bike from shutting off; that's one thing fixed. Neither of the local bike shops had the air filter in stock and I also noticed the little cage that the foam filter goes around is MIA.

I took a pair of shears to spare Honda air filter I had in the parts bin and made a makeshift filter so I could test ride the bike. I was going to show the picture of it, but it's pretty shameful.

I made several laps around the field behind the house and it shifted up and down through all the gears with ease. The clutch feels fine and the brakes were surprisingly responsive. The front end nose dives pretty hard, but I was planning on replacing the fork seals anyway. The front alignment is a little off as well.

I noticed the air box wasn't installed exactly right when I was making my hillbilly air filter. It was wedged in pretty tight and rather than force it I rode over to my neighbors and used his hoist so I could detach the rear shock without losing a finger.





While I had it up I took the opportunity to pull off the exhaust. The exhaust was the rustiest part by far, but after some time with a wire wheel it's starting to clean up. Pulled off the chain guard for good measure. Another hour or two of cleaning should have them ready for paint.

I picked up the paint tonight so hopefully I can get the exhaust back on tomorrow.

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01 Feb 2020 19:26
yamahahaha
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1977 DT250 #5
Just a little tip that might help you. When you take things apart/off take pictures before so you can see what went where. Also put bolts/screws backion the bike if possible when you take things off. If not put things in baggies and LABEL
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01 Feb 2020 20:30
MarkT
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1977 DT250 #6
I'd say you got an awesome deal there!

:OnFire :Buds

1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250

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02 Feb 2020 19:55
Wax
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1977 DT250 #7
Finished cleaning up the exhaust this morning and was able to get it primed and painted with enough time to do some riding this afternoon.



It’s not perfect, but it’s better than rust.



After the temper break in period I was able to ride a good bit. My dad even came over a took it for a quick lap.

I had a little daylight left so I started digging in to the electrical. Head light is working on high/low. Both front blinkers are good to go also.



The tachometer was working a coupe of days ago but was not working today.

Going to be out of town until Friday, so I won’t get a chance to do anything else this week but I did get boots and seals ordered for the forks today.

I’m on the hunt for fenders right now. I looked at the Preston Petty sets, but I’d rather have originals. eBay prices seem a little high considering most are in fair/poor shape.

What would you all consider a reasonable price to pay for a set?
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02 Feb 2020 22:10
Makotosun
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1977 DT250 #8
Welcome! to the site and the addiction! The monoshocks are really nice riders and both the 250 and 400 have plenty of power for most trail riding. Good news is things like sprockets and tires are easy to find. Many of the nuts and bolts type of stuff is also available from Yamaha via many online sites - Partzilla and Rocky Mountain ATV (link below right) have good pricing.

Seat covers are available from $40-90 if I recall. Gauges are not easily repairable, but there are a few out there. Fenders new are probably a no go as I don't think you will find them still around. UFO makes some models that fit well, and look mostly correct. DC Plastics may ahve some off of an MX or YZ you could make work. The rear has a metal sub-fender that secures the taillight, so most any plastic rear could be made to work. The side panels I believe are being remanufactured. The tool kit/airbox outer cover is NLA and like hens teeth to find. You might be best fashioning something yourself for that.

Looks like you have a project on your hands, but ask a lot of questions here and you will get plenty of help and encouragement to get it back going!

IF it isn't one thing, it's another.
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03 Feb 2020 09:01
Wax
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1977 DT250 #9
Thanks for all the info on parts.

I'm on the hard part of the restoration (opening my wallet), but it's not all bad news.

I found a guy parting out this bike today:



The seller is supposed to be shipping the front and rear fender to me this afternoon. The tank, brake light and signals were already sold or else I would have snagged them just to have a matching set.

Makotosun wrote: The tool kit/airbox outer cover is NLA and like hens teeth to find. You might be best fashioning something yourself for that.


^^ That's a good idea. Do you know if there are templates floating around for the outer covers? I searched this morning but didn't turn anything up.
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03 Feb 2020 09:15 03 Feb 2020 09:20 by Devin.
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1977 DT250 #10

Wax wrote: Thanks for all the info on parts.

I'm on the hard part of the restoration (opening my wallet), but it's not all bad news.

I found a guy parting out this bike today:



The seller is supposed to be shipping the front and rear fender to me this afternoon. The tank, brake light and signals were already sold or else I would have snagged them just to have a matching set.

Makotosun wrote: The tool kit/airbox outer cover is NLA and like hens teeth to find. You might be best fashioning something yourself for that.


^^ That's a good idea. Do you know if there are templates floating around for the outer covers? I searched this morning but didn't turn anything up.


I saw the bike pictured above on the facebook group. the owner has it listed as a 1977 DT250. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the owner misidentified his bike. The bike pictured is a 1978 DT125E. The rear fender will not fit on your bike. Hopefully you can contact the seller before he ships it, to get a refund.

Also, your bike has parts from both the 1977 DT250D and 1978 DT250E. Please check the vin charts to verify. The vin sticker often says the year prior because they were made a year in advance to be ready for sale the following year.

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