Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sano Trike Orgins

I've been meaning to post this cool ad for Himsl Trike Bodies for some time. I didn't just want to post it and leave it at that, but rather to show how it relates to other Heros of Chopper History.

The design of the body brings up the question, who first designed this style of trike body?

An Ad for Himsl trike bodies. Love the illustration. The art is not signed, but I have a strong suspicion it was done by Ed Newton. From the July '71 issue of Choppers Magazine.

Art Himsl's Preying Mantis as featured in the larger Nov. '70 Choppers magazine. It had been previously featured in Roth's July '69 digest sized Choppers magazine. Both articles mention the sale of the semi mass produced bodies. The first article calls it the Himsl Brother's Mantis and mentions Art's brother Mike. Art is still going strong but, what happened to Mike?

Because of the dates mention above, I'm sure Art's design was influenced by Roth's first trike, The Candy Wagon.

The trike won Custom Bike of the Year at the '69 Oakland Roadster Show. Art's Alien show car can be seen in the garage in the background.

Roth's Candy Wagon on the Dec.68 cover. One might assume that Ed Newton designed it, but it may not be wholly true.

The article inside shows Newton's early more ominous designs featuring booze related items plus a machine gun. Roth wanted something more kid friendly. Note that the high back seat body is absent in the drawings and nothing is mentioned in the article of the seat body's design orgin.

Was another Roth artist, namely David Mann, the one really responsible for the Candy Wagon's seat/body? Notice the pipes too, and compare to the Candy Wagon cover above. Did Roth decide on the style after seeing this? Did Dave do it after seeing the CW or see another sketch of Newt's, or visa versa? Based on this art and the date, I think Dave had the idea first. Roth published this poster in '68.

Friday, March 26, 2010

KTM shows off electric motorcyles at Tokyo Motorcycle Show

KTM is presenting two versions of an electrically-driven sport motorcycle for the first time. Both a sports-oriented offroad machine and a dynamic on-road bike are on display at the Tokyo Motorcycle show under the label "KTM Freeride". Read more detail here.

Ride safe

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Kawasaki launch the D-TRACKER

Kawasaki Motors UK has announced the launch of the Kawasaki D-TACKER to the UK Market. This is a 125cc compact Super-Moto styled bike with soft compound tyres and a fuel injected engine and described as a "first real bike".

Its great to see Kawasaki producing models that are aimed directly at younger buyers encouraging them to get in motorcycling. This is their second 125cc model on top of their two successful 250cc motorcycles.

With a price tag of just £2849, it features racing style digital instruments, petal disc brakes and competition style front forks and a air-cooled four stroke engine (10 HP) with electric starting.

Ride safe

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Don

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Website. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Don with his 1975 Honda Gold Wing GL1000 custom trike. We need more pictures of men and women with their motorcycles. Get your picture in. For details, see Motorcycle Pictures of the Week.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Harley Custo

A collaboration between Harley-Davidson and the fashion designer, Custo Dalmau who has resulted in the exclusive Harley Custo. Read full details here.

Ride safe

Jon Booth

Motorcycle test debacle revealed!

The Transport Committee has published its review of the new European motorcycle test and revealed what we all already new.

Launching the report, Transport Select Committee Chair, Louise Ellman MP said, “many candidates and trainers now have to travel too far for their motorcycle test. This adds to the cost , and in some cases, exposes candidates to fast and dangerous roads on the way to a test site — before they have even taken their test. The Driving Standards Agency needs to give much greater priority to customer service and convenience for test candidates and trainers.”

In its report, MPs conclude that the Driving Standards Agency was slow and dogmatic in its approach to test centres, failing to listen adequately to the motorcycle industry. Smaller test sites could have been retained, saving millions of pounds. No other country in Europe has found it necessary to build ‘super test sites’.

So now this mess is in the public forum, will it get sorted out? I wonder!

Ride safe

Jon Booth

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

1936 Velocette KTT 'Mark 6' at NMM

From the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, England, comes this note about the return of an ultra-rare 'Mk 6' Works Velocette after a total recreation by a 'Velocette Specialist' (3 guesses who that means!), post their disastrous fire of September 2003.  

