Stevie’s French '98, Mid-90's WR/YZ/DT (An idiotproof guide to building your own DTR)

  • Please let us know how it goes! I’ve got a nice-ish front and rear Yz setup waiting to go. I’m very interested in keeping the clocks for exactly the same reason, we’ll im a 50 year old git on a 32 year old bike but it’s close enough!😜

  • Why can't you just fabricate a bracket to mount the clocks?

  • @Calum because that's way too easy and sensible of an idea

  • I made my own brackets out of old Aluminium cuts, with a Bandsaw and some hand files.

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    I even eventually spray painted them Halfords Special Black (Show Bike m8)

    Didn't even use any maths, just cardboard templates and some callipers.

    Even the YZ Yoke for 1997-2002 has threads you could use.

  • I haven’t crossed that bridge yet but that was kinda the idea i was going for. I’d seen it done before and figured it’s simple as couple little bits of metal and if you’re lazy you can get brackets premade on eBay, easy peasy

    I might have to use a gps bicycle speedo for a little bit though if I can’t get hold of the parts I need or my plan don’t work. I guess one way to keep miles low is to remove the device that counts them should circumstance force it for a little while 😂...

    Although that’s all very much at the future because without a certain someone moving his ass and helping me with something I’m stuck. Or am I??? I dunno, this is a blog after all isn't it? I suppose I ought to write about it.

    So as luck would have it I managed to find someone who for swapped their DT with a set of YZ426 forks (Facebook groups and their size do have their advantages)and I’m pretty sure they’re 100% identical to my YZ ones. Even better though the guy used the bearing cup method.
    You want to know the shocker though? He was a down to earth, nice bloke and was very helpful. I was humbled. How wholesome. None of that weird toxic one-up-manship you’d usually see from Facebook/the internet.
    Anyway said bloke was even nice enough to share with me his plan and measurements which as you can guess is very very helpful for me. alt text alt text
    Why is this so useful? Surely I could do it myself?

    Well this is the thing I’ve been relying on help from a family member to give me some help and explain some stuff because there’s parts to it I don’t understand. I get the concept and basic idea behind it. I think I’ve got the stuff I need for it it plans and measurements wise. I’m just stuck because I don’t know how to translate that information or understand the other basics behind it. In my mind I still compare bike forks to bmx forks. However if I understood all of that I wouldn’t have to relying on and stuck because my family member. I could go to the engineering shop and get them to make me the bearing cup I need this week.
    I guess that just about describes exactly why I’m at a standstill currently because even financially I can find a way to make it happen.

  • I didn’t think mounting the clocks was a problem, I thought it was the drive gear wheel/spacer that meshes to the Yz wheel?...

  • Precisely that @SpookDog! The issue isn’t bodging the clocks in, it’s making them useable in the first place

  • Have you managed to engineer (bodge!) anything yet? I haven’t had a chance to try yet. I’m sure it’s doable without too much ‘engineering’ 🙂

  • I haven’t had a chance to get a really good look into it. It’s just replacing the right side spacer with the gearwheel. Matching the diameter of the front wheel spindle and width. Then fixing 1 or 3 ‘teeth’ to the wheel hub to drive the gear-wheel...
    That’s oversimplifying it, but it 😜 ...
    I’ll get round to it when I finish MOT readying my bike. Weather s’been A bit of a bee-atch lately...
    If someone has done it already I’d love a link...

  • So it’s late
    Can’t sleep. No money. Tax and Mot ran out a few days ago and winters drawing in and my bike isn’t even stood on its own wheels.
    I need to do something and fast.

    I didn’t expect this to a be a 3 month thing. The lack of money, the for an MOT and the amount of time already passed etc has just made my way up my options on what I can really do. That’s 1) Say fuck this and just find a way to get it done on my own or 2) I just put the original front end and just forget about it for a while.

    I’m not one for giving up (and a storm vanished the original steering head bearings) so I started reading @Calum’s Leviathan project and the USD fork post to try and crack what I couldn’t understand rather then relying on someone else. In the process of reading it over for the 5th time a lightbulb clicked and I think I get it now.
    The thing is it doesn’t help me with the sketching up and taking measurements side of things, I hands down admit I don’t know where to start.

