Tarmac Smoker: Yamaha DT175 “Calima” Supermoto

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

A road racer rebuilds his father’s forgotten enduro into a tarmac smoker…

The Yamaha DT175 was a two-stroke, street-legal enduro that debuted in 1973. It weighed just 218 pounds dry, and the reed-valve induction engine made 15-17 horsepower and 11 ft-lb of torque. While those numbers might not sound very impressive, these machines were lightweight, well-balanced, and scored incredibly high in the fun department. In fact, we have two of them in the BikeBound stable!

“It is solidly built and, when ridden with skill, is a great mix of competition trial and motocross machinery with the added bonus of being road legal too.” —Classic Motorbikes

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

Enter Sebastian Cardona Correa of Colombia, an IT solutions architect and semipro racer who learned to ride on his father’s 1982 Yamaha DT175 “Calima” — a common nickname for the bike in the Colombian market, short for “calibmatic carburetion.” Years later, Sebastian decided to restore his father’s old DT:

“This is my father’s bike that my whole family grew up on, so it has a big sentimental value — and the bike had been abandoned in a corner of the garage. So in the beginning, the idea was to fix the bike and use it in the city.”

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

However, an even better idea soon came to him:  to rebuild the bike as a motard and use it for race training! Working closely with his race mechanic, JVR Motorcycles, Sebastian transformed the bike into a track-ready two-stroke supermoto, fitting 17-inch wheels, upgrading the suspension for circuit racing, rebuilding the engine with performance parts, and making the old DT look as good as she performs.

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

In the end, Sebastian’s father loved the build so much he gifted his son his treasured “Calima.” And Sebastian already has more plans for the bike…

“This motorcycle was born with the idea of being a training bike, but with the end of project, I think that I will use the bike in competition and it will be part of the decoration of my apartment.”

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

Below, we get the full story on this hot little two-stroke supermotard!

Yamaha DT175 Motard: Builder Interview

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

I am an amateur semi professional rider from Colombia with a big passion for racing and motorcycles. My father taught me to ride on his “Calima,” but I really began to learn about racing with an R6R and rode with a friend. In 2017 I began to race in the local championship. In my normal life I am an IT Solutions Architect.

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

Yamaha DT175 1982. In Colombia, this model of motorcycle is most common name “Calima”, like a shortcut of calibmatic carburation.

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

• Why was this bike built?

This is my father’s bike that my whole family grew up on, so it has a big sentimental value — and the bike had been abandoned in a corner of the garage. So in the beginning, the idea was to fix the bike and use it in the city.

But then I thought of the option to use it for training, like a motard, and with the important advisory of my race mechanic (JVR Motorcycles), I began the project in 3 steps:

  1. Suspension, brakes, chassis, and rims
  2. Engine
  3. Appearance.

My father was very happy with the end product and decided to give me his treasure.

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

The idea was a little motard motorcycle.

Yamaha DT175 Supermoto

• What custom work was done to the bike?

The majority of the work in this bike is custom. The engine was completely rebuilt and upgraded with pieces from a motocross bike. The original suspension was meant for off-road and now it’s for circuit racing, like a motard with rim 17″.

Yamaha DT175 Motard

This bike has a monoshock from an R6R, crankshaft from a CR125, TM 37mm, and a lot of performance pieces.

Yamaha DT175 Motard

• Does the bike have a nickname?

“Calima.” For now I do not have a specific name because it’s my  father’s motorcycle, and he does not have a specific name.

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

This motorcycle was born with the idea of being a training bike, but with the end of project, I think that I will use the bike in competition and it will be part of the decoration of my apartment.

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

All, a lot of the work, it’s manual, and I learned a lot about mechanics and the art of the 2T — and the appearance is great too.

Yamaha DT175 Motard

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7 Comments

  1. Never leave you helmet on the ground. It’s bad luck and it means a rider is in trouble and needs help.

  2. Eric LeVine

    Very unique build. Nice work.

    How did you achieve that gold color on the expansion chamber?

    Place your helmet wherever you like. It’s a flippin’ photo shoot.

  3. Dean Gobey

    That’s an awesome build
    You are so privileged to still have the bike in the family

  4. Nice project.
    Can you show me a little bit more about the rear suspension? You create a new support to the monoshock from an R6R. Because it was shorter than the original.
    I have 3 Dt Mx 125 one of them is to flat track races. It´s 8 cm lower than the original but with the original monoshock, but with a transformation on the rear.
    That´s the reason to ask you to show me the support you made.
    Thanks.
    franciscoloboavila@gmail.com

  5. David Mcrae

    I had one for a few years before college. I can’t say it was my favorite bike, since I’ve loved them all, but it was one of the over all best that I have had, and the best dirt/street hands down, even better than my DT-250 which it replaced — which surprised me greatly, though both were very capable on the street and in the dirt. I rode it for 3 years and it was mint, but I left it with my Dad when I went to school, and my half brother took it out and completely totaled it in one day. Totally destroyed it. I was devastated. I always thought it would make a GREAT Super-Motard. Be safe, enjoy it, and never let it go, they will run forever if you can get parts.

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