Classic CanAm

 

 THE BEST CANAMS OF 2006

 As with any of our brilliant ideas, they start as a simple, easy to do concept, and turn into a seemingly insurmountable nightmare.  Sure, we'll just invite the CanAm guys who enjoy viewing the website to send in some pictures and pick our favorite restoration.  How  hard can that be? . . . . Much harder than we thought.  First, you have 4 basic groups of CanAm junkies: 1) Die hard "white tanker" freaks (73-76), 2) "Black Widow" fans, 3) The "orange crushers" (78-82), and 4) The Late Bloomers (ASE guys).  Now I'm not saying that these groups don't overlap or even that you can't be all of the above, but everybody has that "one favorite" model CanAm that they owned or always wanted to own.  And we know that no matter what CanAm we picked as the Classic CanAm "Best of 2006" SOMEBODY will surely disagree.  Also, there were so many nice machines submitted that the choice was extremely difficult. Being "people pleasers" at heart, and because there really are many differences between the CanAm models, we ended up with two major categories.  The first category included all machines from 1973 to 1977.  The second category included all machines from 1978 and up.  Because the MX-3 Black Widow  is so unique - no contest.  We will soon be devoting a permenant section of the website to MX-3 submissions -- just cuz they're purdy!  Hopefully, you'll enjoy viewing some of these fine machines and appreciate all the hard work the owner's put in to them.  

 

1ST GENERATION (73-77)
1976 MX-2 175

Bob Cole's 1976 MX-2 is truly a thing of beauty.  It was extremely difficult to make a decision as to which of the many submissions would be selected.  The fact that Bob chose a 175 gave him the edge on "uniqueness."  It also didn't hurt that the MX-2 175, is one of my favorite models.  We saw a lot of 250's and a number of 125's.  But there were less than a handful of 175cc machines submitted regardless of year or model.  If any of you hard core CanAm fans have never ridden a 175 MX-2 you've missed quite an experience.  I believe it to be the fastest production model 175 CanAm ever made.  Although the MX-3 175 engine was similar, the MX-2 downpipe provided a bit more HP that was missed in the later models. Don't forget to read Bob's "builder's notes" on the mainpage.


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

We were fortunate to be able to see this motorcycle in person.  As you (hopefully) read on the mainpage, this is the work of Daniel Way in Modesto CA.  Actually, Daniel has quite a few MX-5 and other models.  His large collection of CanAm's are all built to ride, although, I imagine some will eventually end up on display in a museum or showroom somewhere.  For those of you who don't know Daniel by reputation, you may have heard of his father, Bond Way. Bond has been building CanAm's for decades and is well known among the "CanAm community."  The detail that goes into the Way built CanAms is incredible.  You could literally write a book on it.  Daniel showed us a couple of the family secret modifications that go into the motors and to say I was "impressed" would be an understatement.  Read more about this bike on the mainpage.

 

1975 GP 250

 CRAIG ELLIS

Builders Notes by Craig Ellis:
 I purchased the bike from a gentleman from Minnesota.  When I got the bike it was in pretty rough shape but was mostly all there.  I did a complete restoration on this bike.  Everything was either painted, polished, chromed and cad plated.  Al Roberts helped me out with the motor, he totally rebuilt it for me.  Al also helped me out with some NOS parts that I needed to finish the project. 
    The bike is equpped with long Betors and long rear suspension.  The back end of the bike looks similar to that of the MX3's setup.  Someone tig-welded the brackets for the shocks, and what is really neat is that they welded a round sleeve with a bushing on the frame for the swingarm pivot for added strength.  Im not sure if this was done at the factory as an upgrade or done by the original owner.  The pipe is a custom up-pipe and I have the NOS Trellborg tires mounted to the rims.
You can contact Craig at Canamcraig@aol.com 

 

1974 MX-1 250

 Ernst OTERO


Super Size Me 

 

 

Builder's Notes by Ernst Otero:
    This 1974 MX-1 250 was purchased in late '04 after spotting it posted for sale on Traderonline.com.  It was listed as an '81 but after having spent so much time on the Classic CanAm site, I knew better.  Turned out the gentleman lived ten minutes away and was willing to let it go for a couple hundred dollars - and looking at the before shot, you can understand why.
     A full tear down and race restoration shortly followed including: complete motor rebuild with correct pre-mix conversion mod, powder coated frame, refinished tank with MXM Graphics, NOS seat, DC Plastics bodywork, Ohlins shocks, Morgen Machine modified forks and pipe w/ FMF Q-Series silencer, polished triple clamps, stainless spokes/aluminum nipples laced to polished hubs and original rims, Michelin S-12s front and rear, updated Magura controls, new cables and Renthal bars replaced the original units. Cad plating and stainless fasteners throughout.
     A tremendous amount of guidance, parts support and stellar machine work were crucial in completing this restoration.  Several of those instrumental in this endeavor include:  Good friend Darryl Alcorn of D&D Bike Barn fame who supplied many of the necessary NOS and donor parts that went into this rebuild including factory CanAm service manuals and bulletins, an owner's manual and fun CanAm memorabilia courtesy of Darryl's former D&D Bike Barn partner and friend, Don Roufs.  Thank you, Don and Darryl!
     Racing legend and former Competition Manager for CanAm Motorcycles in '74-'75, Paul Hunt, who provided valuable guidance, tips and a variety of tricks developed by the team during this period. Thank you, Paul!
     JP Morgen, who's machine shop wizardry - of which I'm always in constant awe - mechanical expertise, constant support and friendship I couldn't be more appreciative of.
     Evan Myklebust of Precision Wheel for the gorgeous wheel work and his dad, Dave Myklebust, for all the hand holding and enthusiastic encouragement he provided me to get this project up and running!  
     Al Roberts, Tony Murphy, Glen Finnerin, Buck Murphy and, of course, Mike Rydman and the Classic CanAm website, all of whom provided a wealth of info, tips and seemingly unobtainium parts.
     And, most importantly, my wife Luci, who tolerated my countless hours of wrenching down in the garage, and even managed to see art amidst the goo that was my gearbox when all I could see was hopeless magnesium rot.  I love you, Sweetie. Thank you all!

Super Size Me

 

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