Idaho Barn Find: 1974 Can Am TNT 125

I’ll be the first to admit that this photo looks too good to be true, but perhaps the seller is being honest and this is a genuine Idaho barn find. This is a Can Am TNT 125, which looks like an intriguing mix of road and dirt bike from the creators of Ski-Doo snowmobiles. The seller hasn’t listed an asking price (annoying) but the bike’s preserved condition makes it worth calling on. Find it here on craigslist and now living in Hollywood, California. 

The company behind Ski-Doo was Bombardier, which is the same nameplate responsible for Can-Am dirtbikes. Located up north in Quebec, Bombardier used its established dealership network to begin supplementing snowmobile sales with motorcycles. Even as an upstart company, its cycles were immediately competitive with established brands thanks to high-quality construction and innovative features.

Interestingly, Can Am brought in some big names in the motocross world to consult with the company on building a competitive bike. Jeff Smith, a world champion racer, helped shape the company’s initial products and the bikes immediately found favor with motocross riders who rode their Can Ams to top place finishes. This example is said to be low mileage, and still kicks over despite not being in running condition.

Today, you know the Can Am name for its Spyder, the three-wheeled roadster that competes with passenger vehicles for space on the road. Although still innovative, these original bikes were what gave Can Am its reputation as a manufacturer of competitive motorcycles and dirtbikes. It’s hard to assign a value to this TNT 125, but we hope it starts pounding dirt trails and motocross courses soon.

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Comments

  1. Steve M

    I dig it, I bet its a hoot to ride.

  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I had a older Penton, 6 Day Enduro if I recall correctly. These and the Honda Elsinore would smoke me. At the time I could not afford to keep up with the new technology. I did ice race her as a side hack, fun but still behind the curve. All I have left is the fuel tank! Nice to see some scooters here again. Thanks Jeff, sweet post!

    • JohnD

      My dad bought me a used Penton when I was in HS. Stepped up from a ‘78 YZ-80E. Did yours have the leather strap holding on the fiberglass gas tank? I believe my 250 was a ‘77.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hi John, My 125 had a steel tank bolted to the frame. Man, that was a long time ago but the bike was a late 60’s or very early 70’s. Take care, Mike.

    • Brian

      Always interesting to hear about people racing side hacks. My dad motocrossed a Wasp with a Kawasaki 750 triple, most successfully as the monkey. My mom raced a side back as well, always as the monkey. I don’t recall what bike her side back was based on but Margie had a few trophies. This was all back in the late 70s and early 80s.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      The early Pentons, pre 74 were still finding their way.

      The mid 70’s Pentons were more competitive. Friend had a Rickman, powered by a Penton that was great.

      The Elsinore with the first year down pipe and aluminum tank, was the benchmark. You were in good company.

      We had the Can-Am’s in western Mass. This looks to be the enduro, not the MX’r judging by the light kit. Those ran slightly detuned engines. The light kit was an attempt to sell these as occasional road bikes.

      leiniedude, were you smoked by Can-Am’s enduro or the motorcrosser, there was a difference?

      Hodaka was usually pretty competitive in these parts too.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hello Ross, pretty sure it was the motocrosser, no lights.Now that I think back, my Penton had a Sachs engine. Thanks for the info, Mike.

  3. Blueprint

    Glad to see our provincial pride in California barns!

  4. Pushcat

    I had a 1977 Can Am 175cc, crazy fast bikes but hard to find parts for now.

  5. Gearheadengineering

    Cool bike. Fun for nostalgia but not something I would really want to take out in the dirt.

    I rode bikes like these back in the day. Compared to more modern machines these are heavy and have limited suspension. They will wear you out pretty fast. The guys who raced bikes then were seriously mighty.

    • Steve M

      Yes I was…lol

  6. Troy s

    Love those obnoxiously loud old two strokes from back then, had a YZ 125 that would wring my ear drums! It is so cool to see the older dirt bikes, lots of memories.

  7. Rube Goldberg Member

    As a younger man, I was totally into dirt bikes. So much so, the old man kicked me out of the house “AND TAKE THOSE XXX-XXXX DIRTS BIKES WITH YOU” ( later pops) I had a ’73 Suzuki TS 400 and a Bultaco Pursang 200. Didn’t see many CanAm’s, or any oddballs,( oddballs meaning, not the standard H,K,S,Y) for that matter, and my Bultaco was the only odd make of all my friends bikes. Once in a while, a CanAm would show up, mostly bigger ones, 400, I think. Although I’m paying for it today, I had a lot of fun on those bikes. Can’t have that kind of fun today. Nobody wants some punk on a loud ring ding doing laps in the nearby vacant field ( if any left) for 4 hours. You know, when I do hear that today,,,a smile comes to my face.

  8. Fulm

    Nothing beats the sound of an obnoxious 2 stroke. Had a Husquvarna WR430, crazy powerband on that thing.

  9. angliagt angliagt Member

    I had two Can Ams – a 175TNT,& a 250 TNT that I bought new.
    These were great bikes that could make an average rider like me,
    look good.It was expensive,as it was $1595 (1975),IIRC.
    The 250 put out about 28 horsepower,which was a lot back then,
    & (on trials tires) would outhandle many street bikes.
    The tanks & fenders were White plastic,& the
    tank logo was silk screened,so it would come off,when
    you cleaned it at the car wash.

    • Frank Romance

      I had a Montessa back in the early 70’s. No comparison to a modern Suzuki RM 250.

  10. phil

    I had Can-Ams back in the day….very good bikes….still have my 1980 Swm trials bike…same Rotax motor….and still have my 430WR…..these are great enduro bikes

  11. Eric

    I had a 1982 can am 250 qualifier, loved that bike, been looking for one for awhile, was told they are hard to find, wish i kept it!
    Eric

  12. KELLY d COLE

    We now own it.
    It is In Covina California and in line for restoration.
    I will get it running first to evaluate the power train.
    All Sports Performance
    Covina, Ca.

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