Sears Twingle: 1954 Allstate 175 SV

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We have seen a few rebadged motorcycles that were sold by Sears here in the past and this has to be one of the coolest, at least style-wise. This is a 1954 Allstate 175 SV Standard made by Puch in Austria and sold by Sears. It can be found here on eBay in Wellsville, New York. There is a single bid of $1,900 on it and no reserve.

I love the look of this bike. It’s low and sleek and cool, even though it is just a 175 CC two-stroke twin. Or, better known as a “Twingle” or a split-single due to the way that both pistons share a single combustion chamber. This looks like one of those 1950s motorcycles that your parents would have told you to stay away from, like Marlon Brando would have ridden it. From what I can tell, the VIN pegs this example as a 1955 model. 1521583 was the last 1954 model and the VIN on this bike is 1530564.

Puch of Austria made these motorcycles and then as Sears does, or did, they bought a trainload of them and rebadged them as Sears Allstate models. It was more involved than that, of course, but that’s the gist of how an Austrian motorcycle got to be sold by the thousands in Sears catalogs. This is a Standard model as opposed to a Super, or Deluxe, as shown by a lack of chrome, especially on the tank.

Most of the 175 SV bikes were this “medium blue” color but the Allstate 250, a rebadged Puch 250 SGS, were mostly maroon and later they were offered in black, according to period advertisements and reports. The Super, or Deluxe, version of each had a chrome gas tank but oddly enough, I prefer the simplicity of the fully-painted frame, tank, and fenders as seen on the Standard. That solo seat really gives this bike a super cool look. I’m loving this thing the more I look at it.

Here’s the famous Twingle 175 CC two-stroke twin which had 10 hp. The 175 SV was really the first motorcycle that Sears sold which was what could be considered a regular, usable, somewhat powerful, somewhat comfortable motorcycle. This interesting bike is in good condition and the seller says that it’s in good running condition, too. I would love to have this one but after several hundred dollars in shipping on top of an already healthy bid price… or, maybe a person could ride it home instead of having it shipped.. hmm.. Have any of you owned a Sears motorcycle? If so, what was it?

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  1. geomechs geomechsMember

    Steyr-Daimler-Puch. Just over 50 years ago (can you believe it was that long ago?) a retired motorcycle dealer from the Intermountain Northwest gave me a couple of boxes of parts catalogs and service manuals for a lot of older (mostly British) bikes. Some European stuff, including Puch. Definitely a well received gift. I’ve helped a lot of enthusiasts out over the years with copies of pages of the old Marques. The Puch was quite a departure from the bikes I was used to. It was shortly after that, that I realized Sears Allstate was the same, with only a few cosmetic changes. I sure hope that this bike goes to someone who really appreciates what it is. It would be a lot of fun to ride past a bunch of guys on their rice rockets and have them wonder just what the heck you’re riding…

    Like 8
    • HoA Howard AMember

      Hi geomechs, I thought for sure you would have commented on the unusual engine design here. Why they thought 2 little pistons in a single bore was better than one in one, is beyond me. Kind of a different way of doing the same thing. With your vast knowledge, do you see any advantage to doing it that way? In my 50+ years on a motorcycle, I had never heard of this setup until a few years ago while looking for a bike came across one. I like the style, pure retro charm, except, I bet you have to use “foot assist” with this up steep hills, and it smokes like an old Detroit diesel and I’d keep some extra plugs with me. And why doesn’t it have 2 spark plugs? The link provided doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Allstates, or Puchs ( we always called them Pukes) were never popular in Beer City, for obvious reasons.
      Great find, Scotty!

