1961 Schwinn Tornado

Discussion in 'Photos & Bicycle Builds' started by Wolfie65, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Wolfie65

    Wolfie65 New Member

    OK, I've made enough progress to move this from the 'Introductions' to the 'Projects' section.....
    In a manner of speaking, this bike came to me as a sort of 'family heirloom'.
    Found in total neglect and soundly ignored - the fate of most bicycles in America - it was spray painted 'dusty rose' at some point, for reasons lost to the past, and the original Schwinn saddle replaced with a flowery banana seat. The place of the missing front wheel taken by a standard MTB wheel.
    Schwinn Tornado dusty rose 001.jpg

    What gave me the idea of turning this into a sort of backstreet hot rod kind of project was a fairly unique combination of characteristics. It only has 1 gear and, being good Chicago steel, it's heavy, so pedaling uphill is not a pleasure here in the mountain west. The fact that it's a ladies' bike and the Stingray handlebar someone had put on instead of the original townie type give it a little bit of a chopper/lowrider/mofa sort of appearance, so I thought to myself, let's try this motorization business.
    The QR MTB front wheel will find use elsewhere, not sure what I'll do with the banana seat, yard sale seems likely.
    Getting the stem out was a battle, despite the fact that there was no binder bolt. Felt like someone had actually epoxied or JBWelded the stem into the fork, there wasn't nearly enough rust to justify the amount of resistance I encountered over the course of about 2 weeks of removal attempts.
    By contrast, the bottom bracket came apart just as easily as it would have on a brand new bike, save for some caked-on dirt around the outside.
    For some reason, the uploader doesn't like my jpgs (from a digital camera, the above pic is a simple scan from an actual hard copy photograph) of the stripped frame, fork, Ashtabula crank, so those pics will have to wait until it does.
    The city of Changchun in China's northeastern Jilin province isn't a harbor and has never seen a dolphin outside of a zoo, but that did not stop one of their companies calling themselves China Dolphin Harbor, that's where the engine came from that will grace this baby.
    The front motor mount will have to be extended by about 1-2" to fit into the frame, and I don't know yet if the throttle cable will be long enough to reach from the top of the Stingy handlebars to the carb without turning into a trapeze wire.
    Did I mention there's a coaster brake?
    You guys love coaster brakes.
    This one works really well, btw.
    Not really sure if there's even amounting traditional rim brakes on the flat front fork, that would also haver to be a totally custom job if I decide to do it. Or maybe look into disc brakes, which would kinda ruin the whole 'vintage' look. Adding rim brakes on the rear should be doable.