1968 Yamaha DT-1

Some of you may well recognize the photo above; it's the semi-famous Cycle World cover shot which debuted the DT-1 to the world.
A list of the Ten Most Significant Japanese Motorcycles of all time would have to include the DT-1, I think. It was the first really serious Japanese dirt bike, the one that proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Japanese could build such. No, it wasn't a match for the European enduro bikes of the times, competitively. But it was maybe 85% as good, at about half the price. And a stripped and GYT-kitted DT-1 could hold it's own as a full-bore race bike, in scrambles, cross-country, and motocross. And to top it off, a stock DT-1 made a better play bike than any of the Europeans. Truly a landmark motorcycle!
I owned several members of the DT-1 family, all of which were old and somewhat decrepit by the time I acquired them. The most noteworthy, I suppose, was a genuine '68 model which I picked up for a song. It came completely stripped of all road gear, had a rear sprocket the size of a dinner plate, and a scored cylinder and practically no compression. A 2nd-over bore job put that right, and I had a great old time with the bike.

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