Got the IT cleaned up and ready for it's next adventure - pics below. When searching for a bike that could make the trip I considered many different options. First was how much? Which is not usually so much a choice as a limit. I did have enough funds to purchase a new bike, but I have a good number of motorcycles and I didn't want to eat a substantial depreciation if it were sold after the trip. I could have also swapped out the old DRZ400 with a new or slightly used one, getting a new (new used) one and then selling off the old one. This was probably the "best" plan, but it was also the most costly upfront.
So I started looking and found several candidates, and also browsed a couple of vintage ads. A plated IT490 showed up and I was intrigued. Very nice looking bike that had a large tank and not too bad of a power band as it's more of a dual sport/desert bike. That being said it IS a 490cc two stroke, so still got a one hell of a power band and I'd heard horror stories about back fires that caused injuries and also ones that broke the case. These three things soured me on the 490, but the thought of riding a two stroke vintage bike had taken root. Within a day or two a IT175 that was plated showed up. I ran over to the guys place and had a go. Unfortunately it was a situation where the bike was in fair running condition, but tired. Even if it we're tight I doubted that the 175 would have enough to get me and all my luggage up a steep hill.
I kind of went back to plan "A" and started looking for another DRZ400, but a plated '79 IT250 popped up. Off again to have a ride. This one sounded good and when I rode it, it went really well. When it cleared up and hit the power band, glorious. Nothing accelerates with the excitement of a two stroke. The sound, the smell and the pull; it's intoxicating. Making you forget the mixing of the oil, the sputtering and coughing, fouling plugs, stuff rattling off from the constant vibration, the noise (so much you and the person riding next to you will suffer permanent hearing damage
). Twist the throttle and it's all fine. In the back of the truck it went.
The IT250 did provide us with an adventure. Everyday something happened, but it never failed to start and was still running even after the chain failed (which was not it's fault). As for the other things, a little more prep' time and those would have not occurred. Anyone who races vintage two-strokes will tell you to wire tie most every nut on the bike, I adjusted the idle screw and probably didn't tighten it properly and the kick stand wasn't welded on correctly from a previous owner. It was a good ride. If you get a chance to ride a vintage two stroke, have a run and experience the challenges and rewards.
Thanks for all the comments and we'll be posting the last day's pics and our final video - the most exciting one.