“The rider…needs it all to work so he doesn’t become coyote dinner in the middle of the night.”
The Yamaha DT series is our favorite line of two-stroke enduro motorcycles ever made, launched in 1968 with the legendary DT-1 (250cc). The 360cc RT-1 followed shortly thereafter, and 1973 saw the Yamaha DT360, offering 32 horsepower at 6000 rpm, a top speed of 83 mph, and a wet weight of less than 300 pounds.
Enter Joseph Rumble (@squeakyrumble), a photographer and sometime customizer out of the Inland Empire region of California. When a friend of a friend brought him this ’74 DT360 for some service, they decided to go farther with updated electronics, lighting, bodywork, and more to “drag it into the modern age.”
Joseph is particularly proud of the modernized lighting system, using low-draw LEDs, the original stator, and a 12-volt system wired from scratch:
“The lighting system, combined with how and when the bike will be ridden, is what I’m proud of most. It can’t be fully enjoyed until it’s being used in the moment by the rider, who needs it all to work so he doesn’t become coyote dinner in the middle of the night.”
Below, we get the full story on this DT360 vinduro, nicknamed “The Big Green Stink.”
Yamaha DT360 Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Joseph Rumble. I photograph and occasionally customize motorcycles in the Inland Empire region of California.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The moto is a 1974 Yamaha DT360
• Why was this bike built?
A friend of a friend brought this to me for some service, but we decided to go a little further by wiring it for 12v LED lighting and fitting new bodywork to drag it into the modern age.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The owner had a style in mind for sure. He envisioned the stance and bought himself some modern fenders, as well as that groovy yellow headlight. Overall he wanted a Dual Sport scrambler with some vintage class that could really be ridden hard, day or night.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
A rear rack was fabricated and welded to the frame, the rear fender was bolted to the rack. The lower triple tree had to be modified to allow the modern front fender to bolt on, to ensure he could just buy new fenders if (when) the bike goes down in the dirt, rather than chopping up a brand new fender every time.
The owner went for modern handlebars and levers, as well as a custom seat (one of those aftermarket ‘customs’ bought online). To mount it, I fabricated a bracket that let the seat bolt on and flip upwards to allow access to the two-cycle oil tank, just like the huge OEM saddle did.
The 6v electrical system was thrown out. I wired it from scratch with a small 12v lead acid battery powering an LED H4
headlight up front and a low-draw enduro LED tail light out back. The original 6v lighting coil now feeds a 12v rectifier that keeps the battery fed. Only the original Keyswitch was re-used. The speedometer, tachmeter and other safety gear were tossed aside in the name of weight savings.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
The Big Green Stink.
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
It was fun to design a 12v system that used the original stator with no modifications or rewinding needed. If not for the availability of quality LED lights, we would absolutely need a higher output stator and the halogen headlight we would be using still wouldn’t be bright enough to ride alone down a pitch black off-road trail. The lighting system, combined with how and when the bike will be ridden, is what I’m proud of most. It can’t be fully enjoyed until it’s being used in the moment by the rider, who needs it all to work so he doesn’t become coyote dinner in the middle of the night.
Stolen from Joseph’s IG…
Too damn beautiful not to include…
“A long, long time ago and not so very far away, someone described The Perfect Motorcycle through a dreamy vision, the bike that could go everywhere and do everything. That motorcycle lived in the hearts and souls of every rider who could buy, but could not yet build their ultimate moto. That bike was born today, and it is a Points Ignition big-bore, two-stroke Street-Legal Enduro, burning pre-mixed, high-octane unleaded fuel. Rolling on dirtbike knobbies, pumping photons down the road (preferably a trail or total wilderness) via completely modern, efficient, light-emitting diodes, powered by a modern battery and a full 12 volt system conversion. Rumble On.”