With spring and summer just around the corner, there is nothing better than camping in the Northwest! Well there is nothing better than camping with your buddy a vintage Yamaha Enduro. Last year I took my light weight vintage dirt bike/enduro with me camping numerous times. If I couldn’t take my dirt bike I took my Trail 90.
I usually packed my Honda Xl250 with me, but a few times I bought the Yamaha. I suggest this year if you love motorcycles and mainly ride vintage street bikes to get yourself an old Enduro and give it a try. They are reasonably cheap and reasonably easy to work on and maintain. I suggest getting one that is street legal with license plate and is tabbed. I know you could go to a ORV park with ORV tabs, but you're really cutting yourself short if you can’t hit some Forest Service Roads, logging roads etc..legally.I like to bring my bike to Lake Wenatchee State Park to camp. So many dirt roads and trails up there by Leavenworth, Wa. I will give you a list of rides in another post.
I suggest getting yourself a little tool bag and a little extra storage so you can pack yourself a couple of good Session Ales, matches, a knife and your phone. Only use your phone for pictures and stuff, don’t go on social media, enjoy the ride and great outdoors! Also you might want to attach an extra gas can in case you plan on going far or need to start a quick fire. That’s what the matches are for. I am not sure why you’d want to start a fire? Perhaps you come upon fire pit and you are little chilly and you want to enjoy a campfire while you are drinking a nice session ale or sip of whiskey with that flask you brought. I also like to carry a little axe or machete. You never know when you might have to clear some brush or need a log for your fire or come across a big mean killer grizzly bear!
Why I am talking about all this stuff? I don’t know.
This story is really about the Yamaha. So here are the details you came here for. This Yamaha 175-CT1-C is a decent Enduro with great clearance and decent power band. Remember this is 1971 so it's state of the art. They produce about 14 horse power at about 6350 RPM from this single cylinder two-stroke engine also has a five-port cylinder. They are easy to maintain and super reliable. They also have an Autolube feature that if maintained work like a charm. You can start this bike by disengaging the clutch and kicking without having to shift gears to neutral. This also has adjustable rear spring tension to compensate for weight, speeds and different road condition. I love this Yamaha because it’s lightweight enough to throw on the back of your SUV. Oh yeah and it’s pretty.
Stay tuned for more outdoor stories, motorcycle stuff and products we like or not like or think is ok and other things coming soon.
If it ain’t smoking it ain’t working or something like that.
BACKFIREMOTO #68 SPRING OPENER 2017 Wednesday, March 15th 4pm Rain or Shine Seattle WA 98107 Corner of 17th Ave. NW and Leary Ave. NW .... always free ... All bikes welcome! Please share this ad and help to spread the word. Thanks!
Special Thanks to Jay Ubelhart a great guy and a regular attendee at Backfire Motorcycle Night for writing this post about his 1968 Greeves Ranger.
Photos by Sean Westlake
My bike is a 1968 Greeves Ranger with a 250 cc 2-stoke engine. It is the factory street legal model with headlight, speedo, & taillight. The unique color and distinctive front forks attracted me immediately. It’s a fun ride but geared pretty low for any highway driving. I found the bike this year and was pleasantly surprised at its condition and how well it runs. The 48-year-old Villiers/Greeves engine runs well and starts in one kick when I am by myself, and 30 kicks when anyone is watching. The best part of having a vintage machine like this one is riding it. Go find an old bike, fix it, and ride it.
Greeves motorcycles began as a manufacturer of 3-wheeled cars for the disabled, Invacar. Motorcycles were produced in Thundersley in Essex from 1953 to 1976. Bert Greeves was a motorcycle enthusiast who designed the machines and introduced his first units in 1954, one a trials bike, the other a scrambler model, powered by Villiers 200cc two strokes engines. They were easily identified by two unique Greeves features: the leading link front fork and the cast aluminum "down beam". The bikes were exclusively two-stroke powered, using engines from Villiers and Anzani. In 1962, Greeves introduced a new Villiers powerplant featuring a Greeves designed cylinder head and barrel. The new cylinder featured revised porting for better power and the familiar Greeves "square barrel" look.
In 1958, Greeves traveled to the Europe to compete in the FIM 250cc motocross class and was shaken to discover that the British were "regarded as rather a second-rate race in sporting spheres". Greeves redoubled the company's racing efforts and the commitment paid off quickly, with Brian Stonebridge garnering two second place finishes in the championship standings in the ensuing two years. Following the tragic death of Stonebridge, the company hired Dave Bickers as their rider. With a new motorcycle punched out to 246cc, Dave Bickers won the European championship in both 1960 and 1961. Greeves were successful in competition, with wins in the European Motocross Championship, the Manx Grand Prix, the European Trials Championship and the Scottish Six Days Trial, and with Gold medals in the ISDT and ACU 250cc Road Race and Motocross Stars.
It was about this time that Greeves motorcycles began to show up in western states desert races. The little silver and blue Hawkstones began to change peoples’ ideas about what kind of hardware was needed to win. Before the Greeves, lightweight bikes were a joke.
For a ten year stretch, from 1959 to 1969, Greeves motorcycles became the ones to beat. These were the first two-strokes to de-thrown the ruling BSA, Matchless, Triumph, four stroke thumpers both in European motocross, and the big four stroke 'desert sleds' in California.
Greeves was very successful in the USA and can be credited with helping awaken the off-road biking scene there, and with the invention, as early as the mid-sixties, of the trail bike with their road legal off-roader, the Ranger.
(most of the historical facts from the Greeves owners site, http://www.greeves-riders.org.uk/history and http://www.greevesguru.com/history.html )
Todd Werny, Sean Westlake and Sean Dunlap.