fredag 27. januar 2012

The Glostrup races in 1924

This is the whole picture from where I lent a part to the previous post on Jac. Hansen. Captured in Glostrup Denmark in 1924 we see the handicap match between participating nations in the race; Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. This spesific match was mentioned as the most important and thrilling of all races this weekend by the local newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

Shown in the picture are from left to right;

Norwegian motorcycle race ace Macke Nicolaysen on Jac. Hansen`s Harley A-2345. Why did Macke chose to ride Jac`s bike rather than his own, A-1503?
I do not know but Jac's bike was most likely faster, after all Jac. did beat Macke in the tourist class race where he crossed the finnish line as second whilst Macke where third. Then on the other hand, why did Macke borrow Jac`s Harley, rather than Herman Oppens Henderson C-1118. After all, Oppen won the tourist class race on his De-luxe. My personal opinion is you need to be familiar with the Henderson to be able to use the potential, Macke neither rode nor raced four`s, not as far as I have found.

Why did not Jac. or Oppen compete in this more prestigeous race? After all they did a first and second in a previous race. I recon this is due to the fact Macke where the senior amongst the three Norwegian riders, he had been at the Fanø races in 1919 as well as he raced at the Glostrup track in 1923.

Number two from left is Swede, "master" Erik Westerberg on a Harley. Erik rides a Harley with a racing keystone frame and a two-cam engine. Erik have not brought his best bike to this event, as we know he had several bikes and owned two eight valve Harley racing motorbikes in his active race career.

Number three from left is Dane, Chr. Walther on an Indian bigvalve racer. He is frequently mentioned in the book written on the Fanø beach races. Chr. Walther was one of the best Danish riders at the time.

Finally number four is German Albert Schuster. His bike is a German made Wanderer OHV 8 valve 750cc racing bike. Albert won the German "Bäderrennen" in the 750 class races in both 1923 & 1924 on this Wanderer.

As said before, this particular race was classed as a "handicap" race. Whilst Walthers & Westerberg both had to start from the starting line, Schuster got 10 sec. and Macke a 5 sec. advance from start. The Danish newspaper EkstraBladet claimed this race to be considered as the highlight of the weekend.
We can only imagine how it felt to be present at the the track when we know the races at Glostrup were totalizator races ala today's horse racing, including beers and booze for the spectators and big money in circulation as there were fierce betting prior to every race. Numbers of spectators at this event exceeded 5000 heads.

It is exciting to know that the odds prior to the race claimed Chr. Walters would win, Westerberg as two, Macke as three and Schuster as fourth to cross the finnish line.

When we know the final result showed Schuster became No. 1, Walther # 2, Westerberg # 3 and finally our own hero Macke fourth, it`s likely to believe some regretted their losses whilst a few have celebrated their profits.

Below is a pic taken in the last moments before start where the drivers get ready. Googles must be no dew, the helmet firmly secured and nerves must be kept under control in order to react quickly at the start signal.
You will see from this photo the drivers location from track center is different than in the photo above, Erik, Macke, Chr. Walthers and Schuster.

torsdag 26. januar 2012

You learn while you walk in history's footsteps

Have had to change the information regarding a previous post on Henderson C-1118.

For sure there is a lot to learn from walking in historic footsteps :-)

tirsdag 24. januar 2012

Jac. Hansen & Indian "special"

I remember still when the vintage motorcycle hobby was based on overseas phone conversations trough a crackling switchboard, or alternatively you sent a letter waiting for weeks or even months to get a reply from a foreign vendor, you had almost forgotten your own question when getting an answer.

Most of the winter was spent in the cellar completely lonely and quiet whilst trying to restore that old piece of Iron. Only during summer if your homework during winter was crowned with success would you meet fellow gear heads at a rally.

It is not like that anymore, now we have the internet and the blog world, we have to make decisions whether we want to get anything done or stay tuned. Recently finding time to get myself updated on my favorite blogs I didn’t get far. Starting out with Jeff aka Knucklebuster`s blog I soon found myself totally excited by a recent post on his blog.
His post showing a single page from an old Indian News, issue June/July 1932, which he had found in the pile of goodies he hauled back from his hill climber hero Larry Franz Sr.
Jeff how damned cool, I sat there in Wauseon sharing beer with you next to this pile when your van was still not unloaded.

Well, what could excite me on this single page to such an extent? There was a picture sent in from an unnamed Norwegian reader showing him ready to race his OHV Scout. OHV Scout, did they not make them with side valves only, nope they didn’t, no rule without exceptions.
The Wigwam did make a very limited amount of OHV Scouts as well as a number of independent tuners like Andy Koslow, Al Crocker and well known New Zealander Burt Monroe made this as modifications to standard engines, the two first mentioned for sale the third for his own bike.
Andy Koslow is well known for his Excelsior Super X Big-Bertha hillclimbers, Al Crocker for oh well that’s an easy one and Burt Monroe should not get someone to ask themselves what, who or where neither.

