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Boneyard Customs’ ’74 Yamaha TD250

Posted on January 28, 2013 by Andrew in Brat. 56 comments

Adelaide gets a bit of a bum rap as far as Australian states go. Ever since a really disturbing sequence of events took place there in the ’90s, it’s been referred to by fellow countrymen as Australia’s ‘mass murder capital’. And the label isn’t without warrant, as the stats show that South Australians are much more likely to end up becoming a bunch of bones buried in a backyard than the rest of the country. Enter a guy called Heath, someone who is, we’re glad to say, quite the opposite. He’s called his shop ‘Boneyard Customs’ as he likes to resurrect old, scrap bikes from the dead and turn them back into living, breathing, roaring rides. Which is just what’s happened to the bike you see here. We’re sure you’ll agree when we say it’s a killer too, just not in the serial sort of way.

Here’s Heath “Twigz” Twigden. “I am from Adelaide, South Australia, I run an after-hours workshop called Boneyard Kustoms which resurrects bikes and other bits from the boneyard. I customise anything I can get my hands on, but mainly 70’s Japanese stuff. From a young age I remember Dad taking me to the Speedway, and this has influenced my style of bike building. I like the Speedway bikes for their real lack of clutter.”

“When I first started working on motorcycles, I could only ever get my hands on the small capacity bikes – but I still love working on them to this day because they are small, light and relatively easy to work on, and there are literally endless options for customising. I got my first bike at the age of 12, and have rarely been without one since. ”

“Like many custom bike guys, I started mucking around with push bikes from a young age. Mainly just stripping and painting, swapping out parts and adding fatter rubber. Years later this grew into full custom pushies, and welding up bikes pulled from hard rubbish. The longer and lower the better – although they are barely ride-able, they look so damn cool!

The natural progression from this was custom motorcycles. I built my first bike in 2007, a ’72 Honda CB350 in a bobber style, which was completed with a lot of hand-made, one-off parts and spares from two separate donor bikes.”

“Fast forward to now – and the ’74 Yamaha DT250. The idea behind the bike was a flat track-style, street legal machine. I actually ride one of these bikes in Vintage Motorcross, and I thought it would be an awesome street bike. From an Ebay buy that was in very original and sad condition, to a nut and bolt restoration in house, the only thing I didn’t do was true the wheels.

The gearbox would not go past second, so the motor was stripped and rebuilt top to bottom. I blasted and 2pac’d the frame, put 9″ struts on the rear and some shortened forks from a Suzuki TS185 to get the bike much closer to the ground. I took the good chrome rims from the same Suzuki and laced them to the original hubs, which were blasted and 2pac’d cleared for a nice, raw finish.”


“Nothing like blasting down the road
sounding like a swarm of bees!”


“The paint is DNA Candy Orange which is very close to the original colour. The seat is the original, with the foam re-shaped with an angle grinder, and the cover re-streched. The rear guard was also cut down and re-shaped. The pipe is the original with an old junk pile muffler to keep it quiet-ish. Although not a highly modified custom, it was a very time consuming project. It is a light, fast, and scary bone rattler that is so much fun to ride. Nothing like blasting down the road sounding like a swarm of bees!”

  • Mrityunja Singh

    Got that special something…..

  • Now&Zen

    Kind of one of those ‘ Not Bad ‘ but on the other hand ‘ So What ? ‘ customs IMO .

  • lenny bubble visor

    It’s a DT250 🙂

    Cool bike. Like the lines a lot and what a nice seat!

    With a two tone tank like this it would be perfect

    • Thanks Lenny, we will correct.

    • arcticrider

      I have been searching for pic’s of vintage 2 stroke trail and mx bikes in street trim and this is about the second one I have seen, the other was a suzuki 350 bighorn roadracer. I have seen quite a few of the vintage 2 stroke flattrack bikes. Which seem to have had an influence on this bike. I like the simple economy of this build, original seat pan and upholstery, rear strut’s and few if any structural changes of the frame.
      looks fast!

      • Yes it was an economy build, recycle, reuse, rerub a whole heap of shiny new parts do nothin for me!

    • yeah that tank does look sweet!

  • itsmefool

    My heavy-set uncle once sat on my bike…this is what happened! At least he repainted the tank and fender for me.

  • huh

    i love it! the color is great.

    • Thanx heaps for the good comments guys, I’ve enjoyed the feedback!

  • Kind of looks like someone REAL heavy took a sit down on this thing and broke it. I’d still ride it, though.

    • nathas909

      Thats why I like it!!!

  • This pipe looks scary, or hmmm…ready to burn you better ??
    Some sort of protection there is crucial I think.

    • This is the standard pipe in the standard position, it looks like it would come close to your leg

      but i aint been burnt yet!

      • Photos can be very tricky sometimes, that’s why comments are ‘false’ and the commenters are the ‘wise motor-idiots’ very often, hahaha!

        Thanks for the clarification Heath, keep up the good work !

  • Hummbug

    Very cool! And without trying too hard. Like a lot of Japanese custom builders – effortless cool. And it runs down the road in a cloud of noisy smoke – subtle!

