Photo by Bruce MikeBy Bruce Mike

With winter suddenly upon me this year, I realized I have no project planned to keep my motorcycle spirit alive through the coming months. I have a couple of rides planned for the winter. One in Watertown SD and the other is a week in Moab in early March. All my running bikes are put away with Sea-Foamed non-ox fuel and plugged in to trickle chargers. All I have left for tinkering with is a little snow blower and the Trail 70 pictured above.

I’ve owned the Trail 70 for over 20 years and have had tons of fun with it. It came to my posession as partial payment for a Volkswagen Golf I was selling. I’m pretty sure the Golf is long gone but the Trail 70 is still here. Some time in the last couple of years I decided it would be fun to put a 110cc pocket bike motor in it. My nephew had the motor and was willing to give it a go. As is the case with most of my motorcycle projects, the mechanical parts are handled by my brother and his son in my brother’s shop. I buy the parts and do what I can to help. The last bike we did was my ‘72 ironhead chopper which took third place in it’s class at the Donnie Smith Bike Show. The bike is currently for sale. Email me if you want details and photos.

I’ve had a few vintage bikes that were all original and I discovered that I lack the desire and attention to detail that’s required to be a proper owner. While fun to ride, OEM parts were often difficult to find and rather expensive. They mostly went to good homes and I know one of them was completely restored to all it’s original glory. That made me happy.

I apologize to the folks out there who would rather see this little bike restored to it’s original state. I understand how what I’m doing to this bike may seem an abomination but I gotta tell ya, a 50 mph Trail 70 sounds like fun. While I have a ton of respect for people who restore bikes, it’s just not my thing. I’ve kept all of it’s original parts and am doing everything I can to keep it whole. I purchased a conversion kit that upgraded it’s electrical and added a clutch. The motor is in the bike and my nephew has ridden it. He confirmed the fun factor for me.

My plans for it over the winter are to tighten up the conversion, add new tires and wheels and make it road-ready. It’s at that “let’s see if we can do it” point and now I want to make it right. I’m going to get it titled and plated so I can ride it on the street. I’ve always liked scooters and to me this would be the perfect substitute.

One of the reasons I’m writing about this is to find out if anyone out there has done this successfully. I’ve found stuff on the internet but none of the projects I’ve found are local. I’m looking for “tips and tricks” and any experience would be helpful.

If you have nothing to share regarding my project tell us about yours. Send pictures, ask questions, show and tell us what you are doing or have done. It may end up printed in the paper or posted on our website or facebook page. We love reader submissions. Send whatever you have to I’m hoping my inbox gets filled because that would make the winter months much more bearable. Stay warm and build something.



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