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197? can-am TNT 250 Answered

Hello all, I am in the process of fixing up an old Can am 250 from the seventies, and wanted to hear some of your reviews of this bike. Most people i know say that it was a beast, if you twisted the throttle the front would come off the ground, other people have said that it was a gutless hunk of junk. Thanks in advance for the feedback!


I had a 1976 TNT 250 bought it new 1600.00 bucks alot in those days.The speedo had a pin at 85mph where the needle would bounce off when I would be WFO in 5th gear.I know I was doing over 90mph plus,but at 18 yrs. old I wasn't too worried.One day a Kawasaki 4-stroke 550 six speed raced me down the West River Drive in Philly and couldn't catch me til I got caught at a red light,true story and damn proud! On the dirt it was tough to handle as the suspension was way antiquated and Yamaha was just coming out with the monoshock as virtually all the other big manufacturors had leading axle forks and laid down shocks in the rear.Yes it was a beast with more guts than any 250 of the day,period!!

Hey, good luck with that! I know very little about the Can-Ams. I've mostly heard them compared to old Husquavarnas and old KTMs. They sound gutsy, when tuned properly.

Ya, apparently they were one of the first bikes that used a rotary valve.

Be real careful with the rotary valve set-up. You don't want to get your fingers in there. It's very unlikely to turn while you're working on it, but stranger things have happened!

YES! We picked up the bikes yesterday so pictures should be up of the two bikes this afternoon.

From 73 to 78 they were the most powerful in their class. T'n'T means track and Trail. You will find it has a Rotax engine and it was built by Bombardier, the same people who make Skidoo snow machines. It should produce somewhere around 35 horsepower if it is running right. That is still pretty good power for a 250 cc. motorcycle. They were the first really dedicated motocross bikes. Before that the sport was either trials or scrambling. Trials was about your ability to handle a bike over an obstacle course, control instead of speed. Scrambling was more like MX crossed with rally, it was usually over a course instead of around a track. They were pretty tall bikes compared to the rest of them back then. They also used more plastics for things like fenders and tanks. If you get it going you should have a good trail bike that works well for desert riding out of it. Of course more modern bikes are going to outperform it, but mostly because of improvements in the suspension and so on, not because of horsepower. When the Can Am bikes appeared in 1974/75 they cleaned up on the off road tracks, they won almost every race they were entered in.

Never touched one. I'd love to hear about your experience, however, as soon as you get some with it. Even what happened whilst you were fixing it (or as I like to say, "making it less broken").

Its not really broken, it was just sitting in a barn for 16 years, as for instructables, i will be posting one one removing gas tank sponges,cleaning carbs, finding an exhaust pipe, cutting a new kick starter and protecting it.

Fun! I've got one that's been parked in a a garage for 15 years, but it was never prepared for the storage and has since turned itself into a brick. I'll probably do an 'ible on getting the rust out of the tank (how about getting the "substance-that-was-once-gas" out? It won't leave!). Doing the project will be like building a ship in a bottle, given the state of my garage... I'm guessing on yours that there'll be no need for synchonizing carbs? That'll be a fun one when I get around to it.

Maybe, if you used a pressure washer and blew the jelly out of the hole where the petcock used to be,

Try using some petrol to get the once petrol substance out, it tends to dissolve it a bit... Also penetrating oil and patience can cure a badly seized engine, we've revived things that were rock solid without even cracking a piston ring, if it's been that long throw in the WD40 or better penetrating oil and leave at least a day otherwise you risk wrecking the rings, just realized you probably know this stuff.. I'm off to make a giant bottle, I'm going to sail my ship inside it, just to annoy people...

I got three gallons of the stuff out the other day (which now refuses to evaporate or burn properly), but there's a certain amount that I can't get out because the filler neck has a 1/2 inch lip around it, and the sediment is plugging all the intended exit holes. I think I'm going to just pick one of them and poke it with a stick to keep the sediment from plugging it up too bad, pouring gas all over my hand in the process, I'm sure. Once all the gas is gone, I'm going to throw some sand and water in and swirl it around a bit to get all the rust off. Then I'll know just how serious the rust is. Then it's on to dipping everything resembing a carb in carb cleaner!

. Carb cleaner has probably changed a lot since I dissolved most of a 4V, but be careful about leaving parts in it for very long.