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My G.I. built motorcycle.

Article about: Very cool but it needs a much larger rear sprocket as the front is as small as it could be IMO and it has no torque. Still very cool toy and I like it. Worked on all bikes until 6yrs ago 21y

  1. #1

    Default My G.I. built motorcycle.

    It doesn't have a fancy name so I call it my G.I. bike. The story goes that three Navy sailors built it during WW2. Now the guy I got it from said it was built on an aircraft carrier, but I highly doubt this. I think it was built on a base during WW2. It came out of Texas, went to Kansas, and then I brought it to North Carolina. I have no war time documentation, but I do have the bike. By tracking down what everything is I was able to verify that it is at lease all WW2 surplus parts. So here is the run down of what I have. The frame and forks are all hand made. The engine is a Wisconsin AB model. They were used on pumps and generators during the war. The transmission is out of a Ford built jeep. It is an early right side fill and drain, marked with the Ford F script. The sailors modified it to only be a two speed. The wheels are off of a Navy mark 2 bomb cart. The brake system is also off of a jeep. It is only set up on the rear. It runs a Wagner Lockheed master cylinder, and a 9" brake drum. Yes it has a hydraulic brake from the 1940's, I'm not sure but I think hydraulic brakes on motorcycles didn't appear until the late 1950's. The throttle cable is a modified jeep speedometer cable. The headlight is the kind found in the Navy hand held box light, or a bulkhead light. I was told that the guys that built the bike rode Indians before the war, and they set this bike up the same way. It has a left hand throttle, left foot clutch, right hand shift, and right foot brake. I'm currently trying to do as little as possible to get it back to riding condition. I want to keep it as original as possible.

    gi bike1 by bartonharley13, on Flickr

    gi bike 2 by bartonharley13, on Flickr

    gi bike 4 by bartonharley13, on Flickr

    gi bike 7 by bartonharley13, on Flickr

    gi bike 8 by bartonharley13, on Flickr

    gi bike 9 by bartonharley13, on Flickr

    This link is to a video of my first official ride. I have since changed the belt and now am able to take off without pushing it. It has 2 sets of engine pulleys and I wasn't sure which one to use.

    video-2013-10-06-12-23-45 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

  2. #2


    Real creative genius!

  3. #3


    Hah, excellent 'rat' ride!

    Very industrial engine - sort of like the origins of HD.

    Rear brake only - yikes! Take care riding that thing.

    Look forward to a ride report.

  4. #4


    looks dangerous.

  5. #5


    Cool little side valve!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  6. #6


    The original influence behind Judge Dredd's motorcycle in the Sci-Fi comic 2000 A.D. methinks, it's "Zarjaz!!"

    My G.I. built motorcycle.

    Borag Thungg, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  7. #7


    The bike rides ok. It has a blistering top speed of 20MPH. Right now the brakes dont work so I take it a lot slower and just Fred Flintstone stop it, or coast to a stop. The rear tire has a flat spot in it and it bounces as you drive it. Soon enough I will overhaul the brake system and replace the rear tire with a new old one that I found as a replacement.

    A lot of people think it looks like a Rokon, I can see that. All I know is it get a lot of looks. My neighbors usually aren't too happy when I ride my old motorcycles through the neighborhood, but for some reason everyone smiles and waves when they see this one.

  8. #8


    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    Cool little side valve!...
    Did someone say valves.....?

    Here my bike prior to final assembly hence the dangling wire
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture My G.I. built motorcycle.  

  9. #9


    Very cool Scout!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  10. #10


    The chap who built it was dedicated ....nice find.
    (Is that a sportster wheel and back end lurking in the 2nd photo ?)

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