If you're lucky, you have fond memories of your grandpa. Everyone's family is different, but my grandpa was absolutely a guy who liked to build things. He was a curious person, and a tinkerer, and a consummate DIY-er (probably long before that phrase was a thing). It was just who he was; a trait that was baked into every fiber of his being.
While I do remember my grandma teaching me to sew on the vintage Singer sewing machine that my grandpa had electrified for her (see?), and while I also remember him fixing up a bicycle for me that someone had abandoned on their land, I don't remember him ever turning a Singer sewing machine into a minibike.
But if he knew that someone else had done it, it would have made him smile. Probably even laugh.
Someone else's grandpa apparently did exactly that, because this extremely charming Singer Sewing Machine Minibike just found a new home via Bring a Trailer. It may not be a runner, but it is absolutely a charmer.
Gallery: Singer Sewing Machine Minibike
From a purely aesthetic perspective, the black and gold, highly decorated presence of many vintage Singers would work extremely well in a motorcycle context. Depending on the model, many early Singers had a lovely curve to their bodies that would also lend itself well to a motorcycle.
Those same Singers, if you've never tried to pick one up, were (and are) also extremely heavy for their size. They were made out of steel, after all; long before plastic bodies (and worse; plastic gears) took over the mass market. They're extremely sturdy pieces of kit, and they'll run practically forever if they're taken care of (and assuming you can find parts). That's why so many of them are still around today.
The Story Behind This Build
The seller's grandfather reportedly took a 1930s-era Singer and paired it up with a little 50cc two-stroke engine out of an Italjet Vampiro as the basis for this bike. It has a four-speed gearbox, a Dell'Orto carburetor, a kick starter, LED lights, a high-mount exhaust that exits just under the rear of the saddle, and a pair of 6-inch steel wheels. The front fork is fixed, but it does have dual rear shocks.
It's not clear if this bike has ever run, but since it appears to have no final drive whatsoever, it seems extremely unlikely that it's ever been ridden. Does it even have a fuel tank? That sewing machine is solid steel, unless it's been modified in some way.
Unsurprisingly, it came with neither a title nor registration, and was sold strictly on a bill of sale. The auction closed at a price of $800, with some commenters urging the seller to hang onto it because of the memories it must surely hold for them.
That's the thing, isn't it? As it is, this bike is a charming motorcycle-shaped sculpture, made from a vintage sewing machine that may well have its own family history that's part of the build. (Side note: It would've been extra funny if it was a vintage Husqvarna sewing machine, but you've got to use what you have, right?)
The new owner could choose to display this bike as-is, or they could take it further and do significant additional work to make it a ridable machine. Either way, it's up to them, since they've now purchased someone's grandpa's project bike. Even if it's never ridable, it's a unique blend of metal and stories, like most of the best motorcycles tend to be.