I wrote an article with Dennis Quinlan about this model, which you can read here.  Technically, its a misnomer to call this machine a 'Mk 6 KTT', as the Works models were never labelled KTTs!  They tended to have other engine prefixes such as 'M'; the KTTs were always over-the-counter production racers, sequenced Mk 1-8, with the Mk 6 the 'missing link' between the bronze-head Mk 5 KTT and the all-alloy Mk 7 KTT.  There never was a Mk 6 for sale, although the factory did build as many as 6 alloy cylinder head racing machines, using modified KSS Mk 2 components.  They didn't do all that well in racing, which has always been a bit of a mystery, as the porting and valve size was identical to the 8" square alloy head of the Mk 7 and Mk 8 machines, yet KSS-head racers never produce as much power.  
 Rare MkVI restored
"A 1936 Velocette KTT MkVI racer is now back on display at the National Motorcycle Museum, after extensive repairs to damage it suffered when fire ravaged part of the Birmingham collection in 2003.
With frame number 6TT6, this machine has the long saddle ['Loch Ness Monster', vide Harold Willis] used on Velo racers of the period and carries the race number 74 of the machine on which Austin Munks won the 1936 Junior Manx Grand Prix, although it is not known exactly which of the very few MkVIs this is.
The rebuild by a leading Velocette specialist included a conical rear hub correct for the year, but not fitted before the fire. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, the original crankcase was unserviceable and has been replaced by a new casting in the Stanley Woods-inspired short wheelbase 1936 frame."

Monday, March 22, 2010


By Simon de Burton
From the Financial Times:

"As motorcycle launches go, this one was far from ordinary: the champagne was pink, the canapés were exquisite, the host wore black tie and the location could certainly be described as enlightening (an antique chandelier shop in Chelsea's King's Road). I'd like to say it was all somewhat superior, but it was actually more than that - it was all rather Brough Superior.

The point of the soirée, you see, was to celebrate the fact than an Englishman  called Mark Upham has delighted enthusiasts by returning Brough Superior to the road following its cessation of motorcycle production in 1940, having made little more than 3,000 machines in a a 20-year period. But what machines they were. "As fast and reliable as express trains and the greatest fun in the world to drive," is how Lawrence of Arabia described them, while the former editor of The Motorcycle, H.D. Teague, summed them up as being quite simply "the Roll-Royce of motorcycles". It shows there was something to be said for the pursuit of perfection.

During the early 1900s, George Brough started working in his father's car and motorcycle business, but found that Pater's standards just weren't hight enough. so he left to set up his own company, wheeling the first Brough Superior out of his Nottingham workshop in 1919.

Within three years he was building his tuned SS80 model (guaranteed good for 80mph) and took to the track at Brooklands. His fellow competitors laughed at Brough's pit-lane pampering of the bike he named 'Spit and Polish' - until he won the expert's scratch race and set a new 100mph lap speed. He won 51 of his next 52 races, too, only being denied victory in the last after he fell off.  The bike, of course, dutifully kept goin and crossed the finish line first.

By the time Brough had introduced his SS100 model in 1924 (each one tested by the proprietor at 100mph) and the Alpine Grand Sports for hard-riding tourists, the Brough Superior legend was established and had Lawrence of Arabia as its most famous patron - he bought his first in 1922 and called it Boanerges, following with six others named George II, III, IV, V, VI, and VII.  He died on the George VII in May 1935 while awaiting delivery of the eighth, after he swerved to avoid two boys on bicycles and then crashed.

Lawrence and writer George Bernard Shaw were among several big names drawn to Broughs for their exceptional fit and finish, their relative exclusivity, and no doubt, their reassuring high price tags. Brough fans enjoy quoting the fact that, at around £150, an SS80 cost more than a small house in 1923.

Such attributes have made original models highly sought-after; Bonhams sold two bikes in 2008 for £166,500 (a world record for a UK motorcycle) and £151,100 respectively - which is why Upham's decision to make and sell brand-new Brough Supriors that look exactly like those of old is attracting global interest.

He has read the market well. During the past five years he has sold 46 original examples from BoA (British Only Austria), the thriving classic motorcycle business that he runs from a substantial farmhouse in the small Austrian town of Pettenbach, supplying rare machines and parts to all corners of the globe.

However, Upham will only say that there are Brough Superior original on the market for between £250,000 to £1m. (Lawrence of Arabis's 'death bike', incidentally - which was privately owned and shown at London's Imperial War Museum in 2006 - could be worth up to £1m, although its owner turned down an offer of $2.5m in 1997).

