history of whizzer

Discussion in 'Whizzer Motorized Bicycles' started by paul, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. paul

    paul Active Member

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    1939
    August Breene-Taylor Engineering, a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of airplane parts, announced the availability of the Whizzer Model "D" Bicycle Motor. This kit sold for $54.95 and included an air-cooled, four-cycle engine that was capable of producing 1.375 horsepower as well as a 2/3 gallon fuel tank. Approximately 1000 Model "D" motors were made and sold.
    1940
    July Breene-Taylor released the new Model "E" Bicycle Motor, which was essentially the same as the Model "D" with several key improvements and additions. Most notably, the cylinder head was changed to aluminum for better cooling, the camshaft was redesigned to provide better performance, and an oil dipstick was added to check the oil level. Approximately 1500 Model "E" Motors were made and sold.
    1942
    The Whizzer Motors had not been a great success, resulting in sales of only about 2500 units. As such, Breene-Taylor decided to divest itself of this unit and focus on more profitable ventures. So, Dietrich Kohlsatt, who supplied the capital, and Martin Goldman, an attorney for Breene-Taylor, bought the Whizzer Motor operation from them.
    1943
    With World War II in full swing, Whizzer had to lobby the United States government for the right to continue production of their motorbike engines. Martin Goldman visited Washington and convinced the government that the Whizzer was a great way for defense workers to travel to and from work.

    Whizzer released the "New Model" engine for "defense workers only." This redesigned engine was more reliable than previous models because it used a belt drive instead of the roller drive that Whizzer Motors had used up to that point.
    1945
    With the War ending, Whizzer was able to bring its production of engines back up and make them available to the general public. The Model "F" released in 1945 was the same as the "New Model" that had been released during WWII, with the same belt drive and large 5-quart gas tank. Approximately 4200 Model "F" engines were sold for $125 each.
    1946
    Whizzer moved its main production facilities from southern California to Pontiac, Michigan. This enabled them to use the nearby auto-production facilities to outsource the manufacture of most of the Whizzer components.

    Henry Schuricht, a former Breene-Taylor engineer who had moved to Whizzer when it changed ownership in 1941, finished redesigning the Whizzer motor.

    March Whizzer announced the availability of the new Model "H." This new engine featured a one-piece crankcase that replaced the old two-piece case, a crankshaft that used roller bearings at one end and a ball bearing at the other, more reliable seals, and a Tillotson carburetor. The Model "H" was more reliable and popular than any other Whizzer model, with sales of approximately 139,000 at prices ranging from $89.50 to $97.50.
    1948
    May Dietrich Kohlsaat announced that they had sold 150,000 Whizzer engines. The company had over 12 dozen warehouses nationwide that supplied 3500 dealers.

    Whizzer announced the Model "J" engine, which had a chrome-plated exhaust pipe and fittings, a new, more-reliable Carter carburetor, and motorcycle-type twist-grip controls. Whizzer sold about 51,000 Model "J" motors at a cost of $97.55.

    June Whizzer introduced the "Pacemaker," which the company referred to as the "only complete motorbike." The bike came with the Model "J" engine already attached to the frame and ready to run. The "Pacemaker" retailed for $199.50
    1949
    September In order to keep pace with its new competition, Whizzer released the Model "300" Motor. This new engine had 7/8 in. valves, a more efficient combustion chamber, better cooling, and a higher compression ratio. These changes resulted in a 3 hp engine that could reach speeds of 40 mph. Whizzer sold about 15,000 Model "300" motors at $109.97 each.

