XR500 C&J MX

The classic weapon

I am sorry to say, but up until 2010 I had never heard of C&J. My internet tribulations and exchanges with some other XR500 nuts on a French Forum (www.leguidevert.com) about Barigo bikes opened a whole new world to me. At the time I was in the final stages of emigrating from Europe to California for work. One night in a motel in Sunnyvale, in the Silicon Valley, I was sufficiently jet-lagged to be wasting my time on eBay at 1am. There was this C&J frame for sale.

I was not sure what it was worth but thought it would be a nice way to get my hobby started when landing in CA for good a few weeks later. I placed a very reasonable bid and got it for .... 21 cents more than the next bidder... sorry mate :)

You will notice that it is missing the foot peg brackets... Over the following months I acquired parts via eBay to start rebuilding it. In the process I got in touch with Jeff Cole, formerly of C&J, in fact in C in C&J.

I developed the idea of building a replica of the famous (to some) "White Machine" of Al Baker and Johnny O'Mara and a whole new story began.

This C&J frame is actually one of the earlier C&J type, probably 1979. It has a straight swing arm and the pivot is not the stock 14mm XR500 one like on the later frames.

I sent it to Jeff Cole who did some small repairs to it and provided the missing parts.

This chassis will receive a Simons fork, a Thor aluminium banana swingarm and a pair of Air Shox. These nice bits are waiting patiently in their boxes

To be continued...