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Old 04-30-2012, 06:25 AM
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silverbear silverbear is offline
The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: northeastern Minnesota
Posts: 8,131
Default Re: Old dog learns new trick...Welding!

Thank you for the kind words, you guys. It really does mean a lot. I have Dan to thank for making the pieces fit and guiding me into welding. There's no turning back now.

A word or two about this bike. I had the good fortune several years ago to find this 1950 Schwinn at the local landfill. I didn't know what it was, but recognized it as a Schwinn. It was you, Norm, who clued me in that it was a Schwinn straightbar which most of us here refer to as a "Panther", one of the bikes the frame was used for. It was one of the first bikes I stripped and painted and did my first upholstery job (poorly) on it's original seat.

In it's first life as a motorbike it got the EZ Motorbike kit with a 50cc Hua Sheng 4 stroke and Qmatic transmission. At that time I had a Whizzer front fork on it, found an original rear rack on ebay. I also had Sportscarpat's very first panther gas tank, his prototype. I loved that bike and thought it was the cat's meow. So did a friend of mine who wanted one just like it. I found him a 49 frame on Ebay, bought Worksman rims, found a rear rack and in the end sold him the Whizzer fork and gas tank.

That was when BarelyaAWake posted a link to a good deal on Suzuki heavy duty forks... which I bought, modified a Harbor Freight dune buggy lamp for the headlight and my Panther had a new look. This winter I replaced the anemic 50cc H.S. with a 99cc Predator engine and can see that the bike is entering into a new incarnation.

With keen interest I've been following the development of Wayne Z's variable speed transmission using a Whizzer sheave and plan to replace the Qmatic transmission (will use it on something else) with Wayne's so that I will have something capable climbing steep grades with a sidecar.

When it is all done and repainted it will also get a new identity, "American Flyer". I've located decals for the tank and already have a head badge for "American Flyer". With a new life it needs a new name. I think I'm going to love this bike when it is all finished. Although it will probably never be all finished. Next winter I'd like to make a drop stand with a keyed catch like Tinsmith came up with for his Worksman stretch. Harness leather saddlebags might be nice. I'd like to redo the seat now that I'm better at it. The elk hide grips are getting pretty worn., you're never really done.
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...
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