Can-Am Motorcycles by Bombardier

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Can-Am Motorcycles Archive

Viewers Write

Classic CanAm
Viewers Write

Updated 11/25/99

Dear Mike,
Just found your site and am absolutely loving it. I have been a die hard Can-Am freak for a long time. I first started riding when I was about 12 and always wanted a Can-Am, I'm 30 now and own one. About 5 years ago I found an 86 200 ASE in Uncle Henrys,( a swap and sell it guide in Maine ), I immediately called the guy and got the bike for $800. I was ecstatic and have been ever since. I had wanted that bike since the first time I saw it in the april '86 edition of Dirt Rider magazine with Geoff Ballard pulling a big wheelie through the forest. All my previous bikes (japanese in origin) pale in comparison to the way this bike works in the woods. It is everything I dreamed it would be.
I am so glad you prepared this site. I have just recently run into clutch problems( it does not disengage) and thought it would be the end of the bike but you have given me hope that again I may ride it. I would not trade this bike for anything but do not take it easy when riding so it will last longer either. It has seen many days of pretty abusive riding and I have certainly got what I paid for.
I'll stop rambling now, but THANK YOU SO MUCH for putting this information out there.
Kyle Spruce
Hi Mike,
Stumbled onto your website while researching some vintage bike info for my
brother. What a find your site is!!!!
My first introduction to the Can-Am was during a ten day leave from the Air
Force in June 1973. I came home to marry the love of my life, who had
strongly encouraged me to sell the MX bikes I had secretly been racing while
in the military. (The base commander frowned on Uncle Sam paying for MX
injuries, and my girl was hoping for someone who could still walk.) With the
sale accomplished, I was a bit down, but home, and looking forward to the
honeymoon. :)
Just off the airplane, I drove out to see my father, who at the time was
managing a Ski-Doo/Can-Am dealership in mid-Michigan. As I walked in, I
immediately spotted the new, white beasts with bright trim. After greeting
Dad with a quick hug, I headed over to check out the new rides. After a few
moments of caressing the new Canadian two-wheelers, and listening to my Dad
praise both their construction and performance, I headed for the back forty
where the demos were parked. A couple of hot laps on a Can-Am 125 TNT
quickly qualified me for a spin on the 125 MX. What transpired on that test
ride was to alter the course of my history. Yahoo!!!
Oh, the wedding did go on, but my new wife realized that a wedding gift of
significant proportion might be directly related to the longevity of the
marriage. Arriving back home from a great honeymoon, she immediately
presented me with a new 250 MX. Wow, what a girl!!!! This was to good to be
true. And as Murphy's Law goes, there was a catch.... I owned the payment
book to go with it. So, being the newly married, sensible guy, and poor
enlisted man that I was, I worked a swap with Dad and took the 125
instead!!!! So off we went into the sunset, orange VW Super Beetle packed to
the gills with wedding gifts, and towing the new Can-Am. Needless to say she
was a smart woman, and twenty-six years later is still making great choices
here at our house.
My brother and I ruled the roost for a time on twin 125's on the local MX
scene. As Japan surged ahead in the years to follow, our MX's continued give
us a lot of satisfaction on the Michigan trail scene, being the smooth and
non-finicky bikes that they are. They never missed a beat, or left us
stranded. Those great bikes were eventually sold for other family priorities
as the kids started arriving and homes were being purchased.
In 1980, I saw an ad for a 1975, 175 TNT in the paper. The lad who owned it
was somewhat distressed over the fact that the clutch did not work, and so
upon borrowing $150. from my infant son's savings account, I again was the
proud owner of a Can-Am.
Through several moves and many life adjustments, the Can-Am still sits in my
garage, some (19) years later. My brother called me this week to see if I
might be interested in parting with it, having found an old 125 MX parts
bike, and possibly getting into vintage racing. I told him, "sure, come and get it out of my gar... well, maybe on second thought, NOT!!!!!
After looking at your site, I had to go to the closet and look once again at my Can-Am jersey, proudly worn on many a great occasion. It is a little
worn, but not too much so, good for many more rides. The Can-Am riding boots are still on the shelf in the garage, and I am sure I have a brochure of Gary
Ellis around here somewhere....................
Thanks much for a great site. I can't wait to share it with my family, who grew up with one of the greatest bikes ever made.
Now I know why I get a little teary eyed when I see the Maple Leaf fly in the
Gregg Corbin
Kalamazoo, MI

An Important Message from Tony Murphy Rotax

Hello Mike,
I've just returned from my annual visit to Rotax, with a side trip to the Paris motorcycle show. As a result of discussions with Rotax about the limited availability of four stroke engine parts in the U.S., we are now going to expand our inventory to include the four stroke engine parts which will make us a "one source" supplier for all Rotax engines. We've already received our first shipment of parts for the 350, 500, 560 and 600 engines and should have a comprehensive inventory by year's end. I hope that you might make a mention of this fact when the opportunity presents itself.

