mandag 28. februar 2011

Ssuccessful design (or lack off)

Design, how does this word make sense to you as a motorcycle enthusiast, user, restorer, owner, builder or rebuilder?

A successfully designed motorcycle involves technical issues as god handling, efficient braking capacity, god suspension or no suspension, large capacity fuel tank or just sufficient sized fuel tank and so on depending on its use.
There is more to it than technical issues. Its appearance should be a pleasure for your eyes only or it might be an appearance designed to fit an idea of what the designer thought the general public would find OK.
The appearance of a bike is linked to its purpose of course, just as much as its technical features are.
If you make one special bike for yourself you might not care of its price. On the other hand if you want this bike to sell in any numbers there is a close relation between its price and the level set for its technical features as well as the cost of candy paint or loads of chrome.
When talking on price, do not forget that a design involving the making of intricate parts is more time consuming hence more costly than some straight forward but still working parts.

Personally when looking at some of those creations presented in various bike shows and custom bike competitions I find it hard to believe there have been any serious thoughts on what design is actually all about.
On the other hand if this is art more than motorcycles there is for sure plenty of creativity in the making.

Still in the end it is all depending on those feelings a person gets when first facing a new bike, whether he/she like it or not.

Below is an example of poorly conceived design with lack of concern for a whole. This is a technically well-functioning light switch with a fluorecent knob but still for sure an unsuccessful design.

søndag 27. februar 2011

American Motorcycles Norway

I have previously posted a short introduction to an important piece of the Norwegian motorcycle history, the founding and early years of the Norsk Motorcycle Club. Again, life is full of surprises and a while back I got this very interesting photo in an e-mail from a lady working at Hotel Sundvolden. This unique image show the members of Norsk Motorcycle Club on tour from Kristiania to Sundvolden, located in the Ringerike region, now a drive done in a couple of hours then a days travel for brave men in the saddle.
Hotel Sundvolden is today a historic hotel, one of several organised in a group of preserved wooden hotels from the early years of our tourist industry.
I recon this pic is taken approx 1920, one year after the club foundation. Bikes are Harley, Indians, 3 Hendersons and from the frontfork view a Reading Standard.

Thanks to Mr. Bue David-Andersen, a true NMK historian I`m able to tell whom is riding this group of bikes captured in 1916 shourtly after the foundation of NMK,
From front in pic to rear is no. 1. Paul de Rodger, Henderson. 2. Trygve Oluf Pettersen, Indian. 3. Macke Nicolaysen, Indian. 4. Eskil Jensen, Henderson. 5. Ragnvald Gundersen, Indian. 6.Finn Hjortnes Indian. 7 ????? Indian. HELP!! and finally 8.Willy Gundersen, riding his Harley Davidson.


I got this e-mail from a french gentleman Vincent a while back, asking for my favourite 5 motorcycles, that was a tough one, he was surprised with my answer, he he.

fredag 25. februar 2011

American Motorcycles

Pierce Four "The vibrationless motorcycle". Introduced in 1909, the Pierce four was strongly influated by the FN four introduced 4 years earlier to eager motorcyclists in a growing market by Fabrique National in Belgium.

Pierce where well known for their quality products, but the Pierce four motorcycle did allso get famous for its high price, 400USD when introduced when it hit the market in 09.
This tiny four had a displacement of 42,5" /696cc, sidevalve exhaust valves and atmospheric inlets operated by the vacum of the breathing engine only. Chain for bicycling only, engine got the rearwheel spinning by a enclosed driveshaft. A two speed gearbox and an automatic clutch was added to the bike in 1910. Its price was its worst enemy, and production ceased as early as in 1913. Hence a Pierce four is as rare as hens theets today, or maybe even more?

The bike captured is a 1910-11ìsh Pierce that lived its life in Denmark. Someone have been playing with it as a rebuilt inlet manifoild have moved the carb from behind the rear cylinder to the middle of the engine side, facing the photographer. Some pretty huge footbords have been added too ease the comfort of the driver, wich under normal circumstanses would have been driving resting his feets on the "bicycle" pedals.

torsdag 24. februar 2011

American Motorcycles

This is one cool shot where a bunch of kids group on and around one of those oddball looking tiny two stroke Clevelands. This Cleveland is of the later model, introduced in 1920. Previous models sported an all round fueltank.

tirsdag 22. februar 2011

American Motorcycles Norway

Its bloody winter outside. Why not convert your scooter to allow some serious winter riding?

