Around-Town Ripper: 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler

Reviving a 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler found through Facebook into a fun commute and errand bike.

| September/October 2018

  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    Josh Withers’ 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    Josh Withers’ 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    There's no tachometer and the speedometer sits in the headlight shell. The cap for the oil tank sits just forward of the gas cap.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    Josh Withers' 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    Josh Withers’ 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    Josh Withers’ 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    Josh Withers’ 1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    That lever that switches the transmission from "return change" to "rotary change" is above the left footpeg.
    Photo by Josh Withers
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
    Owner Josh Withers aboard his sweet Bridgestone custom high above the streets of Los Angeles.
    Photo by Josh Withers

  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler
  • bridgestone hurricane scrambler

1967 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler

  • Engine: 177cc rotary-disc valve, air-cooled 2-stroke parallel twin, 50mm x 45mm bore and stroke, 9.5:1 compression ratio, 20hp @ 8,000rpm
  • Top speed: 85mph
  • Carburetion: Two Mikuni VM17SC
  • Transmission: 4-speed rotary with 5-speed sport selector
  • Electrics/ignition: 12v, electronic ignition (coil and breaker points ignition stock)
  • Frame/wheelbase: Single downtube steel cradle frame/48.6in (1,234mm)
  • Suspension: Telescopic fork front, dual YSS shocks w/adjustable preload rear
  • Brakes: 6.2in (157.5mm) TLS drum front, 6.2in (157.5mm) SLS drum rear
  • Tires: 3 x 18in front and rear
  • Weight (dry/stock): 271lb (124 kg)
  • Seat height: 30in (762mm)
  • Fuel capacity: 2.64gal (10ltr)
  • Price then/now: $650/$1,300-$3,300

Thanks to a gas-guzzling pickup truck, Josh Withers discovered motorcycles. "I didn't need to drive the truck all the time," he says, "so I wanted to get a motorcycle, something a bit more economical to get around on."

In 1998, Josh picked up a ratty Yamaha Virago, which he rode for five or six months before he traded it and $50 cash for a mint Kawasaki 440 LTD. A variety of machines followed, but for Josh, one thing always remained the same — he liked to add a few custom touches. A different set of signal lights, a different handlebar or a different seat, just something to set his bike apart from all the others. It was that attitude that eventually led him to vintage BMWs.

"I was going to buy a Ducati Monster, but at that time you'd see one of those on every corner in San Francisco, California, where I was living," Josh tells us. "So I was talking with a mechanic who said to me, 'Why don't you buy an old bike and make it new?'"

That mechanic was the now-retired and well-respected Dave Gardner of Recommended Service. Under Dave's mentorship, Josh bought a basket case 1977 BMW R100S and put it back together. Since then, Josh has made something of a name for himself customizing several German motorcycles. Check out the July/August 2009 issue of Motorcycle Classics for a story on his 1973 BMW R60/5 Special.



However, this story isn't about one of Josh's favored Teutonic chrome-plated Toaster-tank creations. Instead, this is a story about a wayward Bridgestone that should have been a Lambretta.

Buyer beware

"I was going to buy a 1972 Lambretta scooter from a friend for $3,000," Josh says,"but we couldn't get it running, and for that money it sounded like an expensive non-running project. That's when the Bridgestone caught my eye."



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