As with most of my projects to date, this was undertaken as a learning experience. I wanted to learn more about the mechanics of motorbikes, learn about painting preparation and finishing, and general fabrication. I’ve also loved bikes, motor-powered or otherwise, since I was very young, so it was a natural progression.
I looked around for a bike, one that suited me to ride and also wasn’t too difficult to work on and find parts for. I found this Yamaha DT 125 on Donedeal.ie, for €800. It was in need of some restoration but mechanically wasn’t in bad condition. It drove and handled well, perfect for this project, so I bought it. And the work began.
After researching how to paint DIY style, it became apparent that achieving a high gloss finish was quite difficult. This, coupled with my love for the contrast between matte colours and shiny accent pieces, made up my mind to go with a matte black on gold colour scheme. I decided to paint the petrol tank, and all plastics matte black, with things like handlebars and other bits in a bright gold.
Style-wise I wanted to get away from the trails bike look, and more for a supermoto look. I initially wanted to get wide supermoto wheels, but alas, this project was on a budget and supermoto wheels turned out to be quite expensive! Furthermore, it would have required modifying axles etc, so I decided against it. The wheels on the bike were in need of at least a refurbishment however.
I set to work stripping her back, cleaning as I went, removing all plastic body parts and putting the re-usable ones either on the “to be painted” pile or on the “to be sold on” pile.
For parts I mainly used e-bay, which was slightly hit-and-miss. I picked up wheels from a classified ad, again on Donedeal.ie (great site!).
The painting was by far the hardest part, I found out the hard way that its all down to the prep work. Otherwise the DT’s are quite easy to work on as everything’s open and easy to get to. By the end of it all I had spent quite a bit on parts. I bought numerous mudguards, second hand wheels, brake pads, chain and sprocket set, a gold bolt kit for the fairings, gold handlebars, a workshop stand (huge help), fork gaiters, numerous lights for both front and back, LED indicators, spark plug, seat cover, grips, end can, horn, tax disc holder, and a custom made reg plate. In the end my only regret was that I didn’t have time/money to properly paint/powdercoat the swingarm. It was the only thing letting it down. But overall I’m quite happy with the result, and so too was the German guy I sold it on to. This guy didn’t say a word after seeing the bike on the stand in the sun, he just let me waffle on about everything I had done, but I don’t think he was even listening, he just walked around it with a big grin on his face the whole time. He got a good deal as he got all the other spare parts too! I probably should have asked for more… oh well. Good learning experience, and on to the next one, an RVF 400 nc35. Nice!
Pics: As luck would have it, all of the pics I took while doing the work, and re-doing, and then re-doing again, have been lost to a corrupted hard drive. However, the final pics remain. Let me know what you think, and share if you like!