Carmen-Werk AG D.R.G.M Stuttgart

Several years ago when retsoring my 27 JD I visited a guy in Sweden owning this beautiful 29 JD. That is when I first got to know that the German Carmen-Werk AG made a steering brake for Harleys, introduced in 1928.
This German company who is more known for making type writers apparently had an interest in motorcycles too.
This nifty device is according to my investegations once sold by Lindhblads in Stockholm, then the Swedish Harley general agency.

Several years later I was lucky enough to get a Carmen Werk steering brake for my 27too, a cool history in itself (for later).

Reason for all this coming to my mind is I got a old magazine scan from Uffe (mentioned in my Ivar Liljequist post, we owe him) where "master Erik" Westerberg ride a sidecar fitted Harley in a Swedish race. In this pic you find the Carmen Werk brake too, wich means master Erik thought this was required to improve steering during races. Cool I agree with him, it does improve handling a lot.

Heinz from Austria sent me an e-mail with pics of his pride and joy, a beautiful 28 JD that gets used a lot climbing the alps. Check out the details on this old beauty, carmen Werk steering brake, the jeweled speedo lamp, the fork stabiliser, wich according to Heinz is another Carmen Werk product and her patina from years of aging.

søndag 20. februar 2011

Harry "hesthags skrekken" II

Aint we lucky guys today.

Harry`s son Tommy have e-mailed me some high resolution copies of the previously posted photos in my first post on "hesthags skrekken".
Please find my old post to check them out once more, as you will now be able to study any details in those beautiful early fifties captions.

Here is another bunch of pics shared from Tommys family albums, some from the outside of Harrys motorcycle workshop. An older VL with sidecar is visiting for some adjustments?

You will be pleased to see some high resolution pics of the dressed UL, myself I`ve learned a lot from these shots, there is one great capture of Harrys Knucklehead sidecar outfit the A 6228 as well as a family frieds outfit A 7109.

The last pic is great too, what an amount of stuff this Knuck had to carry when the Høgbergs went on holliday.

One of these moments

Sitting inside listening at the winter storms out here in the North-sea get my mind floating towards summer and motorbikes.
The photo below is taken at Davenport in 2009 when Mr. Bill Nugent generously offered me to buy his JDH cutdown for 100k USD.
Unfortunately my creditcard limit didnt allow me to say YES, be damned!

These are slim lines, the JDH sport tank is a beauty from this angle, too.

lørdag 19. februar 2011

American Motorcycles

A Danish Harley sport pictured in 1934. This strange little inline boxer was once enjoyed by Poul Larsen earning his living as a carpenter.

American Motorcycles

Here is a cool photo scanned by Uffe for me to share with you guys. The guy in the picture is Ivar Liljekvist aka "kjøtbullen" (the meatball), one of the three big Harley racers in Sweden during the twenties. Ivar was one of the lucky three to get a Harley Two cam racer imported to Sweden by Lindblad`s in Stockholm. The other two where Master Erik Westerberg whom we know from previous posts on this blog, the third went to the Torell brothers in Stockholm. Two of those machines are still counted for, Master Eriks tough have dissapeared in the time passed.
Personally I find there must have been at least four two cam racers in Sweden as Master Erik is seen operating two different bikes in pictures I`ve got.
I`m working on a Master Erik compilation, lets see if that ever get done.

Ivar "kjøttbullen" ready for some ice racing.

torsdag 17. februar 2011

Fork Stabilizer for IOE Harleys

Lately I have been quite fortunate in getting a load of great vintage photos from Uffe in Stockholm.
One of his many Harleys, a 29 JD have been posted on this blog previously.
A while back Uffe shared with me a pic of his new repop fork stabilizer, a Harley approved accessory first introduced in the 1929 spring & summer season accessory catalogue.
Originally this cool item is made by LAKE Co. in Brooklyn NY, patended in late 28. This is a great addition to your bike as it prevents the upper pipes on the front part of your fork from flexing and eventually breaking off, especcially if you run on bad roads.
Seeing Uffes pic I came to think of that I many years ago while restoring my 27 JD copied this part from a original wich I know of. This original was made in steel tough I made my copy in aluminium. Most copies availiable seems to be made in bronze. Two years ago I removed the stabilizer from my 27 to make another pair, one for my racer and one for, yes you never know do you?
It appeared that the foundry I used screwed up the quality on those repops, luckily one was usable and this is now fitted on my racer.
Uffes pick got me thinking if maybe I should try getting casted some in steel as I have just got to know a guy working in a steel foundry.
Anyone interested? Let me know.

