Got a motor, got a bike, first build.

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by toojung2die, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. toojung2die

    toojung2die Member

    My first MB build is already in progress. I bought the engine first, the 80cc from site sponsor BikeBerry. Choosing a suitable bicycle was going to be a longer decision, or so I thought. Yesterday I mentioned my project to a friend and she said she had an old bike gathering dust in her garage I could have for free if I came and picked it up.

    My jaw dropped when I saw the bicycle. It's a Western Flyer built by AMF, Galaxy Flyer model. Probably 1970's vintage (correct me if I'm wrong). It's a bit rough but the frame is true, the spokes are tight and all the important original parts are still on it. It looks like it has spent a few years outside. That means the paint, rubber and plastic parts are badly sun oxidized. But since I live in the desert that means all the important metal parts are preserved since steel doesn't rust in the Mojave desert.

    It's an old bike and probably not worth much as a collector's item (again, correct me if I'm wrong) so I'm going to repaint the frame. I tore it down today. I should have taken a photo before I got started but it wasn't much to look at. I did a couple of complete bicycle rebuilds with my son when he was a youngster. This bike is a very simple design and that suits my purpose perfectly.

    I'm posting a couple of photos of the Flyer after tearing it down. I can weld so any motor mounts between the seat tube and the down tube will be fabricated and welded.

    I searched these forums for other Western Flyer builds. I didn't find much. Anyone else have a similar bicycle?

    Attached Files:

  2. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    That will be a nice bike for a motor conversion. They don't make em like they used to. (well maybe they do but the price on that one is right).
  3. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    Looks like you are well on your way, to a great lil motorbike.

    I'm liking it!!
  4. toojung2die

    toojung2die Member

    Other than not finding much time to work on this project because of my job, I had a minor setback. I mounted the sprocket on the rear wheel and began to adjust the wheel spokes for true. I got to one stubborn spoke nut. I broke the spoke off.

    I wanted to keep as many original parts on the Western Flyer as possible but I'm going to change my plan for now. I have a spare 26" wheel with a Shimano coaster brake and much heavier spokes. I can always rebuild the original wheel with heavy spokes later. I would rather have the name Bendix on my brakes than Shimano and the original hardware. It'll have to wait.

    I'm stripping the old paint from the front forks right now, testing the paint stripper I bought.

    The frame on this bike has a deep swoop in the down tube creating a 5 inch gap between the motor mount and the frame. There are several ideas in this forum about optional motor mounts. I haven't found anyone with a front mount gap approaching the one I have to fill. Any ideas or links?
  5. looking great so far, you should be able to find other folks who have a similar frame to yours. You shouldn't need to drill the frame or even weld as there are some great mounting plate/U-bolt setups for the frotn motor mount.
  6. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    I just bought a vintage Western Flyer frame/fork a few weeks back.
    Mine has the same headbadge decal, but the similaries seem to end there.
    Yours appears to be made my AMF but mine was made by Murray.
    The front of my chain guard is attached with a screw into the down tube. Yours attaches to the bottom bracket.
    I agree that these are not collectible bikes, that warrant restoring them to original.
    They should both make great motorbikes. I will be transferring the motor kit from my old mountain bike to the WF. The old MTB is a little tall for a motor bike. Cheers
  7. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    I attached pics of my WF. The rear dropouts are very different and mine are joined to
    the frame tubes by stamping, rather than welds. I'm looking forward to repainting and motorizing it.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009