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Challenger MX4 new owner

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  • Challenger MX4 new owner

    I have joined the GRA Forum to try to help my cousin, who does not do computing. He as recently bought a 1967 Greeves MX4 Challenger. It is an American import and was apparently used for desert racing, but now it needs work to get it up and running again.

    He has competed in Motorcross using contemporary bikes but is not so well acquainted with the older bikes. The acquisition of this bike has thrown up many questions and we hoped that some of you more knowledgeable persons may be able to help here.

    He wondered if any details could be gleaned from the engine and frame numbers which are:


    Engine:-GPB2 298

    Such as how many MX4s were made; where/who the bike was first supplied to; would this engine be original to the frame?

    Also the bike needs an air box and side panels and we would like to know if there is a source for these?

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks


  • #2
    I have it on the survivors records as follows
    36MX4B483 1967 UK Battle Jon Nurse eBay 3/20 2950 ex USA condition B (runner un-restored)
    So presumably Jon Nurse is your cousin, or maybe the previous owner? It would have been a bike exported to the USA probably through Nicholson Motors. Sadly the GRA have no export dispatch records so wont be able to help from that point of view. It is almost certainly the original frame as its in a batch of others supplied to USA. I would suggest you contact Kenny Sykes in USA who may be able to give you more info on the bike from Nicholson Records, his wife Kathy is the daughter of Nick Nicholson
    Cant help with air box and side panels but I am sure someone else may be able to.
    This is the bike when it was on eBay
    Last edited by John Wakefield; 22/05/2020, 09:03 PM.


    • #3
      Many thanks John this is a great start. I believe that my cousin bought the bike from Jon Nurse; it now resides up here in Cheshire. I will send a text to Kenny Sykes and take it from there.
      Once again many thanks.


      • #4
        Hi Dave

        I'm from Cheshire originally and had a red MX2 in the late 70s, its probably still up there somewhere

        (please can you shout if you see it)!

        Strangely I went after that bike of yours but the costings at the ask price reduced my enthusiasm.

        I race a 24MX4 (the 246cc version) with Ceriani forks in the Greeves championship but I'm a total beginner,

        Yours has the Leading Link (banana) forks.

        I wrote a list of approxiate costings for that bike to go racing (I repeat all were very approximate)

        New side panels, airbox and new petrol resistant tanks are all availble from Roger Ennis in the SW..
        Griffon/race clutch <500 fitted from Tery Sewell (inc new primary chain plus drive sprocket),I
        if you really want to spend money you can get an NEB one, TS will fit it if required.
        Electrex world ignition 250 approx,Terry Sewell/ I also hear Dave Higgins is good with electrnic ignition
        Engine rebuild 500 to 1000,-SImon Bateman / DIY or Terry Sewell / Boretech/Dave Higgins
        Roger Ennis tank (resistant to modern petrol softening) approx 180 - he's in the SW
        Side panels and airfilter from Roger Ennis (?)
        Shocks 500-1000 for 2 sets - I use Rockshox and they are really good/but lots use Hagon (you can pay more for Rieger)
        Geoff Nunn gearbox rebuild < 200 - he's excellent
        tyres and brakes < 100-125 talk to Terry Sewell for what's available
        Carb rebuild (?) DIY/Terry Sewell./Villiers services
        original bars / control levers/killswitch and cables 100 Terry Sewell /Villiers services
        Seat refurb 70-100 (a pure guess)
        Potentially an exhaust 250-500 as it looks very rusty - talk to Terry Sewell/Boretech.

        Therefore, my guestimate wasit would cost 3000 or more to get it going fast.

        If you really want to build one of the fastest it would prob be 2k for just an engne inc exhausts (try Jos at Goddard Racing Development(search on facebook) but you have to provide a base engine.

        Obviously if you are good at fettling yourself then costs will be significantly less.

        Scott (Chappell) on here has built a few 36Mx4 bikes and knows a lot about these and is very helpful.

        Sam Heitman at Boretech won the Greeves championship on a 36MX4 that his busness restored !

        I heard around 31 MX4s were supplied to the UK (but not sure if this is correct),

        36MX4s like yours were more popular then the 24MX4s.

        Good luck and shout if I can help.
        Last edited by John macleod; 24/05/2020, 01:18 AM.