While at Rotax I spent hours with the parts people and came away with a promise that they will not "obsolete' (read throw away) any Can-Am-only parts without notifying me first. Also, they are preparing an updated list of just what they have so that I'll be able to immediately identify just what is available. It is a formidable task since so many parts used in the Can-Am engines were also used in other engines for other applications. But I emphasized that I'll take any part that they plan to obsolete for space or other considerations. We have to keep the Can-Ams going.
Tony Murphy

You can contact "Tony Murphy Rotax" located in Valyermo, CA at (661) 944-1624

I'm absolutely stoked with your Can-Am web site. I just found it about 40 minutes ago, and can honestly tell you that it is an absolute pleasure to revisit fond memories of the most favorite bike, that I've ever owned.I too, purchased an 175 MX-2 as my first Can-Am, and cannot say enough good things about it.
I've learned more in the past 40 minutes, about the disappearing C-A motorcycle company, and it's pioneering riders, than I had since 1976. That is when I talked my sisters boyfriend into driving me and my 350 bucks to Las Vegas, Nevada, to purchase my first used, honest-to-goodness motocross bike.
I'd get a copy of the Las Vegas newspaper classifieds, with a bunch of bikes circled. You know, YZ's CR's, RM's, and stuff. There was only 1 used Can-Am. Of course I looked at 'It' first, with visions of Jimmy Ellis flying high overhead. My sisters boyfriend, Ron, who was an experienced motocross rider, offered the owner of the bike, $300. cash. SOLD!
Mike, I have to go now, but want to say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
Sincerely, Steve Montano

Steve, you are welcome welcome welcome!

Hi Mike,
Do you normally answer questions about CanAms? If so, I have a quick one for you. I have a 1980 250 Qualifier. I'd like to take the baffle out and clean it but it looks like it's all one piece. Any suggestions?
Thanks, John M. johnm at

Yes John, unfortunately I always answer questions about CanAm's whether I know the answer or not. How about it? Anybody have any ideas for this guy?

Mike -
I couldn't believe it when I came across a website for CanAm motorcycles while looking for info on vintage bikes. In the early to mid 70's in Columbia, SC, I used to ride CanAm 125s and 175s for a guy who owned the local dealership. I could routinely smoke 250 cc bikes from other manufacturers off the starting line on the CanAm 175 - to the delight of our local dealer (which is probably why he let me ride his bikes - it probably didn't hurt either that I only weighed about 135 lbs at the time!). Seeing your website brought back a lot of fun memories. Thanks!
Jeff Gray
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Jimmy Ellis' #1 Fan

Dear Mike,
How are you? I have told people out here about your web site re Jimmy and they have all said good job . . . So I must say again a big Thank You from Jimmy and myself for making it happen. Hall of Fame Here Jimmy Comes.
Sally Ellis

Note: Sally and Jim Ellis helped me with the new Jimmy Ellis section of the website via Email. They were very nice. I felt like an 8 year old corresponding with Batman and Robin. Hero's are hard to find -- especially when you're a "grown-up."

Where are the T'nTs?

Hey Michael,
Your web site is outstanding. I would like to see some info on the T N T models The other and the layout is just fantastic I'm really inmpressed with your work.
Thank you,
Michael Ofiesh

Yes, I have to admit that we are short on TnT info. This is because of a lack of available literature on these motorcycles. Although the TnT was one of the most popular models, we have had a surprisingly tough time obtaining literature, photos, and info on the Track 'n Trail. I'm sure it will happen someday. In the meantime, most of the specifications for the MX and Qualifier machines usually apply to the T'nT motorcycles. It's funny, I've had 2 viewers this week tell me that I've already got "too much" information on the website . . .first time I've heard that complaint!
Mike Rydman

I love flattery!

Dear Mike:
Just a quick note to say that I think your CanAm site is top notch. It's really helped me source some information on parts and manuals for a 1978 250 that was given to me. It sounds like I'll have my work cut out for me, but that's half the fun.
Chris Hayward

Dear Mike,
I cant thank you enough for initiating this super website! I have sourced and purchased many parts through the classified section, and overall became aware of all the enthusists that really like these bikes besides myself. Keep on building it up, and keep up the good work.
Sincerely ,
Dean Donelson

New Rotax Website

Hello, Michael!
I do not believe, but it has become truth!
My homepage is in the internet and I'll hope you like it. But I have to commit, that it is not completely ready, it's still under construction. It would be a great honour for me, to see my homepage as a link on your Website (list of links). Certainly I have already done the same. . . Coming up next: a site with Rotax engines which were used in Enduro bikes a site with Minarelli engines..... Ciao, Joerg!

Chip off the ol' block

hi my name is dominic, i'm 15, i know can-am's caus my dad was dealer when i was young and i just wanted to say that your site is great, continue it
like that.

Happy Vet

Man what some really great shots of good ole Cam Am's!!! I am a Vet rider and I had a really great friend who road Can Am's out of Modesto, CA. In fact he bought it from DH cycles when the shop was on Mc Henry Ave in Modesto. I am looking at getting into some restoration of vintage bikes. I ride a really clean 90 W.R. 250. I bought a brand new 75 Hodaka 250 "Thunder Dog" and have owned several Hodaka's back in my teens. Thanks for the great memories of the great dirt bikes.....

Finding Parts

Dear Mike:
GREAT page! I have inherited from an uncle his beat up old CanAm 125 (74
T'nT) (beat up, with no rear lights, but it only has 1350 miles on it, so
mechanically it isn't bad), and am in the process of finding all the parts
for it. Your webpage has been of excellent use in this, and I appreciate it
greatly. The CanAm needs: new carb floats; clutch adjustment/overhaul; a gas cap;
and a rear fender. I have found ALL of these through the parts section of
your website, and they are on their way. THANK YOU!
Bill Smith

More J.E. Fan Mail

Great Site! I looked & looked until I finally found sometthing on Can-Ams. For Sally Ellis: How could anyone who bought a Can-Am new in the mid 70's ever forget Jimmy? He was (is) my hero. I think I saw him race at Hangtown in "75, but I'm not sure.You see,it was so muddy that you couldn't tell who was who.I still have my old motorcycle magazines with articles on some of the races he was in. Anyone else out there from around Eureka,Calif.?
Doug Milota