Giancarlo Sulmonte’s 1973 Yamaha DT250
Giancarlo Sulmonte’s parents didn’t really want him riding on the road so, like any good teenager would, he manipulated the situation. He bought a dirt bike and then promptly converted it into a street racer. His 1973 Yamaha DT250 was wasting away in his friend’s dad’s garage. Sulmonte, then 19, was working on a car project at the time. He thought it was a pretty cool bike but didn’t think about it for a few months. One day he got up the nerve to call his friend’s dad and offer $300. The man countered with $150 (why can’t this happen to all of us?) and Sulmonte took it home.
Sulmonte started riding on a Honda 50 on his 7th birthday and continued to ride dirt bikes, but only on trails and farms. Today he is a community college student and an estimator for a painting contractor in Frederick, MD. Now 21, he has art and fabrication experience but this was his first motorcycle build.
“This build started out how many probably do,” he said. “I saw a cafe racer video on YouTube and I was hooked from there. At first, he wanted a bump stop seat with clubman bars. “I tried it and it didn't fit the bike.” So, he went with a brat style seat, clip on bars and rear sets.
“I ordered the headlight by mistake on eBay. I thought it was too big but I tried it anyway and it is probably my favorite part of the bike. It is branded "overland" and "monogram" on the front of it.”
Early in the project he shortened and de-tabbed the rear loop and bent up a seat pan for it. Then he took the bike apart and de-tabbed the frame and welded on tabs for the rear set mounts. Then he cut out new rear set brackets.
The next step was to assemble some of the bike for a parts mockup to see and measure how much he needed to shorten the forks. He fabbed up some headlight mounts and clip on handle bars, mounted the turn signals and made up a license plate mount.
He made the metal (steel) seat pan and had it upholstered. “They wrapped the leather around the back and used some sort of contact cement to attach it.”
He made clutch, front brake, and throttle cables using Venhill cable kits he found on eBay. He even bent up a new kick start lever because the old one warped when the motor kicked back.
After 18-24 months of toiling around on weekends he doesn’t have a hard estimate on the cost but he thinks he has less than $2500 into it (including the original $150 investment).
DCC parts Used
Dime City salutes the independent builders whether you’re on build number one or 100.
(via Dime City Cycles)