Upham, 53, set up his first motorcycle shop in Somerset in 1977, having left his Hampshire boarding school, Red Rice, to attend agricultural college where he spent most of his time 'learning to weld'. He had harboured a desire to reinstate Brough since buying his first example as a wreck, aged 19, but it was not until the trademark, name, and intellectual rights (for the UK, EU, and Japan) appeared in a Bonhams sale catalogue in 2007 that his dream became a possibility.

In the event, the lot was withdrawn, and Upham entered int negotiations to buy it privately.  He finalised the deal in 2008 and spent the following year working on a trio of prototypes with the look, sound and performance of the original but built using 21st-century materials and engineering that would have been beyond the wildest dreams of the nit-picking George Brough.

The modern-day Brough contains few English-made components simply becuase Upham has some of the best engineering facilities in the world on his doorstep some casts will come from a workshop just an hour from home that produces parts for Lamborghini and Audi; engine crankcases will be made across the border in Germany; and the frames have been designed and stress-tested at Austria's Leoben University to ensure thy are of a higher specification than the less-then-perfect originals.

Upham's project quickly came to the attention of an American road-building tycoon who offered to sponsor him to appear with two prototypes at 2009's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the presigious classic car show that is visited by some of the world's wealthiest petrolheads.  Among those attneding was television host and motorcycle nut Jay Leno who said the new Broughs were 'the best thing he'd ever seen at the event'. The owner of six originals, Leno was at first convinced that the replicas were immaculately restored examples from the 1920s and had one of them removed from its stand so that he could be filmed riding it for his car-and-motorcycle themed website (

"To see a brand-new one [Brough Superior] was stunning", Leno said afterwards. "Everything was just as it would have been in 1925. To be able to thrash is as you would a new motorcycle back in the day was pretty amazing.  It was a real thrill.  During the war people put them away in their sheds an covered them with straw to save them from being taken for scrap for the war effort, because they were just so valuable."

Upham has so far completed new version of the Alpine Grand Sports tourer and the legendary Pendine racing model, so named after taking first and second place at the 1928 Pendine one-mile sprint race. Only one machine has been sold - to the supportive American highway builder whose private mechanic is currently engaged in long-term tests of the machine at La Rochelle, France.

The order book is, however, now open for production to commence - but don't all rush at once becaues tehse machines are not going ot be cheap "I don't wish to say how much one will cost, but it will be a six-figure sum. It will be less than the price of a good, original example - but still as much as a small house in some places," says Upham, cryptically.  "The website is currently attracting 1,000 hits a month, but one of the main aspects of the bike is that it will be mega-exclusive.  I have had letters asking: 'How much is it?' but this misses the point.  Not wishing to sound arrogant, but if you're concerned about how little you can buy it for, you're not the person for a Brough Superior. I'd rather sell five machines to people I like and who understand than 25 to people I don't like - those who write me a nice letter get a positive response", says Upham, who is happy to produce three to six bikes a year.  "I'm fortunate in not needing to do anything fast", he adds.

It may sound like an eccentric way to do business, but Upham is not taking the potential of Brough Superior lightly.  The motorcycles will remain core, but he has made sure that the name can be licensed for use on any number of products.  "I would like Brough Superior to be a household name.  I have registered it in Europe for everything from beers and wines to jewellery, jackets and shaving foam, and I'm looking for merchansdising partners.  That way we can create our own capital to keep building motorcycles without borrowing money", says Upham.

Brough Superior champagne, anyone?"

Saturday, March 20, 2010


From the VMCC Website:

"The VMCC is saddened to report the death of Club Founder Charles Edmund “Titch” Allen OBE, BEM on Thursday.

Where ‘Historic Motorcycles are discussed, the Vintage Motor Cycle Club and the name of Charles Edmund ‘Titch’ Allen are sure to be drawn into the conversation. This extraordinary man has been a strong influence on the growth and the development of the ‘old ‘bike’ movement – not only in this country – but also throughout the world.

Born in May 1915 in rural Nottinghamshire, Titch claimed to have been born with oily fingers and that his favourite plaything at the age of two was a hammer. Totally negative experiences with father’s milk float horse sparked off an interest in two-wheeled transport that soon transferred to his first motorcycle when he was twelve years old, a two-stroke ‘Clyno’ in the form of a box of bits.

Despite a grammar school education at Loughborough, he left school at 16 with no real qualifications other than a ‘gift for the written word’ an attribute that has never deserted him – along with his ‘gift for the spoken word’. His ambitious and forceful Mother secured a position for him as a trainee reporter on the local paper.

