Bouncy Bronc: 1971 Heald VT-10 Super Bronc

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This is a 1971 Heald VT-10 Super Bronc and it’s on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $750. It’s located in the capital city of the great state of Florida – Tallahassee.

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If this one was original it would already be in the back of a pickup and would be headed north to our garage. It looks like someone “restored” this bike but it wasn’t the sort of restoration that I, or a lot of you, probably would have done. Not that it’s bad, it’s just.. green – green, green, green; green everywhere but the tank, engine, and seat. Some bits should be chrome like the fenders for instance, and the rear springs, handlebars, etc. I’m guessing that they were rusty so it was easier and cheaper to rattle-can everything green than to have them rechromed. Bummer.

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The VT-10 was quite an upgrade from the VT-7 and VT-8. Here’s an old ad for a VT-8, it sounds like they were sort of a kit that came partially-assembled, like a King Midget car or any number of small vehicles in those days.

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This ad is from Google Books and is out of a 1973 Popular Science magazine.

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These things really fly, relatively, and not literally of course. They’re great in the snow with those huge, wide, low-pressure tires like an old ATV. Here’s a guy riding his Super Bronc around his neighborhood as shown on YouTube. Fun! I think that he has a helmet on, hopefully; he’s really cruising. A 10 hp engine on this small thing would definitely keep up with city traffic, but whether you’re brave enough to ride it in public is up to you. I would be just because I don’t care what anyone else thinks about my vehicles, if I’m having fun that’s all that matters to me. Have you heard of the Heald Super Bronc? Would you ride this thing?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    I remember back in the 60s and 70s, the ‘Tote Goat,’ the ‘Mountain Mule,’ the Trail Bug,’ and many others I can’t begin to name right now. This one is new to me. I see it has the luxury of a swingarm so that should make it a little easier on the backside on the mountain trails.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, I remember that era, it seemed everybody jumped on the “atv” bandwagon. The people that supplied these types of tires probably had several homes in the Catskills. ( that they never visited) I never heard of this either, but like snowmobiles, there were hundreds of mfr’s, and a new one pops up from time to time. ( just saw a “Snow Bunny” make on CL the other day). I don’t think this has a swing arm, per se, it appears just the seat has springs, which is still an improvement.

  2. JohninCM

    @geomechs, Funny you zeroed in on the rear suspension. At first I was scratching my head about the shocks on the rigid frame. Then I spotted the suspended seat action. So not really a swing arm but better than a rigid frame I expect.

  3. Oingo

    Paint over chrome means high potential for rust to me particularly why the shocks are painted too. For 750 though it might be worth it no matter.

  4. Howard A Member

    You know, when things like this 1st appear on the screen, before I click “more”, I know right away who the contributor is. I think we’re lucky to have someone like Scotty, that has a flair for these “oddball” things. Keep ’em comin’, Scotty.
    I never heard of this either, but like I say, there were dozens of early atv makers, the field was wide open. ( pun intended) This is pretty cool. Tecumseh made a good motor, little touchy, but I always thought they had more power than a Briggs, although, a Briggs will outlast a Tecumseh. Looks like a transmission like a snowmobile, but I’d never take this on a highway. 30-35 mph would be tops (unless you wired the governor open) Looks like a lot of fun for cheap( $1,500 in today’s money when new) Might want to get a REAL spark approved muffler, don’t want to burn down the woods behind you ( the one on there is just a cheap small engine muffler with plumbing pipe) but this would be a lot of fun. Thanks, Scotty.

    Like 1
  5. Fred W.

    My dad built a similar bike for me around 1967. We didn’t know bikes like this existed, only knew about the typical 3HP minibike. Not to be outdone he decided 8HP would be better for his kid and purchased a brand new B & S recoil start engine. Then he built a heavy frame in the same shape as the little bikes, just bigger. An engineer, he duplicated the single coil spring front end that many of them had. We had a couple of Piper Cub wheels and tires laying around his “junkyard”, so those became the minibike wheels after he welded a huge sprocket on the back one. A heavy duty chain went to a jackshaft on the frame, then he engineered the ultimate “transmission”, a foot controlled variable ratio belt drive torque converter. Slight pressure on the pedal gave low gearing for fast starts, then you gradually increased pressure for higher gearing. The 0-35 mph time was about a half second.

