Can-Do Can-Am

A Canadian firm, Bombardier produced the motorcycle that followed the BSA B40 and the Can-Am is still a capable off-road performer

The steering damper seen at the neck of the duplex cradle frame was part of a firm suspension and steering arrangement suited to off road riding
The overall style of the military Can-Am was based largely on the successful Track ‘n’ Trail (TNT) model
Some Can-Ams were assembled at the BSA factory in Coventry from Canadian and locally-sourced parts; Karl Edmondson’s bike features unusual paintwork
The Can-Am began to replace the BSA B40 for convoy control duties from 1979

By the late 1970s, it was becoming apparent that for convoy marshalling and despatch riding duties, Britain’s Armed Forces were relying on the BSA B40, a motorcycle that had originally been designed in the late 1950s. It was launched in 1960 for civilian use as utilitarian, road-going machine and adapted for military service in the middle of that decade. Given off-road tyres and a few tweaks to give it more torque, the ubiquitous BSA B40, though durable, dependable and easy to maintain in the field, was out-dated and the British company that built it was in rapid decline. A lightweight, lively motorcycle, modified from a highly successful trail bike, the Can-Am was the answer.

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