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1981 Yamaha DT175 basket case coming alive day by day

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I purchased this true basket case bike with the hopes of building it for my teenage kids to learn and hopefully enjoy riding motorcycles. With that said I'm not looking to make it a perfectly restored bike as I suspect it will hit the ground many times before it is all said and done. I do however have this nasty habit for wanting everything as original as possible. The first thing I found when I got all the parts home was that the swing arm pivot shaft was totally frozen and could not be pressed out of the frame---so sawzall to the rescue. I have striped the frame and repainted it and am currently in the process of putting it together. I have to search through pictures to figure out where most items are attached or routed. Thanks to this forum I was able to route the wiring harness correctly as well as the plumbing for the oil tank. I have included a few pictures to show progress for a couple of hours of work on various days that my wife has allowed me to work on it... Move pictures to come as progress goes.
1981 Yamaha DT175; 1971 Bultaco Pursang; 1971 Norton Commando; 1976 Triumph Bonneville T140V; 1993 Honda Night Hawk; 2002XR100R; 2006 Harley Softail Deluxe; 2020 Triumph Bonneville T100
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Last edit: 24 Jan 2021 08:23 by rwanz. Reason: deleted duplicate pictures
24 Jan 2021 08:13 #1

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Nice start! Looking forward to seeing the progress. :Subscribe
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
24 Jan 2021 08:29 #2

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Well progress has been slow the last couple of weeks ( between the various COLD spells we've had that have kept me out of the garage; and, on the days that it's gotten up to 50 degrees my wife has had me out on rides so she can get some miles on her new Triumph T100 (now up to 380 miles...)), but I have made some progress.  So I,ve included a cojuple of pictures. 

I have made enough progress that I felt it a good idea to take the bike off of my workbench and start working on it on the ground. 

Unfortunately some of my slow down has come as I have found various items not included in my "basket case" that I need to make this entirely street legal and much easier to install in the natural progress that having to come back later and install.  
I have been able to find various parts from Motorcycle Junkyards...but I have found that some of these guys want a fortune for parts...Case in point - after a whole ton of research I was finally able to figure out what the correct instruments for a 1981 DT175 look like (yes, different from the other years).  I found a complete set (tach, speedo and mount), but they wanted $200 for the set (I only paid $550 for the basket case)...soo, I found a place much closer to home that said, I have whole bunch of stuff -come and go through it and see if you can find what you need...
So, 50 mile drive, I trip over wrecked bikes to get into his office and what do I see - a perfect 1971 Norton Commando ( looks just like mine!).  Long story short, I found the hard part (the Tach) within 5 minutes on a shelf amoungest a zillion other gauges.  At this point I showed my wife the tach and asked her to see if she could look for a matching speedo and gave her the description of the mount.  I then went outside and started searching his yard for a bike that might have the complete set...after about 90 minutes I finally found the correct bike,nose down buried in the mud in a field at the far back. (in the mean time my wife came out and said that she found a couple of things and thought that something she found might be the correct part.
I told her I would check out what she found while I went in to borrow a 10MM to take the unit off of the bike I found...
Lo and behold, she had found the correct set which had spent it's life inside the building instead of out in the mud.  It didn't matter, I had a great time looking through all of the stuff in the yard and got ideas of what he had for future reference.
Ooh and besides, he sold the complete set and a front brake perch and handle (with the opening for a brakelight switch) for $100.  The entertainment value alone was almost worth the price!  see attached pictures...
1981 Yamaha DT175; 1971 Bultaco Pursang; 1971 Norton Commando; 1976 Triumph Bonneville T140V; 1993 Honda Night Hawk; 2002XR100R; 2006 Harley Softail Deluxe; 2020 Triumph Bonneville T100
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06 Feb 2021 12:20 #3

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Nice!!!  Congrats on finding the parts.  Wish I had a place like that near me. 
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
06 Feb 2021 12:24 #4

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Just wanted to add a few more pictures of my last post
1981 Yamaha DT175; 1971 Bultaco Pursang; 1971 Norton Commando; 1976 Triumph Bonneville T140V; 1993 Honda Night Hawk; 2002XR100R; 2006 Harley Softail Deluxe; 2020 Triumph Bonneville T100
06 Feb 2021 12:30 #5

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There appears to be a good yard in Phoenix, but when I called him, he said that I would just have to come in and search for my parts...living in Georgia, I had to decline...However, if I couldn't find my parts here, I would've had my son (currently assigned to Luke AFB in Phx ) go with pictures of what I need and see if he could locate it...Anyway, if you have someone to visit in phoenix it might be worth checking out...
1981 Yamaha DT175; 1971 Bultaco Pursang; 1971 Norton Commando; 1976 Triumph Bonneville T140V; 1993 Honda Night Hawk; 2002XR100R; 2006 Harley Softail Deluxe; 2020 Triumph Bonneville T100
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06 Feb 2021 12:47 #6

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I'm curious why you said the tach is the hard guage to find?

I haven't had to look for one but I would have thought the "55 highlight, 85 mph maximum" speedo would be the tougher one to find as the law requiring that didn't happen until 1980...  and I'm pretty sure both the 1980 and 81 had the special speedometer.

I just don't remember the tach being different in 79-81...  not sure about 78.
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
06 Feb 2021 12:57 #7

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Looks like the kind of place where the owner might have said, "And while you're out there rooting around, would you see if you can find me a decent head for a 67 Triumph Bonneville, please?"
06 Feb 2021 13:29 #8

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As I am new to the Yamaha DT175 (although I got to ride a white 125 or 175 around 1970 +/- a couple of times) I am sure you know more than I do.  The problem I had with the tach was that I could find all kinds of them without the Oil light, but couldn't find any with it until I the guy that wanted to sell me set for $200 and the two that I found in the yard I bought from (and I called all over the country looking for the gauges).  I wasn't paying attention to the speedo because I wasn't looking for Resoration, but instead for usability...Apparently, I lucked out by getting the correct speedo.  Inshort, I found an unlimited number of speedos, most likely useable, just not necessary the correct one.  
In summary, I apparently misspoke and am happy to be educated...
1981 Yamaha DT175; 1971 Bultaco Pursang; 1971 Norton Commando; 1976 Triumph Bonneville T140V; 1993 Honda Night Hawk; 2002XR100R; 2006 Harley Softail Deluxe; 2020 Triumph Bonneville T100
06 Feb 2021 15:38 #9

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This yard had one British part:  you guessed - the complete 71 Norton...
1981 Yamaha DT175; 1971 Bultaco Pursang; 1971 Norton Commando; 1976 Triumph Bonneville T140V; 1993 Honda Night Hawk; 2002XR100R; 2006 Harley Softail Deluxe; 2020 Triumph Bonneville T100
06 Feb 2021 15:41 #10

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