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  Bikes by Whizzer

   Pacemaker; Sportsman; Ambassador

The Whizzer 49 Pacemaker

   By June of 1948 Whizzer figured they should have a complete unit of their own. They began to produce a cantilever type frame " in house", and equipped it with a Whizzer designed motorcycle style telescoping spring fork and with 24 inch Lobdell wheels. Sold complete with the new "J" engine, this was called the "Pacemaker". While the frame differed somewhat from the Schwinn design, apparently there was enough similarity that a patent fight ensued. After the first 1000 Pacemakers, Schwinn produced the balance of the frames. (Bob Baker says he has never seen a Whizzer produced Pacemaker frame with a serial number above 562.)(June, 2001. We just came across number 936. It is definitely a Whizzer frame, and has a Schwinn Springer.) The Pacemaker was offered at least up to 1954. See the article by Leonard Davis

The Whizzer Sportsman

   In November 1949 Whizzer introduced a 20 inch model. Too low to have pedals, it was equipped with a kick- starter. This is the "Sportsman"; with the "300S" engine. It was an "in house" produced bike. (There is some documentation that Schwinn built the later frames.)The first "Sportsman" was made by Whizzer Production Manager Don White for his seven year old son to ride.

The Whizzer Ambassador

In 1951 a 24 inch version, called the "Ambassador"; was produced. It was equipped with the "600s" series engine . There were at least 4876 "Sportsman" and 1128 "Ambassador" models produced.

There was also a Service Pickup, which was a "spin off" of the Sportsman, with a frame extension over the rear wheel on which were mounted two metal tool boxes and a tow rig. The bike, with the front fork locked, could be towed backwards behind an automobile, with the rear wheel off the ground. It was intended to be used by auto mechanics in the pickup and delivery of customer's vehicles.

The Service Pickup"

   Both the Sportsman and Ambassador are valuable collector’s items, especially the "Ambassador". Unfortunately, the lack of operable (bicycle) pedals makes them a motorcycle according to the law, rather than a "moped". In some states, that means inspection, and the helmet thing, as well as a special operator's license.



   Whizzer did not content themselves with producing engines. In 1948, the Pacemaker was introduced with an Automatic Clutch.The model 270 clutch was produced by Saulsbury Corporation of Los Angeles, Calif.(July 19, 1948)

  The 1950 "Sportsman" was introduced with a two- speedAutomatic Transmission, which up shifted at about 15 mph. The transmission, called the "Bi-Matic", was manufactured by Reef Industries. Unfortunately, the "Bi Matic" proved to be unreliable, and was only sold for a year. The Ambassador above has a "Bi Matic" on it, although it is difficult to see. Several collectors are running "Bi Matics" which have been re- worked using caged bearings. They have proven quite satisfactory.

   There is also a "Bi Lite" head and tail light kit for all the bikes. The earlier generators were made by Bendix.The Bendix Generator   The later generators are Hall, beginning in March of 1948. Bendix Generators mount on the coil guard, the Halls mount between the exhaust elbow and the cylinder.The Hall generator 

The generators produce about 6 volts AC, depending on speed. When the 300s, 600, and 700 engines came out, the alternator was incorporated into the side cover as part of the cam. There was a regulator built into the original headlight for this series.

The "generators" are all actually alternators, that is: they produce AC not DC Current. That being the case, they cannot be used to charge a battery without a rectifier. Connecting a battery to the alternator will discharge the battery, and may result in the armature af the alternator becoming demagnetized! The voltage produced is very dependant on engine speed and load, and operating at high speed with no regulation or insufficient load will burn out your light.

   The "Echo Tube", first introduced on the "Sportsman" has proved to be an attractive addition to other bikes as well. It may take some bending to get it to fit on some bikes.

  : The Whizzer designed spring forkswhich first appeared on the "Pacemaker" were ultimately produced in 20"; 24"; and 26" sizes. They were standard on the Pacemaker, Sportsman, and Ambassador, and were also sold as an accessory. This is a later fork, as it has the "Safety Plate" for mounting the fender braces. On the earlier forks, the fender braces mounted under the axle nuts, and the fender was kept from rotating by a long pin which went up into the steering tube. A number of very early "Pacemakers" were equipped with Schwinn springers.

   Messinger made a large saddle for the Whizzer. This saddle is for the "Pacemaker/Sportsman/Ambassador" models.

   There are fender tips, fender rails, decorations, windshields, and saddle bags.

   The head, exhaust manifold, and tall oil breather which appeared on the "300" engine were also sold separately as a "Performance Package". They don’t do much unless you enlarge the valves and the exhaust port on the earlier engines, but they look neat. The tall breather increases the oil capacity in the crankcase to 8 oz., which helps with the lube problem.

There is even a Speedometer to tell how fast your bike goes.(Although I believe 80 mph is just a wee bit ambitious.)

   Weber made a "hot" cam, and high compression head for the Whizzer

   Martin made an overhead valve conversion kit.

   There was a needle bearing crank made in Germany from 1953 on to replace the standard insert crank. They are a very desireable item, as the crankpin and needles are replaceable. They sometimes have a tendency to be a little noisier than an insert crank.

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