I rode a lot of Enduro's during the 80's & in 87 my weapon of choice was a road registered KX 125. I prepared it myself with KDX 200 rear guard & headlight, made my own bark busters & longer muffler & even checked out the gearbox specs. Noticing that the 125 & 200 cases were much the same and finding that 5th gear was common to both models, I then fitted the KDX 200 6th gears into my 125 to give it longer legs on the open trail, although the advantage was probably more psychological.

But the biggest problem was the fuel range. I toyed with the idea of making my own tank out of alloy sheet but couldn't think what to do about a fuel cap. There are a few alloy industrial fittings around but I didn't want it to look too agricultural and I didn't have access to a lathe at the time to turn anything up.

I then heard about blowing up plastic tanks with hot water & pressure for more capacity. So I set every saucepan I could find on the stove to heat up 8 litres of water, poured it all in & then jammed the air nozzle from the compressor in. In was a lot of stuffing around to do this without getting scolded & all I seemed to gain was about a cupful extra capacity. Maybe I didn't do it right but I gave it up as a bad joke, which left me in the unusual position of having to fall back onto plan 'A'.

It was around then that I had the brainwave, I would simply go to the wreckers & buy a tank to steal the fitting from.

So off to the wreckers I went

Yeah mate I'm after an alloy tank, anything will do, preferably a dirt bike, damaged is okay as then it should be cheap eh?

What model?

Oh doesn't matter really, anything will do.

(Stern look) I need to know what model so I know where to look.

Oh, okay. What about a Suzuki?

(Sterner look) What model?

Oh, uhmmm, what about an RM

(Very stern look) What year?

Oh, shit arrr 75

Haven't got any (without looking)

What about 76

Haven't got any (without looking)

Ok then, 77

Haven't got any (without looking)

(Bugger what year did they go to plastic?) Okay, what about a YZ tank

(Extreme stern look) What year?

Bugger, uhmmm 75

(He walked off a came back 5 minutes later wielding a small white tank in the air.)

Ten bucks he said while walking towards me.

Perfect I said as I quickly pulled 10 bucks out of my pocket & threw on the counter.

I then grabbed that tank & got the hell out of there.

Back home I looked the tank over; I recognised it straight away as being from a YZ 125 C

I had dreamed of this bike as a teenager when I first saw it on the cover of Trail & Track. I heard a few people bag it, it's got Yamahop etc. but I didn't care it looked the goods & that was all I cared about then. It would be another year of making moccasins after school with a local business before I could eventually afford a second hand MX 125 A.

So I looked the tank over, reminiscing about what might have been for 3, maybe even 4 seconds. I then took to it with a 9" angle grinder & cut a 4" square hole around the filler neck, once out of the tank I carefully cut away the excess material ready to weld into my tank.

The rest of the tank went into the scrap alloy bin & has probably long been melted down into a VB can.

Who would have thought that in just over a decade from then these tanks would be well sought after for TT & HL projects?

So while the poor old HL is getting the blame for the lack of tanks for the YZ C & X models, the truth is I helped make those tanks rare long before I started building HL's.

I now use my powers for good instead of evil.

All prepped and ready for the 87 Four Day

After the 1987 Four day