1983 YAMAHA 225DX: DIRT WHEELS PHOTO ARCHIVES

1983 YAMAHA 225DX

In the 1980s, laying out a magazine was a much more complicated process. Today, we can shoot photos digitally, crop and color correct them with lightning-fast computers, and add them to a magazine layout all in minutes. Forty years ago, the process would take days as the film had to be developed and color separations were more complicated with the use of exacto knives and acetate – just to name a few steps in the lengthy process. Typesetting became easier with the invention of the word processor, but it still involved additional photography, and occasionally, the type had to be inked in by hand. If we made a mistake, we’d likely be starting the process all over.

We recently dug into the Dirt Wheels archive and found many old prints with editor notes, crop marks, page placement, and photo reduction percentages. Some even have the acetate still attached, as you’ll see below.

These photos were used for the cover story in the June 1983 issue of Dirt Wheels, which was a review of Yamaha’s 1983 225DX three-wheeler. It was the first ATV to feature shaft drive and electric start.

1983 YAMAHA 225DX
An acetate overlay is used for color separation.
1983 YAMAHA 225DX
Acetate film removed. This was the top photo for page 23.
1983 YAMAHA 225DX
Component shots of the battery (this three-wheeler had a backup recoil starter) and shaft drive.
1983 YAMAHA 225DX
The foot brake pedal was mounted in a position that made it more vulnerable to trail damage, unlike later designs that wrapped up and over the footpeg.
We’re not positive about the location, but this shot looks as if it might have been taken at the Indian Dunes, not far from the Dirt Wheels home office in Valencia, CA.
Sealed drum brakes and shaft drive
1983 YAMAHA 225DX
The 1983 Yamaha 225DX came from the factory with a twist throttle. In 1984, it got a thumb throttle, but you could still order a twist as an option.
1983 YAMAHA 225DX
Front suspension was noted to be soft on the 225DX. Check out the front drum brake assembly.
1983 YAMAHA 225DX
Horizontal and vertical crop marks identify how much of the photo was to be used in the magazine.
“TOC?” TOC suggests that this photo could be used to accompany the magazine’s Table Of Contents page. It’s an abbreviation we still use today, but digitally.
Dirt Wheels June 1983 cover. You can still find these issues on eBay, but for way north of the original newsstand price. This one is currently available and might be worth even more with Daryl Rath’s original subscription sticker attached. We’ll dig deeper to find our original copies in the future so you can read this article (and the rest) in its entirety.

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