In October 2013, I entered an AMCA National in eastern PA. Before leaving, Neil mentioned that he had worked with a NJ guy who had a couple of Yamahas that he wasn't using. He made contact and they agreed on a price for both, assuming they were in OK shape. We left a day early to meet with Ray and see his bikes.

We found his home, a small stone cottage in the backwoods of northwest Jersey with a one car garage out back. Ray had two bikes out in driveway, a 1981 XS100 Midnight Special that Neil wanted, and this 1974 DT250A. I don't know how he'd managed to keep the bikes in that shed-like garage as it still looked packed to the gills with a pickup, a couple of canoes, and a shovel collection (!). The XS looked very nice, had only about 3,000 miles on it, the brakes were frozen, the tank had some internal rust, but otherwise it was mint. I'd agreed to take the DT though I wasn't really looking for one but apparently the deal was both or none. Initially, it wasn't too promising. The tank was off, it was really filthy, there was a bit of rust here and there, etc. The tank turned out to have been stored in the house and was perfect. We made the deal, loaded up and went on to the PA show (see here).

Once home I began the usual routine of recommissioning and tidying up. I ordered a new battery and replaced the crumbling air filter with a K&N.  The under seat area and the frame beneath the tank needed a bit of work and various other pieces required a bit of polish and paint. But, considering the state inspection sticker was from 1983, it really didn't need much. After 3-4 kicks it ran, a bit of carb cleaning and it ran better. Then I noticed there was no smoke, not good for a 2-stroke, so shut it down. A consultation the with Wizard, Buddy Vitt, revealed the oil pump had lost its prime. Easily fixed in ten minutes.

A couple of months later I took to the BMWNEF Winter Rally at Camp Blanding and put about 40 miles on it, half off-road. A week later I had it at the Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show in support of Riding Into History. Of all the bikes I have, this one elicits the most interest; everybody claims to have one in the past and many want to relive it with another. But not yet with this one.

Just for giggles, I took it along to the AMCA National Perkiomen Chapter meet in Spring 2014 where it won a Junior 1st award, but it's not really a show pony, just a neat old dirt bike.

Postscript: In late June '14 the DT was sold to a fellow from S. Florida. He'd seen it at Dania Beach the previous January and after six months convinced me to sell it to him so he could have again the bike of his youth. He's a happy guy with a nice old dirt bike. 

 

An original Yamaha poster and the official owner's manual.