Yamaha were quick to follow the trend of weekend off-roading in the massive and varied playground of rural United States. A versatile format was the dual-sport machine, introduced by Triumph with the TR5, Honda’s CL77 Scrambler and the 441 Victor from BSA – high bars, high fenders, lighting and on/off-road tires. Yamaha entered the fray with the DT1 in 1968. But they entered in with arguably the first practical, affordable 2-stroke dual-purpose bike. It achieved the supreme practicality by the fact that its Autolube system meant you never again had to mix oil with the gas.
Within a few years, 60% of new-bike sales in the U.S. were dual-purpose models, derivatives of the DT1. However, DT1 riders who wanted to go racing could purchase one of the best named accessory packages ever. The company’s GYT kit (for Genuine Yamaha Tuning) added 1500 rpm, 8 horsepower and 15 mph, turning “a pleasant, docile engine into a rather feisty screamer,” Cycle World said.
The first-year 1968 Yamaha DT1 on offer here was subject to a ground-up concours-level restoration. Considered to be the “Holy Grail” of the vintage enduro motorcycle, the bike has enjoyed pride of place in a Southern California collection of off-road machines. Since restoration, the bike has not turned a wheel under its own power and comes with brochures, magazine ads, rider’s manual, and the super-rare tool kit.
Only 12,000 of this game-changer enduro were produced and they sold out fast. Modified, abused, crashed and thoroughly enjoyed will diminish that number greatly, making this a fine and quite rare opportunity to own a beautifully restored example.
Sold on a clean, clear California title.
Engine no. DT1-04858
Frame no. DT1-04858
Location: Glendale, California