RIP Ilkka Jalaskari

The Can-Am community lost one of its Canadian  riders, Ilkka Jalaskari, who won a bronze medal in the 1986 ISDE for Can-Am.

Ilkka immigrated to Canada from Finland with his parents as a preteen, learned to speak English and quickly assimilated into Canadian culture and forming relationships.

As a young teen when it was time for the family to return to Finland, Ilkka decided he would stay in Canada and convinced his parents to leave him in the care of his aunt, he had limited contact with his family over the years, and was out and on his own while still a teen.

Ilkka found a passion for motorcycles as a teen and never looked back, he was a successful road racer in the 70′s and decided to try his hand at off road and quickly climbed through the ranks in the Ontario Enduro and Hare Scramble circuit.

In 1984, Ilkka became a Can-Am dealer with his brother in law, Steve Crover in 1985. Steve owned a motorcycle machine shop, Competition Wheels in Scarborough, ON. After Can-Am, Ilkka carried on in the trucking business and Steve became a Kawasaki dealer while still selling parts and service for Can-Am’s.

Ilkka retired to Florida in 1992, and most recently had been living in Nicaragua. He succumbed to a heart attack there on 16th January 2017.

God Speed Ilkka

Back Row: Scott Walker, Ross Lennox 1987 406 ASE, Bob Kendall 84 CA 250 L/C ASE Gary Klassen, Steve Brand, Grant Bond 85 CA 250 ASE,  Bob Turnbull 1987 200 ASE, Steve Turnbull, Nigel Read, 85 CA 500 ASE, Ian Peters, Chris Ellis

Front Row: Dave Marr 87 CA 250 ASE,   Blair Sharpless, 87 CA 250 ASE

Known Can-Am Riders that day missing from picture: Bill Batten, 85 CA 500 ASE, Brian Doughty CA 200 ASE

Ilkka’s white van with the Can-Am logo is in the background.

Thanks to Grant Bond for supplying the news and information.


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Website Update!

As 2017 is now here, its time for an update. Over the next couple of weeks I will be doing an update of the website and adding a bunch more articles, pictures and information.

And here’s what’s in store; The August 1973 edition of Horizons, the early Bombardier company magazine giving the official launch of the Can-Am motorcycle brand. Full copy of the article will be published.

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What goes round, comes around.

Over the last two years I have been thinning my Can-Am collection down due to work commitments……………well that was theory. Having sold a few bikes, they are now reappearing on the market as restored bikes by others.

I always regretted selling this 175 TnT. Although it looked rough, it was more dirty and had suffered during shipping. I sold the bike about 3 years ago, with the new owner spending a lot of time cleaning it, doing regular maintenance type work and adding new plastics and seat cover. After all that work, a change in work circumstances, meant it it went up for sale………..just as my new larger workshop was completed.

Of course I bought back……..

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Sometimes you just get lucky – 1977 250 Qualifier

Scott Johnson of Colorado, recently sent me note about his newly restored Qualifier:

In early April 2016 I began to see 2 Can-Am motorcycles being advertised in the local Craigslist here in western Colorado by an auctioneer who would be holding an estate sale on April 16. One was a 1976 TNT O/R 175cc and the other was the bike you see here which was the 1977 Qualifier 250. Not knowing anything about the Can-Am’s, nor ever owning one, I decided to call the auctioneer to see if I could just buy them outright and to get more information on them. I was told the original owner had passed away and had bought both of them from Knowles Can-Am in Gunnison, Colorado. Both bikes had clean original Colorado street legal titles. It was much easier to get street legal status back then as the use of hand signals, a headlight, taillight and DOT tires were all that was needed. I was further told both bikes were in rough condition.

Upon arrival to the estate auction, I was a bit worried as there were approximately 300 people milling around all the items. I had to wait for over 2 hours before they got to the bikes, and believe me, there were plenty of people looking at them. People saw me studying them both in great detail and began to try and pick my brain as if I was going to bid on them and how much. Of course, I did not divulge a thing.

The first bike to be auctioned was the TNT 175 Off-Road model. I later learned that this bike was somewhat rare if it in fact was the O/R model and upon inspecting the VIN# I learned that it was.

Bidding started at $500 on that bike and when no one raised their hands, the auctioneer had to lower the starting bid a few times until hands started to go up. It reached $200 when I raised my hand.  Another bidder raised theirs at $225 and I again raised mine at $250 and ended up winning that bike! The Qualifier was next. Again the auctioneer started off at $500 and had to come down. Hands started to go up at $200 and by the time it hit $500 I was again the winner!

Once getting both bikes home, I painstakingly cleaned both carbs, tanks, fuel lines, transmission fluids etc until I got both of them running and going down the road. I wanted to make sure the transmissions went through the gears with no problem and there were no gremlins in the engines. Both sounded good and ran fine. All the lights worked as well which was a bonus! I decided to sell the TNT on eBay to use the funds to restore the Qualifier. It was a toss up but the decision had been made. The TNT sold to a guy in Pennsylvania for $760 which needless to say made the Qualifier a free bike to me.

The restoration started right away and by June 4, it was done! Everything was either powder coated, painted, polished or highly detailed right down to every spoke, bolt, washer you name it! The magneto and flywheel were a mess and I am glad I inspected that area. Clean as a whistle now. Lower forks were wet sanded, polished then serviced with new oil and boots. Brakes were serviced and cables lubed. Wiring was either replaced or re-wrapped. Carburetor was cleaned a second time. I spent over 10 hours wet sanding the tank starting with 400 grit going up to 1500 grit and then buffing out. It did not turn out 100% due to some fuel staining that I just could not remove without painting over the plastic and we all know that does not hold up very well. New fenders & graphics all around were applied.

I think I spent over 100 hours of my time on this bike over the past few weeks but she turned out beautiful.


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New Workshop

Canned-Ham has moved into a new workshop! After putting up with my old dark and drafty workshop for far too long, I had a new fully insulated workshop built, complete with stylish windows and doors. Supplied by ProWorkshops, the new building should allow me to finally complete some long running projects and to finally display some of the accumulated memorabilia.

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