Classic CanAm

Viewer's Bikes and Misc. Photos

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Updated 11/14/2003


When it comes to a pristine 1982 Q-IV, I'm just an old softie.  As far as I'm concerned this was one of the best, if not THE best, models CanAm ever produced. This was sent in by a guy who identified himself only as Rory.

Jerry Waggy sent in this pic of his 1977 MX-3.  He says he's been working on it for 9 months now.  I wonder if he needs a ladder to get on?

This was sent in by John Jackson of the United Kingdom.  It appears to be a 1980-81 Qualifier III 400 set up for motocross.  Wonderful job John!

The Texas Tornado

This bike was featured on the mainpage in August/September 2002.  The machine was built by Steve Bizzle of Texas.  Here's the note that came with the shot:

It is a 175 MX-2 engine, rebuilt and massaged by Al Roberts. The forks are Kayaba gas, the rear shocks are Hagon Gas (Girling). Azonic bars, all new lavers, cables, whirlpull throttle connected to a Keihin 34mm "PJ" series carb, plus the usual cosmetic restoration. This bike is one fast mutha, and it seems to draw a crowd, which is always fun. Anyhow, I thought you might like to see how we do things down Texas way.  You can contact Steve at

A TNT 175 and MX-2 250, both owned and restored by Craig Ellis.  Unfortunately we only had room to post Craig's TNT 175 on the mainpage.  However, he has an equally beautiful MX2-250 to share with us.  Both bikes are complete Resto's.  All we need now is Huey Lewis & the News playing "Back in Time."

Here's Craig's letter:
.  Enclosed are some pictures of two of my favorite Can Ams that I own, and I think that they would be a nice addition to your web site.  Both bikes were completely torn down, and then all the parts were either painted, polished, or cad plated.  The one bike is a 1975 TNT 175, and the other bike is a 1975 MX-2 250.  I wouldn't have been able to do them if it were not for your website and Al Roberts.
      I got into Can Am motorcycles because my father had bought a brand new 1975 TNT 175 when I was younger.  We sold the TNT years ago, but I always loved the bike.  Finally a couple of years back I found and bought a 1975 TNT 175 just like we used to have.  That bike was my first Can Am project.  I now have a son that is old enough and has taken interest in riding, so I though that the TNT would be a good bike that I could ride next to him with.  I have also gotten two of my brothers into Can Ams.  That one TNT of mine has now turned into a hobby and a collection of several bikes.  My current projects are a GP 250 and a MX-1 250.
      If you can use these pictures that would be great.
Thanks, Criag Ellis

1979 MX5 250
I have attached some pictures of my 1979 MX-5 250 that I race in Mid-Atlantic AHRMA.  After getting the bike in August of last year, I ran three races on it and then fully disassembled it for a complete rebuild over the winter.  There is not a part on it that was not completely disassembled.  I sandblasted everything down to the bare metal and after lots of cleaning, painting, and polishing this is what it looks like.  I had a custom paint color mixed to match an original MX-orange part, but the paint did not turn out quite as I had hoped and needed a little more red, if any viewers have any paint color ideas please e-mail me.  I polished the aluminum swingarm, levers, throttle housing, chain "horseshoe" and ignition cover (I took the ignition idea from the 1974 MX-1 125 project.)  I spent many MANY hours sanding, polishing and waxing the plastic to bring back a "showroom shine."  Plus, to replace the heavy stock unit, I reworked and installed an aluminum modern bike silencer, and also made a custom chain rub  from a modern bike.  There is a new o-ring chain, sprockets, cables, and along with new fasteners, any of the existing irreplaceable ones were polished.  I also designed the custom printed numberplate backgrounds with mounting hole cutouts and the "vintage" Fox logo.  Plus the motor was completely rebuilt and "tweaked" by Bond Way.    I am running novice class, and even though I won't likely be leading the pack, (yet) . . . For your viewers, I have MX-5 numberplate backgrounds (yellow & white) like the ones you see on my bike (but without the Fox logo,) Can-Am stickers (MX & Enduro) along with lots of other stickers very cheap!  E-Mail me at or catch up with me at the Mid-Atlantic races!

