The Vintagent Classics: The films that inspired us.


Run Time: 1:34:00
Producer: Michael Nesmith
Director: William Dear
Writer: William Dear, Michael Nesmith
Key Cast: Fred Ward, Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote


Time Rider: Tyhe Adventure of Lyle Swann is a 1982 science fiction Western film directed by William Dear and starring Fred Ward as Lyle Swann, a cross country dirt bike racer in the 1980s who is mistakenly sent back in time to 1877.

It’s yet to have a full uncut version released on DVD or even Blu-Ray. Every release has something cut or missing.


Lyle Swann is a well-known dirt bike motorcycle racer who is in the desert competing in the Baja 1000, a multiclass vehicle cross-country race. Swann has a reputation for being a great rider but is plagued by technical problems from the high-tech gadgetry he incorporates into his C and J framed XT500 Yamaha. When Swann accidentally goes far off course, he stumbles across a time travel experiment that utilizes “maser velocity acceleration” to send objects (in this case, a simian subject by the name of Esther G.) back in time.

Swann rides through the field and gets sent back to November 5, 1877. The scientists in charge of the experiment soon realize what has happened, but Swann rides off, unaware of what has happened to him, before he can be returned to the present. While taking a swim break in a local pond, he runs into a gang of outlaws led by Porter Reese, who becomes obsessed with stealing Swann’s motorcycle, and the outlaws pursue Swann into the small village of San Marcos, but his red suit and dirtbike scare the local Mexicans, who think he is ‘El Diablo’ (Spanish for ‘The Devil’).

There, he meets a beautiful woman, Claire Cygne, who gives him a safe place to hide, and who severely wounds one of Reese’s men Carl Dorsett. The village priest compels them to withdraw, but Reese continues to plot the capture of Swann’s dirtbike. In the village, Swann is seduced by Claire and sleeps with her, but she is later kidnapped by Reese’s henchman Claude Dorsett as revenge for her shooting and wounding his brother Carl.

They also manage to capture the dirtbike, leading to a series of hijinks, while Swann gets help from a posse of two U.S. Marshals, Potter and Daniels, who are trying to capture or kill the gang. Potter has a personal vendetta against Reese, for Reese killed Potter’s son two years previously. Swann manages to retrieve his dirtbike and rescue Claire. Potter is killed by Reese in an ambush, and Daniels is mortally wounded and dies later.

In a final showdown, Reese’s band of outlaws faces Swann, the last survivor of the posse, and Claire atop a plateau. When a helicopter shows up (sent by the builders of the time travel experiment to take Swann home), Reese’s men run away in fear, but Reese stays behind and fires at the helicopter, killing or wounding one of the pilots. The helicopter begins spinning wildly as the co-pilot tries to maintain control, knocking the dirtbike off the side of the plateau. Reese is killed by the helicopter’s tail rotor. The helicopter manages to land on the plateau and extract Swann.

Just as the helicopter pulls away, Claire snatches a pendant from Swann’s neck that was handed down from his great-great-grandmother, who had stolen it from his great-great grandfather as a reminder of “one incredible night they had together.” Swann realizes that he is his own great-great-grandfather.


Watch the FULL FILM courtesy of Cine Meccanica


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