Yamaha DT175 vs. DT250

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by runpasthefence, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. runpasthefence

    runpasthefence Been here awhile

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    So, I need a beater/project and a reasonably sized bike to teach my lady how to ride.

    In a past life I was an outboard mechanic, and I've never owned a two stroke bike...so I'd like to make this my first.

    I've narrowed it down to the DT175 and 250. It'll likely serve as a learner bike for my better half, but will eventually turn into either something that resembles a dirt tracker or maybe even something more street oriented (depending on where I live in the next couple of years).

    Anyway, since I've never even seen one of these bikes...are there any significant differences between these two models? Seat height, frame size, weight, engine/drivetrain issues?
    #1
  2. Suzuki Phil

    Suzuki Phil Been here awhile

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    I just purchased a 78 DT125 to restore and ride. My mom bought two of these in 1977, one for me and one for her. Easy to ride and lightweight.

    [​IMG]

    Sp
    #2
  3. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

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    for all intents and purposes, they are the same bike. well built and a good learner bike. i've had several people learn to ride on my ct175..
    #3
  4. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    Everything on the 175 is smaller, frame, forks, engine cc. I would get the 2 fiddy.
    #4
  5. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

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    :nod get the 250 or even better a 360 :deal
    #5
  6. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

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    #6
  7. 340hp

    340hp Been here awhile

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    I agree, if you want to get the best for longer distances the 250.

    The 175 was the top of the 90/125/175 cc engine line, with the 250 the start of the 250/360/400 engine line. The 175's tended to see less abuse, but the 250's mechanicals were understressed even when abused.

    You truly cannot go wrong with either choice (so buy what fits).
    #7
  8. darmst6829

    darmst6829 Been here awhile

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    Who needs a project? I suggest you let your lady do this thing or not.

    Dave
    #8
  9. mudgepondexpress

    mudgepondexpress Long timer

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    My wife learned on a 1980 DT175, In the recent past I rode a 78 DT175 and the wife now owns a 78 DT250, so I have a little experience on these.

    The 175 is much more capable bike off-road. It is extremly light for what it is, good power, shorter, easier to start. The 250 holds freeway speed better (but I did commute 12 miles freeway on the 175 for over 3 months, it will do it, just not much left after 70 mph).

    My 175 usually achieved over 60 mpg with "road" low of 58 and high of 66 (I do my calcs). The 250 is a much bigger gas hog. My wife achieves roughly 50 with the 250 in around town, little highway type riding. For the same type riding I never topped 40.

    They did change the bikes dramatically in 77 and the 77-80's are my favorites (monoshock). the 77-78 175's are better than the 79-80's off road (they got squishy suspension in 79) and were just a bit better all around.

    Good luck, lots of fun on those bikes! The DT125 was the same frame as the 175 so if you pick one up cheap that would also work.

    Kenny
    #9
  10. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    Depends on year. The late 70's (monoshock) DT175MX was a much better bike than the overweight 250, and not just my opinion, it was more-or-less universally accepted as fact. It handled better, was just as fast & great fun all round. I had a 175 from new and have had 2 more over the years. I also had loan of a mates immaculate DT250 for weekend (back in the day) and it was only 75% of the 175 off road :huh
    #10
  11. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    Lok at the power to weight ratio on both, youll be surprised! The 175 has like 5hp less than the 250 but weighs 80 lbs less or so and the 175 was SOOOO much more fun. I had both and the 250 was a pig off road and on compared to the svelt quick little 175...which was a far superior bike.
    #11
  12. runpasthefence

    runpasthefence Been here awhile

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    Great info guys, I really appreciate it. I think this supports what I assumed about these bikes. I think the smaller 175 will suit our needs perfectly.

    Looking at what specs I could find, I see there would be really no point in a 250 unless I got a smokin' deal on one. The 360 and 400 look to be the cat's ass, but the smaller bike has more appeal for what we'll use the bike for. I wonder how much weight I can shed off of a 175? :wink:

    I found yamahaenduro.com via searching this site, and I haven't been able to open the site since I found it about a week ago. I'll have to check it out when I'm back stateside with some better internets.

    Thanks again, now I'll just have to find one close to home.
    #12
  13. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    My girl friend/wife had a 175 and it was perfect for her and a blast for me. If someone is larger in stature, the bigger bikes are the way to go. How about a IT 200? Depending on state, most can be titled.
    #13
  14. GrahamM

    GrahamM Been here awhile

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    I just picked a '80 DT175 for my wife to come on exploration rides with me, hell I might even use it for vintage cross country races.

    Have yet to start it as the tank needs a good flushing from old gas. The condition is like brand new, not a spec of rust anywhere with only 3700km on the clock. All original equipment:)

    After reading this thread it swayed me to the 175, 5Hp less and 80lbs lighter compared to the 250... yikes. Lifting the rear it feels very light can wait to feel the arm jerking power;)
    #14
  15. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Been here awhile

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    I would choose the 175cc version, as already said much lighter, much better to handle.

    The autolube system is not so good, just for clogging the exhaust and the inerta of the cylinder, ...

    l have started to rebuild my TY (which is beside the different frame geometrics pretty much the same model.

    For the 175cc model are 200cc set's available. The cylinder gets a rebore and a bigger piston.

    With a 200cc engine you will get more torque and slightly more power too. Anyway ... The increase of 25% capacity gives you a broader range of usable rev- band. Very helpful while riding.

    The parts are easy to get but -for Europeans- not very cheap compared to other brands.

    I personal would also rate the 175cc higher.

    The only drawback I know are the tiny fork diameter, the fork feels flexible. I solved the problem by using the fork and fork clamps of the 250cc model.
    #15
  16. GrahamM

    GrahamM Been here awhile

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    Here is the GEM I picked up... 6speed was a surprise:)

    Runs tops after:
    - Cleaning carburator with "Nasty Kleen-flow carb cleaner" man that stuff works wonders
    - Used Evapo Rust for gas tank - two 6' long small gauge pieces of chain in the tank with 3 litres of the stuff.... shake, shake, shake... let stand for about 8 hours with a rotation and shake every half hour or so... and presto no more rust! AMAZING!!! Thinking about coating the tank but for now I will just keep it topped with fresh fuel.
    - Fresh DOT knobbies and wheel bearing in the works now and then off to get it inspected for road legal use... lights are crap! going to look into LEDs to make the system a little more effective.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    Very tidy :clap Superb bikes!

    When I got my MX new in 1979.... it didn't stay standard for long - but I was only 17 yrs old :lol3

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. mudgepondexpress

    mudgepondexpress Long timer

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    Sweet little 175! Roll the bars up though, they are racked too far back for a short bike, try standing on that and you will look like the hunchback of Notre Dame.

    Man I miss my 78 DT175...

    Kenny
    #18
  19. GrahamM

    GrahamM Been here awhile

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    The bars that are on it are in Prefect shape; Think I will replace them with Renthal as I am pretty sure the originals with fold with little impact, and the Chrome is mint so would not want to see any stress cracks develop.

    will keep the originals along with the rear number plate to return it to it's original state if ever needed.
    #19
  20. YZEtc

    YZEtc Feel lucky?

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    No way, Jose.
    A DT-175 is smaller and feels quite a bit lighter and easier to manouver than a DT-250.
    Doesn't matter what model year.
    I'd agree with that if comparing a 250/360/400.

    I vote for a DT-175, with the best ones being from 1978 - 1981 (in the USA).
    #20