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Old 01-02-2012, 11:53 PM   #1
35Summers OP
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Oddometer: 41
Looking for a Sidecar champ from TN

This may be a little odd for this forum, and if that's the case I apologize. I use this site all the time, and I thought the regional forums might be able to help.

I'm trying to get in touch with Donald Sprain. In 1988 my father bought a Honda TL250 from him that came with a Trials sidecar mounted to it (see attached photo of the sidecar front and center in a family xmas photo ). I did a little google searching and found his name mentioned in an American Motorcyclist article as the 1983 National Champ, but beyond that I haven't been able to find any contact information.

The only information I have is that the address on the sales papers (1988) is in Knoxville, TN

The bike has sat neglected for years at this point, but my father passed away a couple of years ago and since it's kind of a strange beast and there's some sentimental connection I've decided to restore it and I'd love to get some of the history of it. Did Donald make it? Did he compete with it? The TL250s were not super successful bikes to begin with, so I'm curious about the choice to sidehack it.

Anyway, I figured there was a chance that someone here would know him; or know a guy that knows him. Any help would be much appreciated. If you do know him, please don't post any information here, I don't want to publish his phone or emails or anything. Send me a PM and I can give you my contact info.


"I try to imagine a fella smarter than myself. And then I think: what would he do?"
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2005
Oddometer: 517
could be this guy?
ob1quixote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 06:39 AM   #3
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: butler, ky/Franklin, tn
Oddometer: 828
Great Christmas Photo! And a cool story. Good luck on your search.
patmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 01:48 PM   #4
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2009
Oddometer: 3,219
Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but . . . the AMA may help.

The individual sought may still be a member, or--his last known address may be available.

While the AMA may not divulge an address, the organization may contact someone on behalf of a current member.
XDragRacer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
35Summers OP
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Oddometer: 41
Well, mission accomplished. The White Pages listing took me right to him (sometimes the easiest solutions...).

We had a great chat and he game me some background on the bike; it's been ridden in several national championship and the motor is actually brand new. It originally had a 250 motor that a buddy had bored out to 305, but when it came time to sell the bike his buddy wanted to keep his trick trials motor (rightfully so) and he happened to have a new-in-crate TL250 motor in his collection of parts so he threw that in it.

They fired it up to make sure it worked and put a few miles on it, and once we got it we rode it in a few vintage trials (just for fun) and some light trail riding (it was never really a great trail bike, the handling is just wierd) - so I'd honestly be surprised if the motor had much more than 100 miles on it. Trials sections just aren't that long.

I'm thrilled since it means I shouldn't have to worry about tearing it apart to check piston wear, valve wear, etc...

Anyway, thanks for the couple suggestions I got. I wasn't sure what he was going to think of a call out of the blue about a bike he sold back in 1988, but we had a great time talking bikes for about 30 minutes.

Pretty good afternoon.
"I try to imagine a fella smarter than myself. And then I think: what would he do?"
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