Some of Phil's custom bikes over the years...

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1975 Yamaha MX400B Ice Bike

1975 yamaha mx400b ice bike 1 1975 yamaha mx400b ice bike 2 1975 yamaha mx400b ice bike 3

I was lucky to find this basket bike with all parts in the box or on the rolling frame. Yamaha engines of this era were known for linear torque comparable to Huskys and Maicos. Everyone now knows four strokes are best for dirt track cornering and that applies to ice bikes too. I think this grunty 400 will be an exception to that rule.

The first and really the only modification wasn’t to the engine--that stays stock. I had the frame cut at the head to move the fork angle rearward. There is no sense to try to corner a bike with a 30o rake, which was common to bikes of that time. And happily, I was able to use a compression release I had stashed away because the head was tapped for two plugs. I’ll use that momentarily coming into corners and as a kill switch. That sound will startle the youngsters on the ice...”damn, what’s that behind me?”

The only other thing I did was to fatten the rear of the seat purely for aesthetics. Naturally, I used a front ice fender which I make. I’ll ride this bike for the first time at my February, 2022 80th Birthday ride on Lake Minnetonka. I’ve invited my flat track friends. No cake or cupcakes--just icing on the lake!

Maico Spider

maico spider 1 thI was large into Maico Spiders back then. Rode ‘em and refurbished them. This was a 250 MX, which I never should have sold. They had great travel, great torque, were stone reliable and were just terrific looking motorcycles. Can you say a brand compatible stand!

1991 YZ250 Chesterfield Replica

Donny Schmit

donny schmidt awardWhen I was a flat track promoter in the early 90s, we (Dave Dolejs, the Montgomery Rynda brothers and me) decided to augment flat track races with other venues to bring in additional dollars. We settled on the world’s shortest SuperCross. It was a failure but we tried. Good local MXers came out to support us. Among them was super star Donny Schmit from Minnesota. He was a pro in all ways and he was a nice guy too. He won a pile of American MX championships in 125 and 250. Then he went on to win the 1990 Grand Prix World 125 MX championship for Team Bieffe Suzuki. In 1992, Schmit rode for Chesterfield Yamaha, and won his second world title. His 15 career victories in World Motocross Grand Prix were a record for an American rider. In 2002 Schmit was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Donny is on the left here. I don’t know why we were both smiling but it was awards time. Maybe because he was a world champion and here I was handing out a lousy plaque.

chesterfield replica 2

At 75 years old I had no business buying a vintage Yamaha 250 MX, but I did in August 2017. My intension was to build a Donny Schmit Chesterfield replica from a 1991 Yamaha 250-to ride, not stare at.

Two years later I finished it, but turns out the thing is too tall for my short legs and old body so I traded it. 

Dirt Track Mini

Built for dirt track racing in pull start class. Extended Azusa frame to curb unexpected front wheel lofting of stock short frame. Modified 5 hp Briggs flat head. Tall handlebars and big wheels raise seat level for comfortable adult use. Tall bars won’t trap left knee in corners. Actual 1980 Harley XR 750 tank with sectioned and shortened XR tail. Custom seat from scratch.

phil mini 101 phil mini 102

track mini 1 th track mini 2 th track mini 3 th track mini 4 th

Cinderella Lump Custom 650

I purchased two 1980s Yamaha 650 Specials about four years ago. One I turned into my Storm kit showcase bike.  I turned the second one into a Cinderella. It has a modified Storm body and looks like a café/bobber thing. It has a three-tone 1960s style paint job in pink/charcoal/pearl white. Read about the build process

It has only 5,500 miles on it. I probably put a price of $2950 on which is fair for a low mile, tricked out bike. Now with the pink color you’ll have to be a manly man or a pretty lady to buy it. 

Phil Little Cinderella V1 WDP 8895 th Phil Little Cinderella profile V2 WDP 8872 th Phil Little Cinderella back V2 WDP 8910 th


Yamaha TT250: The quest for the perfect trail bike in 2014/15

Actually, there can't be a perfect woods bike because there are different classes of riders. Intermediate to expert level fellows from 25 to 45 with abundant testosterone are perfectly happy with KTMs and the like with sky-high seat heights and more than needed power. But there's another bunch of riders who appreciate a scoot a little closer to earth with tractable power--novices and senior riders. I am part of the senior bunch and to them I recommend reaching back in time to obtain one of these older bikes and rebuilding it in a limited way. I paid $500 for one in great shape. My brother Ric spent $250 for an XT that needed more work. That's your price range-try to stay in it.


drz-110-prokart-bike Mini DRZ 110 for indoor winter tracks

Just bought this mini and re-cloaked it in the TM/RM spirit for use at ProKart indoor tracks during the winter. On specific evenings during the week Minneapolis kart tracks have dedicated pit bike practice and race nights. This little monster will allow this old, fat body to have fun while others of my generation are worried if they'll make it to their easy chairs.

LIttle-4-grassOSSA DMR

This was my first real flat track bike. There is no substitute for the right handling dirt track designed frame. A "framer" will turn you into a slider. I put Trackmaster glass on the DMR which now is heresy. The paint scheme was for the Forest Lake Racing Team. A friend of mine, John Metz, now owns it and won't sell it back. I don't blame him.

1974 XL 250 Honda-Vintage MX Bike
ManxbigfrntNorton Manx conversion for Yamaha 650
Norton Manx conversion for
Yamaha 650
350trackmasterHonda 350 Trackmaster
Honda 350 Trackmaster
Yamaha 650 Street Tracker
RD350_99 RD350_93
RD350_96 RD350_95

jawa ice

Jawa 890 Speedway 1

1974 Yamaha RD350 Cafe
Honda450_back Honda450_34ftrt
Honda CB450 Café
XR200R Champion
Mad Dog Class Racer
Jawa 890 Speedway 2
suz750lemans suz750lemans_maroon
Suzuki GT750 LeMans
1978 250 Six Day Ossa
1983 FT500 Honda Ascot Café
1974 Moto Guzzi V-7 Sport
Kart003 Kart004
CR250-powered Race Cart
xl350-4 xl350-1 xl350-2 xl350-3 xl350 5
XL350 Grass Tracker