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Classic Motorcycle Styling

Saturday April 19, 2014

I have to admit it, I like the look of bikes with bodywork. Be it a Bathtub Triumph, or an LE Velocette, I think they look good. But for manufacturers in the late 50s and 60s, going with the trend of covering the engines etc. with panels was almost guaranteed to bring financial problems. The designers of the time thought this was the future of motorcycle styling, buyers, however, thought otherwise.

One bike in particular with bodywork that appeals to me is the Aermacchi Chimera. These stylish machines were produced by the Italian factory (this was before Harley Davidson bought them out) from 1956 to 1964. And, although these bikes were well received for the mechanical reliability and performance, they never took off in the market place.

I guess the designers of the day were as perplexed at the lack of sales as I am today.

Further reading :


Classic Bike Tires

Monday April 14, 2014

An 18" motorcycle tire traveling at 55 mph rotates 1433 revolutions per minute or 28.88 times per second. This means that as the tire comes into contact with the road, it changes shape nearly 29 times a second. Considering the physics even further, the mind boggles at the thought of weight transfer under heavy braking, or changing contact patches as the bike is leaned over into a corner.

In a nutshell, motorcycle tires are incredible pieces of engineering!

Luckily for the majority of riders, all the engineering has been done and proven. All we have to do is fit the tires and maintain the pressures. But for some older bikes, finding tires can be challenging. The good news is that a few companies have either found a supply in another country or get tires made here in the USA under license.

(For more about older tires, see the article Motorcycle Tires, for Vintage and Classics)

Rare Motorcycle for Sale

Friday April 11, 2014

If you are looking for a very rare motorcycle to buy, the Stafford motorcycle show in the UK is the place to be on April 27th when a machine owned by the legendary builder George Brough goes under the hammer.

The motorcycle in question is a 1939 SS100 owned by the designer himself. It was originally fitted with a sidecar and was used just two days after being registered for the first time (May 24th 1939) by George and Motor Cycling journalist Henry Laird who accompanied him in the London to Edinburgh endurance run of 1939.

The Stafford show is one of the year's major events and well worth a visit, and if you'd like to bid on the Brough, you will need around 140,000 to 180,000 ($232,400 to $298,800) to spare, as this is the estimate placed on it by Bonhams the auctioneers. Good luck with the bidding!

Further reading:

Classic Motorcycles for Sale

Brough Superior

Brough Superior Today

Carburetor jetting Developments

Friday April 11, 2014

If you've ever had a motorcycle seize on you, you'll know what an unpleasant and expensive experience it can be--not to mention painful!

Many of the racing machines up to the late 70s suffered from seizures due to poor carburation, especially on 2-stroke racers. Then along came the simplest and most effective fix I have ever seen: the power jet carb!

Introduced by Mikuni for use on the TZ350 'F' model of 1979, the 38-mm power jets transformed the carburation of these Grand Prix racing 2-strokes and eventually found their way onto many other bikes.

Further reading:

Power Jet Carbs

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