tirsdag 26. februar 2013

Chemical warfare

Got up early this morning and due to updating this blog I am going far to late back to the bin.
Started my day driving off to borrow a sand blasting cabinet, today loaded with glass powder (my cabinet is temporary down for maintenance).
Tommy is running a industrial paint shop and he is kind enough to give me access to his equipment when needed.

Got all the final parts from Bessie in need of a parkerizing coat blasted at Tommys place, had to sort them in two boxes depending on which side of the bike they belonged to to maintain control.

On my way home I had to pop by another great and helpful guy running a tig welding bussiness to "borrow" a stainless steel pipe. I needed to make a "long rod" modification to my Mark II parkerizing fryer.

Tig welded a plate to one end of the pipe and made it such that it could be preheated in the workshop stove before being placed in the fryer and filled with parkerizing gore. I kept it standing in the fryer filled with fluid at correct temp, this to maintain temp on the liquid inside the pipe, worked out well and brake and clutch rods got their colors.

Good night, tomorrow is another day in paradise!!

Felix the lucky Cat

Felix the Lucky Cat, or as called by some; The Chevy Cat!
He is on the AMcN sticker and there is a good reason, from now he will join on all Bessie`s rides.

Lucky us!!


Bessie came with a pair of saddlebags, repop of course still after a good round with leather grease they  looks pretty good. One issue with them modern repops are thir backs are made from plastic, DO NOT LIKE!

Plastic might be fantastic, still I dont want Bessie to carry bags where half are made from plastic, hence I found time to get another point of the TBD list. Hurray, only 57 issues left on the TBD list (and that is if no more surface until done).

Thanks a lot to my friend Roald the saddler for helping me out with the stitching!

Replica parts are most 92 %

Having done the gearbox I found time to get a few issues sorted on my previously mentioned TBD list.
One such thing is that when I bought repop exhaust pipes I found the bracket on the flat pipe underneath the engine was made poorly and by no means could be fastened to the frame as supposed too. This is even if they cheated with the rivets supposed to secure the pipe clamp, the rivets where in the clamp only, didnt go trough the wall of the pipe at all, just a small weld at the bottom of the clamp, arghh!

Had to fill the original hole in the clamp and add an extension, make a new hole in this and then weld the clamp with some small tacks and finally spray paint with high temp coating. All of this was included in the price of those repop pipes, oh my!

I seem to remember I earlier on this blog there was no more filing and such on the Bessie project, eh I was obviously wrong.

Gearbox for Panhead, continued!

Last time when off the rig I managed to get almost done with the Pan gearbox. Only the shifting mechanism left as well as the parkerizing of external parts.

Ok, sounds simple, as usual I found replica parts, even if from Jims, that didnt fit as supposed to. This is so annoying and create a lot of worries and work.
Anyway, I did get the top cover completed, shifter fingers all adjusted and the mechanism is now working as new.
Was a great feeling to get the gearbox back into the bike, have been some time since it left!

When parkerizing the gearbox parts I had to commission my Mark II parkerizing set up for the first time. This contain a brand new fryer, made for fish&chips, not motorcycle parts, still very useful for the later too.
As the thermostat starts at 100 degree C on this device I had to recalibrate it to work from 70 and up, no problem.

The chemicals is not as before one hobby kit, no this is the real deal, for industrial use. I got this from the Rakkestad WR mob, you might remember their race bikes presented here before..
And I promise those chemicals does the job as nothing I have seen before, ps; I dont think it is wise to breath in the fumes from the fryer.

Heating on process, de-watering oil is ready. This parkerizing is moved outside due to fumes.

Things get black, chemistry is a wonder.


Back on shore!

Ok, after some delay due to some terrible wind in the North Sea I finally got my ass back home. Spent the first week taking care of my grandchildren having their winter hollidays, its always great for them to go country side, no television, no computer games, just outdoor life and camping, no bother if snow or rain, hot or cold. Maybe I am the grandfather from hell?

To make this week a real workout, I had a long time ago promised my friend Erik the blacksmith to take care of his Husky dog Laika when he went on hollidays. If there was one Husky for each there would be no fat asses around, whow that Husky girl Laika is not easily worn out.

And you might think it have become spring in the southern parts of Norway by now?
The answer is loud and clear, NO! Have had an average of 10 degree C below during nights and there is still loads of snow all over, the pic enclosed shows my neighbor`s car, at some point this winter they stopped digging and they now use the bus!

Anyway, having got dogs and children back to their respective homes there was due time to get on with ol` Bessie.
Both Castle run and Linkert are pre-paid and she should rather be ready and run in by then.

As the Bessie project is now coming to an end I found it was due time to go trough the entire bike as far as it is done to find all these minor things in need of just a tweek to be 100%. I make a note off all points on a list, my TBD list (To Be Done). When the bike is done and I have completed one or two TBD lists, then it is really done. My experience is you normally dont run into any unforeseen  mishaps when going trough all like this?

As I have been so slow in updating my blog for several days I will post a summary of what I have done to Bessie so far this leave.

