Yamaha XT250 Scrambler

Yamaha XT250 Scrambler

The first generation Yamaha XT250, built throughout the 1980s, was the bike that Rambo rode in the movie in the series, First Blood, which came out in 1982. The bike has long remained a stalwart of backroads, muddy paths, and farms and ranches where a lightweight, bullet-proof dual-sport motorcycle is needed.  The air-cooled thumper offered 22 horsepower through 249cc motor, with a wet weight of 270 pounds.

Yamaha XT250 Scrambler

Enter Gareth Harris of Ivybridge, UK, who found a “knackered” (tired/beat up/worn out) 1979 XT250 bereft of paperwork and care. What began as a simple flip evolved into this lovely scrambler, which remains true to the original while losing weight and gaining class. Below, we get the full story from Gareth on the build.

Yamaha XT250 Scrambler:  Builder Interview

Yamaha XT250 Scrambler

(Answers by Gareth Harris.  Highlights by us.)

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

I’m 45, first big re-build but I’ve had bikes since the age of 11. Used to ride my Puch 50 around the garden. Built the XT in my garage myself apart from the paintwork which was done by Art Attack Designs, Plymouth.

Yamaha XT250 Scrambler

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

Yamaha XT250 1979

• Why was this bike built?

Just saw an old knackered XT with no paperwork! For sale and thought I’d buy it and register it and maybe sell on. Two days later it was stripped!

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

Wanted a custom scrambler that was sympathetic to the original XT.

Yamaha XT250 Scrambler

• What custom work was done to the bike?
  • Completely rebuilt and restored
  • Custom paint work
  • Lucas headlight
  • Rental bars
  • Polished engine and forks
  • New bearings (everywhere)
  • Custom billet petrol cap
  • K&N filters
  • Airbox removed
  • Battery eliminator
  • New switchgear
  • Custom tail tidy and footrest hangers
  • Custom seat
  • Talon sprockets and gold chain
  • MOT and V5
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

Probably the polished engine done with a Dremmel.

Follow Gareth on Instagram:  @gafferharris



  1. Keith Whitehead

    The bike Stallone rode was a DT175 two stroke!

  2. Hello,
    What battery eliminator did you use? Was there any rewiring required to install it?
    I noticed the after market speedometer. Which one did you use? Since there is a cable to the front hub, did you have to change the speedometer drive to make it work properly?

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