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Boss 280 - Con't from Mainpage
The following is Bruce's letter describing the bike.  IT HAS BEEN EDITED to save space:
The machine is a Boss framed CanAm Street Tracker 280cc 6spd. The Engine Started as a bunch of bascket case engines and  a new 280 kit and a later 6 speed tranny. . . . The engine woks flawlessly and is an absolute rocket. There is a large amount of new parts in it including, a brand new ignition system Bosh for a Military CamAm 250.The new cases were stripped and powder coated, the crank balanced, all internals cryo'd, and.a boost port added. The clutch cover is a later one the the larger actuating balls.  The rear tail lights are LED. The front hub is a turned down Japanese with a new Ducati 916 Disc and Brembo 4 piston caliper,  Proper Dirt Track rear wheel.  The Tires are Parelli MT90 and work very well.   Front forks are Marzochi 35mm wih a custom fork brace added. . . .  I am currently looking for a Tach that work on a Sing cyl . 2s engine with CDI, and an electronic speedo.   Any thoughts? FAX 408-433-2741     E-Mail  

TNT Cont' from the March Mainpage::
This is a beautiful rebuild of a 1975 TNT 250 done by Larry Mace.  This is what Larry has to say about it:

It is totally restored with most MX parts. The bike has a MX rotary and cylinder ,late model alloy wheels with new MIchelins. The frame was totally stripped and painted with clear coat added. The tank was professionally painted with  the instructions on your web site. Additions are MX3 up pipe,renthal bars, ported and matched cylinder, and works shocks with dual rate springs.

We thought this was a nice note from one of the viewers.  Thank YOU Brad for the compliments!

Your web site was very helpful to me, Thank you!
I have owned the attached 370 for over 10 years now and it was in need of a good rebuild. I travel a lot in my job and in my travels always stopped by bike shops and asked if they had old Can Am inventory, the answer was always NO. One shop suggested I look on the internet and that's when you came into the picture. After calling and emailing your parts list people, I found everything I was looking for. I now have completed my little winter project, the bike looks and runs great. I totally rebuild the entire bike, Powder Coated The Frame, New Piston & Sleeve, Head Mods, Suspension, Drive Train including Sprockets, Tires, Tank Restoration, Graphics, New Clutch Plates, Carburettor Rebuild from Bing and so on, I replaced or repaired everything.
Again, thanks for your commitment in keeping Can Am's alive. Please see attached pics. Hope to see them on your Web site.

Tony here from Retro Racing in Melbourne Australia.  Just thought I'd email you some shots of my Sonic. After 18 months in the  restoration dept. here it's finally ready for it's first outing. Can't wait  to see what it's like. Note the funky piggy back resevoirs on the forks. In  a lot of ways I was very lucky with the restoration. I had a pair of genuine  front and rear gaurds here in the shop for years that I couldn't identify.  I'd been trying to flog them for $10 each but nobody wanted them. When the sonic arrived and I realized what they were I breathed a huge sigh of  releif. The Australian importer back in the day, Bert Flood Motorcycles, happened to have a pair of sidecovers and tank decals on the shelf still from 1982. Anyway, with the way everyone is going nuts over four strokes these days I thought it might make a neat addition to you great site. Keep up the good work.

Yes Tony, it does make a good attition to the site! (Ed.)

Al Roberts and his herd.

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Ken  Napolitano asked if we would show off his MX5.  He's won 2 of 8 races on this bike.  This shot was taken at Budds Creek.  Very nice action shot Ken!  This bike is mint.  Check out the bottom two photos.

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1977 Qualifier 250 -- This is an excellent example of this model CanAm.  The machine is owned by Regan Morben who sent in the photos to share with viewers.  Looks like Regan took very good care of this motorcycle.

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Chris Huhn sent in this shot of him playing with his 1978 MX4 250 (with MX5 side panels).  There is nothing better in life than taking out your old CanAm and riding the hell out of it.  

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CanAm 100
Original note from Nick Ramirez.   Pretty interesting!!!

I scanned in a couple of pictures of the CanAm 100 I told you about.  The
original color was PUCH green.  The original tank looked like an Elsinore
tank only it was thin fiberglass.  Originally it had Bilstein shocks.  The
seat is original and flowed over the top of the tank.  The engine was a
sleeved down 125.  Alan Barker had put a 125 jug/piston on it and used it as
a play bike for many years.  About 4 years ago I took it out of moth balls
and did a near ground up rebuild.  I raced it at Dade City in the 0-200cc
class and was protested for suspension after taking second.  Fortunately one
of the organizers knew Bob Barker and knew of the bike.  I was told I had to
run it in modern classic after that even though they knew it existed in
1974.  The bike was originally raced in Canada by a rider named Charlie for
2 years.  With a 120 lb rider this thing was unstoppable, but with my fat
butt on it, I could break it and did break a foot peg on a double in
Reddick, FL (BlackBurns track).  Anyways I finally realized the historic
significance of this "play bike" and returned it to Bob Barker, in trade for
a CanAm 175.  Bob still has the bike.  The bike has significant emotional
value to Bob since Alan loved to ride it.  After Alan's death the bike was
left untouched for years until I noticed it in Bob's warehouse.  Since Alan
and I were good friends, Bob let me have it.  If you look closely at it you
can see many ideas for future CanAms were borrowed from this bike.  There
were many people at CanAm that wanted all their bikes to follow this mold
however it was so light that many also believed it would fold up on the
track.  It didn't.  End of story.
Nick Ramirez
Staff Engineer - Intel
Chandler, AZ

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Submitted by Mike Burnham -- His super trick CanAsaki
This season I decided to build something really different for the multi cylinder class in vintage motocross , just finished it 3 weeks ago. It is a Can-Am  chassis with a 3 cylinder Kawasaki 750 2 stroke stuffed into it! Weighing in at 325lbs.with 80 hp. The power to weight ratio is eye opening to say the least! It actually handles pretty good. The first time I took it out it was very intimidating to say the least but after spending some time on it you kind of get use to it. You just have to have alot of respect for it otherwise it will hurt you.