Stay tuned.

onsdag 13. februar 2013

Helmer Petterson and his Super X racer

Quite a while ago I had a post including a photo showing one of the most spectacular Scandinavian racing motorcycles I have ever seen.
This was the Super X "Big Bertha" converted short frame special who once belonged to the famous Swedish racer Helmer Petterson.

Since my previous post on this blog regarding this bike (had to check when, and to my surprise it was almost two years ago, April of 2011) I have learned a lot and more pics of this very interesting bike have surfaced.

I will in this post sum up what I have learned so far regarding Helmer Petterson and his reputation as a motorcycle racer on X brand bikes.

I will start this post by re-posting the first pic I found on Helmets Super X, captured during an ice race in 1930 at Sæterviken bay near Uppsala.

Ice racing at Sæterviken bay, Super X Big Bertha engine in a short frame special.

Helmer completed his education in 1922 and he was then able to concentrate 100% on his favorite hobby, motorcycle endurance. In the start off his career he would ride various brand US bikes such as Harley, Henderson and the big X Excelsior`s.

Due to his education and his personal mechanical skills he got work at Josef Erikssons bicycle factory in Uppsala whom in addition to making pedal bikes where the Swedish general agent and in charge of importing the Excelsior brand motorcycles to Sweden.
As any other large scale motorcycle business in these days Erikssons had to have a “factory” rider in their stable, to test new models as well as make publicity and advertising for their brand name.

Helmer had his motorcycle racing debut in the May-competition event, an endurance run from Stockholm to Norrkøping. From then on his reputation as a rider grew from race to race during the period from 1921 to 1923, he entered the start line in pretty much all races in Sweden in those years.

Worth to mention is his personal achievement in the Scandinavian ISDT held in 1923, an endurance run covering various branches of the motorcycle sport trough both Sweden and Norway, in this run/race he rode a big X Excelsior handed him by his employer Erikssons. 

Helmer competing in the Scandinavian ISDT in 1923, a big X from Erissons by his side.

Another great win for Helmer was when he set a new his high speed record for sidecar outfits during a 1923 ice race, this record would stay for 5 years after.
In addition to his growing racing skills it is also worth to mention he was the first Swede to use spikes in his tires when high speed racing on ice (as shown in the Sæterviken pic).

A front view of Helmers Super X racer, those handlebars are seriously narrow, spikes in the front wheel tires are seen in this picture.

In 1924 Helmer went overseas to the US, this as his engagement at Erikssons had got him a position at the Scwinn factory in Chicago. In 1924 Scwinn was one of the big three in the world motorcycle market. His factory had more than 1000 workers at this time and we can only imagine how impressed a young Helmer must have been when entering the premises at 3701 Cortland Street in Chicago. Not to forget Chicago`s population had exceeded a million since long, quite a difference from rural Uppsala I would think!

3701 Courtland street, the Schwinn factory.

Cylinder boring and honing dept. at the X factory.

Engine assembly dept. at the X factory.

Helmers 1st position at the Scwinn factory was as a mechanic in the production, his skills was soon recognized by the staff and he would soon become an engine tuner for the factory`s dirt track team.
Helmer did succeed in this new position as well and in a short time worked himself into the positions as in charge of Excesliors race & development department. During the 1929 season one bike tuned by Helmer in person did set seven individual speed records on the Altona Speedway in Pipton Pennsylvania.

In 1928 Helmer went back to Sweden to renew his visa and apply for a permanent move to the US. Due to a slow moving system back in old Sweden, this ended up taking more than a year and a half. My personal thoughts is that Helmer brought his special Super X racer back home from the factory when leaving for Sweden in 1928, “I need to dig more into this”. From what I have learned he raced the Super X racer in both Scandinavian events as well as events further down in Europe during this period.

Helmer racing his Super X racer as a sidecar outfit, look at that monkey on above the rear wheel to ensure traction.

By the end of 1930 Helmer returned to the US, now his boss Schwinn gave him a new job. He would now be responsible for the Los Angeles Police corps X brand motorcycles, all Hendersons where supposed to be able to hold a guaranteed speed of 90 miles per hour (144kmh).

As we all know the fate of the X brand motorcycles was soon to become fatal, in 1931 it was all over due to Schwinns fear of the still growing depression in the US economy.
Schwinns famous words when entering the meet where his engineers where due to present him the upcoming news on the streamlined X bikes; "gentlemen, it is all over from today on ", would be what brought Helmer to a decision to return to Sweden in 1932.
When back in Sweden he started working with the construction of gas generators for cars as an alternative fuel. He would soon become the leading specialist in this engineering. When entering an ice race in 1934 (cars) he met a Norwegian Bugatti fanatic, John E. Isberg who was in charge of Volvo`s car sales in Norway.
These two gentlemen must have become friends in a short time as soon after helmer was mooving to Norway to work with Isberg constructing gas generators for Isbergs Bilservice in Oslo.

Not only did Helmer marry a Norwegian woman, his son Pelle was born in Oslo during the years his father worked with Isberg. The family would later move back to Sweden where eventually Pelle would become a famous industrial designer amongst many he would design the Volvo P1800.