      Like 5
      • HoA Howard AMember

        Here’s a better view of what it looks like,

        Like 4
      • geomechs geomechsMember

        Hi Howard. You know, there’s been so many ideas over the years. Some have worked and others have ended up in the scrap bin. I read somewhere that the idea behind this one was to give it a bit more bottom end. As you know 2-strokes have a narrow power band and the more you soup them up, the more tricky that band becomes (Kawasaki 500 Triple?). By rolling one power stroke slightly behind the other, you got a power stroke that was a bit longer which worked marginally at low speeds. But changes to porting, and piston skirt design eventually negated that and everyone ended up with singles and real twins/triples. But this method must have been successful as more than one company used it. I understand that a car built in East Germany also used that same design for a spell…

        Like 11
      • HoA Howard AMember

        Thanks, and btw, only fully retired people comment at this hour,,,

        Like 4
      • tim george

        I guess for the same reason people still drive the horribly designed Harley engines and chassis all over creation. The next generation of young people will have no relationship nor care about the history of pretend tough guys riding Harley’s vibrating monstrosities. Just like the switch blade knife in rebel without a cause, they will go by the wayside. On the other hand, these little “Twingles” made by Puch are a blast to ride around town. They mix at 4% if I remember correctly and attract cute girls without tattoos and bleached hair. Fun stuff.

        Like 7
      • Terry R Melvin

        The second piston was behind the main one and it was used to “force” induction into the ports. It helped the engine to breathe. It did not produce power in any way. The 250 was the same way.

        Like 2
    • Albert Constable

      I had a 175 deluxe that I bought new in 1957, dad & I took the trailer to the depot in Adrian Michigan & picked it up in a crate. We brought it home & uncrated it & assembled it I rode it until going to the Air Force in the fall of 1961, what a great bike it was, I put 7000 miles on it. I sold it for 150.00 in 1965 after getting discharged, sure wish I still had it, I am 81 now I guess I could still look at it, if I had it. I have seen pictures of restored ones, & it sure brings back great memories.

      Like 1
  2. LT1 Mike

    Cool bike ! It reminds me of the bikes in an episode of the Twilight Zone called “Black Leather Jackets “. Alien bikers who come to earth, far out.

    Like 8
    • geomechs geomechsMember

      I remember that episode. Can’t remember much about the bikes though. Seems to me that there were still a lot of references to Hollister. Of course that was only 13 or 14 years since that major news sensation.

      Like 3
  3. Solosolo UK ken tillyMember

    They don’t have 2 pistons in a single bore. Each piston has it’s own cylinder, they just share the same combustion chamber.

    Like 8
  4. TimM

    Cool ride!! Not my cup of tea!! But it is cool!!

    Like 3
  5. Hotroddaddy

    I remember looking thru the Sears catalog and wanting an Allstate motorcycle when I was 10. My parents never would let me have one, dang it! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Like 2
  6. Troyce

    I owned this very motorcycle for a while, sold it to a buyer in NY for whom it was picked up at the Barber Motorsports Park autumn vintage event. That’s the only sidestand I’d ever, or ever have seen, on a 175. That the tire pump is still there is fairly rare as well. Us Sears, Roebuck and Co/Puch fans called the color “Appliance Blue.” The same color was used on early rebadged Vespas as the Cruisaire. Another nifty offering was the ISDT model 250cc split-single, very few of which were sold due to the hefty price relative the other models in the Sears catalog. The attached I restored some years ago.

    Like 7
  7. JS

    I have two of these. The twingle design uses a master and slave rod. The master has a bearing on the crankshaft. The slave is bushed to the master, like a radial engine. The arrangement of two parallel cylinders with intake ports in one and exhaust ports in the other allow for port timing that could not be achieved in a single cylinder. The fact that combustion occurs while one piston is rising and the other is falling brings it closer to the Ideal Otto cycle with constant volume combustion. I think Puch made this engine design from 1922 to 1970 or so.

    Like 12
  8. Matt R

    I had a 1966 Sears Allstate 125 Vespa. The only differences from a normal Vespa besides the badge were cheaper shocks. There may be a nuance like that here from a standard Puch.