Uffe, thanks a lot for your pictures.

Uffes 29 with his new repop bronze stabiliser.

My "old" aluminium repop removed from my 27 and blanked of for use as casting plug, next to it a screwed up copy (wich i still had to pay for).

On any decent repop this original LAKE infor should be visible, or?

My other copy that the foundry managed to make with a decent quality installed on my racer, to be.

48 Panhead progress

As said in many contexts before, "the devil is in the details".
My progression curve have been pointing the wrong way lately, down the hill kind off, and now I`m back in the "making money bussiness" wich means progression is like none, zero, nada.

Last issues sorted where some more holes beeing oval and 1/4" control rod ends beeing far of their original meassures. This sounds like nothing but does actually envolve a lot of lathe work, welding, bending, drilling and time, time our worst enemy.
The wise would say "why the fuc%¤"# do you not buy new repops" but hey, I want to keep as much as possible of what is Made in Milwaukee back in 48. This means repair, repair and repair, not replace, replace. I might be stupid, oh well I know I`m stupid, else I wouldnt have been doing all this :-)

lørdag 12. februar 2011

Americn Motorcycles

An Excelsior produced by the Scwinn factory in Chicago. One of the big "three".

torsdag 10. februar 2011

48 Panhead progress

Another day filled with action have passed by. Due to the amount of work, ehrr fun there was no other option, another set of hands where needed. As usual no volunteers, did I say none, its not the trouth. My grandson was more than happy with staying for a couple of days, to help me out, and yes even if still only 6 years old he does indeed help a lot.

When I where to file down the second front frame tube after welding he sat across my upside downed frame for two long hours making it more stable. His only award for this heroic act was getting allowed to perform som stunt welding on a piece of scrap metal. As my frame is now considered done I found next task was to start working with brake pedal and linkages. To get back decent play in the brake pedal both the support plate shaft and the bush in the pedal was replaced, I cant stand a wiggly brake pedal. 1/10 of a mm play is great :-), when greased it feels very direct.

onsdag 9. februar 2011

48 Panhead progress

Started out early this morning by checking my e-mail, damned that made me feel like a fu#¤%¤%%ker big time. Loads of nice guys e-mailing me just to be neglected as I`m fucking all day with my ol Panhead gal, sorry I will get there eventually.
Collected pedals and linkages to see what would need to be done, hmm, hint is ovality. OK, leave that for later. Stuffed my Pan frame in the car, off I go to Arendal where my friend Erik "the blacksmith master" have his shop. He is the one to ask if you need a pipe to be heated at the exact point needed to get it back to shape.
I had two pipes in need.
Before leaving his shop I collected a rear fork belonging to Stig aka Beveldrive (see link to his blog elsewhere on my site) wich lower legs now are as straight as if they where calibrated towards the atomic clock in Bern.
Back home I pulled out my MIG welder to add metal required to get my bentlegs to shape, then the fun starts, filing, filing and more filing. Oh I love filing, its like magic what decent files will do to metal. If you have done some serious filing you should have to change socks from sweating :-)
You dont keep your stack of files in a bundle in the bottom of a drawer do you?, shame shame shame on you. Files should be seperated from each other to prevent any damage to their theets, whenever a filing practice is done, brush it with a filebrush, if material is sticking to your file, add chalk to it. If used on aluminium, try adding technical alchole by a brush.

I was bullied today when at Eriks place by two motorcyclists coming by, this as I came to talk about my collection of vintage miniature vices. Heck, I collect as many miniature vices as I want, I`m after all an adult, or not?

48 Panhead, yesterdays progress

Damned time is for sure flying when you have fun. Yesterday was spent with some more welding in the front gearboks mount area, making a new seat post bushing and a driver tool for this as well as fabricationg a jiig to replace the motor when I`m trying to work the lower end of my bent legs (that was kind of deep, did you catch up with that one?) back to their origianl 1" (inch) diameter, ruined by jumping Mexico city`s curbs.
Went out of Argon for my TIG welder and lost several hours in locating a new bottle, damned.
Ended the day by making a tool needed later on to check steering head allignment, dry fitted this but still have to figure out a procedure of how to ensure frame geometry is as when it left "the factory".