Add a Gas Engine to Your Bike

Bikes Fun & Games
Add a Gas Engine to Your Bike

MAKE Volume 26 Motorbike Project

Lew Frauenfelder had dreamed of owning a classic Whizzer motorbike since he was a young maker. Now retired, when he came across a link to, he decided it was time to realize his dream and build a knockoff. Lew shares his build tale with us in MAKE Volume 26, the Karts and Wheels issue. We decided to build one too at Make: Labs, and are fortunate enough to have Phat Tyre Vintage Bicycles right around the corner. Owner Steve Cook lent us this sweet ride built with 1950s and 60s parts. Check out this video shot by Keith Thompson featuring the bike in action, along with explanation from Steve and MAKE engineering intern Brian Melani, then head over to the article page, where we’ve shared the entire text of Lew’s article.

And in case you’re wondering, another awesome creation of Lew’s is our editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, Mark Frauenfelder. Thanks Lew!

Photograph at top shot by Garry McLeod.


From the Pages of MAKE:
MAKE Volume 26: Karts & Wheels
Garage go-kart building is a time-honored tradition for DIYers, In this issue of MAKE, we’ll show you how to build wheeled wonders that’ll have you and the kids racing around the neighborhood in epic DIY style. Build a longboard skateboard by bending plywood and build a crazy go-kart driven by a pair of battery-powered drills. Put a mini gasoline engine on a bicycle. And construct an amazing wind-powered cart that can outrun a tailwind. Plus you’ll learn how to build the winning vehicle from our online Karts and Wheels contest! In addition to karts, you’ll find plenty of other projects that only MAKE can offer!


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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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