(Above, at the VMCC AGM, 1956; John Griffith on the right)

His experiences and the contacts made during those years included a succession of thoroughly dreadful cars and motorcycles and which lead indirectly to his meeting and marrying Jess in November 1937 and becoming deeply involved with the resurrection of the Loughborough Motor Cycle Club. As did many other motorcyclists, Titch responded to the appeals for dispatch riders in the motorcycling magazines the ‘Blue’un and the ‘Green ‘un and signed up to the “Motor Cyclist’s Army Register” and after many trials and tribulations actually served as a DR concluding the war as a sergeant and with the BEM.

His obsession with motorcycles never left him in these tempestuous times and he claimed that the acquisition of a 1930 Scott in 1942 was the catalyst for the formation of a ‘Vintage Motor Cycle Club’ –the great stimulus being the series of articles on the adventures of tracking down and acquiring ‘old bikes’ written by Captain Jim Hall in the magazine“The Motor Cycle” The idea was Jim’s but it was the work of Titch and Jess that got the club off the ground with the historic inaugural meeting on the Hog’s Back on April 28th 1946. The ideals Titch envisaged were those of a sporting club where sporting, historic motorcycles would be used in competition – an ideal that came to be frustrated.

(above: 'Titch' with the 'Dreadnought')

It was at this time that Titch began his life-long love affair with the Brough Superior marque and when he made a complete career change, moving into the world of motorcycling as a sales representative for Jim Ferriday, the irrepressible owner of the ‘Feridax’ motorcycle accessories company, which led to all kinds of adventures and experiences –and many opportunities to enlarge and enrichen his collection of motorcycles. His involvement with the emerging and developing Vintage Motor Cycle Club was, at times, a tempestuous affair, with numerous confrontations with equally strong-minded individuals at various stages of the Club’s development. Titch admitted that his singular devotion to old motorcycles and motorcycling lead to the breakdown of his marriage and subsequent separation from Jess.

There was tragedy in the loss of Roger, his eldest son, in a freak road-racing incident in the Isle of Man in 1992 and then to lose Barbara, his eldest daughter, to cancer in 2005. Over the years Titch had lost many close friends and associates through motorcycle related accidents, but to many who were close to him, it seemed as if the death of Roger left a permanent scar from which he never really recovered.

Titch’s relationship with his wife was back on friendly terms for the latter period of her life before she succumbed to terminal cancer in 2002.

Recognition of his contribution to Motor Cycle Heritage came in the form of an OBE in 2004. The presentation ceremony took place, most appropriately, at Donington Park - a racing venue he had been associated with for 75 years. Reluctant to give up ‘competitive’ motorcycling, nevertheless, Titch retired, first from road racing and finally from sidecar racing on ‘the grass’. His interest and enthusiasm never dimmed, however and a ‘posing’ sidecar outfit was prepared for special occasions – of which the most celebrated must have been his appearance in the Past Masters’ Parade at the revival of the Festival of 1000 ‘bikes in 2006 at the age of 91.
(above:  'Titch: A Founder's Tale', his autobiography.  Recommended reading!)

Never afraid to voice his opinions on Vintage motorcycles and motorcycling anywhere and at any time, he was frequently controversial both within the Vintage Motor Cycle Club and elsewhere. Sometimes he was proved to be wrong, on other occasions to have been correct. But his dedication could never be questioned. There can have been very few people who have been able to indulge a life-long obsession to the full whilst earning a living and raising a family and leaving behind a remarkable legacy to remember him by."

While I only met 'Titch' a couple of times, the man is legendary and I have the highest respect for his efforts at keeping old motorcycles out of the dustbin of history; truly, our Movement would not be the same without him.  Ave Titch!


Reader JR sent in these photos of a Luton plane with a J.A.P. flat-twin ohv engine, and wanted some info:
"Hiya Paul, here are some photos of an interesting old airplane hanging in the Miami airport.  I thought you might be interested because it is powered by a JAP boxer twin.  Do you know anything about these? Cheers, JR"

While J.A.P. is better known for pre-WW1 aircraft involvement, they did make a foray into plane engines in 1936.  The Light Aircraft Company of Peterborough, England, bought the rights to make the Aeronca plane under license from the American parent firm, and J.A.P. was chosen to build the engine, which is a flat-twin ohv of 1860cc, producing 38hp @ 2450rpm.  The complete Luton Minor airplane would cruise at 87mph with two passengers and got 28 miles per gallon of aviation fuel.

