Original Owner: 1971 Bridgestone 100 TMX

050416 Barn Finds - 1971 Bridgestone Motorcycle 100TMX - 1

The incredibly original bike seen here has had the same owner since 1971 when they bought it brand new! This 1971 Bridgestone 100 TMX is in Waverly, West Virginia and it’s listed on eBay with a current bid price of $1,500. It’s fairly rare for an owner to hold onto something for 45 years and then let it go. This 99% original bike has just 996 miles on it and it even has the original tires! This could be a museum piece.

050416 Barn Finds - 1971 Bridgestone Motorcycle 100TMX - 2

In 1945, The Bridgestone Bicycle Manufacturing Company was founded and by 1949 the company name became Bridgestone Cycle Company. A year later they started offering a Bridgestone bicycle with a small slip-on engine sold separately. In 1952, the first true Bridgestone motorized cycle was sold with the name BS-21 Bambi. Insert your own eighth-grade humor here..  BS is an unfortunate abbreviation for Bridgestone, but there isn’t much we can do about it now. The Bambi had a 26cc engine that fit over the rear wheel, such as on this 49cc BS-41.

050416 Barn Finds - 1971 Bridgestone Motorcycle 100TMX - 3

About the time that this bike was made, Bridgestone Tire Company was feeling the pinch by competing motorcycle companies who weren’t fond of buying Bridgestone tires from a competitor when there were other choices available. Between that and US regulations against two-stroke bikes, Bridgestone must have figured that it was time they got out of the motorcycle business.

This particular 100 TMX is pretty incredible, a person rarely sees low-mileage original motorcycles like this anymore, especially ones that are this old. It has been in storage for years and it’ll need some work to help it stay running. It starts, but doesn’t want to keep running. I imagine that pretty much any Barn Finds fan could figure out what’s wrong with it. These little trail bikes had twin sprockets in the rear for hi-low, on-road/off-road gearing and they came with a standard rack on the rear and a tubular steel frame, as opposed to a pressed-steel frame.

050416 Barn Finds - 1971 Bridgestone Motorcycle 100TMX - 4

The paint looks a little faded on the top of the gas tank and there’s a chip on there, too; but for it to be all original and still be in this fine condition after all of these decades is pretty amazing. It even has the original tools, but the pouch supposedly disintegrated years ago. This 10.5 hp two-stroke single has oil injection and rotary valves. It’s a shame that this motorcycle has been stored so much of its life, but I’ve done the same thing myself so I can’t say too much about it. Would you ride this Bridgestone or would you keep it in storage as a museum piece?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    This is a pretty unusual find. Bought it, and never rode it. While a good entry level bike, the rider soon yearned for more, and the little 100 wasn’t fun anymore. Saw a few 60’s Bridgestones, road bikes mostly, but faded from the scene just as the others were gaining steam. Honestly, I had Bridgestone tires on my semi’s and they were good tires. I never made the connection between the 2 however. Bridgestone’s always smoked a lot, and never really had a big bike,( 350 ?) but the little ones were bullet proof. Bet it wouldn’t take much to get going. Pretty simple machine. Great find. Seems almost too nice to ride.

    Like 1
  2. Rick

    Wish I woulda had this bike back in ‘71 when I was a 9th grader at Rose Hill Jr. Hi., I’da been the coolest guy up at the Totem Bowl!

  3. jim s

    seems like it worked out ok for Bridgestone as a company as they are #2 but very close to being # 1 in tires. they were good bikes but there were a lot of bikes to choose from back then. great find.

  4. jeff myers

    I had similar bike for about 25 years.
    1200 mile 100cc 2-stroke puddle jumper.
    Not quite as nice cosmetically, but solid runner & driver.
    I got old & couldn’t ride anymore.
    Advertised on CL at $800.
    Huge number of flakes in every flavor imaginable.
    Interesting experience, but no sale.
    Dropped to $600, and instant buyer with no drama.
    Buyer bundles multiple bikes & ships ’em to Japan.
    Has shipped over 1000 vintage bikes to Japan.

    • HeadShape

      Hi Jeff.
      Do you know what popular model bikes are being shipped to Japan ?
      Just interested to know as we have many here in New Zealand.

  5. Doug Towsley

    Not that unusual to see a bike like this with low mileage. I see it often in Estates and even the odd garage sale, Not an everyday occurence by no means but not that unusual either.