        • #5
          Hello John, that is really helpful, many thanks. The bike was bought for 1800 plus transport costs. It appears that my cousin will need deep pockets; as I read somewhere recently "buying an old bike for restoration? You'll need a spanner in one hand and your wallet in the other!" I will forward all these details they are a "gold mine" and will save him much time searching, it's good to have recommendations too. We are based in the Crewe/Nantwich area not far from Hatherton race track - as was. We'll look out for your MX2 you never know.
          All the very best John and thanks again. I'll keep posting on the progress of the refurb.


          • #6
            Hi Dave,

            Thanks for the message,

            Glad it went to a good home.

            Here's a link to a championship wining 36MX4 - it belongs to Sam Heitman of Boretech (paste it into your search bar on your URL bar)


            The guy who is the secretary of Pre 65 (Julian SmIth) also has a 36MX4 and was also really helpful.

            The guys who built that engine are still around too.

            I asked Kenny Sykes (look him up on facebook via Nicholson motors (the american distributor) about your bike but he said he could only find details if you knew the owner.

            Apparently their records are an index card system (I offered to create a digital version for him)!

            On face book check out
            i) Greeves Restoraton run by Gary J Gwillam (has over 50 bikes and super helpful)
            ii)Greeves Motorcycle Enthusiasts,
            iii) pre 65 Motocross club
            iv) Nicholson Motors, None of these are anything to do with the GRA

            Finally I was born in Utkinton, near Nantwich in a lovely cottage with an amazing view! Here to help.

            I'm building another 24 MX4 similar to my other (see below).

            Definately worth joining the GRA.

            My MX2 was sold to two brothers, we lived by the bridgewater canal.

            Kind regards and good luck john Click image for larger version  Name:	G6JEK%HLTUGKLucMgnmk7Q.jpg Views:	0 Size:	673.4 KB ID:	81767
            Last edited by John macleod; 24/05/2020, 12:56 AM.


            • #7
              By the way I live in london now.
              If you check out the posting FIRST Greeves (under new members) you'll see a list of 3 great books that everyone buys.
              They have some invaluable details, all the specs of the bikes including your 36MX4 and lots of great pictures.
              Last edited by John macleod; 24/05/2020, 01:12 AM.


              • #8
                Hello and thanks again John for more useful info. which will be printed and passed on today. I did email Kenny Sykes (also suggested by John Wakefield) - no reply as yet, so we need the buyers name for him, mmmm! that's a tough one.
                Nice pictures of your old bike and the Boreteck one in the link you sent, these will inspire my cousin. I found the books on First Greeves so will note them down, Cheers. Is that you in the action photo?
                I know Utkinton, my wife and I go walking that way on the Sandstone Trail and Delamere Forest I also did some joinery work for a farmer near Willington who married a friend's daughter, his mane is Andrew and her's Caroline they have two daughters, can't remember their surname, I think the place was Tirley Farm. We have a daughter living in London - Tottenham - so get down there ourselves quite frequently (or did!).
                Cheers again John.


                • #9
                  Hey Rodney
                  Very new here myself and have just acquired a 36MX4 also. I'm now keeping my eye out for any spares so if I spot what your looking for I'll let you know. Good luck with the bike. Dug


                  • #10
                    Hi Dave,
                    thanks for the response,
                    my father built 3 keys cottage in Utkinton in 1958.
                    Kenny Sykes responds to facebook messenger.
                    Good luck with the rebuild.
                    Keep in touch.
                    Yes thats me riding in the Greeves championship somewehere near the back!
                    Cheers john


                    • #11
                      Hello Dug and John Macleod.
                      Dug firstly - thanks for your offer of help it's very much appreciated, if your stuck for anything I can look out for you too, let me know. Good luck with your rebuild.
                      John - hope you get some more racing in before the year is out, you're looking good on the Greeves.


                      • #12
                        Cheers Dave Good luck !


                        • #13
                          Hello again, as the bike in question is my cousin's news trickles in slowly. But to date I can report that the frame and other parts have been sent for painting and new head bearings have been ordered on line. Also I bid for an air box on eBay but was too mean and lost it.
                          Hope you guys are getting on OK with your bikes.