1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Can Am motorcycles

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by paul e. stark, Jun 23, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. paul e. stark

    paul e. stark TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Way faster than hodaka!
     
  2. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,642
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    Paul, you are correct factually but this is not a proper comparison.

    Can-Am's came along much later, and were larger, and had the advantage of much more known technology of the time.

    I had an MX-3, and it was a monster. Adjustable rake angle, Super Trapp, almost too much motor,and it went like nothing I had ever had.

    Fire roading one time, in a full lock slide, I looked down and the front wheel was a foot off the ground without me even feeling a thing.

    It was the most forgiving bike you could imagine. Devastating screwups on this thing were inconsequential.

    I have seen MX3's be competitive in local amateur short tracking many years later against supposedly superior iron.

    HM
     
  3. paul e. stark

    paul e. stark TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    I still have a restored 1985 mx 500 in the stable. still gets the heart pumping!
     
  4. biff

    biff Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,140
    Were these powered by 500cc Rotax engines, same as in snowmobiles? Biff
     
  5. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,849
    No, biff. They were (mostly) 250cc two-strokes whose salient feature was a rotary valve in contrast to the piston-port timing of almost all other bikes of the time. In theory, the non-symmetrical opening and closing of the intake was the "secret" but really, they weren't much different from piston-ports in that respect, at least in flat-track form.

    Here's one of mine, ridden by Mark Hill at Lima, Ohio. Clearly we had the handling well worked out and the power was fine. You could run half a season on a piston, so they were a privateer's dream.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    And here's Mark's brother Steve, in a typical pose.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    They were good bikes under fine riders and took a lot of events in the Midwest.

    Neil
     
  6. biff

    biff Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,140
    Neil, Where was the "K" license # from; F was Ohio, H Indiana?, Ky was L I think. I used to know most of the letters as riders used to come from all over the country to the midwest races. Biff
     
  7. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,849
    Biff they switched around for a while. E was Michigan and R California, F was Ohio, near the end K was Minnesota and maybe Wisconsin too.

    I can remember when you could play Scrabble with the letters of a full field of riders at Troy, Wapakoneta, Lima, Greenville, Dayton, and I don't remember how many others. They were great times, never to return.

    Neil
     
  8. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,642
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    G was Wisconsin, P was northern Illinois.

    Go fast turn left.

    The most fun you could have with your pants on.

    HM
     
  9. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,642
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    Hit the link for a nice bunch of pics. Revvin' Kevin (89) and the speedway bike are very cool.

    Lots of feetups. This vintage flat trackers site is great.

    HM
     
  10. Joe O

    Joe O Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Neil; You must have known Barney Larson then. I spent a small fortune at Larson's. Road my first enduro on a 1978 250 Qualifier. Later moved to Husky and KTM, Road enduros against Mike for about 20 years. Way fun, a little hard on the body though.
    Joe O
     
  11. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,849
    Sure, I knew Barney well. I bought one of those BSA Victor 500's from him and actually raced it, stock except for no headlight, and did OK at the Mora TT with it, though it was too down on power for Cambridge. I got my BMW 800 there too, a '78 I still have; it's only got about 2000 miles on it but runs like a champ.

    I remember heading over the hill on the long TT track at Helms with him about next to me. You couldn't see what was on the other side and since I'd never been there, I didn't even know which way the track turned in the early laps. Barney never believed in front brakes and I had dual disks - man, what an advantage!

    Neil
     
  12. magnumshot

    magnumshot Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic
    I had a Can Am 175 dirtbike. Bought it for 75 bucks partially disassembled in Ca, and put it back together. It would hillclimb my big arse up and over the top of the tallest hills. It could hold it's own, but it was no 400, which I upgraded to a couple of. Kind of like comparing a Spitfire to a Corvette.
    Had to roll it before putting it in gear when it was cold, but after the clutch warmed up it was alright. Good smallish 2 stroke for scrambling. Outdated, but if that's what you want, good Nostalgia. Made by Bombardier in Canada.
     
  13. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6,246
    Perhaps some of you older motorcycle enthusiasts remember Suzuki's media-hyped entry into big-bore motocross bikes -- the TM400 Cyclone. It was just the second bike I ever owned, as I was barely past puberty. It was a very dangerous bike for a young kid. My best friend literally almost killed himself on it. This machine was so deadly it should have came with a warning sticker on the gas tank -- maybe a Skull & Crossbones or something.

    Somewhere toward the end of the powerband the engine instantaneously lurched from about 20HP to 40HP, seemingly within about 10 RPM. If you were pushing hard and suddenly went heavy on the throttle, as you could with other MXers of the day, the engine would EXPLODE with power. Unless you were riding straight-up, there was no chance to keep the rear tire engaged with planet earth. Until you got used to it, the thing would put you on your ear before you even had a chance to save it. The first time it made me eat dirt I thought the rear axle had come out or something. They eventually started selling giant flywheel weights just to flatten-out the powerband and make it ridable.

    Don't even mention the suspension. It was as ridiculous as the motor. I eventually got a hacksaw and welder and "laid-down the shocks" myself in an attempt to tame the unholy beast.

    Yeah, Suzuki's deadly TM400 was a horrible and dangerous machine which should have never been unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. God, I miss it!

    -Gary
     
  14. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,642
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    Reminds me of the first Kawasaki 3 cylinders. Way too much motor in a gas pipe frame.

    They killed about 4 kids around here that year. Selling these 500's to youngsters ("Please, Dad, it's only a 500") was like stocking a kindergarten with 12 guages for play.

    But what an engineering feat to produce that much motor.

    HM
     
  15. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6,246
    Great comparison, HM. I miss those deadly 2-Stroke Kawi Triples too. I even remember the smell of them. One time I ran up against a guy at the dragstrip who was on one of those. It was heavily modified and lightened and he had some kind of expansion chamber that made the thing sound like nothing I'd ever heard before. One of the bikes I had at the strip that day was a 2-Stroke Yamaha RD. Mine had loud expansion chambers, but I couldn't even hear the engine when this dude revved-up his crazy Kawi in the other lane. It was like a chainsaw on steroids or something and every time he launched it looked like his home-made wheelie bar was gonna snap off.

    Good times, man.

    -Gary
     
  16. SARGE75X

    SARGE75X Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    648
    I raced a 71 TM400, my Dad told me if I sold it he would buy me any other bike I wanted so the TM left and a brand new Penton took its place. Then the trophy's started showing up too. Red Bud" first race at the track in 73 won my first trophy(on the Penton) on it. Can Am's were faster, and shifted better than Penton/KTM's but Pentons were better bikes. Think the 250 CA was fast a friend has a 370 in his garage, its fast, but a 490 Maico will eat it alive and that is nothing compared to the Honda CR500AF I was racing in 02.
     
  17. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,351
    Location:
    Iowa man!!
    My friend had a 750 Kawasaki that he had modified (he worked at the Kawasaki shop). after a few too many beers I took it out for a ride one night. He warned me "don't open it up in first gear" so I took it slowly up to top RPM in first, then grabbed a handful of throttle when I hit second and all I saw was the night time sky for quite a while. Man that thing was quick.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.