    However.... in a very very strange twist of fate things seemed to have worked out again.
    So the guy who I mentioned earlier who shared with me his USD plans and who I was pretty sure has the same forks as mine?
    Well it turns out they where Callum’s plans from the forum all along.

    How is this good? Well I did a little looking and in a twist of fate it turns out Cal’s ‘01 WR450 forks are identical to my ‘02 YZ’s.
    And there’s me thinking I was going to be different... 😂 Sorry mate 😂
    On the upside Cal I know I understand things a lot better now, makes my life a billion times easier and I can rely on you to point me in the right direction.

    Another thing, I’ve decided on selling one of my top ends. Which one? Probably the 4FU outfit (I couldn’t get definitive technical answers why ones better then the other, a lot of people prefer the P setup and I don’t think the £130 spent on nicasil plating is going to be as much as an improvement as £130 doing a good port job).

    My engine is healthy so touch wood and may someone smile down upon me... that she continues to run like a champ.
    Anything engine wise is all in the future. Need to get everything else chassis wise done first as originally planned.
    But when the time comes I want to port the top end, get a Mikuni TM30, zeely and just enjoy it having a Revvy little 125 two stroke for a good while. Nothing too fancy, expensive or crazy and still fairly reliable. I’m sure with a good port from what I’m told the results will still be plenty enjoyable enough.

    I’ve also now come to conclusion I’ve probably spent more time changing my bike and fiddling with it in my entire ownership then I have enjoying it. Worst off all it’s through no fault other then of my own either

  • So the plans I uploaded are good for a template, the part that slots into the DTR frame stays the same. The upper half you just measure the outer diameter of the race that fits your forks.

    The rest isn't really that all relevant. But you still need someone with a lathe to fabricate it for you.

    Personally, I would stick with the 4FU barrel. The 3MB00P barrel feels like it's lost power. The shift of the exhaust port doesn't work very well. The extra "performance" gained in the higher revs has just resulted in loss of performance low down.

    I would use the 4FU barrel and have that ported.

  • @Calum said in Stevie’s French '98, Mid-90's WR/YZ/DT (An idiotproof guide to building your own DTR):

    So the plans I uploaded are good for a template, the part that slots into the DTR frame stays the same. The upper half you just measure the outer diameter of the race that fits your forks.

    Wicked, thanks a lot for helping me get it sorted Cal and also for bearing with me when I didn’t quite get it. If what I found out last night is true ‘01 426 forks are the same as ‘02 yz.

    I mean it makes sense, looks the same and there parts are always coming up in searches and even the fork seals I bought where 96-03 yz250.
    I’m gonna see if I can cross reference it through Fowler’s and then go from there. Once I know that we’re laughing 😉

    luckily we have an engineers shop and a couple friends with lathes although given the fact I don’t want to rely on anyone I’ll probably just head to the local engineers shop. Just out of curiosity too what’d pay to make it (even if that’s just cost of materials)

    taking from what you said there I must agree. Upon reflection i don’t think my bike ever really like the dep pipe as much as the standard unrestricted pipe but that could just be me. IMO it felt like it lacked the mid range to be able to really pull hard as high into higher rpms. I don’t know though, it’s all just theory’s and spitball ideas. and was just generally a bit quicker.

    one advantage to a ported 4FU is I can make it 150cc and have it ported to 150cc and I only ever have to worry about replate it and the spec will always be the same unlike if I had to rebore everytime which would fuck up the port timings

  • @Stevie-Wonder

    The YZ headstock is longer than the DTR125 one, no?..
    The YZ125 headstock/clamps I have are threaded lower down. So all I have to do is tighten down the bearing with the ‘ring nut’ to the right spec, then put a spacer on (about 3/4 inch maybe), then put the top fork clamp plate on and tighten the dome nut on top to clamp it in place...
    I’ll have to measure the dome nut thread size, see if the ‘bearing ring’ are the same size or different. I think the previous owner threaded into the wider tube lower down. It seems to work...


    I’ve cracked uploading photos on here on my iPhone!

