Tale #5 - What's an Enduro?

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Head to your local motorcycle festival, group ride, or friendly dealership and ask a few people what they think an enduro bike is. You will likely get a wide variety of answers. They are certainly built for softer surfaces including a mix of packed dirt, sand, gravel, and mulch. Long distances are also a part of the equation; as the name suggests, they are designed to “endure” strenuous conditions. In general they aren’t interested in sleek looks, luxury, or fancy features. Similar to a motocross bike, they have a lightweight frame but the enduro will usually have a larger fuel capacity and a slightly cushier seat and in many cases the enduro can be street legal. We’re going to sum up the enduro by calling it  a long-distance off-road competition motorcycle that is specifically created to perform on dirt as well as the occasional paved roads.

We had a chance to chat about a particularly cool specimen when we were out at Vintage Moto Fest at Road America earlier this month. This is a 1975 Yamaha DT 250. Retrospeed performed a concourse restoration on it in 2018. Their customer wanted this bike to look exactly like it would have when it rolled off the line at the factory. As with most enduros, it had plenty of wear and tear from being ridden on and off road through the years, but was running when brought in for its restoration. 

One particularly tricky part of the project was the rear shocks. Yamaha rear shocks from a DT 250 are not made to be rebuilt. These were sealed units from the factory. Retrospeed managed to rebuild them nonetheless! Another challenge was the request from the owner for a “buddy seat.” Finding the factory chrome bar and factory buddy seat from Yamaha was a treasure hunt, but the owner had grandkids who needed a place to sit for rides! 

The nature of enduros means that these older bikes have seen decades of hard riding both on pavement and trails. Finding a good “core” makes all the difference in a successful concourse restoration. In this case, the customer sourced the core, and Retrospeed took it from there. What a fun bike to learn about and chat about during a weekend filled with vintage bikes and the stories that accompany them.

If you’re a fan of enduros, we recommend pairing your off-road adventure with a Torc T-3 helmet and some Mojave goggles to protect your head and eyes while you’re adventuring. And if you’re out in the hot summer sun, the Stellar Atmosphere Airflow armored shirt and leggings are made of mesh to keep you cool but protected during your off-road travels. 


Ride Safe,

The Team at Sully’s 

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