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I've had this little 1971 Yamaha CT1-C going on 17 years now, and just recently discovered this message board. I wanted to share the story and evolution of my bike to this point, and where it goes from here. First I'll start with some background.
I acquired this motorcycle back in 2001 when I was just 16 years old for the fantastic price of $0. At that time my neighbor moved out of the country and rather than dealing with this bike they left it in their driveway for dead. The bike was rusty, non-running, missing the keys, and missing the title but only had 2500 miles on it. My dad grew up riding these bikes and had a soft spot for them, so he thought this would be a great project to fix up. This is what it looked like when I got it:
The bike sat for a few years in our garage while we thought about (put off) working on it. Then came my senior year of highschool where I had to do a senior project, so I told my dad I wanted to fix up the Yamaha. He thought that was a great idea to get the project on track and teach me a thing or two about old motorcycles. I spent a good part of the year sourcing new hubs & wheels from junkyards, putting new rings in, having the head rebuilt, sorting out some electrical odds and ends, and stripping the bike down to a bare frame. At the end this was the result:
I had spent countless hours and around $500 of my hard earned at this point. My teachers loved it and I got an A+ on the project. I applied for a new title (which took a few years to come) and had it DOT approved for road use. Overall I was pretty happy with how things turned out aside from the paint guy who delivered a tank in the completely wrong color. It still looks good but yeah, wrong color. The bike ran perfect, started on the first kick (still does) and was a hoot to blast around the neighborhood on. Then my parents told me I couldn't get my endorsement or ride it out of the neighborhood until I was out of college and supporting myself. Ugh. So the bike sat for a few more years. I started it a few times a year to ride around the neighborhood but I took the long track in college and it took me 8 years to graduate.
After college I took a job in Seattle and started riding the bus to work every day (5 miles or so). Then I remembered this little motorcycle and the agreement with my parents. I got my endorsement and started commuting on the bike whenever the sky wasn't dumping rain. I swapped the knobbies out for street tires, put some street bars on it, and just had a great time. Over the next few years I put over 4000 miles on it jetting around the streets of the city.
I had dreams of turning the bike in into a full on cafe racer and developed this rendering:
So glad that never fully happened. I was never happy with the bike's lighting and refused to ride at night in the city with it, so I attempted to do a DIY 12V conversion. I re-wrapped the stator for more output, installed a 12v regulator/rectifier, put an H4 headlight in and hacked on a new taillight. It never really worked right since at idle the voltage was just too low to light anything up. I still never rode it at night. The brake light worked fine if the headlight wasn't on, very practical. I did re-gear the final drive so the bike would cruise right along at 65mph though! I also put some LED turn signals on it which also never really worked right.
Then I moved moved out of the city and bought a house, too far from work to ride this little bike. So it sat. For another few years.
Recently I moved again this time to the wonderful small town of Bellingham, WA. A place that is practical enough to ride this motorcycle to run errands again though too far from work to commute on it. I have been taking it out on sunny days but haven't had much chance to ride it regularly. But I want to change that so it's time again for some updates.
With 7500 miles on the odo, the current plan is this:
- knobby tires for some true enduro riding (I work at the base of a network of fire/logging roads that are fair game)
- higher/wider bars for offroading
- Vape 12V ignition kit
- New small 12v headlight and speedometer
- Completely new custom wiring harness incl. ignition
- Actually paint the fenders and forks
- Find where I'm leaking gear oil and address it
- Some other misc. small items
- Ride it more!!!
Most of the parts for the new conversion are in my shed or on their way to it. My goal is to make this bike safe, rideable, and suited to my use without doing anything that is irreversible if I want to return to stock. I'll do my best to keep this thread updated as I dig into it more. Cheers.
The following user(s) Liked this Post: 2fishkev, 1971DT250, Badger52, KJB, JGersh, darinm, KennyV
Thank you all. I'm excited to find a community who also appreciates these machines. The hooker header is probably one of my favorite pieces on the bike though before adding the supertrapp muffler it was pretty unbearably loud. Even with the supertrapp it's still pretty noisy but I don't think I could part with it.
B.C. - My apologies. What I meant was that I took the cylinder and head to an automotive machine shop who cleaned them up, hot tanked them and honed the cylinder for me.