Bandit minibike ... but NOT a Rupp Bandit ...
My buddy just bought an old mini for
$50.00 which has original front and rear shocks, with
a swingarm, mag wheels and Tecumseh engine. Chrome fenders and gas tank, looks like a fancy model. I have not found ANY other mini-bike with
a frame shaped like this one - where the rear shocks mount.
Between me, him, and another
friend we have over 30 mini bikes, but we could not ID this one until....
I found this ad on the net.
This is it, but his has a chrome gas tank in front of the seat which looks factory, perhaps a different model than shown , I reckon it's the TT model mentioned in the ad.
Made by Kal Manufacturing. The "posi-stop" brakes mentioned in the ad description is a band-brake on the clutch. Does anybody know
anything more about this company or the Bandit minibikes by Kal ??
We don't know the year of this bike or what happened to this company.
I have one of those frames:
......and a few front fork parts:
.........I can't find any info on Kal Mfg.
Share a photo
My brother Dain Ekas on the mini-bike was sick with Cancer. My Father bought him this Bandit II mini-bike because he wasn't going to be with us much longer. That is me Derek Ekas on the Sting-Ray and some of our friends on the Street like the Bradfords (Greg Bradford in the blue shirt became an Actor and starred in a few movies) and the Stewarts, and Peterman, etc.. When Dain became too weak to ride (and my parents thought it was too dangerous for him), my Dad modified my Sting-Ray for him in about 1967, making what I think was the first BMX bike ever made from a Schwinn Sting Ray. We lived in Carson, California (which is next to Gardena famous for Ascot Speedway)and next to Jack Rabbit Hill where everyone rode in later years, and next to the swamp before that was converted to a concrete flood channel by Avalon Boulevard across the 405 Freeway from the Goodyear Blimp.
We used to take the mini-bike and the BMX bikes and my Dad's motorcycle up to Escape Country and Saddleback in later years, where other kids and father's saw the Sting-Ray and copied it (I will have to dig up a picture of it). My father took motorcycle handle bars with grips and motoX plates, put knobby type tires on it from something?, put a Schwinn 10 speed Derailer seat on it, painted it black. This picture was I think Christmas 1966. The Coppertone Sting-Ray was a 1964 bought at Christmas two years previously.
The next picture is a 1968/9? Suzuki TS-90 modified into a full motocross bike from an enduro. In the family it replaced the Mini-bike as we got older. In the background you see the second Schwinn Sting Ray that was modified by my Father James Ekas for my next younger brother Daron Ekas (he wanted the drag race look).
Last edited by TCracingCA; 06-25-2013 at 04:27 PM.
Now there's some cool photos and history.
Hi TC, Cool pics. We grew up in the same era when all was cool stuff and life was good and simple. Sorry to hear your brother had cancer. It was so hardly heard of back then. Most of the Mini Bike Manufacturers were gone by the recession in 71'. I am sure Kal Mfg. was hit by it also. By 1970 there was 300 mini bike manufacturers in this country. Two years later 30 and down to 5 by 1976.
I had the same exact Coppertone Stingray. Sorry to hear of your brother's illness. Thanks for a great story!
My Father had a good job back then, and liked the toys. We usually were the popular house on the street (neighborhood) because of our urethane wheeled skateboards, the modified Sting Ray bikes, he also had a 1964 Corvette Sting Ray that would pull the front tires off the ground. Thus every kid loved to watch that car when he pulled into the neighbor after getting off work.
Originally Posted by Mean Dean
All I remember about this Bandit, was that it was the very first in the entire neighborhood. At school, kids found out about it, and wanted to come over and see it. As you all can see, this funky Bandit model was very Binged out. It had the powerful engine, chromed fenders, upholstered seat whereas the very few mini-bikes that existed in that era were more basic, but far cheaper. This bandit was from what I remember the Ferrari of the mini-bikes in its year. Then the craze took off! I want to say that when that happened, when other manufacturers started mass producing them, a Company like Kal couldn't compete at a much higher price, even though it was a high end bike. I remember distinctly cars of that era were all chrome, but then that changed in and around 1966/67 where models had less chrome trim and the mini-bikes followed the same trend. By the late 1960's everyone had them. In our neighborhood of 212th St., Clarion, Braderick, Neptune, etc. within a few years of getting this bandit, at least 20 of them sprung up. The same happened with the skateboards, when we showed up playing with the Cadillac wheels on Fiberglass Boards, everyone wanted one. I still have that board and others, so I shot a quick picture!
