1974 Yamaha DT250A restore

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by tex68w, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    I spent 14 hours on the road today in order to go pick up this 1974 DT250A in Virginia Gold. It came with new tires, a new battery, a new seat cover, new grips, and a plethora of NOS, reproduction and lightly used parts like brake shoes, head light, carb rebuild kit, handle bars, spare cylinder, cables, harness', plugs, air filters, hardware, fork seals, etc. Included were an owners manual, parts list/manual, and service manual, a clean title and the original sales brochure and a few magazine clippings.

    The owner was in the beginning stages of restoring it along with a Husky 400 when he needed money to restore and fix his 127 year old Victorian home, hence the sale. The bike looks pretty good, it appears to have very little off-road use looking at the skid plate and bottom of the frame. It has the buddy pegs, original tool kit under the seat and the right side mirror. The tank has one slight dent, the oil tank has a slight crease, and the rear fender has a few small dings but other than that she looks pretty good IMHO.

    It's currently sitting at 3,971 original miles and it's on the stock piston. It needs a top end as there's some slap but the transmission and clutch look good. I plan to fix the rear fender and have it repainted along with the front fender and headlight brackets. I will wax the tank and oil tank in hopes of bringing out some more luster from the original paint. I'm not sure what can be done about the small dent in the gas tank or the crease in the oil tank, but I'd like to keep the original paint on those parts. Is PDR an option on these older, thicker metals?

    I'll polish the cases and the wheels but I am considering having them re-laced with new spokes. I need new hardware for the cases as these bolts are certainly not correct and I am assuming I'll need gaskets as well. The pipe is missing the hardware at the cylinder and where it mounts as the rear of the bike. The intake boot looks great as does the pipe itself and the chain and sprocket are fairly new as well.

    Any suggestions on things to look out for and/or what to tackle that might go overlooked would be much appreciated. I am going to start with recovering the seat, rebuilding the carb and rebuilding the forks. I also need to find a shop here in Texas (preferably the Houston area) to do the top end work as I don't have the time. Any suggestions there would be greatly appreciated. I am looking forward to getting this thing decently restored so that I can get out and enjoy it as well as sit back and admire it. I hope to learn a lot here in this forum and to enjoy the process I am about to embark on lol.

    Below are some pics from the sales ad and a few of it on the trailer on the way home today. Let me know what you think.

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    #1
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  2. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    Here is a pic of some of the extras the seller threw in with the bike. I'll have to do some research to see what some of this hardware is and I am sure I'll be posting some pics asking for y'all to help me identify items.

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    The bars don't appear to be the same as those on the bike itself so I am not sure what they came off of. The tag on the spare jug/cylinder head says 69.5mm but I was under the impression that stock measured 70mm so who knows there.

    This is the hardware on the cases I mentioned, I'd like to replace all of the Philips stuff with the original socket allen head hardware seen on the bottom, I'll need to get part numbers for that or source some take-offs.

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    #2
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  3. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    1/5th size, sorta lol

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    #3
  4. RonKZ650

    RonKZ650 Long timer

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    Nice. I love the DT's. Hoping I could enjoy riding like I did in 1971 I bought a new WR250R Yamaha. Even my 90cc HT1 in 1970 was 10x better and fun than that thing. Good luck and enjoy.
    #4
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  5. spokester

    spokester Long timer

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    Nice find! The nostalgia is strong on this one!
    #5
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  6. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    Thanks! It won't be a full on frame-off restoration as I want to keep the original paint on the tanks, but it will be all original save the paint on the fenders and the new repro seat cover and I think that'll make it more valuable to the true collectors.
    #6
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  7. snarlyjohn

    snarlyjohn Human money repellant

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    Very very nice!
    #7
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  8. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    I found the hardware for the intake boot and the rubber and hardware for the rear of the muffler in one of the many hardware bags. Major score there, saves me big coin as those dampers are pricey.
    #8
  9. Aron82

    Aron82 Adventurer

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    Brings back fond memories of my DT250.

    Great looking bike.
    #9
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  10. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    The cylinder is off for machine work, NOS Yamaha piston and rings ordered. Wheels are going to get the Buchanans treatment (spokes, nipples, polish) so that'll be nice and the carb will be rebuilt as well. Going with new points, need to check the oil pump and it'll get a NOS original 6V battery as well. I plan to have the tanks PDR'd to remove or improve the few small dings and then I'll ceramic coat them to preserve the "survivor" patina. The fenders, head light bucket, tail light stalk and head light forks will all be repainted but I am going to leave the character on the frame as is. I'll finish it off with the new seat cover and maybe some light polishing on the cases and fork lowers. I am hoping to have all of this wrapped up by the end of September, wish me luck.
    #10
  11. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Long timer

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    Nice bike, I have a TY model, have ridden the 250 and still have my first "big" bike a 125cc TY which I have rebuild to a 200cc model.
    Things to look after the frame has a bazillion parts welded too and the paint job is not the best. You should look up edges... for rust. The Phillips srews are the right screws for the engine covers and a pain the allan head are much better. Most svrews and bolts are a bit too soft be carefull.

