1968 Yamaha DT-1

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Brad Powell's 1968 Yamaha DT-1.
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Brad Powell's 1968 Yamaha DT-1.
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Brad Powell's 1968 Yamaha DT-1.
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Brad Powell's 1968 Yamaha DT-1.

Yamaha DT-1
Years produced:
1968-1971
Claimed power: 18hp @ 6,000rpm
Top speed: 70mph (approx.)
Engine type: 246cc, 2-stroke, air-cooled single
Weight (dry): 105kg (231lbs)
Price then: $520 (est.)
Price now: $1,500 – $4,500
MPG: 35-55

1968 was quite a year: History buffs will likely remember the escalating war in Vietnam or that Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated that fateful year. But gearheads of a certain age remember 1968 as the year the Yamaha DT-1 hit the scene and changed motorcycling forever.

Prior to the release of the Yamaha DT-1, reliable, reasonably powerful and inexpensive dirt bikes simply didn’t exist. The various — mostly British — scramblers on the market tended to be big and heavy, and while companies like Greeves, Montesa and Penton offered purpose-built dirt bikes, they were expensive and quirky. The DT-1 changed all that.

Read about Gary and Rick Bault’s experience of owning and riding a 1968 Yamaha DT-1 

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