Past and Present. The Connection.
In 1967 I purchased my first 2 stroke motorcycle...a 1966 Yamaha 250 Catalina model. The 250 Yamaha was one of the first Japanese 'sport models' to be introduced along with the Suzuki X6 Hustler.
The engine developed 28 horsepower and was one of the first 2 stroke engines to utilize an oil reservoir and oil injection pump therefore eliminating the need and hassle of pre-mixing 2 stroke oil with the gasoline. This practice had dire consequences for the engine if not done accurately.
The Yamaha 250 was available in two models...the Catalina (low mounted exhaust pipes) and the rarer Big Bear Scrambler (high mounted exhaust pipes). I promised myself that one day I would own a Big Bear. Fast forward to 2016. I saw an ad for a basket case 1966 Big Bear for sale in St. Catharines, Ontario. It was very rough and was missing about 50% of the parts. The engine was scattered about in 7 boxes with miscellaneous other stuff. Knowing how rare this bike was I decided to purchase it and try to bring it back from the dead.
With the help of eBay and purchases from literally around the world I began the restoration process. For example, I needed an ignition switch. One was found in London, England. A front fender was also required. One was found in Malaysia. I sourced a rear brake cable (very unique design and rare) in Japan, new seat cover and foam in Nebraska, a suitable carburetor air box in Texas, new oversize pistons/rings in New York, new side cover in California, etc.
In total I made at least 30 separate eBay purchases over the 2 years it took to gather up the needed parts. I then proceeded with the restoration. First the frame and some other small parts were powder coated. Next, by far the single most expensive outlay in the restoration was chrome plating. In hindsight if I had known how expensive chrome plating was going to be, I would not have purchased the bike. Also finding a shop that would re-plate a 2 stroke exhaust system was also a major hurdle. Many shops will not re-plate these due to the oil contamination that will occur to their solution tanks. Fortunately, Cambridge Chrome (Cambridge, Ontario) agreed to do my exhaust. A valuable lesson for would be restorers...budget yourself lots of $$ for plating.
You don’t need to own an old, vintage, antique or even a motorcycle of any kind to be a member of our group. Any motorcycle enthusiast is welcome into our group. We cater to enthusiasts of all ages, who enjoy the camaraderie and fun of participating in our activities, from the monthly Section meetings, group rides, weekly breakfasts, coffee nights, and section rallies, to our flagship event at the National Paris Rally in Paris, Ontario.
Our group publishes an amazing monthly Newsletter, both printed and online, full of tech articles, news, and classifieds.
We participate in annual motorcycle trade displays, hold annual flea markets, and participate in charity runs and displays.
Our Roster and Buy & Sell classifieds are an invaluable source of information, parts and supplies for your own bike project.
The CVMG is run by volunteers, and it's a not-for-profit organization. Our yearly fee is just $40 for a full membership and $5 for an associate member (another family member).
You can start by attending a monthly section meeting as a guest to find out what we are all about.
Contact our National Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org, and he/she will put you in contact with the Section nearest to you.
Daniel Klestorny, Webadmin@cvmg.ca