Can-Am Motorcycles by Bombardier

Today in Motorcycle History

Can-Am Motorcycles

Welcome to Mike Rydman's


Having raced amateur motocross and other off-road events from the late 60's through the early 80's, I've owned a variety of great motorcycles over the years. In 1975 I watched Jimmy Ellis blast through the pack at the LA Coliseum on a bike that virtually no one else was riding. I was so impressed with his performance that I bought my first Can-Am shortly afterward. I eventually purchased a Can-Am dealership (1980-82) and started working with a factory support rider. To the dismay of many, Bombardier stopped making Can-Am motorcycles in the mid 80's. After I searched the Internet for information about Can-Am motorcycles and found nothing, I decided to create this page for those of you who might share an interest in these machines. The theme is primarily MX and off road vehicles, but thanks to the help of viewers and other pagebuilders I've been able to expand it to include a little road racing, military, and trials. I hope you enjoy my tribute to these fine motorcycles.



First Place - 1976 MX-2 175

2ND GENERATION (78 & up)
First Place - 1979 MX-5 250

Larger image

Larger image

Builder's Notes: Respectfully submitted by Bob Cole of Salvisa Ky USA

This 1976 175 MX2 was acquired from a motorcycle salvage yard in late summer 2002. The bike was in running condition when purchased but needed quite a bit of TLC. I would first like to give a great deal of credit for this restoration to CanAm expert Al Roberts of Lumberton Tx. Al was invaluable in supplying the parts and technical assistance needed to bring this classic racer back to life. I was committed to restoring the bike back to as close to original condition as possible. With few exceptions, original used and NOS parts were installed where needed. Most parts came from Al's large used and NOS inventory. Here's a partial list of what was done to the bike :
- Frame and handlebars stripped and powdercoat finished.
- Engine gone through and rebuilt by Al Roberts.
- All hardware replaced with new except for specialty fasteners which were wirebrushed and cleaned.
- Fuel tank refinished with new graphics applied.
- Seat professionally recovered with NOS seat cover.
- Front number plate and side panels replaced with original CanAm plastic units.
- Front and rear fenders replaced with accurate reproduction units supplied by Al Roberts.
- Control levers, perches and throttle replaced with new Magura units.
- New Terry cables replaced where needed.
- Exhaust replaced with like new condition original MX2 downpipe.
A few final thoughts to add is that the total restoration was completed in about six months. This MX2 remains today in pristine-mint condition. The bike is even carrying it's original Yokohama "Super Digger" tires, still in good condition. It also still sports the original upside-down mounted Girling shocks. I start the bike up and exercise it every now and then. It is still a very fast machine, but mostly babied and pampered these days. It is part of a growing collection of CanAms I have including three TNTs and another MX2, all in varying states of restoration

This 1979 MX-5 250 CanAm is the work of Daniel Way from Modesto California USA. Daniel was nice enough to personally show us a small part of his vast CanAm collection. This restoration is an excellent example of how a quality resto should look when it's done. Most people ignore little details like the grey handlebars and the "off black" engine color. The only flaw is my photography, and the fact that it looks better than a brand new MX-5 looked in 1979. And I know . . . I uncrated and assembled a ton of these things back when I had a C-A dealership. We have two of Daniel's bikes posted on the site right now and hope to feature more in the near future.

Builder's Note: Daniel makes it clear that his projects are generally a "team" effort and thanks his father, Bond Way, and Ed Pinzel for their part in creating these wonderful machines. Bond is well known in the CanAm community for his technical expertise and Ed works magic with paint and cosmetics.

Larger image

Larger image

Larger image

Larger image

Larger image

Larger image


And Now Something Special for You CanAm Flat Trackers!

Click here for larger image


Click here for larger image

Click here for larger image

What you see here is one of approximately five CanAm flat trackers built by the CanAm factory. This is one of several very rare CanAm's that have found a home in the "Daniel Way" collection. The glass is aftermarket but the rest is all factory CanAm. Daniel is very proud of this machine and we could easily see why. The skill, patience, and attention to fine details are standard equipment on the bikes Daniel restores. I personally, have never been much of a flat track fan but this thing is a piece of art! We'd like to thank Daniel Way for his hospitality and for allowing us to share some of his exceptional work on Classic CanAm.

The Classic CanAm Website
Main Menu

Notes & Features

The 1975 GP 250: Was it really as good as we remember it to be?

Early Model Fuel Tank Restoration

CanAm Value Survey

1974 MX-1 125 Project

Where Did CanAm Go?

A Note From the Pagebuilder

Viewers Write


My Personal Pics

Viewers Bikes and Misc. Pics

Old CanAm Ad's and Brochures

Factory Pilots

The Original Factory MX Team

Jeff Smith (Team C-A 1973-87)

Buck Murphy (Team C-A 1975-77)

Jimmy Ellis (Team C-A 1974-77)

The Motorcycles

The Best CanAms of 2006

Factory Works Bikes

MX, Qualifier, & ASE Series

Can-Am Street Bike

Can-Am Road Racer

Can-Am Trials

Can-Am Military

Other Rotax Powered Motorcycles

Technical Information

Tech Tips and Fixes

1974 - 1987 Model Specifications

Identification by Frame Number

Different Stuff About Can-Am's

Owners Registry

Copyright Information: I have been careful in the construction of the website to avoid any copyright violations. If I have unintentionally violated your copyright please let me know. The item in question will be removed immediately.

The Classic CanAm Website was created by Michael Rydman. Special thanks to the following people for providing information and photos:

Pat Murphy
Ladd Gilbertson
Ralph Benhart
Reese Dengler
Jim Gilbert
Jim Ellis
Tony Cladin
Buck Murphy
Ed Tobin
Jim Lill
Paul Wilkinson
Doug Klassen
Sally Ellis
Rickie King
Scott Cavalari
Steve Botkin
Fred Brown
Paul Jasa
Jeff Smith
Larry Rydman
Eric Weaver
Ian Hughes
Don Beese
Mike Burnham
Rae Tyson
Mick Fesko

If you have a query or information about Can-Am motorcycles please contact us

Can-Am Motorcycle Logo
Can-Am Motorcycles