During my two phone conversations with Pelle, now since long passed eighty years old I found it truly fascinating to learn about his father from such a close source, and little did I know the famous motorcycle racer Helmer Petterson had actually lived for years in Norway.
Not to forget Helmer worked in the building when my 1927 HendersonDe-Luxe left Courtland street, no less than a fascinating thought.

Stay tuned, more to come!

Just came across this great photo of Helmer and his racer.

mandag 11. februar 2013

Pics from Yeasterdaze

This is how to handle an ACE four, give it in! Wonder if there are any ACE`s around today  getting beaten up like this? Most likely not, should we feel sorry for them (the ACE`s)?

søndag 10. februar 2013

Enough stroke or not

Sometimes I get offers that I can not resist, OK they might not always match the size of my walletal area at the time, but there is always a way around.

When I got an offer to buy this WL stroker engine I just had to have, you know that feeling, nah?
Now my problem is I don`t feel like I want to tear the motor out of either my "not so dirty nine" nor my bobber, they both work great and have been faithful for several years now (knock wood).

A problem which leads towards another costly conclusion, still the answer is quite obvious;
I need to get hold of another 45" project, preferably a late thirties, arghh why do I never learn.
To make sure I do not forget the previous statement I placed the engine where I need to pass it every time I enter my house.

Some tech. details;
Truett & osborne flywheels, WLDR cams running in sportster needle bearings, pop up pistons and heads relieved to match pistons, larger valves, M74B Linkert modified to work with the engine flow, Fairbanks magneto etc. etc.
I need a light chassis and a gearbox, NOW!

lørdag 9. februar 2013

Joe King Speedshop

I hate the look of modern open face helmets. OK, they might be safer, but WHO wanna look like suffering from a water head?
And, those big helmets gives a hell of wind drag causing a neck pain, another cause to stay with the unsafe sixties helmet design.

My favorite lid for years and years is made by Tommy, a glass fiber blue flake job given to me by a neighbor cleaning out his house as long ago as in 1980ìsh.
Due to the amount of wear the inner lining have become reduced to a spider web.
Time to get a new helmet, should not complain after all, the Tommy have lasted 32 years with me and most likely 15 years with my previous neighbor.

Biltwell, nah, if not water head still a large lid compared to my Tommy, and I have never believed in one size fits all (with a head as thick as mine it is very hard).
By surfing the www I got to learn there was a for me unheard of helmet maker in Brazil, the Joe King Speed shop.
Their helmets are hand made glass fiber and they are not one size fits all. I was lucky to get the helmet shown in this post. The flake job is so great and the lining is first class and believe it or not, it is so close in size and style as my old Tommy one would think they both came out of the same mold.

Get yourself one from Joe King Speedshop.

Here is one shot from years ago wearing my beloved Tommy;

If your main concern is to stay safe (read: look as a water head), do not consider to ride a motorcicle at all.

lørdag 2. februar 2013

Reading Standard`s

A picture showing two of the great sidevale V-twins from Reading Standard. This motorcycle was advertised simply as the "R-S" by the factory. Their first V twin came in 1908 and their last in 1923, one year after they where bought by the Cleveland motorcycle company.

The R-S factory was located in Reading, Pennsylvania. The R-S sales slogan was "Built and Tested in the Mountains", no wonder it became very popular in the early years of Norwegian motoring.

Picture show Fredrik and on each side is one Margit. The Margit on the left hand side beeing Fredriks wife.

fredag 1. februar 2013

Gearbox progress for Panhead

Got my oversized gearbox rollers from JWBoon two days before leaving for work, and I was finally able to start building all my gearbox parts together again.

As my countershaft hub had severe pittings I had to hone the ID to fit 0,0020" oversize rollers, this means next time I need a new countershaft, no bigger rollers available.
My mainshaft had been hurt by pitting too, had to re-grind this too to get it round without damage and at an uniform diameter through the maingear bushing.
Also the maingear had to be ground at the surface where the rollers go. All bronze bushings had to be replaced and every one of those need to be honed to fit too, in total a lot of grinding and hone operations and for sure is time going fast when you are having fun.

Working on any make gearbox make you need a bunch of tailor made pullers and mandrels. This again give a lot of lathe work and welding (and scratching your head).

Long story short, the only work outstanding by now is to mount the shifter mechanism as well as parkerizing the starter pedal and clutch arm, then the gearbox is ready to go. I cant wait to get back and get this done.

Finally the countershaft gear is completed, shaft with 0.0020" rollers and all spacers, lock rings etc are new.

 Maingear is mounted and endplay is controlled. Countershaft temporary mounted to find the correct endplay shim.
 Why dont they make this either zink plated or parkerized? Had to let it go by the parkerizing bath.
 Installing mainshaft bearing.
 Gearbox is again filled with gears and the kicker side is done and preliminary mounted.
 All these tools had to be made to get the gearbox job done.
Left overs, maybe I should sell this on e-pay as one lot "slightly used" 48 Panhead gearbox parts?? No I better wait, this bunch of parts will get bigger when the shifter mechanism is done.