    Like 1
  6. Fred W.

    What the Beast looked like (can’t believe I wore a helmet in the ’60’s!)

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Fred, is that a pocket protector in your shirt? Just kidding, whoa, variable speed, pretty cool. Most mini-bikes of this era had the standard centrifugal type clutch, or “dog”type ( Ka-chunk, weeee) or some were plain suicide, with the chain right off the crank (start and go, shut off to stop) I never had a mini-bike. I had a Honda step-thru 50, but still had plenty of fun. For many of us, these were our 1st taste of motorcycling, something I still enjoy 50 years later.

      Like 1
      • Jeffro

        I had a blue/white Honda 50cc mini trail. Thanks for the story Fred! I love happy memories

  7. chuck c

    I always seen these for sale in back of magazines they had trikes and mini bikes..I have gotten lucky and found one for sale by the great lakes for a reasonable price had it shipped to me in Pennsylvania..it is the 10 HP one and after putting together and fixing what needed done it is a powerful bike to say the least..I’m a big guy and this thing turns gravel in my parking lot! People that see it are speechless…FYI there is a company that bought healds old patents and are selling them but are modern day pricey at @2500

    Like 1
    • Dave Wright

      Do you remember the photo of Dan Blocker riding up a trail on the Bonanaza set on one like this?

    • Phil

      Who is selling this?

  8. Fred W.

    That most likely is a pocket protector Howard! Just imagine an 85 pound kid like me trying to pull the rope and start an 8HP B & S engine. You’ll notice the rope handle is white, that’s because when the rubber one wore out, my dad made one out of solid nylon plastic confiscated from work.

    After this home built machine, I later owned a Honda Trail 70 and an assortment of Japanese trail bikes. My dad, a WWII veteran, had a few adjectives to describe them and the Far Eastern cars I had later.

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      HA! That’s pretty cool. I’m sure lot’s of “parts” came home from work in dad’s lunch pail. My old man was a carpenter, and even to this day, I never cared for that. I was on my own as far as mechanical things ( the old man sure was pissed when I took apart a lawn mower engine when I was a kid) He also was a WWll vet, and would not allow any Asian ( or German or Italian, for that matter) cars in his driveway. He even went so far as to holler at me one day,”Get those G-d Daxx dirt bikes out of my garage”! I moved out shortly after.

      Like 1
  9. Krash

    In the ad above among the options was an electric start and a ski front end…would have loved to been floppin’ around in deep snow on this thing when I was ten…burning my legs as this thing fell on me during a snowstorm..showing off my burns at school the next day….

    I loved this era when safety was the
    very last thing on any of these small businesses list of priorities… when at least one kid in your group had a cast on some appendage at any given time, and was right back doing the same daredevil activity an hour later…..when police officers could be seen giving some kid a stern talking to after catching the kid riding some home made mini bike or go cart on the streets..and then not being able to catch that same kid the next day because after his father heard the story from that same officer an hour later, went directly to the garage when he arrived home that night and tweaked the motor just to embarrass that same cop the next time he chased his own flesh and blood (my best friend’s dad).

    Where has all the fun gone for kids

    Like 1
  10. Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this Super Bronc sold for $750! A heck of a deal.

  11. Eric

    I picked this up today i believe its a heald vt8 if anyone knows anything about it or where i can get parts or info on how to put the drive together it would be a lot of help to me

    • Scotty Staff

      Congrats, Eric! That’s fantastic! It looks like it’s in great shape other than than the missing engine/drivetrain parts. I would check this site out if you haven’t already: http://www.oldminibikes.com/forum/?
      Let us know when you get it back on the road!

      • Eric

        I got a box of parts with it with the original drive and a new drive but the new drive is a different size then the shaft on the engine im hoping all the parts are there for the original

    • Leon

      Hello, I Have a Heald VT 8 Superbronc. I really would like to get both tires replaced. Do you have any idea where I could begin my search??? I appreciate any info.

  12. Lou

    Trying to determine optimum selling price of a 1971 Super Bronc VT-7 in original condition with ski and tow attachment. Seems to be very collectable but hard to find actually sold prices.

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