19292 Olana Lane Huntington Beach, California 92646-2912
I’ve tinkered with small motors since high school, but got
the real gas engine hug when I bought a Fuller and Johnson NC from
my friend Steve and restored it for my boss Jud, who always wanted
a hit and miss.
It was so enjoyable, I bought a Stover KA, an Economy 1 HP, and
a burr mill from Steve.
Well, that was over fifteen years ago and they are still not
restored, because about that same time my buddy Bob introduced me
to motorcycle racing.
Then I discovered Maytag when my friend Lou gave me a model 92.
That kept my interest in antique gas engines because anybody knows
you can restore a Maytag in a week. Then I went back to Steve and
bought a Bean 6 HP, my first upright.
It took about twelve years to crash out of dirt bike racing and
get back to my motors.
That’s when it happened. My friend Mike sold me a Whizzer
motor kit. Now I have the best of both worlds, an antique gas
engine you bolt into a bicycle and go down the road!
Since then I have built a dozen more for myself and others. A
few months back, while trying to get some guys interested, one of
them commented he wouldn’t mind if Whizzers didn’t cost so
much. Well that brings me to my latest project. I told the guys I
could motorize a bike for a hundred bucks.
Two hundred dollars later I had a working model I took on a
local Whizzer ride of about forty-five miles. Most of the guys
didn’t like my ‘junk’ keeping up with their high dollar
rides. It looked pretty rough.
When I saw a story and picture in Gas Engine Magazine of a
similar bike, I decided to make mine a showpiece.
My friend Dale had welded the motor mounts I fabricated into a
Schwinn frame. My friend Dave supplied me with some moped parts I
used for the seat, front drum brake, throttle, clutch and
compression release controls. My buddy Gene painted it red. My
friend Tony recovered the seat and my son Kevin made a side cover
to keep my ankle out of the flywheel.
The motor is a 5 HP Briggs I trimmed and polished. The clutch is
a triple pulley with a Corvair blower bearing pressed into it. I
made an intake tube from part of a ten-speed bike handlebar so the
carb could be level after tilting the motor forward about 20
degrees. The gas tank is vintage Yamaha and the flex exhaust and
rear wheel belt pulley are Whizzer items.
My Whizzer buddies liked the finished bike enough to vote it
best in class at the last show. My other friends still won’t
build one, but if any GEM readers want info, feel free to write me
as I have left out step-by-step construction details.
One of these days I’ll restore my stationary engines, but
until then I’ll keep building and riding my motor bikes.