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Jay Springsteen’s MX250 short track racer

 

JS MX250-2

A Small Dirt Track Racer with a Big Story; Jay Springsteen’s Harley-Davidson Champion MX250

This is bike is small in size, but large in GNC history. For many years after its success it was ignored, and it was stashed in a basement, but Don Miller, collector and owner of the apparel company Metro Racing, brought it out into the light, and tells us this story.

“I asked Jay at a couple nationals over the years if it was for sale. Always a big smile and “Na, it’s just fine in Ma’s basement.”

“A few years back we had Jay and Woody Kyle at our vintage national here in Pennsylvania as special guests. I figured for sure it was my big chance to get my hands on that bike. I asked Jay if it was possible for me to get it, freshen it up and have him cut some hot laps during intermission. Still pretty much the same response with an added, “The front wheel is gone, my brothers may have borrowed a few other parts, etc.”

“Two to three years later, we had Scott Parker scheduled as our special guest. Doesn’t hurt to ask one more time. Luckily this was it. Jay said, “Don, you ain’t gonna stop asking until you get your hands on that thing, are you? I’m leaving for Daytona in a couple days. There’s a lot of stuff in the hauler already. If I can make it over to Ma’s and fit it in the hauler, I’ll bring it to Daytona and you can meet me there.”

JS MX250-1

Don continues, “Luckily it fit in his hauler and I met him down there. Jay thought it was a little rough around the edges. All I saw was a factory HD rich in history. I restored cars and motorcycles for a living and nothing scared me.

“It was amazingly in good shape. I got it home and went to work, going over the motor, cleaning, lubing and reassembling it to just how it was. All the missing parts came from either Jay or his tuner, Bill Werner’s stash. I paid careful attention so as to not disturb anything that could change its authenticity. It was just clean it up and put it back as it was.

“The second coolest thing besides actually having this thing in my hands was that I got to see inside a Werner motor built to win at all costs, along with copies of his notes on building the bike “back in the day”. BIll was a great help with the project for sure.

“I got it all together with a few days to spare before the event. We took it to the track and got to put some test laps on it. I was more nervous than ever riding a bike in my life. I was excited, but the whole time, all I could think was don’t junk this valuable piece of GNC history that isn’t mine, especially since we had advertised that Scotty (Parker) was coming to ride this thing in a few days!

“The event came and everyone enjoyed seeing the bike as well as Scotty putting in some demo laps during intermission. Jay said I could keep it for a while, until our paths crossed and it would go back into his collection. That was until National Motorcycle Museum curator Mark Mederski found out I had it. Now it is on display in the Dirt Track Heroes exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa for all to see. That is unless I can convince Springer into selling it to me after its museum display comes down next year!”

Built in 1978, legend Jay Springsteen rode this factory, Bill Werner prepared, Champion-framed MX250, to two of his 43 wins; back- to-back at the Houston Astrodome.

Springsteen won his first National short track at Houston on this MX250, housed in a Trackmaster frame. Fellow Harley Team member Scott Parker used the machine to score his first short track GNC win at Santa Fe in 1980. Parker borrowed the bike at Santa Fe after Springsteen became ill and missed the program. Parker would go on to win 94 GNC races and nine championships. Springsteen always did well at Houston and in 1981 and 1982, won the opening short track rounds. The bike was raced until 1984, when the AMA changed the rules from 250cc machines to 500cc four-strokes.

Jay Springsteen kept the bike stored in his mom’s basement for nearly 30 years until he loaned it to racer/historian Don Miller.

Model……………………………….Harley-Davidson MX250

Year…………………………………………………..….1978

Engine……………………………………….Two-Stroke Single

Bore and Stroke…………………………….….2.84” X 2.35 “

Displacement…………………………….…….15 Cubic Inches, 250cc

Brake Horsepower……………………………………40 Estimated

Transmission…………………………………………5 Speeds

Wheelbase………………………………………………..….58 Inches

Weight………………………………………..……220 Pounds

Wheels…………………………………………. 19 Inch

Tires……………………………………………..……4.00 x 19/ 4.00 x 19

Brakes…………………………………………….……Rear Disk

On Loan from Jay Springsteen