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TAS, AquaBug & Sears

by Mike Schneider (

In reviewing your web site I noticed you had a recent inquiry (Mr L Langman) for information on the Bike Bug Bicycle Engine.  You were correct: Japanese manufacture to the mid-80s.  Marketed under three different names: TAS Spitz, AquaBug Bike Bug, Sears Free Spirit.  Two-cycle 28cc front fork mounted bicycle engine - 20 mph, 200 mpg.

Sears has one on display in the Sears Tower in Chicago - front door and center entrance.

I have rebuilt six of these engines.  They are wonderfully delightful little engines to bike.  I remember seeing them advertised in Popular Science magazine at 12 years old - 40 years ago.

The manufacturer does have some parts available - however, not all.  I have substituted several parts form hardware stores, lawn mower shops and motorcycle shops.  I have also generated some better than original parts.  In my rebuilding I have networked with several owners and have collected a very complete library of information on these engines plus first hand knowledge on repair.

I would sincerely appreciate your listing this information so it can be of benefit to other "Spitzers, Bike Buggers and Free Spiriters".

First published, August 2001

Mr Pattle Sir;

I saw your web page with the Bike Bug reference and I hope I can answer the question about it.  I have owned a Bike Bug bicycle motor.  The Bike Bug that I had was a 15cc 2-stroke job that made the bicycle unstable and was underpowered for the use I needed it for.  I got it new in 1980 for US$175.00 - very expensive for those days but it was well made and thought out.  It sounded LOUD to me and I ruined the front fender of a perfectly good Phillips 3-speed with rod and stirrup brakes in an effort to set up the Bike Bug.  The machine (correctly set up) would only go about 13mph tops on a good day so I took it off because I could pedal faster than that without the engine.  I suggest that if anyone wants to motorize a bicycle they use one of the better rear mount engines.  I do not recommend the Bike Bug.  This does not mean that someone else would not enjoy the use of it, but it is not for me.

L Curry
Albuquerque, New Mexico

23 August 2009

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