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DeWayne Jones posed for this shot at the Vintage Iron World Championships on 5/24/2000.  Thanks go out to Dean Donelson for sharing this one with us. 

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Anthony Stock racing his modified CanAm at Ty Croes, Anglesey on 16 April 2000.  Photos taken by Paul Wilkinson.

Al Roberts MX1

Al Roberts' 1975 MX-1 250 Ser# 16.  Al bought it from Ives Petit in Valcourt, who had bought it at a Bombardier auction. It was a factory race bike.   The bike had thrown the chain and had caused a gear tooth to break inside the transmission.  When Al went through the motor with the help of David Brown they dicovered the MX valve had been changed to a TNT and the ports had all been polished with the exhaust port opened a little. This was all done by the factory. Al talked to Jeff Smith about the bike and was told that was common on the factory race bikes at that time.  

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This photo was submitted by Elliott Iverson who won the Formula Singles championship at Willow Spring on my Wood-Rotax dirt tracker, on Goodyears, in 1996.

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Paul Kalika (Australia) and his modified 370.  It started out as a 79 Qualifier II 370 but now leans toward the motocross variety.  This bike has an alloy swingarm, piggyback Ohlins, Fox forks, aftermarket fenders, and modified RM 400 Suzuki sidepanels. 

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Scott MacDonald of Cornwall Ont Canada sent in these photos of his 1973 125 MX-1.  Looks like a nice bike!

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Rob Jared ice racing in Feb. '76, in Quebec. This is what all the motocrossers did in the winter back then. Nowadays, it has become specialized and the dirt trackers rule the ice in the winter with their specially modified bikes.   Thanks for the pics Rob.

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Can Am team truck. Again, this was taken in Chicoutimi in June '76 -- Photo submitted by Rob Jared.

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Jimmy Ellis, also in Chicoutimi. Can Am didn't spare any expense bringing in the ringers. Just for the record, Ellis made Runyard look bad that day, as Runyard did to the locals.  -- Photo submitted by Rob Jared.

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Buck Murphy in Ulverton, Quebec racing in the 250 expert class. Ulverton is located a couple of hours away from the factory in Valcourt.  Photos submitted by Rob Jared.

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Mike Runyard in Chicoutimi, Quebec, June 1976- Photos submitted by Rob Jared.

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Joe Ross poses with his 1974 125 MX-1 in front of the Classic CanAm Racing Team trailer at the AHRMA national motocross at Casey IL.   This was Joe's first race and he took 3rd place overall in the 125 novice class.
-- photo by Rose Brown

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May 1st, VDR race at Woodland WA.
Ed Russell and his CanAm -- 
photo by Reese Dengler

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More photos from the May 1st, VDR race at Woodland WA.
This is Glen Finnerin with his Can-Am  -- 
photos by Reese Dengler

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Dean Donelson berm shooting his 1978 MX-4 at Honda Valley, CA   Near Hesperia. Submitted by Dean Donelson

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Jim Ellis at Red Bud Trans AMA on May 20,1977 Submitted by Lynn McEwen. 

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Jim Ellis  chasing Rex Staten on a Harley Davidson at Red Bud Trans AMA on May 20,1977 Submitted by Lynn McEwen. 

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Nice shot of Jimmy Ellis at a Trans AMA motocross on Oct 26,1975 in Herman, Nebraska. .  Submitted by Lynn McEwen. 

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Ed Tobin's 1977 250 T'nT. Not too long ago, Ed found this bike in the back room of a motorcycle shop collecting dust. This clean looking machine is not a restoration -- it's completely orignial. While we were taking pictures, Ed fired up the cold engine with one kick. Very cool.

If you enjoy the Classic CanAm website, I should also tell you that Ed has contributed a great deal of what you see here, including the 1979 Qualifier 250 restoration project. And if you ride motorcycles or 4X4's off-road in California, Ed is one of the people who advocates for our rights to use land for this purpose (not to mention a long history of setting up National enduro events).

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Fred Brown and his 1974 MX-1 250.  I am proud to say that Fred and his wife Rose have become good friends.  We met in 1998 at Sears Point and have since learned a great deal about building vintage CanAms from each other.  If you ever see Fred and Rose at the races, make it a point to say hello.   photo by Mike Rydman





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