A project I have in mind...(but I need a little help)

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Wanderer, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Wanderer

    Wanderer New Member

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    I have an strong admiration for early motorcycles (any model before 1920) to the point where I would prefer getting and using one than getting a car (even though Im 17,its just how I roll).Anyway I would love to work on a project to make a motorized bicycle to look like a motorcycle from that era!
    I would like to build one that looks like this 1904 Marsh

    [​IMG]

    It doesnt look challenging or expensive to pull it off.But theres a few questions that I need with help from you guys.Where can I get a similar bicycle frame,fuel tank (original or replica),and a modern,inexpensive two stroke engine that resembles something from that era.

    I VERY much appreciate all the help and suggestions you guys bring!
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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  3. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    That's a great vision, but rest assured, it will both more difficult and more expensive than you think.

    The closer you try to get to duplicating that Marsh, the more difficult and expensive it will be. Build something that kind of looks like it would be easier and cheaper. For instance, the frame. That's not a frame you can just buy ready to roll. It's not even a "drop loop" frame as some are now reproducing for upwards of $900 (bare frame), but rather, a frame that bolts to the front and rear of the engine with no lower loop, the engine block being integral to the frame. To get it right, that would mean a custom motor block along with a custom frame. The $$ part would get ugly real quick.

    First time bike - you might want to try something simpler that looks like the Marsh but is not a reproduction. Even that would mean a custom fuel tank and truss fork, etc.

    Not trying to throw water on your fire, just saying it can be a lot more involved than you first think, so price everything out, see what you can find in the way of components, consider what will have to be custom made and go from there.

    Best of luck with it.
     
  4. Wanderer

    Wanderer New Member

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    Thanks guys!Im not looking for total authenticity but something that look like a bike from that era.I was looking around and I think a utility bicycle is a close match.

    [​IMG]

    Its just finding the right fuel tank is the problem.Does anyone make those tanks?
     
  5. Wanderer

    Wanderer New Member

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    I'll think it over.
     
  6. Schwinn the Fox

    Schwinn the Fox New Member

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    I dont really know where you can get those kinds of tanks. Actually, that talks looks fairly simple. Someone could just make one for you. But if you really need one like it? I would look at older go-kart gasoline tanks. ive noticed that most of the older go kart gas tanks are fairly long and box like. usually plastic but a metal one is floating around im sure.
     
  7. Wanderer

    Wanderer New Member

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    I dont think it would be a terribly hard (or expensive) thing to work on in making a roadster into a mock-up of an early cycle.Is there someone on this site that can make a tank?
     
  8. LouieMCman

    LouieMCman New Member

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    You might want to check out the 1910 Pierce Clone and the 1912 BSA Copy in the DIY Home Built section. Fishguts may be right, you might want to start with something more simple. The Marsh has what is called a keystone frame where the motor is part of the frame. I don't know of any modern motor that would do this. As for the tank, make it yourself! It looks pretty simple as well as the forks. I feel this is what this site is all about, making your own unique motor bike and making it functional. And doing it yourself makes it all your own. The Marsh would be a good choice , but I'm not so sure it would be as simple as you think, good luck and keep us posted.
     
  9. Jax2A

    Jax2A New Member

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    I'm going to chime in on the positive side... If you're not trying to duplicate the bike and are just wanting to build something with the Marsh vibe, I don't think it will be too difficult or expensive. The expensive part depends on your fabrication skills and resourcefulness as a scrounger. The tank looks fairly easy to build something similar.

    The hardest part will be the engine, if you can't make do with one of the Chinese two strokes. As others have pointed out the engine in the Marsh is a stressed member. I have to admit I love the look of stressed member bikes and have been wondering if the two strokes could be modified to be used in such an application. However, I still think you could pull off a decent bike paying honor to the Marsh even if you build it with a two stroke without a stressed member frame. In fact, I think that would be a reasonable goal for an ambitious 17 year old wanting to learn.


    Just notice your location says Gallipolis, I assume that's Ohio since I've never heard of another Gallipolis. My Mom is from Proctorville so I'm familar with the area.
     
    #9 Jax2A, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  10. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    You know, I bet you could make the engine appear to be part of the frame if the "missing link" in the lower loop was a cradle in which the engine could sit, a three piece affair with tubing or even bar stock wrapping around and under the block, painted black of course. Just a thought. It would get the motor lower and that would be a plus in a frame of this sort as the tank may well crowd the spark plug with the engine in the usual spot.
     
  11. NunyaBidness

    NunyaBidness Active Member

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    I'm gonna hafta agree with Jax2A on this one. If you just want to build something that gives the vibe of that Marsh, then yes, you can do it and for not too much money.
    The bike you posted would make a very nice motor bike but I would suggest one of the bikes with 2 top tubes, one above the other. With that frame you could make a tank that fits in between the 2 top tubes and just use a Chinese 2-stroke kit. The tank alone would help give that Marsh vibe, a simple paint job and you're good to go.
     
  12. darkhawk22

    darkhawk22 New Member

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  13. Wanderer

    Wanderer New Member

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    Thanks all!But I can't seem to find a site that sell the right type of bicycle.
     
  14. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    If you can run across an old diamond frame cruiser, like maybe an old three-speed or the like, it should be able to take some nice fat tires. It may take some time but keep your eyes peeled. I lucked out myself, I snagged a JC Higgens that was headed for the landfill.

    That tank that was pictured on Ebay there, I think ThatsDax sells them too. They bolt to the bottom of your top tube. You can paint it to match the bike. Somebody else also sells them, I'm sure. I'll have to check on that.

    And for long, swept-back handlebars - get apehangers, swing them back toward the seat, then cut off the ends that bend outward.

    I'm working on something similar - a vintage style cruiser. I was requested to document my build, so I've been taking pics and writing stuff down. I think it's under boardtrackers, it's titled "Scored a Higgins". I'd love to help you along if I can. I get ideas all the time. If they're any use to you, feel free to ask or whatever. :)
     

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