Immediately after Yamaha unveiled the IT400 in 1976, a trio of Yamaha riders nabbed gold medals at the Austrian International Six Day Trials on the newly debuted IT’s. With the success of the 400, the Tuning Fork Company opted to expand the IT — or “International Trial” — range the following year to include smaller displacement variants, one of which was the IT175. Over the next few model years Yamaha continued to refine the IT lineup, making changes and upgrades throughout the product line and releasing ITs in a myriad of displacements — none of which cracked the 500cc mark.
Supposedly produced from ’77 through ’83 — at which point Yamaha pulled the plug to focus on the development of its four-stroke platform — the IT175 was derived from the company’s existing YZ125 mill, which was bored out in order to bump displacement up to 171cc’s. Like the rest of the International Trial lineup, the 175 underwent a series of tweaks and changes, both cosmetic and mechanical throughout its time in production.
Powering the 175 enduro — which tipped the scales at 216lbs dry — was an air-cooled, 171cc, two-stroke, reed-valve (which featured a then-new piston design) single. The Japanese thumper was fed via a 34mm Mikuni carb and married to a wide-ratio six-speed transmission with wet multi-disc clutch. Yamaha not only attempted to market the little IT via its performance and off-road prowess, but also highlighted the 175’s affordable price-tag of $995 — a figure that translates to approximately $3K in 2019 with inflation.
The (then-considered) mid-sized enduro sported a (2.5-gallon) plastic tank, headlight cowl, and number-plates, polypropylene fenders fore and aft, a bash-guard, a rear-fender-mounted tool kit, and competition-friendly off-road lighting (with high and low-beams). Other standard features included chain-adjusting cams and a spring-loaded chain tensioner (and chain-guard), single-element foam air cleaner, what Yamaha touted as “mud-proof” footpegs, and a high-mounted left-hand, double-thick, blacked out pipe which matched the black magnesium engine casings, chassis, and swing-arm.
The IT’s frame was a tubular chrome-moly unit, while suspension on the IT175 was plucked from Yamaha’s MX platform (though modified internally) and was comprised of the marque’s De Carbon Monocross Suspension — a monoshock affording 7” of travel in back — and 43mm forks up front, supposedly Kayaba units. The IT175 rolled along on an off-road-friendly 21” front hoop and an 18-inch rear — both of which were of the quick-release variety and equipped with drum brake units and semi-knobby tires.
This particular 1980 example has undergone an extensive restoration from Northwest-based vintage MXperts, Restoration X Cycle. According to RXC — which is selling the 175 — “every millimeter of the bike was gone through” — and based on the photos, that appears to be accurate. The ad also includes a laundry list of new components, though it does clearly state that a couple minor artistic liberties were taken (such as how it should have white fenders and black fork boots instead of the blue and yellow pieces this example wears).
Unsurprisingly, the seller says just about everything on this example was sandblasted, painted, and/or powder-coated. This exact specimen also features all new plastics throughout which are adorned in the 175’s stock light blue livery with yellow number plates, which, in my opinion, is by far the best-looking paint-scheme Yamaha offered for the IT range (far more attractive than the all-white-scheme that appeared to have been utilized in order to get rid of old YZ part inventory). Another minor downside to this bike is that the engine and frame numbers aren’t matching, though they are from the same year. From what I gather, the IT175 also came from the factory with Yamaha hubs laced to 36-spoke D.I.D. rims, though this 1980 specimen is rocking a pair of Full Circle Racing wheels.
Regardless, this example is said to be in just as solid of mechanical condition as it is cosmetic. Unfortunately this bike is being sold without a title, though the seller says it wouldn’t be hard to apply for one. Though the 175 may not be quite as revered as some of the near-half-liter IT models, the nimble little one-seven-fiver is still a really fun little machine.
You can find this restored 1980 Yamaha IT175 for sale here on Craigslist in Walla Walla, Washington with a price of $3,699.
Or you can also find it here on the Restoration X Cycle Facebook page — where there are additional photos of the bike — for a slightly cheaper price: $3,500.