    Must say feels bloody good to bring this into the 21st century and it not just be walls of text now
    Here’s a couple pics to celebrate 🎉

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    Found this cool mural after an afternoon in the woods. Couldn’t pass up grabbing a photo.

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    One of the local slices of bliss I have the ability of being able to ride to with a motorbike.

    Only issue is now I’ve got about a year and half worth/500+ photos to sort through all of which are completely out of order. I’m sure one night with some beers I’ll get it done. 😂
    At least with everything sorted now posts become a lot easier for me, I don’t have to type as much because I can use photos and everything from here on in will come out chronologically as it happens.

  • Bike looks clean bud!

    My advice, don't modify it! That little gem will go up in value nicely.

  • @Calum yeah would be a shame for sure

  • @Calum said in Stevie’s French '98, Mid-90's WR/YZ/DT (An idiotproof guide to building your own DTR):

    Bike looks clean bud!

    My advice, don't modify it! That little gem will go up in value nicely.

    Well now you tell me!! Well it’s a bit bloody for that now don’t you think 😉😂

    Thank you for the compliments by the way, always appreciated.
    Believe it or not I actually picked one of the rougher bikes unit 5 had when I ventured there. Even better I almost had a completely different bike. I almost walked out of their with a KDX125sr if I’m honest with you, a much better bike in every way but not a “1998 Yamaha DT125R” like I’d dreamt of owning and searched ages for (that and the ‘KDX was an extra £200-300. Yes I know how rare the SR is too and my chances of buying another especially that clean and original are practically 0).
    But as the story goes it weren’t a DT made the same year I was so I wasn’t happy. I had to find one.
    I can’t even lie it was a bit obsessive I’d been searching high and low in every corner of the world, then one magical day one pops up for sale on EBay...
    “Yamaha DT125R 1998” - Romford 50 miles away.
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    I bloody shit myself. Worst thing was I don’t remember having the money available to me right away and having to spend a week watching it on eBay praying it didn’t sell because I couldn’t do anything yet (I didn’t get a lot of sleep that week 😂)
    Luckily though all went well and here we are!
    I think the thing that annoyed me the most though was the fact after nearly year and a half continuously looking me and my mum pull up to unit 5 only to find an identical 1998 registered bike parked next to mine not yet listed.
    Fucking typical.
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    I had to mute the sound so you don’t have to listen to my mum try charm Tony or my mouth dragging along the floor like a kid in a two stroke sweet shop. 😂

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    This was right after my first ride, I honestly couldn’t believe how smooth, comfortable and quiet she was. I remember a couple times trying to put her into powerband but getting scared because I hadn’t bought the bike yet, the yard was small and the engine cold.
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    Right next to mine stands an all original DTX. Wish I took a bit more interest in it now because it’s only now I realise how rare these models become.
    She was grubby girl compared to everything that was on display at Unit 5 at the time
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    But I’m honest with you seeing her grubbiness only made me feel more like I’d found a diamond in the rough and haggle the price even harder.
    I just remember seeing her looking all filthy and thinking “it’s my turn to take you home and love you now” 😂

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    Notice here Tony holds the bike whilst my mum used a bit of female charm. I remember backing the bike out and shitting myself like it was yesterday. Sidenote too: one of my favourite photos of my bike. There’s just so much signature 90’s OEM crosser style in there. The old Dunlop D952’s, graphics/colourway and the stance of the bike just make it for me
    Can you tell that I’m going to get a set of Kenda K270’s and probably gonna end up just replicating that like this?
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    After I bought her it was just a long 3 month wait for the DVLA to do their bit.
    During this time I just spent time getting to know the bike, looking back it’s crazy to think how foreign felt to me and how it blew the head of anything I’d ever rode before. Aside from no real previous experience it also blew my head off because everything was bone stock OEM.
    It could do little power wheelies pulling away in first and still sound as tame as your nans Yaris. Even better because of DVLA the only way I could ride it is by having little blast around my neighbourhood or very illegally through some trails so everything about it just felt fun, fast and naughty.
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    I took her to a track once too but I did about 5 laps without knobblies and decided that wasn’t how I wanted to break myself or my bike before it’s even registered
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    To be honest with you though Cal, I’m not really bothered by the value of her, I mean it’s nice that’s she worth a bit but ultimately useless to me because I could never sell her. It’s
    I’m the only registered keeper and she just means to much to me.
    Plus you just can’t put a price on the smiles the bike gives everyday. Wether that be popping down some local country roads, doing the occasional wheelie for the local yoofs, brapping your bike for a dads little boy or making some older guys day by stopping to listen to his two stroke glory days, letting him ask questions and appreciating eachothers history we just shared.

