Motorcycle enthusiasts often find their passion in the most unexpected places, and for Tim Urquhart, it all began with a neglected 1989 Yamaha DT175. The bike had languished in a local mechanic’s shop for over a year, with the owner reluctant to pay the bill. But for Tim, this weathered machine held untapped potential, and he saw an opportunity to transform it into something extraordinary. The cost? A payment of the overdue bill plus an additional $200, amounting to a mere $600 for a runner.
From Run-Down to Revved-Up
Tim’s inspiration for the project came from coach builders like Christopher Runge and Mark Nugent, who could transform a simple sheet of metal into something truly remarkable. With this Yamaha DT175, Tim aimed to master basic metal shaping, become proficient with an English wheel, and learn the art of welding aluminum. It was a journey that promised both challenges and rewards.
The Beauty of Unconventionality
One of the most intriguing aspects of Tim’s project is the unconventional approach he took. He wasn’t trying to turn a high-performance sports bike into a cafe racer; instead, he chose a rugged, agricultural motorcycle and gave it a modern cafe racer twist. This unique blend of styles created a truly distinctive machine that defies expectations.
Trial and Error: The Path to Perfection
As Tim delved into the project, he encountered the challenges of working with unfamiliar materials and techniques. Hydroforming metal was a new endeavour, and the expansion chamber proved to be a formidable adversary. Tim’s dedication and persistence led to multiple attempts, each accompanied by its share of scrap metal. But with each setback, he learned valuable lessons and steadily improved his metalworking skills.
Power Perfected, Not Overdone
While the Yamaha DT175 may not be a powerhouse, Tim ensured that its performance was finely tuned. Producing around 20 horsepower, this machine may not break speed records, but it promises an enjoyable ride. With the expert tuning assistance of Brad from Tracker and Co, the bike’s power output was optimised, providing the rider with a satisfying and balanced experience.
Tim Urquhart’s journey for a neglected Yamaha DT175 to a one-of-a-kind cafe racer is unconventional. It’s a reminder that, in the world of customization, the beauty often lies in the unexpected, and sometimes, it’s the unconventional choices that lead to the most remarkable results. Tim’s project serves as an inspiration for all riders and builders, reminding us that with determination, creativity, and a willingness to learn, any motorcycle can be transformed into a work of art on wheels.