Busch and Busch Yamaha DT400 enduro

No sooner had the doors of the 2015 One Motorcycle Show closed for another year, than the brothers Busch and Busch hit me up with their contribution to the show. The Busch portfolio is a mix of custom v-twin beasts and retro off road classics and it was the the venerable Yamaha DT400 that became the focus of their latest project. While it may look very little like Yamaha had originally conceived it the brothers paid careful attention to making sure this DT400 was as functional as it is good looking.

“This 1978 Yamaha DT400 enduro started out as a non-running heap, given to us by our neighbor down the street who needed it out of their garage.  It had been left for dead in the middle of Nevada one winter, stuffed behind a tree in a snowstorm when the clutch burned out and left the owner stranded. When he went back the next spring to retrieve it, he pretty much just shelved it for the next couple years.  The tank leaked, the tires were shot, the fork seals, clutch, headlight, brake and tach cables, etc. were all broken.  We did what we could to get it roadworthy, before deciding that it needed a completely new set of bodywork to replace the leaky tank and the corroded plastic.”

“So, we set out to remake every piece in aluminium. Some of the pieces worked right off, some needed to be remade a couple times before the entire look of the bike was set, and I commissioned my brother Danny to do all of the finish and polish work. About 50 hours later, it had come full circle and every bit shined like chrome (which most people assume that it is, rather than aluminium). Neat little bits include the spare fuel bottle on the right side, the custom aluminium rack, the exapandable saddle bag, the exhaust which was reworked from stock and shortened and capped with Supertrapp discs and new side panels sunk in several inches to keep it narrow. Also, the headlight was swapped to a halogen H4 unit and the handlebar has a little crash pad added.  The tail light is a LED unit with integrated flashers, and the lens is a piece of something off of a car, housed in a custom aluminium trim piece.”

“The fuel tank is actually the second one that we made, since the first ended up crooked and didn’t fit the look of the bike. It worked out well, since the second tank holds about a gallon more fuel, and the curves are so much more elegant! The diamond pleated seat was sort of a trick – trying to get the pleats to match up in the middle at the hump proved to be very time consuming, but it was worth the effort in the end since it is very sleek, but still comfortable.”

“The frame is actually shortened about 6″ in the rear but it is pretty subtle since the rear fender still extends to the same spot as the stock plastic one-  we wanted the same amount of mud protection as was delivered from Yamaha.  The front fender is only slightly smaller than stock!  We remade the weak skid guard out of 1/8” aluminium plate, and it helps protect the pipe more.  We also added an aluminium rod bash guard to the front of the pipe, and a heat shield to the upper portion.  The stock chain guard on the top and bottom were also remade in aluminium, and we added a mud guard to keep junk off of the air cleaner, which replaces the clunky stock air box. Overall, this might be the most “useable” on and off road bike that we have put out, but maybe that is a sign of old age?  Wanting everything to work and be easily accessible, from the signals to the horn, to the brakes and even luggage?  If so, then we are old men, and what better bike to have than a dual sport, right?  hahaha!”

If you remember the last Busch & Busch build I featured, the XLCH Ironhead Salt Racer, you’re probably thinking they’ve developed an addiction to polished alloy, but I’m sure if you toiled over bodywork as beautiful as this, painting it would be that last thing you’d want to do.