    Now whilst money and the bike mean nothing to me condition on the other hand matters a lot.
    I want the bike looking better then I did when I first restored it.

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    Here’s what she looked like right after she turned legal and I was happy restoring her to a decent condition. (It was her first outing to Gt Bentley bike night. It was a special night because my mate got his ‘88 KMX out especially for it just so the DTR and KMX could park side by side eachother. To my surprise even amongst £20,000 custom choppers they still pulled a little crowd.)

    Now it is to my understanding you can’t keep everything perfect forever (especially when you ride it and use it like it was intended for) but it won’t stop me doing everything in my power to try. Oddly enough preservation was actually one of the earliest and biggest driving factors for modifying her, my thought being that wear and tear is inevitable but I can’t break what isn’t on the bike.
    Essentially modify the bike, put 100% the original bits etc in the loft, forget about it so that in 5? 10? 30?/however many years time I can just pull them out and reconfigure her back to OEM settings.
    Boom, all the parts are original to my bike specifically and everything just how it was when I first got her.
    It also means that any mod that I think wasn’t worth it/I didn’t like can be undone eassyyyy.

    I must admit feel a bit guilty seeing how battered a lot of other people’s bikes began their lives like before turning into the builds they are now.
    It does feel almost criminal knowing how clean it is and then ripping it a part anyway.

    It’s funny actually. One of the earliest things I ever remember from this forum was callum saying that after everything he’d done to his own bike the stock form was the most fun.
    Now only a year and half into my ownership when I’ve not even done a lot to my bike and I already feel that sentiment heavily.
    As mentioned in my last post, it dawned on me I spent more time fiddling with my bike then I have enjoying it.
    Fairplay I’ve had 6k worth of enjoyment out of it but most of that the bike wasn’t working 100% due an improperly set up powervalve or has been on some knobbies that are way too big for the bike.

  • @Stevie-Wonder That sounds grand. I love my SM setup, but trust me, the bike is most fun in stock trim. 100% believe that. Want a fast bike, do your test, want a bike that puts smiles on your face.... Well you found it!

    My bike got stolen and smashed to pieces and I was sick of the sight of it, hence why it went and got modified. But if the bike never got stolen then I would have left it stock.

    Part of the my enjoyment back then came from the rebuild. But I have long since grown tired of that and the headaches!

  • My head stock

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    Is this a Dtr one pressed in?...

  • @SpookDog
    What forks are those? And let me post a couple pics for comparison

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    Here’s the DTR’s stem at the front. A lil stubby chode

    Then YZ one at the back

    I just had a quick glance at both pictures for comparison and yes it does look like the DTR stem. I don’t suppose those are Sinnis apache forks?

    It took a lot of explaining for me to get it why you can’t just press the stems like I originally hoped and precisely why a USD swap is taking over 3 months.


    I toy’d with the idea of enjoying the originality of my bike and just getting some 200R forks and selling the USD’s to make some cash but I gave up in the end after having to deal with facebook buyers and realising the 200 forks sold.
    (I find out those progressive springs will drop right into the 200R forks by the way)

    Wasn’t particularly gutted, I was just chancing the idea as it was anyway.
    Although, I had thought of a really really cool build idea that a now couldn’t do without those forks. The idea included having yellow gaiters. Not sure if it really was an idea or an excuse for me to buy yellow for gaiters for the bike to wear...
    I guess we’ll never know 😂

    Luckily though whilst searching for parts I stumbled some well ridden survivor WR200’s and some 89-90 YZ’s that give me inspiration.
    I also started to look into custom YZ builds from 98-02 just to see what else everyone was doing with their bikes around that time and what kind of things you could customise