Industrial bikes for retro motoredbikes

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Hoodoo, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    I was doing a project for making some drivable antique motorcycle lookalikes of the 1900-1914 period to supplement our marginally running 1917 Indian, 1921 Triumph, and 1910 Thor (if it ever gets restored) at our museum. I was intially going to use old girls bikes such as Schwinn and Monarch and convert them with some cutting and welding to look like the old frames but I have
    "discovered" the industrial bikes at Worksman and Husfy and they seem darn near perfect. The frames look uncannily like the old motorcycle frames of the 1900-1918 period (perfect for slipping in an old style tank) and they already have the heavy duty brand new 26" wheels (12 gauge 300lb capacity) and wide standard tires (might replace some of the tires with white ones). The price isn't cheap at $300-350 unless someone can find them cheaper. The colors are great too, especially with the slightly more expensive Worksman bikes, the Worksman has slightly different frames to choose from. Simple coaster brakes. I don't see any objections up front to these bikes so I am going to build a couple. Overall, much cheaper when one takes into account the amount of work that goes into restoring and converting an old frame wiht replacement wheels. Just curious if anyone had used these industrial bikes for such a project.

    Al
     

  2. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Yes, a lot of people have here with good results, particularly the Worksman.
    Plug those names into the search engines here and you find a ton of info.
     
  3. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Ok, I have picked up a Husky, almost went with workman, but the Husky was chosen for our first build. Have look at other projects, some are awesome. I have ordered white tires. Will be doing the first attempt at a put together on Monday. I haven't opened the Husky box yet, presume a black saddle, will be going for a brown one....any suggestions on something that will look like a vintage motorcycle seat?
     
  4. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I emailed Husky asking if they supported the use of their industrial bicycles for MB builds. They have not replied. I am certain the bikes are more than tough enough, but they probably won't be supported under warranty if you motorize them.

    The husky looks top notch, is heavy gauge, and Husky even sells ready made bolt on hub brake front wheels with the heavy spokes! If they sold grubees it would be a one stop shop!
     
  5. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    I have found issues with the Husky bikes, and they appear to use the same frames as the Worksman. Except for the top frame tube the bikes have oversize frame construction so the frame fittings on the Skyhawk 80CC has to be tweaked significantly for mounting. Worse the frame tube below the bottom has to be cut out (I don't think this will be a major structural disaster) as there is insufficient clearance between the engine head and the tube (not to mention the spark plug. Also the mounting has to be at a greater angle than recommended by the manufactuer, about 20 degrees but it appears this will work although I have not started and run it yet. Also had to modifiy the carb filter to a side draw which might run afoul of the drivers leg...(will address that problem once I get everything running. No complaining, just that putting the engine kit on a husky is going to take some custom work. I have found a tank to hang under the
    top bar so I can build a cover over it to still simulate a vintage style tank. I am also going to move the seat (actually will replace the current seat which is very uncomfortable with a flatter and wider style seat) to the back and lower on the frame to give it more of a transitional look. All it all it might be better to use an old girls frame and rebuild that, but the husky has one advantage as once a building protocol can be set up it might not be that hard to replicate. It two guys who knew what they were doing about 4 hours to get the basic set up done. I didn't realize how convenient a bike stand was until now. Right now the bike appears to be ready for test running, but I am going to wait until the underslung tank comes in. Because of the bend in the top bar
    the new tank probably will not fit as it is designed for a straight bar but I think cutting a center section out of the tank and shortening it will probably work. Not sure if this is going to be a disaster yet, but for all the frustrations, so far, this has not been a time or resource consuming project.
    I am now looking for a suitable vintage style seat.
     
  6. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Anyone out there use a worksman for a conversion...what all did you do?
     