    Whizzer released the "Sportsman" motorbike, which was much more like a real motorcycle. The "Sportsman" abandoned pedals altogther and used a kickstarter to get the bike going. The "Sportsman" cost $224.50 for the Standard edition, which had a clutch transmission, and $239.50 for the Deluxe edition, which sported the Bi-Matic automatic transmission.
    1951
    Whizzer released the "Ambassador," a motorbike similar to the "Sportsman" but with a full-size frame, larger tires, and greater overall length. The "Ambassador" was the top-of-the-line, with a gloss black finish, ivory trim, and chrome-plating. The Ambassador sold for $249.50, making it Whizzer's most expensive product.
    1952
    In 1952, the company introduced its last major motorbike engine, the "700." This motor was in many respects similar to the "300," but it included a new carburetor, a sealed-beam headlight, and a taillight.
    1955
    Whizzer Motorbike Company changed names to become Whizzer Industries, Inc. and began to expand into other areas of production. Whizzer Industries produced childrens' toys and wagons as well as windows and sliding doors. The company continued to sell parts for Whizzer engines and bikes until 1965, but times had changed and the Whizzer was no longer king.
    1997
    What do you get when you combine an intelligent investor with a seasoned motorcycle marketing professional? The idea of bringing the Whizzer back! The new Whizzer bought the trademark and embarked on creating a new bike to match those of yesteryear. They found a manufacturer, perfected designs to allow the new bike to meet DOT standards, created all new tooling and began re-manufacturing the legendary Whizzer.
    1998
    December The Whizzer has returned and Motorbike fun is back again! The Classic model, a black 26" bike, was introduced and received rave reviews. They immediately became the new "in" thing to own for motorcycle and nostalgia enthusiasts alike.
    1999
    The Classic sold throughout the year with great success.
    2000
    Whizzer introduced the Blue Sportsman, a 24" limited edition motorbike. It came stock with additional accessories not on the original Classic. The Black Knight was also created as a modification to the Classic with 24" chrome wheels and specialty decals.
    2001
    Whizzer came out with the Pacemaker II with the centrifugal clutch and later in the year made also offered them in a slip clutch version. It was available in a 24" or 26" vintage maroon bike. The Pacemaker II was loaded with numerous chrome accessories not stock on previous models.
    2002
    Whizzer continued to produce the maroon Pacemaker II slip clutch and introduced the Pacemaker II in midnight blue or candy apple red slip clutch bikes, 24" or 26".
    2003
    Whizzer came out with the Panther, a black, sleek 24" motorbike.
    2004
    October Whizzer introduced their new NE5 model in a pearlized sapphire blue or ruby red 26 inch bike. Significant modifications and enhancements have been made to this model. This is the first major change Whizzer has undergone since the new bike came out in 1998. See specifications page for more information. In addition, the NE5 engine kits were introduced with many of the same enhancements as the bikes.
    2005
    January Whizzer came out with the 24 inch version of the NE5 model in red or blue.
    February Whizzer introduced the 24 inch version of the NE5 model in pearlized ultra black at the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis.
    November The NE5 is now available with a brand new automatic centrifugal clutch.
    2006
    March The 26" Black is back by popular demand!!
    September Whizzer introduced three exciting new colors: Forest Green, Vibrant Yellow and Original Vintage Maroon.

    be sure to check out the complete line of Whizzer motor bikes and accessories at motorbikemikes store located at http://www.simpsonmotorbikes.com/


    [​IMG]
     
  2. TheLoneRanger

    TheLoneRanger New Member

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    Whizzer history

    Nice chronology of Whizzer over the years. I remember early Whizzers and Cushman motor scooters. I wanted something motorized but had to settle for a repainted Schwinn bicycle with leg motor. :D
     
  3. MotorbikeMike

    MotorbikeMike Dealer

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    Whizzer Availability

    Hi gang, New Whizzers (98-08) are readily availble now. WhizzerUSA has discontinued engine kits as of this writing, but all parts are availble, and we are hoping that they will change their minds about the kit market.

    They are, it is rumoured, working on a few new things to release this year, and that should be fun to see what they will do.

    I am continuing to build the Model 10 series, Powered by Whizzer, and selling Whizzer Motorbikes, parts and reapir as needed.

    Mike
     
  4. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs New Member

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    I am looking forward to what Whizzer will do in the near future!!
     
  5. nogoodnic

    nogoodnic New Member

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    A friend of mine posted this on another forun and I thought it was interesting. This is a Whizzer ad from 1993, an era which seems to be missing from their official history. And Mike, they mention the 16th anual Whizz in that you've be doing in recent years...Kelly
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Norman

    Norman LORD VADER Moderator
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    Very nice story of the wizzer. First time I saw one was in Ashland, Kentuckey. At a fly in went there in my KR-2. I was ready to buy one couldn't fit it in my plane. That is what stopped me and I didn't have my hacksaw with me.
    I need a mill. I'd like to try to major modify a briggs into a china doll type engine and if they are illegal might a well make it a 2 speed or 3 speed. I don't want to have to license and registration and insurance thing for a simple bike so the gears are just day dreaming. But if I get my hands on a mill. I know how to make molds and cast aluminum in sand, look out.
    Norman
     
    #6 Norman, Feb 5, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  7. deacon

    deacon minor bike philosopher

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    You just need a small electric blast furnace. YOU fire it up and the whole town's light dim.
     
  8. trackfodder

    trackfodder Member

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    I had a 1949 model and Doogie Feigle had one that was so old it had a screw-in exhaust elbow and a breather tube hanging down. He could wipe us up with that thing. The guys with the high comp heads and Carter carbs could hold him off however. Everyone carried a Phillips screwdriver and allen wrench, as well as a pair of scissors and a Prince Albert pipe tobacco tin and a pepsi bottle of oil. We kept them in an army surplus saddlebag unless the spokes ate their way in. It was common to see a kid shimming the rotten little rod bearing with the tin so he could get home with his rod. After Whizzers were history, the sport shop that sold them came up with a $21 needlebearing rod and crank assy. WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED YOU? Keith (trackfodder) Williams
     
    #8 trackfodder, Sep 10, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  9. huckersteve

    huckersteve New Member

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    Great post, it's fun to read about the grandpappy of motorbiking! I wouldn't kick one out of the garage!
     