    Brakes are very good for a hub brakes, no peoblems here for even better braking you can get grooved brake pads which will improve braking.

    The VM Mikuni is a good carb, a flat slide carb will improve the engine response.

    If you would have to replace the con-rod the ones for the MX models are lighter and of better quality.
    h
    Check the rear shocks, these are mostly to soft and soringy, if they don't fit to your weight get new ones that match your weight and aremore progressive.

    Most rubber parts will get cracks easily if not replaced.

    I am not a fan of the oil pump and have taken the pump off as the pump uses quite a bit of oil. In my personal experience too much, but if you don't like to mess around with adding oil by hand thst is, a good reason to leave the oil pump on. I zhrn recommend an oil with a low ignition point.

    You can get electronic ignition for the bike these provide 12V too.
    #11
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  12. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    Great advice, thanks for posting. The cylinder is still off at the machine shop so not much happening at the moment. I plan to get the fenders off to paint/body in the next few weeks.
    #12
  13. concours

    concours WFO for 50 years

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    No.
    The piston must be provided to the machinist along with clearance spec.
    #13
  14. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    I'm not sure why you posted this, I am fully aware of that. :scratch
    #14
  15. concours

    concours WFO for 50 years

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    “The cylinder is off for machine work, NOS Yamaha piston and rings ordered.”

    off = unbolted?

    in my haste I interpreted as “off to the machinist”
    Off to
    vs
    Off for

    my bad.
    Carry on.
    #15
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  16. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    Haha, no worries. Have a good one!
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  17. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    The restoration is nearing completion, I should have some pics up here soon.

    Got the seat back, it turned out great with the repro cover.

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    #17
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  18. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    There's still a lot to do to get it where I ultimately want it to be, but she's coming along nicely. Short of the forks nearly everything has been rebuilt at this point.Left to do, flip head light, rebuild forks, PDR the tanks, repaint the fenders and light brackets, fill in the 'Yamaha' on the case, and a few other odds and ends and she should be done.

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    #18
  19. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    Well I am a hair over 10 months in on this project and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, it's taken a lot longer than initially anticipated and it was put on the back burner for a few months while life got in the way. I need to figure out the wiring in the head light (again lol) and have a little PDR work done on the tanks and I do believe she'll be done. Short of powder coating the frame, rechroming a few parts, and repainting the tanks (didn't want to do that because the original is in such great shape) this bike has been completely gone through. I think the original Virginia Gold paint with its slight patina brings a tad more vintage charm to the bike.

    I started off thinking it only needed a carb rebuild and a top end seeing how it only had 3800 original miles on it and it would be back on the street, but after tearing into it the bottom bearing was shot and that just led to doing it all, yay. Its had a top end rebuild, bottom end rebuild, carb rebuild, fork rebuild, seat recovered, new front and rear signals, new rear signal stays, repaint on both fenders/head light stays/head light bucket/tail light stay, relaced both wheels, new tires, new brake pads, various pieces of hardware that were missing or wrong and so on and so on, please stop the hemorrhaging lol. All parts short of the spokes (Buchanan) and seat cover (reproduction) were originals or NOS Yamaha, everything is now correct and complete down to the tool kit.

    The bike runs like a top and looks great. I am still waiting on a few pieces of hardware to finish out the rear of the bike and then I'll get her to my PDR guy for the final fix. I'm not sure what I plan to do with it once it's complete, I'd love to keep it and ride it occasionally but I think I enjoy the hunt for a new project and the search for parts along with the restoration more so than actually owning and enjoying the item, it's a sickness.

    Here are a few sneak peak pics of where she currently sits. As of right now I'm still waiting for the rear flasher stays to get back, a few pieces of hardware for the rear signals and then I need to reconnect the wiring in the head light housing, slap in the head light and she'll be done.

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    #19
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  20. tex68w

    tex68w Mister Bevilaqua

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    The freshly rechromed rear signal stays finally arrived from England so I was able to get the back end of the bike buttoned up and back together. Short of figuring out the wiring inside of the headlight and reinstalling the headlight itself, she's nearly done. I am getting excited!


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    #20