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TOPIC: Do I want a vintage Enduro?

Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 09:48 #1

  • Drembo
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I am looking to buy a trail bike. I rode a Yamaha 125 around when I was young, junior high school days. That was the late 60's. I have not been on a motorcycle for almost 30 years now. I have retired and moved to a rural area. A couple of guys I know around here, and myself, have decided we want to buy some bikes to do some trail riding and general exploration around here, there are plenty of logging roads. A dual sport makes it convenient to ride to them, as opposed to trailering, so some milage on country 2 lane roads, but mostly we would be on dirt. Nothing real serious in the way of real dirt bike riding.
I don't want to spend a bunch of money on something new. My friends are looking a newer bikes, though still in the same price range as me, around $2k. I have been looking at craigslist, and I keep coming back to the older Yamahas, partly because I have such fond memories of them, partly because they look so cool. I have a good amount of experience with auto mechanics, and plenty of tools, but have never worked on a motorcycle and have no specialty tools I would need for them.
So, I am considering a 74 DT250A I found and I am getting ready to go look at. About 6000 miles on the odometer, it is described as restored, but that mostly seems to be cosmetic; paint, polishing, etc. Mechanically, the restoration seems to consist of cleaning the carb, replacing the crank seals, and new tires. I know I would want to replace the brakes. If it runs well and I can find no issues with it, I would be inclined to buy it.
I imagine most people on this site have a bit of a bias in favor of these old enduros, but, what do you think? Is this a good option for me? I am willing to do work on this thing and spend some money on tools, etc. Stuff happens, I know, but is this thing likely to turn into a money pit, requiring un-obtainium parts and requiring work that would be beyond my skills? I am hoping for a "go for it" response, but would like the straight poop from those who know better than me.

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Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 09:56 #2

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I say go for it. B) . We do have the manual for that model in the tech library.
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Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 10:20 #3

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I might be an odd duck here in that I went for an old Yamaha with no nostalgic attachment to them. I have the same riding situation as you and choose a vintage Yamaha because they were the best selling bike at the time and as a result the parts are the easiest to get and cheapest for any older bike. The older bike part was 50% because I wanted to be able to wrench on my own bike and am not much of a mechanic (but these are great to learn on) and because I'm in California, the old bikes don't have to pass smog. I don't regret the decision in any way, really have fallen in love with them. Own a 1972 175 and 250 now. At 5'6" I do prefer the size of the 175 if there is any kind of trail riding.
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Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 10:22 #4

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+1 go for it. I just bought a non-running, but low mileage DT360. I haven't started my resto yet, but I've been gathering resources and reading manuals, and how-to write ups. This very website is probably the best resource on the internet. You can buy many new parts for these bikes, and there is a pretty big market for original stuff. Yamaha sold a lot of these bikes, and some of the parts cross models. If you are comfortable working on cars, you can surely handle a 2-stroke. Plus, the older bikes are just so much cooler. That is ultimately what sealed the deal for me.
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Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 10:36 #5

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You won't find a brand new street-legal bike for $2000.
I would stay away from a 1974 Yamaha enduro because it was a transition year and they have a lot of unique parts.
1971-1973 is a good choice.
If you are not prepared to do the work yourself (because the local shops won't work on old bikes) you should avoid them. Parts and knowledge can be hard to come by.

I recommend the following Yamahas for you .....
If you are old, average height and weight, get a TW200 (around $4500 new)

If you are tall and a little more spry, get a WR250R (around $6500) They are more capable and have a tall seat.

They will be reliable and you can get the local shop to work on them.
They are four strokes, so you don't have to worry about two stroke oil. They get a TON of mpg, so longer trips are not a problem.
AND.... they are electric start. They also have 12v, easy-to-find-bulbs.

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Yamaha@nc.rr.com

Where the Yamaha Enduro is still a current model...
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Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 11:18 #6

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DEET wrote: You won't find a brand new street-legal bike for $2000.
I would stay away from a 1974 Yamaha enduro because it was a transition year and they have a lot of unique parts.
1971-1973 is a good choice.
If you are not prepared to do the work yourself (because the local shops won't work on old bikes) you should avoid them. Parts and knowledge can be hard to come by.

I recommend the following Yamahas for you .....
If you are old, average height and weight, get a TW200 (around $4500 new)

If you are tall and a little more spry, get a WR250R (around $6500) They are more capable and have a tall seat.

They will be reliable and you can get the local shop to work on them.
They are four strokes, so you don't have to worry about two stroke oil. They get a TON of mpg, so longer trips are not a problem.
AND.... they are electric start. They also have 12v, easy-to-find-bulbs.


OK. Who are you and what have you done with the real DEET? Saying no to a vintage Enduro....you really think we don't know you've kidnapped the real DEET? Someone dial 911...



Seriously; good advice from the man who knows best: DEET! I have an XT-350 that is all of the above except for the electric start. Still have to kick it. But it's available used back through the early 90's at least, and I gave $1650 for mine a while back.

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Last Edit: by Mothersbaugh.

Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 11:21 #7

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I bought one of those new. If a teenager can beat the snot out of it and not kill it, you're good to go. :OnFire

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Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 11:48 #8

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A real enduroholic would never ask if he should buy one... he would be begging the forum to talk him out of buying his 14th basket case....

If you would rather spend your time restoring an old enduro than riding one, then you may be on the right track.
If you really just want to go riding with your buddies, go for the instant gratification.


As Clint Eastwood said: "A man's got to know his limitations."


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Where the Yamaha Enduro is still a current model...
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Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 12:05 #9

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A late '70's DT175 (mono shock ) would be an option worth some thought......

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KB ( Australia)

'71 Yamaha DT1 .................................. '70 Suzuki T350
'72 Yamaha AT3 . ................................... '73 Suzuki T500
'86 Yamaha DT175 ..................................'68 Fuji Rabbit Hi Super 90
'06 Yamaha PW50 ................................ and a...

Do I want a vintage Enduro? 05 Jul 2018 12:14 #10

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+1 on avoiding the '74 for the above stated reasons.

I have a total of 12 Enduros. All '71 and '73. My favorite riders are the '73 250s. I also have a modern WR250.

You will find that the best solution is going to be more than 1 bike. However if for some reason I had to choose only one it would be my '68 Honda Mini Trail. That's what I started on and will likely end up on as I get older.
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The hours spent riding my Enduros is not deducted from my life span.
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