If you’ve spent any time in the Far East, you’ll have seen a Flying Pigeon. It’s the omnipresent bicycle owned by every middle-class Chinese family. Over 500 million have been made, but few are as quick as this one: a powered version with a boardtrack vibe and a top speed of 70 kph.
The Screaming Pigeon is the twisted brainchild of Australian adman Brad Wilson, who’s built three prototypes so far. And if there’s enough interest, he’ll put the motorized bicycle into low-volume production under his Dicer Bikes brand.
“It’s a little bit of East meets West,” says Brad. “The bikes start life as an 1950s Flying Pigeon roadster, the kind you see old gents ride around on in Chinatown in Singapore. The attraction for me is the unique twin-bar frame: this becomes the focal point when designing a fuel tank.”
After stripping a Flying Pigeon down, Brad keeps the the frame but re-spokes the steel wheels and cuts, flips and welds the handlebars upside-down.
The engine is a generic single cylinder 50cc putting out a couple of horsepower. Yes, that’s two horsepower. But it’s enough to push the bike to 40 mph, more than the urban speed limit in most cities.
There’s a bona fide motorcycle throttle and the super-cool grips are from a jackhammer, with reverse levers underneath. The somewhat ineffective rod-style brakes of the standard Pigeon have been replaced by a 21st-century disc brake up front.
The fuel tank slots over the second frame member and is made from stainless 1.5mm tubing. There’s a seat bracket over the rear wheel as a nod to the early boardtrack racers, but also a sprinkling of modern components—including a sealed bottom bracket and a very classy Brooks seat. Next on the development list, Brad reports, is an internal throttle setup.