    People often bought them for school , work or some idea of a vacation bike for trips with the RV or keep up at the cabin. Often they get scared or have a wreck and decide to park them, OR,,,,,,,, They have some issue and never gets fixed like a dead battery or fuel problem because rarely ridden. Parked and kept in storage the key is to find and save them before some self absorbed relative scraps it, or gets their hands on it. My 1972 TS250 Suzuki came to me in a similar way.

    I am not familiar with THIS particular Bridgestone but have sourced several locally for buyers in Europe where they are quite sought after. If you research the quirks on these, some innovative tech. For example you can set up the shifter to shift and brake from EITHER side on most bikes. (The US mandated backwards shifting by law and its been screwy ever since. REAL bikes shift on the right!) But until they shut down production the Bridgestones made some prettty cool bikes.

  6. Andrew

    I can picture these guys next to it just to complete the scene.

    • Doug Towsley

      Those are some FUNKY duds brother. Right on! Solid!. I have some cheesy stuff from the 1970s I saved for Halloween partys. Some is a resemblence or Les Nessman of WKRP in Cincinatti (Plaid Sport jackets). Some is more 1977 Cool, Bell Bottoms, Big collar imitation silk shirts with really big collars. Puka Shell necklaces or gold chain, and those 1/2 Tinted sunglasses. I caught my wife trying to throw that stuff out several times.

      But what do I know? When I left to go into the military Bell bottom jeans were still cool, I came home from leave a year later and NOBODY was wearing them. When I was in the Air Force, we were forced to wear AF prescription eye glasses (if you had to wear glasses) . We called them BC Glasses. BC stood for Birth Control because you will never get laid wearing them. Basically Buddy Holly, early 60s Ray Ban type black plastic frames. But then that Movie Risky Business came out, and next thing you know Ray Ban plastic frame black sunglasses were suddenly cool. So many of us took our PX glasses and got tinted lenses. My buddy Mark who worked Flightline machine shop was sent for a drug test because he wore his 24/7 and they thought he must be a dope smoker. After the military figured out their BC glasses were actually cool again they mandated a change to big goofy late 70s Smart girl glasses with Dark Brown frames. We looked like mental patients.

      This was thanks to the Navy guys, About the time the miltary got really strict about Drug testing. When I started in the AF, Guys would start the morning at the end of the flight line watching the jets take off smoking a joint. That came to a screeching halt. However their drug testing was pretty haphazard. The well repeated mantra was if you had a mustache, Parted your hair down the middle and drank Grape Soda, sure sign 100% you were a pothead. I did not smoke dope in the AF but I was guilty of all the above. I just dont have much hair to part down the middle anymore. Nice nostalgia trip.

      For fun, look up some goofy english fashion from the 60s and 70s, Check out “WinklePickers”

      • Andrew

        That’s an interesting life story there Doug! You should write a biography for the youth of today. Most of all that info is either long lost or forgotten already.

  7. Kevin Member

    It has one rotary valve (it IS a single cylinder after all). 1971 was the final year for Bridgestone and in my opinion these painted tank models were by far the ugliest, in comparison with the chrome tank previous models. Rockford bought all of the remaining parts inventory and proceeded to build some truly ugly bikes….Chibi, Tora, Taka, etc.

    While their chrome plated parts were deplorable, the bikes’ mechanical’s were top notch. However, the rotary shift on the small displacement bikes could nastily surprise you.

    I sold my 100 bike collection and all of my new and used parts several years ago. The BS following is narrow when compared to Honda, thus making the bikes and parts marginally valuable. The most valuable bikes? The super rare SR’s 90/100/175 full fledged race bikes and the GTO/GTR 350’s. My beautiful early model GTR landed in Maryland. I did keep all of my literature.

    If this TMX were mine, I’d display it and occasionally haul it into town to ride on pavement….keep it looking nice.

  8. MikeK

    Barber’s Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL may be interested in this one. If you guys aren’t familiar with it, it’s an amazing place and worth the trip!!

    http://www.barbermuseum.org/

  9. Dan ross

    I had the 71 bridgstone 100 it was 399 bucks had a lot of fun riding it n pa lease roads the trail sprocket was amazing would go anywhere you pointed it thanks dan from now pa

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