It is reputed in 'J.A.P. - The End of an Era' (Jeff Clew, 1988, Haynes), that the engine vibrated a bit - surprising given the flat-twin layout - and the fairly low power output meant it had a poor rate of climb, and wasn't terribly popular, with only 50 units sold. Beside the Luton, the engine was also fitted to other light planes such as the 'Currie Wot' and 'Dart Kitten'; both endearing names for pets, but hardly inspiring at 5,000ft.

I imagine that a motorcyclist could find a much better use of the giant flat-twin motor, and find plenty of power within that nearly two liters of capacity!  It is rumored some 'loose' engines still exist, so the project isn't completely far fetched.  Time to hit the aircraft flea market!

It's worth a good look at these close-up photos; aluminum cylinder heads were pioneered in aircraft before being adopted by motorcycles in the late 1930s.  The Aeronca engine clearly has fine-pitched steel cylinders and enclosed rocker gear, with a large faired-in wet sump beneath the crankshaft.  The carb is carried behind the engine, with a cast, bifurcated manifold.  From the angle of trhe rocker gear, I would assume the cylinder head used parallel valves and a flat combustion chamber - perhaps even a 'Heron' head, as used on 80s Morini motorcycles.  I'll have to investigate Heron history now!

(B&W photos from the Clew J.A.P. book - recommended reading!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Suzuki launchs limited edition GSX-R600

As part of its 25th anniversary Suzuki GB have launched the limited edition Suzuki GSX-R600.
With an exclusive colour scheme replicating the 1999 factory machine, the GSX-R600 will be limited to just 25 models.

With a Yoshimura exhaust, exclusive top yoke plaque and certificate this will be an exclusive model.

Available for reservation from 1st April, interested customers can visit for more information.

Ride safe

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, March 15, 2010


By Martina Rua

"Ignacio Acebedo Sigrand (31), never imagined that the curiosity which led him to type the name of his maternal grandfather on his computer, would plunge him into the greatest adventure of his life.

In May 2008, bored in bed from a knee operation, Ignacio reflected how little he knew of the life of his grandfather, Roberto Sigrand, whose history belonged to a family past silenced from a bad relationship with his grandfather one of his sons.  He wrote Sigrand's name into a search engine. To the surprise of Ignacio, the name appeared on several sites, but one especially caught his attention.
"I found a blog from an American collector of motorcycles [The Vintagent] and saw my grandfather Roberto mounted to a motorcycle. I felt the urgent need to move towards that history, with the help of my aunt and my mother, who knew this bike, the Zenith SUPER KIM.   My grandfather had reached 250 km per hour resulting in the 30 South American speed records",  enthused Acebedo. But the powerful machine was lost after the death of Sigrand in1974 when the factory where the bike was displayed was sold, and the trail was lost.
Acebedo began a regular exchange of emails with Paul d'Orleans, American collector and the blog owner, who suggested the information about the history of the SUPER KIM was very valuable. "I immediately rejected that idea because the motivations were never profitable, but sought to give birth to the family history and know the bike," he says. This surprised d'Orleans and gave him the confidence to reveal that he had sold in 2002 to one of the largest collections of motorcycles in Germany and acted as intermediary to generate a match.

During these months of research he discovered that Roberto Ignacio Sigrand was anything but an ordinary man, "Born at sea in 1908, he grew up in Argentina, Bolivia and Paris, fell in love with an athlete who he saw in a magazine and chased her to France and married her, faced down Perón, went into exile in Chile and made history in national and global motorcycling, " he says, pointing to an old photo album with clippings from the 30s and 40 in Argentina. Months of emails back and forth with photos, videos and documents, then Ignacio decided to take a trip to Austria. The new owner of 'Super Kim', a German billionaire (who asked to remain anonymous for security), agreed to restore it to running condition and display it, in exchange for having the incredible story behind the motorcycle. "I met with the bike and first met my grandfather. It was an indescribable feeling, very intense and moving, not only the sound of an engine after 75 years standing,  it was a relief, a powerful cry."

The intervention of technology in family history Acebedo was so basic and essential. "The Internet, blogs, information exchanges with Europe and North America were the key to this reunion, the technology was vital and today we are all very happy," Acebedo closes.

A family's past and a history as fascinating as the most amazing novels, could have been veiled for ever, but the SUPER KIM insisted on living to roar again, 75 years later. "

[Thanks to Jorge Pullin for sending the  link!   Check out the original, with video, here.

