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Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2002 1:36 pm    Post subject: Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's Reply with quote

During the 60's Mr. Butterfield had a dream. He dreamt a dream and built on it! Having a love affair with motorcycles and machinery He developed a motorcycle that could be driven effortlessly and maintained easily with abundant parts anywhere on the planet. Taking VW air cooled motors and BMW /2 bikes he molded a new big cc drive shaft bike. Sold around 100 units as new or in kit form from his dealership. Many sold around the world and few are known to exist today. Imagine its the 60's and your riding a Butterfield. 1600 cc, 4 cylinders, shaft drive with so much power you could make a car blush! No other mfg. was making anything close to the cc's with 4 cylinders let alone the dependability of shaft drive. Clearly ahead of his time. So one day when you see a rider KICKSTART his VW engine to life and rides away will you think Butterfield or What The Hell Was That Martha?
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79SuperVert Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 11:30 am    Post subject: Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's Reply with quote

Tremendous! In all my life I have never heard of Butterfield. Where are these machines now?
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79SuperVert Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 2:56 pm    Post subject: Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's Reply with quote

Found this on the web: Butterfield (Willis) USA, Late 1960's early 1970's?, Butterfield owned Jacks M/C in Fresno California, a Ducati, Moto
Guzzi , BMW Dealership, Willis worked with him in the mid 60's into the 70's. They built a complete motorcycle made to accept a 1500cc Volkswagen engine and used a BMW /2 transmission. The bike looked very much like a R60/2 BMW and was available as a kit or complete motorcycle. They are the best looking motorcycle I have seen that incorporated a VW engine. Apparently Butterfield and Willis had a falling out and a lengthy court battle ensued over the rights to the motorcycle and Willis won. Willis used a badge for them that said "Willis 4's" it resembled the BMW badge so closely that BMW came down on him. Willis died shortly after. Approximately 100 were built. see picture
http://silverstone.fortunecity.com/porsche/651/butterfield.html
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 4:09 am    Post subject: Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's Reply with quote

The bike you pictured is in my garage. Its the actual prototype that was used in the developement of the Butterfield. In your original question where are they now? There seems to be only a few left. This prototype for the production was actually out of the U.S.A. for almost a decade when it was brought back and restored by original design team member Mr. Stuart. If you check The Samba I have a Willis listed for sale. Showing the later efforts of using Honda dual disk front ends and newer transmissions.
I have 4 of these bikes in my collection in various stages of completion. They can bring almost any car show to a grinding halt when ridden in! Or when you KICKSTART them to life!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 6:35 am    Post subject: Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's Reply with quote

My wife would kill me if I did anything more than dream about one of those...
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 12:37 pm    Post subject: Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's Reply with quote

I understand completely. Due to the fact everytime you would take it out she would have to compete for your attention. All you would be doing is talking to all the Who, What, Where and How can I get one of those questions. As for riding one its hard to describe. The best way to do so is think of it as sitting on a car motor that leans. Most people freak on the thought of KICKSTARTING a VW motor to life! I myself consider it all in a days THRILL!
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elliott92869
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: My Butterfield-Willis Reply with quote

I have a 1961 BMW frame - 1967-8 VW bus engine - Honda Front tire & brakes - Twin Honda 450 carburators - and a Flandershield R-400 fearing..... A barn find..... I want to get it running..... Would appreciate some direction from knowledgable sources.

The paint job is by "Tweety `74"

Thanks, Jon
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Fish
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Location: OB. It's beside the point.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen a few. They are bad ass. There were two of them at the classic one year. One even had a sidecar.

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WTB Wolff Motors License Plates Frames. Like these. https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/1234578.jpg

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kenfreiwald
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Re: Butterfield VW's & Willis 4's Reply with quote

I took a trip in tenn. and saw one of these vw butterfield, or willis vw motorcycle at American pickers shop just outside of town .very cool. 36 hp twin carbs. no cross over manifold. kick start drive is some sort of transfer case maybe bmw not sure. very cool
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