Yamaha DT3 250 Scrambler by David King

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

Today, we are thrilled to present the first bike project from David King, a senior Mechanical Engineering student from Midland, Virginia, who says he was inspired by the bikes he saw on our site. The result is this 1973 DT3 (DT250) scrambler, which was “genuinely shed-built” during David’s last two summers.  Says David:

“I learned so much from this project I didn’t expect to, like how to use my mom’s sewing machine, upholster a seat, weld, tune a carb, and mix and spray quality paint.”

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

That is music to our ears, young man, and we are honored that BikeBound had some small part in inspiring you. Below, we get the full story from David on this mean little two-stroke scrambler.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler:  In the Builder’s Words

Yamaha DT3 Scrambler

(Words by David King. Highlights by us.)

This was my first bike project and was inspired by the bikes I saw on your site. I fell in love with the nostalgic and capable look of the simple scrambler, especially 2-smokers. As a senior Mechanical Engineering student, I needed a summer project to keep my technical mind active and this genuinely shed built bike did just that.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

I’ve always loved tinkering and problem solving so learning how to shorten the rear loop, upholster a seat, design a custom headlight, and clean up the controls made the experience so enjoyable. I bought the bike last summer for super cheap. It is actually a ’72 MX250 engine in a ’73 DT3 frame. It was completely spray painted flat black and it was the ugliest thing but all I cared about was it was a vintage 2-stroke and it ran.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

I had to return to school in the fall without touching it but my first big break home I stripped it down, detabbed the frame, and cut and welded the rear loop forward. Again I had to leave her for the spring semester but it gave me plenty of time to get ideas on modifications and colors.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

When this summer started, I spent all day, every day on the bike. There is so much custom work on the bike that progress was slower than I had hoped but I pushed through.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

I learned so much from this project I didn’t expect to, like how to use my mom’s sewing machine, upholster a seat, weld, tune a carb, and mix and spray quality paint. I am perhaps most proud of my custom handlebar controls which are the smallest I have ever seen or my unique light pod which I mounted in one of my grandpa’s old tractor tail-lights I found lying around the barns.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

The only thing on the bike that I outsourced was the engine rebuild to my new friend Steve at the local Yamaha shop because I wanted the peace of mind that it would be done right. It had crankshaft bearings so rusty they could give you tetanus with a single glance.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

The new pod filter required some tuning and re-jetting but now it rips. The bike is street legal and registered as an antique so I can blow blue smoke out in the fields and around town!

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

I am currently looking for my next build, probably a modern, off-road, 2-cylinder machine. I would encourage any tinkerers to take on a project like this because of how manageable and rewarding it is.

Yamaha DT250 Scrambler

DT3 Modification List:

  • Shortened Rear Loop
  • Custom seat-pan and seat upholstery
  • Minimized battery box
  • Relocated ignition key
  • Simplified rear fender and mud guard
  • Completely updated and simplified wiring harness
  • Updated 12V lights all around including LED brake and turn strip at rear
  • Brake light modulator
  • Black Oak LED Light Pod in antique tractor tail-light housing
  • Continental TKC-80 tires
  • Oil tank and injector delete
  • Custom tank color and graphics
  • Tachometer and tach gearing delete
  • Renthal Bars
  • Biltwell Thruster Grips
  • Mini Speedo
  • Custom dash indicator lights
  • Fiberglass Exhaust Wrap
  • Rebuilt engine including new crank bearings, connecting rod, clutch disks, piston, and rings

Night Shots

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One Comment

  1. Well done David King, awesome custom build, you’ve made a remarkably beautiful machine, wish I had the capability and mechanical knowledge to put my 85 RZ350 into a cafe racer, but I’m flying blind. No mechanical knowledge and floundering after a complete strip down. You’ve inspired me.

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