A Two-Stroke Frankenstein from Hex Moto…
The Yamaha DT400 is one among our favourite two-stroke enduros of the Nineteen Seventies. It arose from the unique DT-1 250 of 1969, which revolutionized the market as a street-legal machine able to actual off-road journey:
“The Japanese had lastly realized that there was a selected ‘American’ market, which didn’t exist in Japan or Europe — and it was these riders who needed to utilize our huge publicly owned wilderness, and do it at a tempo that would give a minor rise to the adrenaline degree. The misnamed ‘road scramblers’ have been simply not appropriate, being manner too road oriented and never practically scramblerish sufficient.” –Rider
Launched in 1975, the unique twin-shock DT400 was fairly the machine, packing 23 hp and 27 lb-ft of torque right into a package deal that weighed simply 274 kilos dry. The 400 might do 87 mph flat out, and we’ve each raced AHRMA cross-country and commuted every day on DT sequence two-strokes — they’re extremely well-rounded machines.
“Weighing lower than 300 kilos, with equal quantities of horsepower and torque, the oversquare single-cylinder two-stroke might deal with a dune within the Mojave Desert, climb gnarly trails excessive within the Rocky Mountains or hare alongside outdated logging roads in Maine.” –Rider
The DT additionally makes an awesome platform for a customized construct. This 400 comes from our pal Jesse Scott Baumann of South Florida’s Hex Moto, who’s progressed over time from figuring out of a transformed carport to having his personal workshop:
“I began off on my patio doing side-work except for my full-time job doing the identical factor. I used to be constructing full-blown customized bikes in a one-car carport that was transformed right into a patio. Finally I bought busy sufficient and have had my very own store for nearly two years now.”
The donor bike — a ’76 DT400B — was utterly unique. Jesse admits he was detest to hack into an unique machine, however the proprietor needed a wild customized bike and gave him free rein to make it occur. As a substitute of sketching every little thing out forward of time, Jesse determined to begin with upgraded suspension and let the challenge carrying him from there.
This DT now boasts a set of early FZR1000 inverted forks, whereas a YZ490 swingarm and mono-shock conversion maintain up the rear. Wheels and brakes come courtesy of a Suzuki DR-Z400, whereas a Husky 701 donated the headlight fairing. Different mods embrace the customized saddle and inset taillight, 12-volt RC battery, and a coat of Ferrari Verde British racing inexperienced paint with gold graphics.
The engine was left largely inventory, however the lighter weight and upgraded suspension make the bike a hoot on the highway. Says Jesse:
“It’s fairly wild. It seems like a road bike and a mud bike on the identical time. So I suppose it lives as much as its enduro title.”
That is one putting smoker we’d love to tear round city, down the backroads, and thru the woods. Beneath, we speak to Jesse for full story on the challenge, together with extra pictures courtesy of our proficient pal Vincent Conti (@vincent.anthony.conti). Get pleasure from!
Yamaha DT400 Customized: Builder Interview
• Please inform us a bit about your self, your historical past with bikes, and your workshop.
My title is Jesse Scott Baumann. I personal a classic motorbike store in South Florida referred to as Hex Moto. I’ve been restoring, repairing, shopping for, promoting, and customizing all manufacturers of classic bikes for about eight years now. I began off on my patio doing side-work except for my full-time job doing the identical factor. I used to be constructing full-blown customized bikes in a one-car carport that was transformed right into a patio. Finally I bought busy sufficient and have had my very own store for nearly two years now.
• What’s the make, mannequin, and 12 months of the donor bike?
It is a 1976 Yamaha DT400.
• Why was this bike constructed?
This bike was constructed for a consumer. He had purchased the bike from being a trailer queen and it was utterly unique. I didn’t need to hack up such a pleasant bike however he actually needed to construct it.
• What was the design idea and what influenced the construct?
I truthfully had nothing to go by. The consumer simply needed a wild customized bike however didn’t essentially know what to recommend. My solely thought was to begin with newer suspension and go from there. Nothing was deliberate, it simply got here collectively one factor after one other.
• What customized work was executed to the bike?
- The bike is fitted with an early FZR1000 entrance finish.
- The rear swing arm is from a YZ490 that miraculously match good, together with the axle. I assumed I used to be going to must do some severe grafting to the body to get that to work. That was sourced from a pal who simply occurred to have a curler sitting round.
- I welded the pivot arms onto the body after which used a BMW R100 monoshock for the shock. I welded a prime mount beneath the seat.
- The wheels and brakes are new for a DR-Z400.
- The headlight fairing is from a Husquvarna 701.
- A customized seat was made.
- Inset tail mild.
- As a result of lack of area the bike is powered by a small 12-volt lithium battery, often used for RC automobiles.
- The paint scheme was attempting to stay with that basic enduro/scrambler really feel. The opposing artwork on the oil tank and tank have been an accident however I believe it labored out properly..
- The primary colour is Ferrari Verde British racing inexperienced.
- The body is powder coated.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
I haven’t provide you with one but however I maintain considering it appears to be like a bit like a wasp or a hornet.
• Are you able to inform us what it’s wish to experience this bike?
I wasn’t positive what it was going to be like, being that it’s such a Frankenstein, nevertheless it’s fairly wild. It seems like a road bike and a mud bike on the identical time. So I suppose it lives as much as its enduro title.
• Was there something executed throughout this construct that you’re notably pleased with?
The rear suspension is what I’m largely pleased with. I suppose that and never having any route on the bike and eventually seeing a accomplished product.
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