America's China Girl Motorized Bicycle

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by biknut, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Today while out riding my MB I stumbled across the strangest motor bikes. I guess they're not quite like a China Girl because they never had peddles, but that's about the only reason.

    Anyone ever heard of a Simplex? They were made in New Orleans for the 1920s to when they went out of business in 1960. They may have changed a little over the years but the 2 I saw were 2 stroke, single cylinder, no gear box, direct drive, with a centrifugal clutch, 125cc. The owners said they weigh 125 lbs, but that looked a little light to me. They were kick start.

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  2. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    think that counts as more of a motorcycle then a motorized bike or moped even, still nice to see, lucky you :)
     
  3. thine82

    thine82 New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    wonder how much it would cost to get those rims.. lol.. the spokes look pretty beefy
     
  4. kipharley

    kipharley New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    Those are very rare! I didn't know they were built that long?Worth big bucks.
    I wish there were lots of parts available! Kip.
    [email protected]
     
  5. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    The two gentlemen riding them said parts are still available. I think they said one bike was an original and the other was a replica.

    They told me that besides Harley Davidson, Simplex was the longest running American made motorcycle, and some of the later models were 2 speed. They said they could get up to 50 mph.

    I think it's strange they were made so long and I was never aware them. You would think there would be more of them on the streets. I would have been 7 years old when they went out of business.

    I looked them up on line but there didn't seem to be much information about them. I did notice that they apparently are rotary valve 2 strokes.

    They were very interested in my China Girl. Neither of them had ever heard of one. They were asking me where I got it and how I made it and stuff. They were both prime candidates to own China Girls, because they were both probably in their 50s or 60s. Only one of them knew how to use a computer. After I told them how little they cost I'm pretty sure they'll be looking them up today.
     
  6. kipharley

    kipharley New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    I heard of them but I had no idea that there were still parts available?
    I'd like to get ahold of one of those motors and a tank and even the front end and the seat and maybe even the frame and the wheels.Kip.
    [email protected]
     
  7. Hammond Egger

    Hammond Egger New Member

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  8. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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  9. fm2200

    fm2200 New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    That really looks retro, real cool like something out of a WWII movie.
     
  10. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    There's a frame and wheels on Craigs list,located in Baton Rouge


    [email protected]
     
    #10 wayne z, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  11. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Re: America's China Girl

    I remember them but haven't thought of them for a long time. I've looked at the photos and I'm trying to see how they drive. Biknut said they are "direct drive" do you mean friction drive? I don't see a chain or a driveshaft but I see something that looks like a friction roller just ahead of the rear tire.
    They sort of remind me of the 125cc Harley Hummer. Now that's a bike I'd like to find and restore but the ones I've found are priced like gold, even the rust buckets.
    Tom

    Edit: Nevermind...I just found the big pully on the rear wheel, left side. So they were belt drive.
    My eyes are tired...been Christmas shopping with the wife all day...sorry.
     
    #11 2door, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  12. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    They do have belt drive 2door. There's a big pulley on the rear wheel driven by a centrifugal clutch.

    They also have a belt driving, I guess a generator.
     
  13. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    That's not a generator. They had a swiveling jackshaft and a variable pulley size going on there. Similar to a CVT.
    I had one way back. There was some side slack in the swivel and I could pull it to the side in low range and jam it aginst the frame and hang it up in low drive and realy wind it out, and keep up neck and neck with a Honda cub 50Wayne Z
     
  14. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    Thanks for explaining that.

    I'm guessing there must be a somewhat heavy flywheel under the big round cover on the right side?
     
  15. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    Yes that's the flywheel cover. Had a lighting coil and a mag coil and points under there.
    They had single igniton but 2 plugs installed in the head, one was an ez spare in case of fouling. we used to run a 6 oz cokebottle of straighy 30 wt to a gallon, plenty fouling LOL
     
  16. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    They ad 26" tires and rims and a 26" v-belt pullet on the left side.
    Wayne Z
     
  17. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Re: America's China Girl

    I heard of 'em. They're kinda cool. Their looks grow on ya after a while.
     
  18. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    I think that looks really good. I like the frame looped over the gas tank, and the roll bars on the side.
     
  19. Whizzerd

    Whizzerd New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    My Grandpa bought one new in '46. Google search it. An interesting read. Were used in ww2, dropped outta planes because a standard 'chute could handle the weight. Don't know about 2 speed but they did have a CVT on later models and built a scooter as well. Belt drive primary with a rocker clutch. Similar to simple minibike. Belt drive secondary as well. According to my Dad, not worth a hoot in the rain. Lots of 'em at the Portland,IN motorbike event.
     
  20. joabthebugman

    joabthebugman New Member

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    Re: America's China Girl

    My family is from Mobile and grandad spent a lot of time in NOLA
    He had a Simplex frame sitting in his shed for a few years
    From what I understand he got drunk one night and bought it thinking it was a bicycle for my mother
    He gave up working on it after he couldn't figure out where the crank was supposed to go and bought a Whizzer instead. This would have been in the late 40's

    The early Simplex required you to push with your legs until you popped the clutch
    Later models came with kick starts and 225 engines

    They are a big reason I came to this forum
    My plan was to try to build one of those
     
    #20 joabthebugman, Dec 24, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010

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