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Memorable Motorcycles Yamaha DT175

Monday, June 2, 2003
Everyone wanted the DT when they first arrived on Yamaha dealer showroom floors. Some were destined for the track while most were going to be ridden into the ground by generation after generation of motorcycling families around the globe.
Everyone wanted the DT when they first arrived on Yamaha dealer showroom floors. Some were destined for the track while most were going to be ridden into the ground by generation after generation of motorcycling families around the globe.
If ever there was a case of the right bike at the right time it was the Yamaha DT175MX. In 1978, everyone had a baby Yam in their garage because at $900 they were the greatest biking bargain ever. They were also idiot-proof and maintenance consisted of adding gas and oil. Best of all, the DT was all things to all men. Beginners got their motorcycle licenses on them. Road riders commuted on DTs and enduro-riders thrashed them like thoroughbred race bikes.

The early twin shock DTs were desperately ordinary bikes and sales were dismal. But Yamaha had pioneered long travel, monoshock rear suspension taking Belgian Lucien Tilkien's novel idea to production. The system revolutionized motocross and Yamaha won the 1973 250cc World Motocross championship with the first mono-shock racer. It was about to have the same impact on trail bikes.

The DT's reed-valved motor and six-speed gearbox were also lifted from motocross technology. In 1978, Yamaha put all their racing expertise into a trail bike package - and then added everything needed to make the machine fully road legal. The bike was revolutionary and re-wrote the standards for dual purpose motorcycles.

Newcomers to motorcycling just loved the DT. It could be started hot or cold with one half-hearted prod of the kick-start and all the controls were feather light and utterly non-threatening. The 173cc engine needed a good handful of revs to make any power and beginners found this very comforting.

Best of all, everything worked on the bike. The gearbox was so sweet that the clutch never needed touching for upward changes, the drum brakes were powerful and waterproof and even the lights were excellent.

1978 Yamaha DT175MX
But there was another side to the bike too. It had astonishing performance when ridden hard and was capable of taking unimaginable abuse without complaint. Almost as soon as it was launched, DTs began appearing in serious enduros. Many an expert, riding a thoroughbred enduro machine, was humbled by a youngster hurtling past on his DT with the throttle nailed to the stop. In fact, the DT was so good that a number of world class enduro racers began their careers on this incredible little trail bike.

Sadly, the DT soon became outdated. The suspension, which was so advanced at launch, became superseded by better systems from Kawasaki and Suzuki and that lovely little engine, so willing and reliable, began to look under powered as rivals brought in state of the art designs. This meant that the DTs soon became relegated to the very bottom of the motorcycling tree - the field bike.

Eventually, they disappeared even from this lowly state and now a nice DT is almost impossible to find - a sad ending for one of the most complete motorcycles ever sold.

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Comments
Bill Pann -1978 Yamaha DT175  November 14, 2010 07:40 PM
I have a running 1978 Yahmaha DT175 just bought it couple years ago. I love it. Its body is pretty rough but I hope to fix it up and have it looking brand new. message me for info about this bike. bill_pann@yahoo.com
Julius -1997 Yamaha DT125  October 14, 2010 08:59 AM
My dad gave me a Yamaha DT125 model 1997 in my country (The Philippines) It had killed many Honda XL125 since we bought it. It's very reliable and powerful enough to climb the mountains and to any trails. I love this bike even though there are new models of 4 strokes motorcycles which are better than my bike, I would not trade this bike to anything...
nonong divinagracia -'78 dt 100  July 26, 2010 01:08 AM
buenas dias from zamboanga city, philippines!am a two-stroke lover and a weekend trailrider.last week i bought an old dt100 from a friend in the amount of less than $170.the engine is still good and would usually start in one or two kicks! nice little bike for trailriding! Thanks yamaha!
Jason -dadzboyz@ruggedwest.com  July 17, 2010 01:39 PM
I have been looking for one of these. We are the proud owners of an 80 GT80, 77 DT100, 78 DT125, and 2- 78 DT 250's. Know of one in N.D.? Let me know. These are all great bikes!!!!!!!!!
jatit -yamaha dt 100x enduro..  June 13, 2010 01:43 AM
my father have a Dt 100x enduro. blue tank. its been a whele he didn't use it. need some advice on how to make it look new.. email me on -- grear_14@yahoo.com. thanks
arya -yamaha dt 100 x enduro  May 27, 2010 05:55 AM
Greetings from Jakarta, Indonesia. i'm currently building a yamaha Dt 100 x enduro, this is the most popular DT series in Indonesia. It was a big hit here too around 1980-1984. really love it's vintage look, great bike.
Greg -Yamaha DT175 E  September 4, 2009 03:11 PM
I have owned a 175 E for years and it has been a joy to ride. I ride it around town and in the dirt and it performs great and is fun to ride too. I weigh over 200 lbs and it moves me around easily, I just have to remember not to push it past it's limits. Around town the bike geets 80+ mpg and about 68 mpg on the dirt. The bike is easy to work on and you can almost take the whole thing a part with it's tools that came with the bike. This is a great bike I will never get rid of. :-)
braiden -yamaha 175 dt  June 18, 2009 04:42 AM
hey i have a yamaha 175dt and was woundering how to take off the seat? email is parramattapower92@hotmail.com
jaybee... cvddoc@aol.com -yamaha dt125e  March 18, 2009 11:16 PM
I have a 1978 dt125e with less than 2500 miles on it. It's in great condition, parked in my garage for most of its life - Nice yellow tank and chrome wheels, and original seat. Is there a market for this old timer? Thanks