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Yamaha DT-1

Yamaha DT-1

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 single-cylinder 246cc
  • 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 new-for-2005 DT-125X.