We live in an age of choice. Compared to 50 years ago, we have numerous choices in our living arrangements, snack foods, apps on our smartphone and even which restroom you want to use. However, one place where is less choice today is in motorcycle brands. Today, you can choose from the major names from Europe and Asia, but off beat brands, like Bridgestone (yes the tire company) are no longer part of that choice. Find this 1970 Bridgestone TMX100 for sale in Portland, OR for $1,200 via craigslist. Tip from JB1025.
You may know them as the world’s largest manufacturer of tires, but they also manufacture such diverse products as bicycles and golf equipment. From the 1950’s to the early 1970’s Bridgestone was known also for producing high quality two stroke motorcycles. One such, was the TMX 100, built as Bridgestone’s entry into the enduro craze of the late 60’s. Powered by a two stoke, air cooled single, displacing 99cc and a ring-dinging 11hp. It boasted a chromed cylinder bore, rotary valve, and a strange rotary four speed shift, where after top gear, you went to neutral and then back around to first. This bike has owner “upgrades” of a neon yellow fuel hose and inline fuel filter. It would be the first and second thing I’d remove.
Of course, it was equipped with Bridgestone tires (Bridgestone still makes motorcycle tires today) and this bike still has its original tires, with the nubbins still on them (along with age cracks). I wouldn’t ride much farther than down my driveway on those. Supposedly the reason Bridgestone got out of the motorcycle business was that the other Japanese manufacturers told Bridgestone they’d stop buying their tires if they didn’t stop making bikes.
The tank looks like it still wears its original paint, stickers and knee pads. It’s a cool combination of painted metal, chrome and rubber, with not an insectoid-shaped piece of plastic in sight.
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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.