  7. RusticoRay

    RusticoRay Member

    Hi Hoodoo,
    I purchased a Workman INB used. It had a 3.5Hp Briggs and Straton on it with belt sheave from a whizzer. The lower bar was cut to fit the motor and also the top and bottom chain stays were cut to allow belt to have clearance. Also had some chain binders to keep the whole mess from moving and a one inch copper muffler from falling out. I lost some photos recently and cannot find those originals.
    I've since put a honda clone(Huang Sheng)4 stroke and a manual drive box from EZMotorbike. A much better setup and reliable. I had several people ask how old it was, they seem to think its antique and are really surprised when I tell them the bike is a 2002.
    Don't know if I could answer any questions, but willing to help if I could.
     

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  8. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Rustico picture worth a 1000 words

    This picture actually tells me what I want to know. You had to do exactly what I had to do....something I did not want to do, although your installation looks really cool. I am having to take it one step further though as this is going to be a museum extertainment bike (to liven up the collection of "real" stuff, so we have to make it look even more vintage with underslung tank.
    The particular worksman you have is the one that does not have the bent top bar, the one with the bent top bar is almost identical to 1910ish usage in a lot of bikes. I noticed in their website they had a version with a bent bar and a straight bar.
    The whole issue is not the bar that has to be cut but the forward part of the
    V in the frame which is not raked at enough of an angle to give the proper space for putting in the engine AND allowing for the lower "top" bar to be retained.
    I have decided to try to bite the bullet and modify the front bar of the V into a curve to allow repositioning of the engine and reinstallation of the bar that had to be cut. If successful the rewards for my purposes will exceed the trouble.
    I do have a couple of older girls bikes to steal curved tubing, unfortunately it is one inch tubing and these industrial bikes, except for the top bar have 1.25" tubing.
    Thanks for the pic...amazing how helpful it is looking at yours and comparing to mine.
     
  9. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Has anyone thought of this customization idea:
    Instead of omitting the center "top tube", how about replacing it with 2 curved tubes, arching away from the centerline of the bike and encompassing the engine as leg guards/crash guards. It think this would look hot and add function and structure to the bike.

    I'm riding a madwagon beach bike with the elongated seat stays that arch over the engine and brace against the swaying downtube. This bike gets lots of complements. I think the design gives me a lot of confidence in the strength of the frame. http://motoredbikes.com/picture.php?albumid=860&pictureid=5388



     
  10. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

  11. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    I am going to try to add a curved front frame to see if I can move my skyhawk forward and downward as I want to put the straight piece back in.
    However, you have inspired me. What would look awesome on your bike would be to put a hanging tank under the top bar (just ordered four at 20 bucks a pop), and put a fake tank sides in the upper pattern you have drawn in the first pic to give it a flying merkel look (curved tank). Because the sides would be fake you could bring them down more. I may try this with my second build (already have the skyhawk kit)...will paint it Merkel orange.
     
  12. RusticoRay

    RusticoRay Member

    When you say your going to add a curve front frame are you talking about a loop frame?
     

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  13. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Yes...what a gorgeous native american. :)
    My denseness/density(?) is amazing, I finally figured out the logic of the loop frame, what, over a hundred years after the first guy realized it. I had thought the skyhawk engine would be small enough that the loop wasn't necessary, but I was very, very wrong.
    That engine, like the heart of the grinch, grew going from the box to the frame.
     
  14. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    If you are responding to my bike mod idea or the madwagon, thanks for the complement.

    If you can find one of the madwagons on Craigslist etc, scoop it up! Its just a simple b.c. frame but the shape is good, the tubes are THICK, and everything is straight! The original rear wheel is not strong enough for mb, but the frame has lots of space!

    You could always build your own! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbxMezAi9hU

     
  15. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    re: indian pedal start motorcycle joke

    [​IMG]

     
  16. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

  17. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Work with your head, not your back! The bike builder in the video mentions he has a hernia or something. Even in the video he is bending pipe around fire hydrants and things. Use proper tools! Even a hand-held pipe bender from a plumbing supply store would be wiser. The bikes look good though.
     
  18. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Yeah, I agree. I posted a design drawing for a home built tubing bender that I built a while back - it is really pretty simple to do.

    With the neuropathy I deal with anymore, I'm gonna modify it to use a hydraulic jack.
     
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