  10. trackfodder

    trackfodder Member

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    For those among you that never saw the origional Whizzers, they had a gas lever on top of the handlebar and a shorter compresion release lever on top of that. The exhaust was a finned cast iron ell with a 1" flex pipe running to a flattened little metal muffler. The flywheel was some kind of zinc/lead alloy or suchlike. It tended to "grow" after lots of "high" rpms and would rub the field coil. We used to routinely dress it with a file. The field was adjusted with a piece of thin paper, and if not close, the spark wasn't good.The points were pushed open by a rod sticking into the point box from the crankcase where the cam was spindled on a rod running through the crankcase. Sometimes the oil went into the point case. It just had a sheet metal cover though so the oil trickled down. They didn't really leak, they just marked territory(^) Once I felt something on my leg and saw my cam spindle sticking out of the crankcase cover. Luckily it didn't let the cam out of mesh. Poked it back in and peined the cover with a couple of rocks. I finally fried it by running out of oil. Dad traded it in on a 1951 Mustang for my Christmas present in 1951. They were $375. Dad got $65 trade-in. A Tulsa midget auto racer famous for parachuting off the KOTV antenna bought it and got a skull fracture dropping it. Toly Arutunoff got a Powell P-81 the same Christmas. We were about equal. Conrad Brown got a Salisbury streamliner motorscooter and could mop us up with it. Disgusting! We could run 64 mph. Wish I still had the Mustang. It had the exhaust and carb in the back and a finned alluminum manifold taking it foreward to a squarish exhaust pipe. It had a Phelin mag unlike later models and drove a generator clamped to a down tube with a vee belt. The bushings would last maybe 2 weeks.
     
  11. Hitekrdnk

    Hitekrdnk New Member

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    Keith, your reply's are like time machines. Thanks for having such a vivid memory, I just wish you had taken pictures back then!
     
  12. atr645

    atr645 New Member

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    I was born in Pontiac, MI. The Whizzer Factory was on my paper rte. A neighbor of mine was lucky:confused: enough to have a dad that put a used Whizzer engine on a very old motorcycle frame. Quite often, he would let me ride it. The frame was complete with crash bars and foot pads. There was no way to start it...except pushing. The centrifugal clutch kicked-in and we jumped on hopefully without tripping over the crash bar-foot pad combo. Then once we got going...did I mention there wasn't any compression release lever? We just had to slow it down enough to let the centrifugal clutch kick-out. It was the worst thing on two wheels, but we loved every minute. Unless it quit at the bottom of a hill that was uphill in both directions. that meant we had to push it uphill so we could run it back downhill and hope it started before we hit the bottom again.
    Anyway here's a little trivia that very few people know--the Whizzer Factory was located at the corner of S. Sanford and Osmun St.
    I just found out about 2 months ago that Whiizzers were back. I was planning on getting one just about 3 days before our air conditioner quit.
    Oh well!!!!
     
  13. Weedylot

    Weedylot Angry Old Fart

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    A/C is important...but summer is almost over and there's nothing like the Whizzer breeze
     
  14. Mister Z

    Mister Z New Member

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    The article posted on the 1993 Whizzer refers to a product made from Kohler engine parts and some fabricated new parts. The engines did not run well. I received many inquiries on how to get them running. The owner sold his inventory to the present company.

    Shortly after the sale I received a telephone call from one of the new owners. The producer of those bikes did not own the Whizzer Trademark. At that time I arranged to sell the Trademark rights.

    I was tired of the cut throat environment of manufacturing. I can empathize with the problems the Whizzer Motorbike Company has had with their overseas connections.
     
    #14 Mister Z, Jul 24, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  15. gareth5000

    gareth5000 New Member

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    Great post. What a lovely little bike, I would collect them if I lived in the states.
     
  16. jbcruisin

    jbcruisin Active Member

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    This thread should be a "sticky" in the Whizzer forum. It's great reading and very educational.
    Jay
     
    #16 jbcruisin, Aug 18, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  17. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    I have never seen a Whizzer that ran for very long without some major mods....maybe they should work on that instead of the hype and fancy paint.

    Too expensive for a made in Taiwan bike with problems right out of the box.
     
  18. TomR

    TomR New Member

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    In 1945 the war was just over and at age eleven I used earnings from my paper route to have a guy down the alley from our 3rd avenue apartment in Hazleton, PA to install a used overhauled Whizzer onto an English (Ralston?) 28 inch bike frame wih an expandable Bendix rear hub brake. it had a belt drive, a clutch grip on the left and a compression release and throttle on the right grip. I added a Sears front caliper brake so stopping was prery good. I rode it everywhere around Hazleton and later around Behlehem, PA and Lehigh Valley. it was very reliable and I was the mechanic. I never had to do a thing with the engine, except to replace the head gasket twice. it is a very fond memory. It was fascinating to read the complete history of Whizzer here! I had no idea. My ride now is a Suzuki AN400 scooter. It's a fine machine, perfect for what I do every day. However, it would be fun to start a Whizzer business now. I wonder if there are any live Whizzers around here in North Attleboro, MA?
     
  19. Helmutt Cycles

    Helmutt Cycles New Member

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    Along Came Helmutt

    Throwing a Monkey Wrench Into? or adding to? The legend of the old Whizzer..?

    Now even though the Bike Never exsisted in real life in 1937 I Just wanted it to appear as if shouldve been....

    Just Saying..


    The
    Highway (1) Flat Tracker
    Built By George Whitney.
    Of CoCo Beach Florida.
    Authorized Helmutt Dealer
     

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    #19 Helmutt Cycles, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  20. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

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