1951 Schwinn Panther - maybe?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by vgirl, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    Your frame was made on 3/19/1951
     
  2. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I believe the seat that was on it is from the 1960's or even later. Probably the other seat was getting pretty tired and it got upgraded.
    Here's something to consider. Instead of a gas engine you could instead use an electric motor which is built into the hub of the rear wheel. There would be several advantages. One is that the switch to electric is straightforward and doesn't really alter the bike. It would be a different wheel (the electric motor is already built in to the wheel). You would not need to pedal at all, but are free to do so if you want.
    . Starting it is just twisting the throttle which also controls the speed. It is silent so you could ride with friends and chat to your heart's content and it has enough power tht they would have trouble keeping up with you. It will walk right up the hills. With the newer type batteries you can go as far as 30 miles or so between charges.
    The down side is that it is initially more expensive, particularly the batteries. Another thing on the plus side is that there is no more maintenance than you would have with a non motorized bike. I don't know what the brake is on the newer electric wheel, but that is something to look in to since you would no longer have a coaster brake. Someone here will know about the newer generation of "magic pie" motors. You would also want to have a front brake of some kind, even just a cantilever brake. An adapter is available so that you can put that kind of brake on your old Schwinn. If they're no longer being sold I think I have an extra one I could send you.

    When we guys see your panther our brains go "vroom" and we want to put a gas motor on it and go faster than is sensible. I'm guessing quiet might appeal to you more. The guys here with the magic pie motors seem to really like them. I've only heard good things. You can still have fatty tires for a comfy ride. Just a suggestion. What a classy ride that would be!
    SB
     
    #22 silverbear, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  3. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Something to consider is an electric motor instead of gas. Less obvious, quiet, plenty of power for keeping up with your friends and climbing hills. You can pedal or not. Installation is straight forward and simple. Virtually maintenance free with a range of around thirty miles between charges. You can still have your comfy balloon tires What a classy ride that would be.

    We guys see the Panther and our brains go "vroom" , making motorcycle sounds and smelling gas. Oh boy! But I'm guessing that a quiet comfortable ride might better suit you. Do a search for "magic pie" and you'll find some interesting threads. Those who are using them seem to really like them a lot. The down side is they are more expensive initially due to the cost of the batteries.
    SB
     
    #23 silverbear, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  4. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

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    Thank you very much silverbear.

    The electric is also up for consideration. It has a lot going for it that appeals to me. I would have a lot less trouble with the law with the electric. lol The only thing I don't like is dealing with the appearance of the battery on the back end.

    I am a little torn.

    I do like the old motorcycle look. I don't mind a little noise and turning some heads. They do remind me of the old motorboats my dad used to rent at the cottage when we were kids. Those smelly loud great nostalgic things which the blue clouds following them everywhere. Call me a fool. lol
     
  5. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Well then that is a horse of a different color. If you like the smell of mixed gas and enjoy the sound of a motor then go for gas. It will certainly cost you less. Are you or your husband or a friend handy?` You might want to check with your local law enforcement people as I understand that gas motor bikes and not legal in Canada. Just noticed you are in Canada.

    Regarding the electric, the batteries could go inside saddlebags and be hidden in that way. If you know someone who welds then a fake gas tank between the upper bars would be a great place to stow the battery pack and also give a vintage motorbike look.

    Gas or electric, you have the makings of a great bike.
    SB
     
  6. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

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    Thank you silverbear.

    I am leaning more and more to the electric. Hiding those battery packs is all just a case of how much imagination you have. lol

    And yes the laws in Canada right now are confused and being debated. Being a professional driver I'm not sure I want to fight them and run the chance of screwing up my license. You have been a great help.
     
  7. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

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    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. You've got a beautiful bike. As long as it stays beautiful, you cant go wrong.
     
  8. hsvmick

    hsvmick New Member

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    you have got a beautiful start to a great looking machine ,and if you change your mind on your build i would turn your fifty into 6 fifty s ?
     
  9. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Wow Vgirl, Talk about getting right back on the horse. Very admirable.

    Your bike is gorgeous. I think she is screaming for a China Girl engine. Might need an adapter to clear the pedal side chain guard but man, would be beautiful!

    Can't wait to see what you build!
     
  10. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    $50 for a '51 Schwinn, score!
     
  11. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

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    That is such a score on that bike, good for you! It's worth a lot more than that. That bike needs either a Whizzer or say a small Briggs with a belt drive. With a whizzer it could still be a 1951 correct bike. Here is the one I did with a 1950 Panther frame and a 1947 whizzer motor.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

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    Thank you people. The decision is already a hard one and you aren't making this easy for me. lol

    And for the record I was very taken with your bike chainmaker. She is a very good looking ride.
     
  13. hsvmick

    hsvmick New Member

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    auflgthat looks a very cool ride chain maker ,
     
  14. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    She would look awesome with a belt drive. Really would! Old world gorgeous. Kind of involved but would be pretty.

    Have to name her. She needs a name Vgirl. "Of grace and speed, she is a Lady. Indeed.
     
  15. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    You guys are forgetting that vgirl is from Ontario where gas bikes are illegal. Electric aren't, so the direction is pretty clear. That said, this would be the first electric panther I've heard of, a silent beautiful panther. There's lots of room for creativity as an electric, too.
    Picture a fake in frame gas tank with the battery pack hidden inside.... fatty cream colored tires, a nice headlight and horn. It could be a real head turner.
    SB
     
  16. vgirl

    vgirl New Member

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    I so love the idea of the belt drive and that is the way I would go if I was going gas but silverbear is correct. The legal issues, while grey enough that there is some chance of escaping them, are such that it could totally devastate my license and impact my job. I'm not sure it's worth the chance. Kindest regards to everyone for their help and enthusiasm. I'm finding it so easy to want to get carried away. lol

    Silverbear your ideas are close along my line of thought. I checked out that electric Juicer and while I'm not that talented it has given me some imagining room for the possibilities. Sleek and silent like a panther should be.

    Dan you must be a little bit of a poet. She needs a classy name. Maybe for a little fake gas tank. I like grace and lady. :)
     
  17. Rex3x16

    Rex3x16 New Member

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    Lady Grace it is lol. You do have a lovely bike, whatever you decide to do with it, just remember, be safe and have fun!
     
  18. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Santa Claus got a lot of requests for the Panther back when. It was a gorgeous machine. Even though we guys keep picturing it with a gas motor filling up the frame it doesn't need it to be a head turner. Picture it all shiny with a smiling lady riding by silently WITHOUT PEDALING...classy for sure! New decals are still available if a person wants to go all out with new paint etc.

    But even as the bike is, cleaned up and with new tires, perhaps a cantilever brake added up front for safety... the magic pie wheel on back and a set of saddlebags for shopping items, a little tool kit and in the bottom the batteries hidden away... oh boy... it would be a time machine to carry you back to 1951 when Silverbear was a little boy of six with his face pressed against the Schwinn display window wishing, wishing.

    Pictured are the Panther as it was sold and also a photo of my daily rider, a 1950 panther with a canoe sidecar for my biker babe, Aaniimoosh The Wonder Dog. Ha! Whatever you do, keep us updated with show and tell. Have fun and stay safe.
    SB
     

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  19. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Rex,
    Love the avatar. Makes me think of all the stuff I hear about "chief" and expecting "blood thirsty Indians" to be barely able to talk... "How! Me hungry! Ride motorbike... shoot cow!" Ha!
    SB
     
  20. Rex3x16

    Rex3x16 New Member

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    Thanks, when I seen it I couldn't resist lol.
     

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