My First Bike: Yamaha DT50M

Dave Willis had his work cut out with his first bike – a Yamaha DT50M – as his first job was to change the main bearings.

The trail bike was five years old when he bought it in 1985 and the seller told him it needed a new main bearing. Hence the £185 price tag.

It was the only motorbike he did not buy from Orwell Motorcycles.

“The main bearing was going, which was why I got it cheap. So my first job, as a 16-year-old, was to change the main bearing,” Dave explained.

“I borrowed my dad’s three-leg puller, which he had made as an apprentice toolmaker, to remove something on the bike and managed to break it. He was not very happy.”

But the problems did not end there.

“I decided, while I had it apart, that I would get it rebored and had an oversized piston. But I didn’t put the circlips in right on the gudgeon pin and had to get it repaired again a few weeks later.”

So you will be pleased to hear that Dave does not spend much time in the our workshop!

The result of the oversized piston was that it boosted the little 50’s performance.

“It was quick – one of the quickest of my gang’s 50s. It used to do about 56mph,” he said.

“I went off the back a few times doing wheelies and broke the plastic rear mudguard. I had to repair it by using a soldering iron to melt it,” he recalled.

“It was a great little bike.”

Dave traded the DT50M in against a bigger DT125 from Orwell Motorcycles and carried on getting his bikes there before buying the company.