  • Now thats a low, low 2 stroke. Has a sort of flat track meets speedway vibe to it. Love Yam ring-a-dings and this one is a good one. Clean machine.

  • cam

    best bike you’ve posted lately. so. sick.

  • Marcus

    I like it but I think it could do with a set of shocks at the rear to raise it a little. Only a little though.

  • ladyleadfoot

    fine, clean, sweet ride. one quick question: what do you mean by the term “2pac’d”? that’s a new one on me…

    • Two pack paint. i.e. a paint that comes in two parts that requires mixing together before spraying.

    • Blueline

      That’s alright that you don’t know bout 2pac’d. No Biggie.

      And more bikes of this vintage need to be pulled out of sheds and customised.

      Love the stance.

      • Blueline

        Japanese trail bikes of this vintage I mean…

      • Richard Brandt

        ba ha ha

  • Mike B

    Love the speedway look. Not too familiar with 2-stroke exhausts — is it cool enough after the collector to be that close to the seat without being dangerous to the rider?

  • George

    Awesome how the chamber is tucked into the frame. Hopefully temperature at the head (and bottom of the tank) isn't too wacky because of that.

    What the heck is 2pac?

  • nathas909

    I love the second photo, with that half cut side cover. Its a great idea.
    Its there but it’s not.
    Or I am wrong, I just had a look again and noticed a bottom edge on it.

    • Its actually the oil tank, these bikes have a 2 stroke oil injection system that runs off a small pump on the end of the crank.

  • frankenbiker

    Do I smell CHICKEN?!OH SHIT IT’S MY THIGH!!!!intresting bike but do something about that pipe routing and raise it 3 or 4 inches.

    • Never been burnt by the pipe, raise 3-4 inches? think that would kinda ruin the look of the bike!!!

  • I do not understand why you use a bar to make the frame rigid ,why not do a propper job and hardtail a custom tracker speedway type frame.

  • kenb

    There is beauty in simplicity I love it!!

  • arnold

    The hard tail puzzles me, perhaps shocks not short enough for the line that you were looking for. However it is a cool budget slam. And a nice rework of a golden oldie.

    • arnold

      I knew what 2pac’d was. I am surprised any one still uses it. Party On!

      • arnold

        Hey, the photography was good too.ald

        • arnold

          Like the tire choice also. Looks well thought out or, what you had in the rack.

          • arnold

            If you had those in the rack you have my great respect!

    • cheers man,yeah thats right, shocks not short enough for the lines i was after
      and yes, on a budget

  • mine corners

    looks great.. how about some functional suspension though?

  • Oldnbroken

    Cool looking slidey Yamy with a centre of gravity like a four foot overweight kid on a skateboard.


    • arnold

      Skate board? Old, come on, maybe y’all don’t have skating rinks down there.

      • Oldnbroken

        The closest thing we have to a skating rink her is the ice in the Esky to keep the beer cold Ald

  • Adam Santella

    I love the look of this bike, and think it is exactly my kind of taste in a custom, two strokes are really coming back and I love that. But I do have to admit two things…

    Number one being.. I’m 6 feet tall and would most likely look ridiculous on this low of a bike, no matter how cool it looks with no one on it.

    Number two being that sounding like a swarm of angry bees while going down the road means you sound like your riding the dirt bike you learned to ride on when you were 16. It gets attention and everyone who knows bikes will want it, but for those who don’t, you might look overweight and a little immature.

    That being said, I would definitely put these things aside and would ride this badass bike every day if I owned it. Or at least when its over freezing up here in Boston…. summer can’t come soon enough man…

  • Cleon Arrey

    yup! . clean! ..

  • Robbie

    Really nice. 19 inch front wheel? How does the hard tail handle the bumps?

    • Its a 21 inch front wheel, the hard tail is not as bad as you think it would be but yes it is a hard

  • New Haven Neil

    Like it. Tyres match the use too….my soapbox. And not all bikes need to be over 1000cc to have fun on. this looks like it would be a lot of fun. The rigid rear end would have your spine sticking up through your helmet here, but maybe it’s OK over there! I’m gagging to polish those engine sidecovers properly though 😉 Neat build, thumbs up from the tiny rock.

  • Great work, love the low look and 21″ front wheel. But query whether it’s “street legal” in Australia with solid struts and an un-sprung seat?

  • PJgrakauskas

    gotta change the heading on page to DT250. there is no TD250 by yamaha. there is the ugly as hell tdR250, but this is a DT, and a mighty fine one. always loved how the exhaust ran across and through the top. like a seat warmer on those cold rides

  • vikikng308

    How did you get the exhaust running out the side like that? Looks good!

  • viking308

    Very cool DT250! How did you get the silencer routed out to the side like that?

  • viking308

    Wow very cool! How did you get the exhaust to run out the side like that? I’m working on a 74 dt250 also.

  • Eric

    That little scoot is a porn star of the bike world. Just goes to show what a little imagination can accomplish with an every day bike. Hat’s off to you. It’s what I’m after as well but it’s just a matter of finding the right donor bike at the right price.

  • trentanious

    Man, this is absolutely gorgeous and has seroiusly inspired me. I want to do something very similar to my DT. Props from the midwest!!