Winning an unprecedented
following from the time of its release,
the DT-1 started a worldwide boom in off-road
bikes. Before the appearance of the DT-1,
off-road bikes had been primarily "scrambler"
type bikes adapted from on-road models.
By contrast, this model was the embodiment
of a machine to take you "beyond where
the roads end." Packed full of technology
and features expressly for off-road riding,
like a Ceriani type front fork with the
longest stroke of any Japanese-made unit
at the time, Autolube, a five-port piston
valve engine, wide-radius block-pattern
tires and an engine guard, this model
created a new genre known as 'trail bikes'.
- Overall length x width x height:
2,060mm x 890mm x 1,130mm
- Weight: 112kg
- Engine-type: Air-cooled Piston valve
- Maximum power output: 18.5ps/6,000rpm
- Maximum torque: 2.32kg-m/5,000rpm
It all started in May 1967
when Yamaha arrived at the All-Japan Motocross
race with a stripped-down single-cylinder
250cc two-stroke motocrosser it had been
secretly developing. In this prototype,
called the YX-26, lay the roots of the
subsequent DT-1. Despite a thunderstorm
that made the track conditions as bad
as they could be, 80,000 people gathered
to watch Tadao Suzuki lead the race from
the outset to a run-away victory on the
all-black Yamaha. The YX-26 weighed just
86 kg, compared to the 120 kg of the two-cylinder
YDS that had been the standard until then,
demonstrating the clear design advantages
of a dedicated lightweight off-roader.
The motocrosser was born.
The DT-1 was launched the
following year and drew attention as the
pioneer of a whole new genre of bike.
400,000 units were finally sold and such
was the bike's cult following that even
sixties icon Brigitte Bardot owned one!
The DT project is a classic
example of Yamaha's model development
strategy of long-term refinement with
now 30 years of evolution evident in the