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The Mustang Motorcycle is back!

1/27/2010 11:05:58 AM

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New Mustang Classic
California Scooter Company's new "Classic" was directly inspired by the Mustang, which was built from 1947-1965. 

New retro bikes continue to grow in popularity. Royal Enfield, Triumph, Harley and Moto Guzzi all build motorcycles geared to riders whose tastes lean to yesterday’s classics. Add one more to the list thanks to the newly incorporated California Scooter Company, which is launching a line of bikes directly inspired by the classic Mustang motorcycles built in Glendale, Calif., from 1947 to 1965.

The California Scooter represents company founder Steve Seidner’s enthusiasm for motorcycles in general and passion for Mustang motorcycles in particular. Seidner has a long history in motorcycle sales, with extensive experience designing and marketing motorcycle accessories.

Now, he’s building motorcycles, with deliveries of production machines starting in March. Like the Mustang that inspired them, the new bikes coming out of Seidner’s Pomona, Calif., facility will be almost Lilliputian compared to the average Harley-Davidson. Wheels are only 12-inchers (just like the original), while power comes from a lightweight, all-aluminum 149cc 4-stroke single. The original Mustang Colt used a 122cc Villier’s 2-stroke. [Update: Several people have written in to clarify the fact that very few Mustangs were built with the Villier's 2-stroke engine. In 1947 the company introduced the Model 2 with a 320cc side-valve single and a 3-speed Burman gear box. In theStandard Catalog of American Motorcycles, Jerry Hatfield suggests a little over 200 Mustang Colts equipped with the Villiers engine were sold.] Saddle height is a low 27 inches, and the entire bike is only some 6-feet long. But that means relatively light weight of around 240 pounds wet. That basic formula worked well for the original Mustang, which was actually a surprisingly good performer thanks to its excellent power to weight ratio and low center of gravity.

Some 20,000 Mustangs were built during the original bike’s almost 20-year production life, and Seidner’s clearly banking there are still thousands of boomers like him with fond memories of riding or wanting to ride a Mustang as a kid. Three models are planned, including the aptly named Classic, which is almost a dead ringer for the original, down to its steel disc wheels. The modern engine gives it away, as does the front disc brake (early Mustangs had no front brake at all), but other than that you’d be hard-pressed to spot the differences until up close. The other two models include the very pink and tarted up Babydoll and the flat black and somber Greaser, a sort of mini bobber complete with red wheels.

New Mustang Greaser
The mini-bobber "Greaser" from California Scooter Company. 

All three retail at $4,995, and while it’s hard to say without riding one whether they’re “real” motorcycles, chances are good they’ll surprise cynics just as the original Mustang did, which proved itself in a variety of competitive events including the famed Catalina Grand Nationals at Catalina Island off the coast of southern California. – Richard Backus 

 



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Marjorie Suzanne
10/28/2011 12:31:26 PM
When I was 9 years old (I am now 63) I used to ride on the back of my 15 year old brothers Mustang Motorcycle. We used to tear up the trails in the cow pastures behind our house before taking it to the streets. He described it as not being as big as a motorcycle but bigger than a motterscooter. Right after high school he did 4 years in the Navy on aircraft carriers bombing Cambodia. When he came home he went strictly to Harley's, but always called them scooters because of his Mustang, as I still do. Boy does that piss off a Harley rider calling his bike a scooter, I do it out of love and respect for that first year of riding. For years no one would believe me that there was a Mustang Motorcycle, thanks for proving me right. Wow what a great flash back it is looking at these photos. Wouldn't it be awesome if we still had that scooter but he traded it for a car, go figure.

john stubblefield_2
7/9/2010 11:16:34 PM
HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY.....and I actually lived to see it ! The "Mustang" returns. YOU are the hero of the world my man. Had a sweet 58' that dad sold while I was in far east in service..(what did I know I was just a kid..damn..) can't wait to get one !!!!!!...any dealers here in north Texas???

john stubblefield_2
7/9/2010 11:10:12 PM
HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY...and I actually LIVED to see it !!! God bless you for bringing back the "Mustang".I,ve damn sure missed them.Had a 58' that dad sold when I was overseas in the service...(what did I know I was just a young kid)..but that bike is one of my most loved memories. Just think...NOW I CAN DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN !...can't wait to get one.Any dealers here in texas???

Joe_3
5/15/2010 10:50:49 PM
Richard and Fellow MC Blog Readers, Joe from California Scooter Company here. We recently tested our bikes and attained 98 mpg on surface streets and in traffic. Check out our website and blog for the latest updates on the California Scooter Company (www.CaliforniaScooterCo.com).

Joe_3
1/29/2010 11:00:47 AM
Hi, Joe with California Scooter Company here. While there were very few bikes delivered with the Villiers engine, it actually was used on the original bikes. We checked with Jim Cavanaugh, who is one of the most knowledgeable guys on the planet on the original Mustang (he was their production manager), and here’s what he said: "In the early beginning of Mustang, they produced the Colt model. It had a 2-cycle Villiers transmission/engine unit that was made in England. Not too many were made and this was right after the end of WWII. Next came the Model 2 with the Gladden Products engine. And the Model 3 Deliverycycle (trike). I believe they were made from 1947-49 and were equipped with the 3 speed Burman (not Berman) transmission and the Amal carburetor, both from England. About 1950 the Model 4 and the Model 5 (trike) was produced with the Gladden engine turned 180 degrees and hopped up versions, still equipped with the Burman 3-speed transmission and the Amal carburetor. About 1958-59 the Model 8 (Model 7 trike) came out equipped with the Burman 4-speed transmission and an Italian Dellorto carburetor and Italian-made wire wheels in lieu of the solid disc wheels. Then about 1961 the Thoroughbred (Model 10) with swingarm design was added to the line. It was equipped with the 4-speed Burman transmission, Dellorto carburetor and the wire wheels as standard equipment. The three-wheeler was discontinued when the Thoroughbred came out."

Keith Mullins_1
1/29/2010 6:45:26 AM
"Mustang Motorcycle Club of America" is at mmcoa.org

G Smtih_2
1/28/2010 12:27:59 PM
Bad reporting. Only British part on the original Mustang was the Berman gearbox. It was a 418cc four stroke engine NOT a villers.



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