Bombardier on two wheels

1970 - Motorcycles and minibikes

In the 1970s, recreational products manufacturer Bombardier Ltd. began marketing two-wheeled vehicles. Fuelled by continuous innovation, determination and its bold product design, the company capitalized on business opportunities and diversified its line of products. The new all-terrain motorcycles and minibikes came in a variety of models for the whole family, and were popular with speed enthusiasts and casual riders alike.


The first models

1970 - Bombardier bantam trail minibike

Off-road minibike for the whole family

Chassis: tubular, and welded and threaded steel plates

Front: telescopic
Rear: oscillating fork with shock absorbers


Off-road competition motorcycle

Frame: tubular double loop space frame with tapered backbone

Front: adjustable, Betor teledraulic, front wheel travel 16.5 cm
Rear: oscillating fork with shock absorbers


Reliable, fuel-efficient and stylish, ideal for the city

 Chassis: fully welded pressed steel, torsion-resistant

Front: telescopic fork
Rear: shock absorbers

1972 - Bombardier launched the Can-Am® brand

1977 – “Can-Am® motorcycles” glass

1973–1974 - Can-Am® motorcycle assembly line at the Bombardier Ltd. plant in Valcourt.

In 1972, Bombardier Ltd. created the Can-Am® division under the direction of Gary Robison, production and racing expert; and Jeff Smith, two-time world motocross champion. While close to 60% of the parts were produced by subsidiaries, the motorcycles were assembled in Valcourt. In 1983, Bombardier licensed the brand and outsourced development and production to Armstrong-CCM in the UK. The division ceased operations in 1987. In 2006, BRP reintroduced the Can-Am® brand with a line of all-terrain vehicles.

Internal newsletter - Info Can-Am®, vol. 1, no 1, December 1974. Promotes communication between Can-Am® motorcycle producers, distributors, concessionaries and owners.

1974 sales brochure - Can-Am® clothing and accessories

Bombardier Can-Am® dominates the races

1975 - Can-Am® decal

1975 - Bombardier Puch® ashtray

In summer 1972, Bombardier tested its motorcycle prototypes in competition prior to market launch. Synonyms of reliability and power, the high-performance MX-1 and T’NT® enduro and motocross models came out on top at numerous race events. The Can-Am® team was at its peak, winning multiple motocross championships across North America. Riders Bob Fisher, Jeff Smith, Marty Tripes, Gary Jones and Jimmy Ellis met with resounding success, setting speed records and racing to podium finishes.

1973 - The Can-Am® team

1975 sales brochure - Can-Am® motorcycles

Bombardier tests the market

In the 1970s, two-wheeled vehicles joined the line of recreational products. Bombardier Ltd. turned its focus to product development, and these efforts opened the doors to new markets. The company began developing new motorcycle models for all tastes: high-performance vehicles for racing enthusiasts; enduro off-road bikes for adrenaline seekers; and light, compact and economical trail bikes perfect for both country and city driving.

Photo: 1971 - Enjoying a ride on Bombardier motorcycles, Bantam Trail, Junior Cross and Bantam Cross models.

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