Sunday March 9, 2014
There are many world records relating to motorcycles and their riders. But I have to be honest and say that, for me, the world land speed records set by New Zealander Burt Monro are outstanding.
To take a bike from one continent to another is hard enough, but to have modified that same bike from a 55 mph cruiser to a 190 mph record setter is something else.
Monro's exploits in getting from New Zealand to America and setting records is well documented in the famous movie The World's Fastest Indian starring Anthony Hopkins. Although the movie is not 100% historically correct, it is an excellent movie, and if you've not seen it, you should do yourself a favor and get a copy soon.
Indian World Record
Sunday March 9, 2014
When a bike with a wet clutch has been stored for some time, the clutch will most likely need to be freed up before riding.
Over time the clutch plates will become stuck together. If the rider starts the bike and tries to put it into gear, he or she will almost certainly find the bike will lurch forward. For the most part, this can be prevented by freeing the plates as follows before the bike is started:
Select first or second gear
Rock the bike backwards and forwards
Pull in the clutch lever
This simple freeing method should be done any time the bike has stood for a few days--just to ensure the clutch is free.
Note: It is good practice to do this on dry plate clutches too.
Thursday March 6, 2014
Looking out of my office window it's hard to believe it's nearly summer time and we have bike week just around the corner in Daytona, Florida.
This year's bike week officially gets underway on Friday the 7th and lasts until the 16th. The event this year has a bumper bundle of activities to visit or take part in. From Supercross, to flat track to the bike race of the week - the Daytona 200 - there's action aplenty. But bike week is not just about motorcycle racing, the event has grown over the years to cater for just about every interest a motorcycle enthusiast can think up.
Classic bikers have not been forgotten with shows and swap meets happening at various locations around Daytona (see event schedule for final details). A not to miss event for Indian bike lovers this year is the All-Indian Motorcycle Bike Show - 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday, March 14, at Corbin Saddles, 1433 N. Hwy. 1, Ormond Beach. Indian motorcycles from the past and present will be on display including the legendary world record setting streamliner ridden by Burt Munro (as seen in the movie The World's Fastest Indian).
Oh, and the weather forecast for Daytona during bike week this year? Temps in the upper 60s to mid 70s with partly cloudy skies for most of the week--yes please!
Thursday February 27, 2014
The historical development of engines could have been so much different if the left fork in the road had been chosen (metaphorically) instead of the right fork.
For example, if Henry Ford had decided to go with electrically powered cars instead of internal combustion engines (it is reported that Ford did consider this option), the world would be a much different place today.
But if he had considered developing an engine design by Dutch physicist Christian Huygens, the world would definitely been very different. Huygens' fuel choice was gunpowder!
The mind boggles at the thought of refueling a Huygens engine, but then it was 1680 when he considered this.
Motorcycle Engine Development through Competition