1965-allstate_5
Sears, Roebuck & Company* was certainly the Amazon of the 20th Century selling everything from house kits to furniture, clothing, farm equipment, appliances and motorcycles. Much of their product line was sourced and rebadged or made to specification. The first Sears motorcycles were offered for only a few years just after 1910 with a second wave beginning about five years after World War II. Sears offered mopeds, scooters and small motorcycles from a variety of manufacturers. Many of today’s older riders studied the “Wish Book,” then visited a Sears Roebuck store and bought a bike; some were shipped to your door in crates with some assembly required.

With so many choices in scooters and motorcycles, the 1950’s and early 1960’s were a great time to become a motorcyclist. Cushman scooters, Whizzers, Vespas, Harley Hummers, BSA Bantams, and a wide range of offerings from many Italian manufacturers were out there, new and used. For America the Austrian-made Steyer-Daimler Puch (Pook) became the Sears Allstate that was made from 1953 to 1970. Black or maroon, later silver and red, the Allstate was pretty conservative in styling and performance. But it was also tough and got a generation out on the roads; with a torquey engine, some even used them for trail riding adventures.

Many of Sears offerings were of European manufacture and two-strokes, the big Allstate 250 a “twingle” by design. It’s easy to think of the “twingle” two-stroke engine design as similar to a split piston; a pair of pistons in two cylinders in place of one piston in one cylinder, but as shown in the photo below, the engineering is much more complex! In fact in the twingle design one is piston behind the other and each piston is used for different functions. One is bringing fresh fuel to the combustion chamber from the crankcase, while the other is expelling the burned charge out the exhaust. One connecting rod operates both pistons, with the secondary connecting rod forked off the main rod. The design** has many variants and is over 100 years old, with the designs by the Austrian manufacturer Puch dating to 1923.
1965-allstate_34
In addition to this handsome, original unrestored Sears Allstate 250, the National Motorcycle Museum has dozens of small motorcycles, scooters and power-cycles from the 1950’s and 1960’s and several others that were sold by Sears Roebuck. Baby Boomers and their parents are likely to find some that come under the heading of My First Bike.
*Sears, Roebuck & Company was formed in 1886. The name is now abbreviated to Sears.
**The term twingle is also sometimes used to describe parallel or V-Twin four-stroke engines which have been re-engineered to have cylinders fire simultaneously, acting like a single cylinder engine, typically offering better hookup for dirt track racing.

Specifications:

  • Engine: 248cc Two-Stroke
  • Design: Two cylinder “Twingle”
  • Bore & Stroke: 45mm x 78mm
  • Carburetor: Puch 32mm
  • Ignition: 6V Battery, Coil, Points
  • Lubrication: Oil Pump (+Pre-Mix for Break-in)
  • Compression Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Horsepower: 16HP
  • Clutch: Multi-plate in Oil Bath
  • Transmission: 4-Speed
  • Primary: Duplex Chain Driven
  • Starting: Folding Kick Starter
  • Brakes: 7” Drum / 7” Drum
  • Suspension: Telescopic Fork/ Swingarm, Twin Shocks
  • Tires/Wheels: 3.00 x 16 / 3.50 x 16
  • Wheelbase: 52 Inches
  • Weight: 342 pounds
  • Top Speed: 68 MPH
28 replies
  1. Howard Dorris
    Howard Dorris says:

    Mine (68) isn’t quite as nice but has fewer miles. Runs when I kick it! Never been “fixed”. Sweet bike.

    Reply
  2. El Engelter
    El Engelter says:

    A few years ago we needed a pit bike for Davenport. I pulled our 250 twingle off the shelf after 18 years storage, put a 6 volt lantern battery in the box, added some two stroke oil and fuel. After 3 kicks it roared to life and we rode it all weekend at Davenport. Love the little popcorn popper.

    Reply
  3. Randy West
    Randy West says:

    Been riding motorcycles for 65 years and bought a brand new Sears Twingle 250, remember it coming In The Box and assembling it and riding it for quite a while , knew it had the puch engine, in was very reliable.

    Reply
  4. Paul
    Paul says:

    In the early 60″s, my brother and I used to go down to Sears and sit on the motorcycles, and pretend we were riding them.
    By the time we got motorcycles, we had graduated to Harleys, so we never actually owned an Allstate (Puch).
    We did know a guy who rode one down our street to work and back home 6 days a week.

    Reply
  5. John Stevenson
    John Stevenson says:

    Bought a new 175 (model 810-94160) in 1957, and rode it summer and winter, to and from work and school for four years. One could get a limited license at 14 years old back then, and $5.00 for plate. No insurance needed. I put 14,000 hard, fast miles on it, and thrashed it without mercy. I have owned 14 bikes since then but none more reliable. I would do 200 plus mile road trips on it with no fear of mechanical failure. At 14-15 years old, I sure was glad my folks never found out. Back then you could enter and leave Canada without any extra bother. When I moved up to a Speed Twin at 18, I converted my Puch to an Ice Racer, and raced it for another three years, then gave it away to a friend who raced it some more. What a bike!! Oh yeah, I did shave .200 thou off the head, advance the timing another 8 degrees, raised the transfer ports .06″, pretty much gutted the mufflers, ( took them right off for racing,) and ran Sunoco 260 with Castrol racing oil at 40:1. Living in Detroit, growing up next door to a Pro Hill Climber, these mods had to be done, of course. If they weren’t so darn expensive, I’d like to fix up a Puch for my grand kids, just for old time’s sake.

