Founded by Bert Greeves, the Greeves motorcycle company started when Bert was mowing his lawn and thought of mounting a lawnmower engine to the wheelchair of his disabled cousin to help with mobility. That led to a government contract, and Bert was inspired by his success to start building motorcycles as well. The company was quite successful with exports – at one point Greeves was sending more bikes to the US than it was keeping in its home country. The Greeves Ranger is considered by some to be the first ever ‘trail bike’, a road-legal dual-sport.
The Ranger was specifically designed for export to the States, utilizing a 250cc engine sourced from Villiers. Production numbers aren’t known for sure, though some estimates peg the number around 3,000 (the seller of this example claims that approximately 200 were made for the American market). This bike was known for several innovative features, like the I-beam casting, front downtube, and the crazy-looking front suspension design – take a look at the photo for a view of the leading-link. Greeves was well-known a decade before Honda and the rest of the Japanese competition took over the market.
This example (VIN: 24CS157) has 2,383 miles and is said to be in “overall great shape for its age” with “a perfect amount of patina.” Everything is said to work though the original Villiers carb got a crack and has been swapped for a Mikuni and the chain guard has been missing. In addition, the front tire is original and should be replaced if you’re not just going to keep it on display.
Find this Ranger for sale in Tucson, Arizona with an unmet opening bid of $2,200 here on eBay.