Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, directed by William Dear, is a time travel-influenced action film starring Fred Ward as Lyle Swann, a cross country dirt bike racer. The movie was scored, produced and co-written (with director William Dear) by Michael Nesmith.
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 Ester 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 spring, he runs into a gang of outlaws led by Porter Reese (Peter Coyote). Reese 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 the Devil or ‘El Diablo’ as the villagers scream which means ‘Devil’ in Spanish.
While in the village Swann meets Claire Cygne (Belinda Bauer), who gives him a safe place to hide and severely wounds one of Reese’s men Carl Dorsett (Tracey Walter).
The village priest (Ed Lauter) 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 (Richard Masur) as revenge for her shooting and wounding his brother Carl…