    Reply
  6. J. T. Cook
    J. T. Cook says:

    When I was 15, I went down to the Sears store and saw this beautiful maroon motorcycle. It was a 175cc Allstate(Puch) and was quite heavy. This was 1955 and you could ride a bike in those days at 14 with no special license. I purchased the bike for $250 on sale and I drove that cycle for about 3 years and really enjoyed it. It was not really fast, as the Mustang scooter could run away from it, but it was a comfortable and a beautiful bike. One time, I drove it over 200 miles round trip with no issues. One problem that I did have was it was prone to fouling the spark plugs, so I had to clean them once a week. One morning, I was driving along at about 25 MPH and a guy ran a stop sign and I nailed him in the front door. It was a 49 Packard tank 4 door. I landed on the roof of the car with one of the sharp front brake handles broken off in my right knee and a broken nose. The front wheel of the bike was pushed up under the gas tank. I believe that the cycle protected me from getting seriously hurt as it was very well built with good metal. The bike was totaled and my parents said no bikes, so still miss that old bike. Even today, I would like to take a ride on one of those bikes. Good ole days!

    Reply
  7. Clive blake
    Clive blake says:

    Hello,punch fans! I have a running puch 250 cc,”twinkle”, and it’s pretty decent .1962 black body ,all there,a beauty.for a barn find.being sold on Bill of Sale.runs. Feels good.tires are flat,looks like a rebuilt card on it,guy gave me a battery,primed the fuel,kicked it twice and she roared to life.would be a very light restoration,if someone wants a great bike..I’m looking for 1,800.00, or best offer.631 361 3333,my home with message machine.today is feb 13th 2018.so very recent ad..give me a call or email

    Reply
  8. Bob
    Bob says:

    Clive Blake,
    Do You still have it?
    Where are you located?
    Sincerely, Bob Brownell
    The Dr. in my E-address is just my Nickname “Dr. Bob” No Doctorate here.

    Reply
  9. tim graves
    tim graves says:

    Hay I have a black twingle I believe it is a 63-64 doese not run but everthing is there. turns over and has compresion. Looks good just needs cleaned up.
    If some one made me a good offer I could let it go. I have no idea what its worth.

    Reply
    • Eric Eberhardt
      Eric Eberhardt says:

      My Motor is a 1965 250 Allstate Twingle and has been rebuilt front to back inside out I lost the tital years ago and am having a hard time getting a new one I live in Tavares Fl MyPhone# is 910-620-9958

      Reply
  10. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    Hello im looking for info on my puch scramble bike yes knobby tires high alloy fenders and mx bars. As i live in australia i dont know if its a different model to usa version. The engine number starts with 1712xxx if that helps.it seems to be all original as this bike still wears its knobbys with no wear hense the speedo has only 495 miles on it.no it is not for sale.it has lodge lf20 spark plugs. Thanks

    Reply
    • karla
      karla says:

      One of our Museum experts says this: “From 600 to 3000 Really depends on condition. And if it’s running, original or modified. If I could see a few close up pics I could give him a better idea.” If you email him some photos at mmederski@nationalmcmuseum.org that would be very helpful for him to give you a truer number.

      Reply
  11. Ryan Carroll
    Ryan Carroll says:

    Can someone advise where I would look for a VIN on this bike? Actually the bike I am looking at is a 1965. Thank you in advance to anyone who replies. If you read this after August 15, 2019 there will be no need to reply.

    Reply
  12. Voctor
    Voctor says:

    Can somebody tell me what will they use in the Twingle two-cycle engine that premix that sell what grade what brand or should I use a two-cycle in the tank

    Reply
  13. The Swede
    The Swede says:

    I preferred the 175, sweeter engine, better fuel consumption for the performance, not really inferior to the 250, which, admittedly, had a punchier engine, better for heavier loads in hilly terrain (camping in Norway). A German-bought pexiglass windshield, ex-army pannier-bags (in canvas back then) and you could ride that bike to the moon and back and, apart from checking the chain, never need any tools. The plug was a trifle cold, as usual, the factories play it safe, a warmer plug rarely needed cleaning or oiled-up. Most 2T-oil in the gas-stations was 20-30W, ok for lesser 2T’s, mopeds etc, 40-50W ashless 2T was harder to source but much better. I also rode 250 NSU and BMW bikes, they were great, too. The Germans always made good bikes (ok, Puch is Austrian, but so was Hitler!)

    Reply
  14. Dustin T Arnold
    Dustin T Arnold says:

    I Just purchased a Allstate it has less than 500 miles on the odometer the last year it was registered was in 1966 As far as I know she has spent most of her life laying on the ground outside. The selling point was that it is mostly complete I am really looking forward to this build ( = Motor is seized up but I have shift play and working on getting the cylinders separated at the moment POSTED 2020 JUNE 26TH

    Reply
  15. ken Neeld
    ken Neeld says:

    Just purchased a New To Me 1965 Puch 250. While I have much to learn currently interested in changing out the stock double seat for a single seat. I’ve seen lots of pics showing the single and I just prefer that look. Anyone know where I can source a seat?

    Reply

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