The Bert Greeves story has been well told. He founded Invacar as a mobility device for his disabled brother. He started building motorcycles, then started racing them. Successfully. So much so that the company achieved legend status in the motorcycle world in less than 25 years, start to finish.
The Challenger was clearly part of that legend. Advertised as the first ‘totally Greeves’ bike when it was introduced in 1964 (thought it still used an Albion gearbox) it was the first to use the totally new Greeves designed motor. Part of Greeves secret was the extensive use of relatively exotic alloys that were produced at the in house foundry.
Greeves dominated the 250 CC motocross and trials world in the mid 60s with it’s brutally strong frame, light weight, good handling and serious factory support.
The Challenger would be the last model to use the ‘I beam’ front downtube and the ‘banana front suspension’ a leading link, twin shock setup that couldn’t match the 7 inches of travel that Ceriani offered as an option in 1967.
The 1967 Greeves Challenger used a 246 CC air cooled two stroke single cylinder motor that made 27 HP and an extremely light weight pushed through a 4 speed transmission and a very strong frame with good suspension to be an extremely competitive motorcycle. Available with telescopic front forks or Greeves own banana front, weight was the consideration in all construction details.
This particular 1967 Greeves Challenger is in Upland, California and is listed as a ‘very nice original’. The listing is skimpy on details, but the bike is rumored to run and said to include extra parts and tools. The bike is currently on it’s opening bid of $1,500.00 with reserve not met