OHV valve Scouts are rare as hen`s teeth and priced accordingly. What happened to the Norwegian OHV Scout? Who was the lucky owner roaring the Norwegian dirt tracks in the early thirties on such an interesting piece of American motorcycle history. Why have I never heard of this machine before?

OK, my pulse has fallen back to its normal level of stress and my memory begins to work. Didn’t I read in some old race programs there was a guy competing with what was mentioned as an Indian “special” at several Norwegian races during the early thirties.
Of course, this was Jac. Hansen one of our famous race heroes later to become the main Norwegian Indian importer based in our capitol Oslo.

I spent the next couple of hours refreshing my knowledge on Jac. Hansen by sourcing the information in my files, this was great reading.
Jac. or more correctly Jacob Hansen started his racing career as many early motorcycle racers, on a bicycle. In example he won his class competing at a 30 km`s race in 1920. Racing by leg power would soon be history for Jac. According to my files he seems to have been at the start line at most motorcycle races from 1923 and the next ten years. He competed with an incredible number of motorcycle brands during those events; Harley, Rudge, Nortons, FN, Husquarna, Gillet and finally Indians where we are to be concerned with the “special”.
Jac. surely must have spent time in the US to get his dealership going, maybe he bought the OHV on one of his trips to the Wigwam?

Jac. Hansen start no. 26.

I look forward to dig more into this Norwegian OHV Scout`s story, in the meantime a couple of links on the subject;


The Vintagent

Stay tuned, more to come!!

Added; 26.01.2012

1`st pic show a young Jac. Hansen with his prize after getting a second place in the Std. motorcycle class at the Glostrup Race Track - Denmark back in 1924.

Second pic we see young Jac. (at far right)still at Glostrup in -24 admiring one of the OHV V-twin`s competing in the racing class. This one sported 8 valves and was manufactured in Europe, anyone got a clue??
No wonder he got ambitions to own a real racer himself!

mandag 16. januar 2012

Special parts

In general getting parts from e-bay is like Christmas eve and birthday in one party, then receiving some parts are even more thrilling than others.

Got my offset rocker towers for the Cutdown project today, whow what great parts those are!!!!
Thanks a lot Chuck for making those and for sharing.

zero clearance

Lapping the head of any cylinder on my cast iron leveling table is time consuming, exhausting and in general a shit job, but still very important to the overall result when time comes to apply any pressure to the head gasket.

My Danish Vilh. Pedersen mill is old, very old. It still does the job though.

torsdag 12. januar 2012

Progress, progress

Today have been a day filled with action. Blew all engine parts with glass, they had once (maybe in Mexico) been painted silver, forgot to bring my camera.

Then changing location to blow a fair amount of the chassis that will need to be painted, its hard to find a location with fine sand giving the correct finish. One need to stay away from the steel sand which is commonly used in the industry.

One step forward, then two back!

Have been slow with posting lately, luckily life is not as quiet as the number of blog messages would indicate.

In retrospect, when finally Christmas & New year celebrations were over, it was due time to increase the speed of Panhead restoration. Working with the engine is the major task at this moment ,mentioning parts not to be replaced rather than those who will be replaced is far easier. One lucky dealer might look forward to receive this order.
Grief, horror, when removing the right side outher cranckshaft bearing from the case I came to see a very small movement in the steel bushing wich is a part of the crankcase casting. Not that loose that it could be moved, but still.

This part is NOT supposed to be loose at all.

When talking to the pros it was clear the best fix would be milling out the steel part, then replace this with a new one press fitted in the case half.

Hmm, an operation like this is beyond my milling skills as well as this steel bushing is very close to the inner camshaft bushing hole, just a few mm`s off, rather not make a crack between those two holes when press fitting a new steel insert, a crack which is a common problem with quite a few cases.

I`m a true believer in Loctite products, they do indeed warrant the functionality of their products, and they work. Called Loctite in Oslo, they recommend Loctite 290, this is a high strength penetrating metal glue, working at temperatures well above 150 degree C.
Problem is how to get rid of any oil in the microscopic gap between steel insert and case as well as getting any Loctite glue in there when cleaned?

Vacuum is the answer, vacuum, oh yes, again I see the light. If a sufficient vacuum is maintained there is no problem in sucking trough detergent to get the gap cleaned as well as getting the gap filled with glue.

I am now running frantically around to collect vacuum compressor, turning all the tools needed to achieve vacuum in the crack, etc. etc.

The rest is just straight forward, and whow am I pleased with the result.

If there should be any misalignement (Whisch I do not believe) this would need to be taken care of when lapping the outher bearings with cases together.