    With the saddle seat and cheap shocks, it was a spine-crusher when you hit bumps. But it was fun as hell. I bought it from a farmer in Wisconsin for $50 in 1990. It was in parts. I put it back together, cleaned the jets, put new fuel and oil in it and fired it up. I took off down the street and got up to 30 mph or so when the cotter-pin holding the rear wheel broke and jammed the wheel into the wheel well. I road it into the grass like a jet ski. That was a rush. I ended up putting new gaskets in it and selling it for $600.

    You can see it and me in an old super 8 movie a roommate and I made screwing around one day here:

    Like 4
  9. Duffy

    I bought one of those this winter for $90!!
    It’s seized though and needs a lot of work but I have two cars rn so I probably won’t get to it for many years. Might get rid of it maybe not we’ll see. It looks cool just is not a runner

    Like 1
  10. Tony T

    Ken is correcct
    2 separate bores w/ a common head …and COULD have porting/timing different on cyinders

    Like 0
  11. Will Owen

    Paint this maroon and it could almost be the one I bought in Anchorage, Spring of 1962, for I think $200. Mine was a later one, claiming 14 hp and good for an indicated top of 70+ mph. I put hundreds of miles on it over a ten-day leave from the Air Force, down to a friend’s cabin in a muskeg swamp near Anchor Point – walking the running bike through the softer spots – and then returned for a church youth camp a month or two later, after riding through a howling thunderstorm in Johnson Pass, fetching up at midnight at a blessedly friendly motel, whose owner made an exception of the No Checks rule for a waterlogged Airman.

    Although the twingle setup severely limited top RPMs, that big torque boost it was designed for worked very well. Riding with a rather petite woman on the back one day, just for grins I dropped the clutch at idle and it serenely chugged away. Riding solo I could do that in second gear!

    Like 1

    I had a 175 Allstate Deluxe with battery power ignition. I also ordered the buddy seat from Sears and I installed it. The only one I ever saw. Sears local mail order store also financed it for me. I delivered newspapers on it. It was maroon in color. Wish I still had it.

    Like 1
    • Mike k

      I have a 1954 allstate 175 delux with the buddy seat. Maroon. Don’t know the history on it. Was a barn find

      Like 0
  13. Will Owen

    Robert, that was mine exactly. I don’t remember its being referred to as “Deluxe,” but it did have a battery and buddy seat. Both came in pretty handy: the headlight was fairly bright and could stay on without the engine’s running, and although the sweet kid who liked to go for rides was just a friend, it was still kinda fun having her wrapped around me like that!

    Like 0
  14. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Auction update: this sweet Allstate sold at $2,701!

    Like 2
  15. Will owen

    Or roughly five times what I paid for mine! Of course that was in 1962 dollars …

    Like 0
  16. Geoff Patenaude

    I owned a 175 sears Allstate as a kid and rebuilt it myself and can verify that both piston share one combustion chamber and go up and down together acting as one piston as in any 2 cycle engine ,there is no port timing about it at all …

    Like 1
  17. Willowen

    Yes, they do go up and down on a shared crank pin, but the pistons themselves arrive at TDC at slightly different times. The one at the intake port arrives first, then the one at the exhaust, giving a longer burn time for the mixture. The effect, as I’ve mentioned, is that while the engine isn’t rev-happy like the Hondas and Yamahas I loved later, the thing pulls like a tractor off idle. I used to daydream about that engine set into a light trials-bike frame, and what a fabulous woods-and-fields bike that would be. Something would have to be done about its smoky, oily exhaust, is the only problem!

    Like 1
    • Wolfgang Schmied

      i´m Wolfgang from Austria the home of Puch. Interested you wrote about the austrian motorcycles ! I´m looking for a Scrambler 250 in each condition, single or two carbs. If anyone knows one please send me a mail:
      Thank you best regards

      Like 0
  18. S Sparks

    This motorcycle sold at the 2023 Mecum Las Vegas auction for $16,500, quite a jump from the $2,701 that it brought four years ago.

    Like 0

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