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Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by planb, Mar 2, 2010.
What Tom said.
I was searching eBay for parts for various 'old-school' motorcycle (70's honda twins), bicycle (pre-60's racing bikes) and sports car (70's Porsche's) projects that I currently have going.
One of my tactics for eBay searches - is to look for 'deals' — where items are somewhat 'hidden' by slight miss-categorizations.
I ran across this motor-bike listed under 'Transportation; Collectibles; Vintage' — an area mostly full of old train sets and tin toys.
It was also listed as 'Pick-Up Only' (no shipping) — So that always limits the bidding, esp; given that the bike was in rural, southern Indiana. I have a weekend lake house in central Indiana — that's was within 3 hours — so I bid.
I wanted this thing bad enough to waaaay over-bid at the last second , to insure that I didn't get outbid. Luckily I got it for much less than I was willing to pay ( the sellers low/reserve).
The seller described it as a 'barn find' (another general term I use for eBay searches) — and knew little or nothing about it.
But with the addition of one belt — it runs!
For me it was a 'love-at-first-sight', 'must-have' primarily because of it's odd-ball, home-brewed engineering and fabrication. The creator definitely took their effort seriously — as there are many smart little details to this build that are responsible for this thing being in running condition 50/60 years on.
I've lived in France at one time — where 50+ year-old front-engined velosolex bikes are still putting around — and I've always thought the front engine position was cool — just because it's different.
As Indiana was once the home of a lot of small engined farm and garden implement companies (Southbend, Wheel Horse, etc) — there are a lot of engine rebuilders/collectors there — including one I know — who will give this 3 hp Clinton engine a go-through.
I raced road bikes as a USCF Cat3 racer — for 25 years — and have built, restored, and upgraded dozens of bikes over the years, so the mild restoration that this 'bike' needs will fit easily into my personal skill-set.
I won't be tackling any "restoration work" on this — until we get a consistent +40º degree weather here in the midwest — as my garage is weakly heated.
I think quite a few members are somewhat intrigued by your find. It is so unusual and I have to agee with your idea of limiting the restoration to simply going through it and fixing what needs to be done to be safe and reliable. Other than that, the 'barn find' appearance is what gives the thing character. Keep us informed and let us know how it performs.
We now need the "Antiques Roadshow" guys to this site--how much did you pay for it--our research shows the professor on back to the future built this thing to save gas ! it looks like rope start and you could grind your nose off if you put the brakes on too fast !!
Where should I post to get some feedback on what this thing is?
It looks like a 1960's Monkey Ward bike. you think that one looks funny, I have a MB friend in Ga. who collects bicycles who has a Sears that looks a LOT funnier, see pic.
Looks like we're gonna have to create a 'Weird Bike' section if this keeps up.
Jim, that's another one to ponder. And it looks suspiciously like planb's entry. Red sheetmetal, vertical shaft motor...hmmmmm. Your friend didn't find it in a barn in Indiana, by any chance?
Talk about a vertical shaft! I think my bike is in love with that hot little Wards girl with that sweet rear end!