DT 125 RE Green Laning Project
I bought this bike years ago as a project when I was 17 and have only recently got round to finishing it off some 6 years later!
I'm not interested in using it on the road as my background has been in motocross and enduro - as the title implies I have been using it for green laning, and to be honest it makes for a pretty awful road bike! As expected the suspension is far too soft but in the hands of an experienced offroad rider you can hold it pinned and absorb the hardest impacts with your legs and knees to stop it from bottoming out (which is very easy on the old dt) !
I'll be keeping it for the summer to get my use out of it before selling in the winter, I am toying with the idea of riding it at a local enduro event instead of my KTM in November just to see how well I can place - everyone loves an underdog story!!!
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from when I bought it, but the frame was rusted well sort of everywhere along with pretty much every nut and bolt. The small end bearing had considerable play in it and the and piston rings were worn excessively, I'm not sure I have a picture of the old piston but there was significant blow by past the rings.
Onto the pictures - Frame taken down to bare metal and resprayed silver.
I've been saying it ever since I got my Dt, they are brilliant offroad if you know how to ride them. I started off riding with trials bikes, which have barely any travel and it's all about soaking up bumps with your legs. The Dt suspension is soft, which is why I done a USD swap for riding on the road, but I did use it for over a year standard on trails and woods riding, in tight sections it could happily keep up with modern enduro bikes.
@glynn123 It's true, it's more rider than bike! Well that and a decent set of nobblies. I was flying along the other day and glanced at the speedo to find I was doing 70 mph on a byway - must take the GoPro out one of these days. I'm just interested to see how far I can push this little bike really, I will try and post videos in the future
When I reassembled the exhaust mounting bracket was missing, so I made my own out of some 2mm sheet steel I had lying around.
Besides everything required to completely rebuild the engine I had to order a new chain, new fuel hose, larger main jet #150, new air filter, new brake pads front and rear, a new throttle tube, sprocket lock tab, replacement clutch push rod ball bearing as I lost it, and new bleed nipples for the front and rear callipers.
Unfortunately the rear brake pads didn't fit, am I correct in thinking the 2004 dtre used the old style rear calliper and it changed in 05 ? Anyway I still have them if anyone's interested - i'll take a fiver for them.
I also ordered a set of Metzeler MC 360's - 110/100/18 rear and 180/100/21 front
This is the cheap taiwanese head gasket that lasted 200 miles!
The bike overheated and the head warped slightly as a result meaning I had to skim it for a second time
I replaced it with an athena head gasket and so far so good
The previous owner rather irritatingly had painted the plastics. Rather than buying new ones to trash with some hard abuse I stripped them back to bare plastic, sanded to 400 grit and then restored the colour by heating them with a heat gun and once glossy quickly dowsed them with water to prevent the melted top layer of plastic from oxidising. The before and after is night and day.
with a spare hour to kill and armed with some white vinyl wrap and some masking tape I set about recreating the standard graphics, turned out quite well for an experiment!
Lastly here is how she stands as of this morning
Bit of an update:
I have still been abusing the hell out of the old girl on the local green lanes and as you might expect with the dt's soft suspension, I am bottoming it out rather a lot. There is evidence of the rear tyre touching the frame https://www.flickr.com/photos/159452079@N02/43278720294/in/dateposted-public/
and also the bottom of the frame and the shock linkage look like this after two months! https://www.flickr.com/photos/159452079@N02/43091630755/in/dateposted-public/ -
Have also rubbed through the paint on the side of the frame https://www.flickr.com/photos/159452079@N02/29059950177/in/dateposted-public/ - but i'm a function over form kind of guy.
I managed to lose my number plate whilst out on a ride but luckily I was able to re-trace my steps and find it. I always carry some basic tools and a roll of duct tape with me when out trail riding, and it was the latter of these things which came in handy! - I rode for the rest of the day with my plate taped to my ruck sack https://www.flickr.com/photos/159452079@N02/30128539738/in/dateposted-public/
It has since become somewhat of a re-occurring theme for bits to fall off! I got home this afternoon after enjoying what the recent weather has done to the trails to find that I was missing a side panel! No idea where it is so if anyone in the norfolk area finds it, give me a shout! https://www.flickr.com/photos/159452079@N02/29059685867/in/dateposted-public/
Made sure to clean the old girl before storing in the garage next to the other slightly more orange toy https://www.flickr.com/photos/159452079@N02/30128565668/in/dateposted-public/
The shopping list:
- Rear indicators - if anyone has any lying around they would like to part company with, let me know!!
- Battery side side panel - again if anyone has a spare they would like to sell, let me know otherwise I'll get one from fowlers.
- 28 mm fat bar conversion mounts. These renthal 'street fighter' bars are utterly s**t.
On a side note, can anyone recommend a longer gear lever? the stock one is a bit clunky with mx boots.
Any recommendations on some wider footpegs that would be a direct fit? again would need to be mx derived because she doesn't see road use.
Been a while since I updated.
Had some play in the rear end so stripped to inspect to find that the swingarm bearings had disintegrated, particularly on one side where the bearing race had worn almost completely through.
here is what was left of the bearings
From memory I think it took 2.5 tons of force on the hydraulic press to press them out! Forgot to take pictures of the new bearing install.
I decided to experiment with some 15W fork oil (standard is 10W). The change is noticeable when hitting a whoop section is fourth gear, the bottoming resistance is increased which has the effect of keeping the front end up. It also allows you to jump two or three in a row where as the forks previously absorbed the face of the woop. Other than that it is as you would expect, not much of a change. The old fork oil was very urmm... black!.
here is a picture pre-fork oil change of it completely bottomed out after the smallest of jumps
Also decided to improve the ergos on the bike. The handlebars had to go so I purchased swapped in a set of pro tapers from a 2018 Husqvarna MX bike and bought a set of APICO mounts. Also swapped the piece of s*** gear lever for an Apico unit from a 99-04 Yz 125. SOOO much nicer to ride.
I met a guy last weekend while out on a ride. He was on a KTM 690 enduro and stopped to say hello, nice chap. He did ask if my bike had around 8hp or so and said it was nice to see people getting into riding before parting on his way. I have certainly not just got into riding (i expect the L plates and the ill suited bike probably gave him a different impression) but I decided to give chase and passed him through a whoop section' trippling a set and jumping straight past him. I met him at the end of the trail three or four minutes later and suddenly the little bike with '8hp' was quite interesting to him!
Anyway it will be up for sale soon.
@Calum yeah I know, but 8 is what he said! Come on Calum there is no advantage here, suspension is worse, chassis has way more flex, way down on power and well perhaps I can claim a weight advantage but I would happily swap! Pro Tapers - Whatever is fitted to a 2018 Husky FE 350, they were the standard bars from that bike and I swapped them onto the DT as they were laying around in the garage as spares.
Yes i'll be up for sale after christmas. Time for another KTM - probably an EXC 250 (two stroke).
I've had my fun, and already have another KTM at home, and every time I ride it (my ktm) I see less and less point having this bike, has been a fun project though.