We were at the first BMX races and prototyped a side hack. The hills shown in the Movie "Gone In 60 seconds" was down in Carson south off of Sepulveda Boulevard is one place we rode and also up in Dominguez Hills by a large Nursery and naturally always from 1964 thru till mid 1970's at Jack Rabbit Hill (but when they built the new Carson Police Station next to City Hall, every police officer knew our house. Whenever anyone was riding up there, even if it wasn't us- they came to our house first. We had a bridge built near the Avalon off ramp to cross the swamp and then when the drain canal when in, we used bolt cutters to get thru the County gates. Then as we got older, we would ride the dirt bikes thru the neighbor and go up into there to the west by the trailor home park. Jack Rabbit actually had top line motocross racers training up there for awhile. In our neighborhood we cut and dug our own tracks, because we were the local kids. We also were charging money to the other neighborhood kids to run on the tracks that we built up there. We had a dirt bike course and a BMX track up there, and even started charging the older guys and if they wouldn't pay, the older guys on our street would beat them up at school. Our neighborhood became known as the Jack Rabbit Hill Mafia! We usually entered Jack Rabbit Hill from Grace street and crossed over under the freeway off ramp, and for awhile we had our own lock on the public works gate.
And then I remember Escape Country Motorcycle Park building the first BMX track in the early 1970's. We dug some berms and jumps etc.. Then we came back down there a few weeks later and the facility Ownership had a crew on our track improving it. I remember telling the construction workers how they should do it. We ran the mini-bike on it also after they were done (I took a lap , but had moved up to Motorcycles by then). For the better part of two to three years after this park opened, there was no BMX track there until we took our shovels that one weekend. I also remember entering one Mini-bike race in about 1968 on the MotoX track I think at Saddleback where my Dad was going to beat everyone (about 30 entrants) and changed the socket and tweeked on the carb. I remember leading all of the other mini's, until I ran out of gas. My Father in his haste to tune and prep, forgot the gas, but we were way out front there for awhile. I have a 1st place trophy from Saddleback in 1969 that definitely was when I was riding a Motorcycle and not the mini-bike. The mini-bike got fixed and painted black also, and passed down to Daron and then Dean and Draden rode it until the motor went! I think I have a picture of it black.
I think the mini-bikes were too dangerous, and I just remember everyone in our neighborhood that had one, wearing a cast on either an arm, hand or leg. Above I say fixed, the fate of our bandit in factory yellow was (I won't name names), but one of my younger brothers hit the gas instead of the brake and slammed it into the Jones family station wagon. Naturally the Jones family had all daughters, so I think my brother was trying to show off and ended up instead with his arm in a cast and my Father's pay out of $25 or something so they could fix the rear car bumper! I remember the factory was no longer there, so my Dad had to find parts to fix it!
This thing was fast. We would take on 50cc to 100cc motorcycles with it. Off of the line, we had them, but getting out past 30-40 yards, the motorcycles would blow past. Also with a little foot assist, it could climb up practically any hill. At Escape County all of these guys on 250's/400's etc were climbing this hill and up I went also.
This is all over 40 plus years ago. Yes my Brother passed, but he had some cool stuff since he was the oldest. The Sting Ray was his but then he got the 10 speed and then the Mini-Bike and then I got his Sting Ray. But then he got the Sting Ray back, because he had trouble riding on the taller 10 speed. The dates are kind of a little vague in my memory during 1966/67 possibly earlier, but because of his sickness, I think I remember that we either had his birthday or Christmas earlier than the actual date.
I will add some more pictures when I find them of the Bandit in black and naturally modified. That's what my Father did to everything.
Last edited by TCracingCA; 06-25-2013 at 04:26 PM.
Reason: Adding more as I remember more!
This is great reading. Thanks for your time posting.
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