If you want to read more about the amazing saga of 'Super Kim' and the Sigrand family, follow these posts.

The story of 'Super Kim' will continue on the Vintagent.  Ignacio has sent a mountain of information, which I am in the process of sorting, and will be shared here.  Stay tuned!]

Sunday, March 14, 2010


By Dennis Quinlan:

Stuart Hooper hails from Buderim north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For the last three years he has spent time and money attempting to produce a Velocette that is the fastest in the world. He made the long road trip with friends as backup crew, some 2500km plus to Lake Gairdner in South Australia.

Lake Gairdner is a salt lake where the Dry Lake Racers Australia hold speed record attempts early March each year. Stuart's effort in 2008 was aborted due to rain washing out the meet with no racing occuring. In 2009 he reached a speed of 133.46mph. This year, 2010, late in the afternoon of Friday 12th March he increased this to 139.001mph, which eclipsed the 132.35mph that Bert Munroe achieved on his prewar MSS Velocette racer in New Zealand in 1971 and which was widely regarded as the fastest speed a Velocette had obtained under accurately timed conditions. Congratulations Stuart.....Keith Canning, President of the Velocette Owners Club of Australia and a member of Stuart crew filed this report to me tonight after he and Stuart returned to Queensland

"Australia has the Worlds Fastest Velocette after a very trying but in the end rewarding Speedweek.
Stuart Hooper achieved 139.001 mph on the last day, Friday, only half an hour before the track closed for 2010.
The record previously set by Burt Munro in 1971 at 132.35 mph in NZ.
For Stuart & the team the week certainly had its ups & downs to say the least.  We arrived on Friday to find a perfect hard dry salt track, only to have rain fall on Saturday & Sunday. This was certainly a set back.  Once this happened no vehicles were allowed to be moved on or to the salt & the only access to the bike & trailer already in the pits was to walk through water stretching 100 metres along the edge of the salt lake.  Water was blown around the pits by high winds as well.
There was no racing on Monday, but with conditions improving, we changed the drive sprocket in anticipation of the track opening.
On Tuesday afternoon we got a run on the test track where things went well.  It was the first run for the bike since last year as a complete unit.
After the drivers' briefing we went straight to the GPS track where we achieved 133 mph as our highest speed.  With everything going well we then lined up for a run on the main track.  This enabled us to get a run on Wednesday where Stuart ran a licensing pass in the 125 mph range which is required because the bike had changed classes.
Thursday was a big day with 3 runs.  The bike was literally tacking over like a sail boat & the back wheel moving out to compensate.  After this, Stuart decided to change to the small tail for the remaining runs.
Our next run was a failure owing to the fact we had the wrong spark plug (warm up) in for the run.  A high wind in the second run resulted with Stuart being blown to the side of the track only missing the marker cones & backing off to stay upright. He also thought the motor was getting tired, so after lining again till the end of racing to get a position for a run the following morning, we retired to our pits to thoroughly check the bike.
We stripped the Velo to a bare machine, inspecting everything we could without dismantling the engine.  Things like the plug, bore, oil, timing, valve clearances etc.  Everything proved OK.  We raised the float level, and then went to bed knowing we only had 1 chance at most of getting a result for 2010.

Friday saw us line up early as racing was to finish about noon. The day turned out to be perfect, no cross winds & very still. We were confident of the bike now, but still ran the small tail, as cross winds usually started up at mid morning.  These never eventuated but by this time we could not change the tail.  We did however mix some new fuel & added 10% nitro to the methanol for an extra boost. We changed to a larger main jet to ensure it ran rich & not damage the motor.
The last run went well. The bike ran straight as an arrow and was very stable.  It did run too rich however & missed & popped at the top end. It actually would have revved harder on straight methanol.  Stuart ran & was timed over 2 miles. He then had the long ride back to the pits, not knowing what we the crew, already knew. He arrived to a jubilant team made up of wife Marsha, Russell Houghton & myself as well as anyone else who was nearby.
Stuart would like to thank all for their support especially the crew, friends, well wishes, fellow club members & those who made the big effort to come out to the salt.
What’s next? Develop the engine more & go faster, for sure!
I can tell you that when the Velo starts up, out on the salt, fellow competitors, crews & spectators all stop & listen to that unmistakable bark of the big single. It’s music to the ears."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Black Cat

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Website. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Black Cat on her 2007 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883XL Low. We need more pictures of men and women with their motorcycles. Get your picture in. For details, see Motorcycle Pictures of the Week.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.