WWII Military Motorized Bikes? Anyone???

Discussion in 'Antique Motorized Bicycles' started by Yaquina143, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. Yaquina143

    Yaquina143 New Member

    I am doing some research and was curious if anyone knows if the US Army ever used motorized bikes during the Second World War?

    I recently restored a 1942 Army Bicycle and now that it is done I was interested in recreating something similiar but motorized. I have found a couple of restored "Army" whizzer bike photos on the net, but nothing is ever said regarding the history so I don't know if the Army actually had them or were they just from the imagination of a Whizzer restorer?

    Here are some images of my recently restored bicycle.

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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008

  2. That's a nice restore. I would whizzer it up anyway and just tell some lies...

    "Yup. This bike served our country in WWII. This was the very bike that brought McAurthur to the hospital when he was injured. The biker carried him over his shoulder and rode him to safety.His name was Bob."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2008
  3. Yaquina143

    Yaquina143 New Member

    Not interested in lying.

    My organization works really hard to educate the public about the war and what the men and women did to protect this country. I would very much like to include a "Whizzer" military bike to the display, if one actually existed... but haven't found any information yet to confirm or deny their existence.
     
  4. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

  5. Very nice restoration. I don't know if the military ever used Whizzer's directly, but I do know that Whizzer kept producing new bikes through WWII, and that they marketed the bikes to defense workers.
     
  6. RdKryton

    RdKryton Active Member

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  7. Sorry. I was in a funny mood this morning...:D
     
  8. Wow. That's your bike,Yaquina.
    Let me post that pic here.
     

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  9. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    ya know, I was thinking earlier, RdK would have some info for ya. nice find!!

    the Whizzer timeline shows them available to defense workers... I wonder if they were painted "Army green" for this era?

    where's all the Whizzer Guy's when we need ya?? :lol:;)
     
  10. RdKryton

    RdKryton Active Member

    I don't believe the defense worker Whizzers were painted OD green. IIRC only engine kits were available for the defense workers and they had to supply the bike. This is what I have read. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
  11. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    No, You are correct. Whizzer did not actually contract with the military, and I am not a military historian, so I don't know if there was one that someone put together to use on base or whateve;, but there was not an 'official' wwII Whizzer D.O.D. bike. Whizzer was allowed to continue the production of the kits through the war years (unlike most vehicle manufacturers); the Whizzers were considered to be "an economical and viable form of transport" for the factory workers in the defense factories, what with the gas and rubber rationing and all the whizzer turned out to be just the right vehicle for this.
     
  12. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Guess what, I remember seeing a Whizer that had fold up bars and I think it was dropped via parachute and was some kind of military vehicle [possibly 20"]. Hopefully I can find it and report back
    Quenton
     
  13. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    I've not seen a Whizzer one but here was an attempt at these they were my motoscoot I think it was??? Could be wrong there but, yea I've seen that configuration...
     
  14. RdKryton

    RdKryton Active Member

    The military had the Airborn Cushman that was dropped by parachute.
    It is a 2 wheeled scooter. I almost bought one but they are very expensive. I have never heard of a Whizzer used that way but it would be very cool if it was. Good luck on your search Quenton. I want to learn about that one.

    Jim
     
  15. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Rif,
    Sometimes age plays tricks with our memory, however I did find the information on "The Air Force Whizzer" after all. In Bob Baker's news letters published May 30, 1994 are photos of The Airforce Whizzer with foldable handlebars and a comment at the bottom states
    "DIFFERENCES FROM PRODUCTION MODEL:
    IGNITION COIL, HANDLE BARS, SEAT, LUGGAGE
    CARRIER, KICK STAND, F. MOTOR MT., BELT,
    GUARD, KICK PEDAL, SHOWN WITH AUTO-CLUTCH"
    on the right bottom of the page it notes
    "FROM THE SCRAPBOOK OF DON WHITE"
    As many Whizzer collectors are aware Bob Baker was one of the leading Whizzer experts and Don White was the production manager for Whizzer from 1947 to 1957 and originally made the Whizzer Sportsman for his son Art, and Whizzer copied it for production.
    I don't know if the "Air Force Whizzer" was ever produced in any quanity, but at least such a Whizzer did exsist.
    Whizzer OuterBanks,
    Quenton
     
  16. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    AWESOME!!! Thanks for that info! I am corrected and humbly bow to your knowledge and expertise. *grins* Thank you... If you manage to find pic.s please post them, I'd love to see this beastie.
     
  17. Yaquina143

    Yaquina143 New Member

    There are two issues here. There is no mention of a date or whether or not this is a WWII reference. Since the Air Force did not exist until after the war but was instead the Army Air Corps, I am suspecting that the reference above was likely a post war experiment. Nothing stated to date has convinced me, unfortunately, that a true Military issue Whizzer ever existed.
     
  18. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i am absolutely loving the whizzer info we're collecting lately...thanks to our "founding" whizzer guys and welcome to the new whizzer members...you've carved out your own niche here and i'm happy to see it thrive...

    what a cool thread :cool:

    so, i tried to come up with something, this is as close as i got to anything military re: whizzer. halfway down is a "documented" 1945 us-army whizzer, but the fender bullet-light doesn't say "military" to me: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2006/05/page/3

    and just for fun, i found a neat cushman link, too: http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-equip/cushman1.htm

    this is cool, too: http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1299584&postcount=2
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2008
  19. Yaquina143

    Yaquina143 New Member

    This one is exactly like the other three or four examples I have found on the net but none have been backed up with any documentation regarding thier use. I am starting to seriously suspect that these few examples are simply the result of Whizzer owners saying...

    "Hey, I own a 40's era Whizzer... maybe I should restore it to look like something from WWII?"

    I can find no reference for any manuals, nomenclature or any other indication that the Whizzer was ever adopted by the military for use, ever.
     
  20. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Hi, The information I offered is of a 20" Whizzer with the Whizzer front forks, and I know both were offered after WWII. However the Air Force Whizzer might have been for the "police action" in Korea, who knows. I also noticed the "Air Force Whizzer" has front & rear hand brakes. From the pictures I have I am positive no Whizzer buff built this to "fake it". These pictures were in the scrapbook of Don White and very well could be a Whizzer factory prototype possibly never made in any quanity. One of the photos even shows the bike in the shipping crate.
    Quenton
     
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