Yamaha DT-1 1968
I was chatting to a guy called Malcolm at a wedding the other day and he said he had a Yamaha DT-1.
I knew a little bit about the bike as my great riding friend Mitch had told me the story of his first ever ride on the tank of his Uncle Ralf’s bike at age 2. Mitch now has Ralf’s bike waiting for restoration, so it was time for a little investigation.
The bike was first unveiled to the world at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1967. It was released in Australia in early 1968 and was immediately a huge sales success. Up until that point the “dual purpose” market hardly existed, but Yamaha created a revolution with a fun, reliable and user friendly bike that retailed for just A$580.
The lightweight bike was powered by a two stroke 250cc engine, producing a rather mellow 18HP, however the main difference between the DT-1’s engine and other bikes was Yamaha’s Autolube oil-injection system. This meant there was no need to deal with premixing fuel and oil. The bikes ease of ownership endeared it to a new generation of motorcycle fans.
The DT-1 made a statement and it was cool to ride.