RdKryton's Cushman

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by KilroyCD, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Hi gang! I had a good photo of my brother's (RdKryton) Cushman 3-wheeler, so I thought I'd post it for him (since he doesn't have a photo hosting account). It's a 1942 or 43 (I forget which) Military Police three-wheeler that is one of eight made. Here's a little history: All were prototypes, and four went to Camp Carson, Colorado, while the other four went to the War Department (Pentagon) in Washington, DC. They were not ordered into production due to the fact they were too tippy. Only two are known to survive, this is one of them. It was restored in 2001, but it doesn't yet have an original Cushman engine. The one originally sourced for it (by a friend) was only good as a boat anchor. It presently motivates via a 6.5hp Honda-copy engine. Fun (but slow) little beast to ride. Here's a shot with RdKryton's grandson "Junior" on board:

    http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z21/KilroyCD/My Bikes/jn04013.jpg

    I hope I haven't contravened any rules for posting this for him.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007

  2. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    ok, the gallery is for YOUR motoredbike only...it's cool in the White Zone tho (off-topic)

    also, we host our own images...see the links in my signature for instructions :)
  3. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    I moved this thread per forum rules.
    "A collection Of MBc Members' MotoredBikes, check it out! NOTE: The MBc Pic Gallery is for posting YOUR bike(s) only."

    I dig Cushmans! and trikes!! I want to hear more about Rd's Cushman.
    Your Bro has a very cool piece of history in his trike!
  4. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Thanks augidog, I didn't think about the White Zone (as I hadn't visited that section prior to posting that photo), but that would have been the right place to put it in the first place. Also, azkronic gave me the lo-down on uploading images to MBc, so I'll do that from hereon in. I'm used to using Photobucket for images because I belong to another vBulletin forum that doesn't have the upload feature. Thanks again! :grin:
  5. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Well, here's the history as I know it. This model Cushman (unfortunately, I don't know the model number or if it was given a specific name) was designed as a Military Police vehicle for use on military posts. Eight, all prototypes, were produced in 1942 and sent to the Army for testing. Four went west to Camp Carson (I believe) in Colorado, the other four were used at the War Department in Washington, DC (later the Pentagon). This model, being so short-coupled and with a narrow rear wheel track, proved to be rather tippy. This is made even more noticeable when a larger / heavier person is on the trike, as the seating position is high. As a result, the Army did not order these into production.
    Fast forward to 2001. A friend decided he wanted a Cushman scooter for WWII reenacting purposes. He was researching Cushmans and stumbled across information regarding the existance of a three-wheeler in a company scrapyard in New Jersey. He contacted the company and found it was available for sale if he was interested. At this time he didn't know which model it was, and he went to check it out. When in the employ of this company, the Cushman had been converted to electric, and the original gas engine was disposed of. It was then used in a warehouse at this company for many years until being unceremoniously rolled out into the scrap yard after being retired. It sat there for many years, quietly rusting away until my friend found it.
    He set about completely restoring it, and during that process found a serial number on the frame. This led him to the discovery that this was one of the eight prototypes, and he had a very rare beast on his hands. How it got from Washington DC to north Jersey we don't know, but it landed there in the hands of a paper company. We don't know if that company got any more of these surplus Cushmans.
    The Cushman needed a compete restoration, as the body was so badly rusted it was only usable as a template.
    In 2002 the Cushman rolled out of the shop, but now powered by a 3.5hp Briggs & Stratton. My friend had found a Cushman engine, but it turned out to be seized and very badly corroded internally, so it was deemed beyond economical repair. He later sold or traded it to a Cushman collector. He operated the Cushman for a few years, then decided he wanted a Simplex ServiCycle instead. He then offered the Cushman to my brother in trade for a restored prewar Huffman Airflyte bicycle.
    The 3.5hp Briggs came out right away, as it didn't have enough power, and a 5.5hp (later a 6.5hp w/ electric start) Honda knock-off engine installed. Now the thing could climb a wall if it had the traction.
    It has a chain drive with a single speed transmission, and with the current set up uses a centrifugal clutch. The originals had a manual clutch. With the 6.5hp engine it tops out at 11mph due to the gearing. believe me, the trike is tippy enough that you don't want to go much faster. Even at half that rate it will tip onto two wheels in a sharp turn unless you lean like a motorcyle racer. As I mentioned, it is electric start, and has a battery that also powers the lights and siren. Yeah, that thing has a Federal siren on it!
    Since my brother got the Cushman, it has lived in my garage (my brother doesn't have a garage), so I get to play with it as much as I want!:grin:
    Here's a photo taken from the other side showing the siren: http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z21/KilroyCD/Miscellaneous/ag13013.jpg
    Sorry about having to use the Photobucket link, but I couldn't upload this pic to MBc. I kept getting an error message saying "Internal Server Error". :confused:
  6. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i simply pasted the above link/url into the "Upload File from a URL" box, clicked "upload"...the software makes the thumb-gallery automatically...done :)

    while we prefer to have the pics, avoiding possible loss by a remote host, we do allow external links (without IMG tags)

    btw-i love the old gal, cushmans rock...thanks for understanding about keeping the Pic Gallery on-topic :cool:
    (please keep us posted if there are any more errors)

    Attached Files:

  7. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Thanks! I was trying to upload from my computer. I didn't try the upload from URL once I uploaded to Photobucket. I'll try that if it happens again.