Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just Say No

I saw this one at Wrench Monkees. It's a Guzzi Falcone. Looks a lot like the little Sprints/Aermacchis. Probably no reason for it not to. There's only so many ways you can poke a single cylinder out of the crankcase. The closer it is to horizontal, the lower the center of gravity.

On the other hand, if you move it more to the vertical, the shorter the wheelbase can be. This example also being a Guzzi. This one at Le Container.

Or you can add another cylinder and turn everything sideways. This one from Rocket Garage.

What prompted this, you ask? I've got a reprint from way back when I got from Lindsay on how to make your own motorcycle that I was thumbing through. It shows you how to build a single cylinder bike from scratch, including the carburetor.  Nothing fancy here but it's within the realm of reality for someone with both welding and machining ability, along with plenty of time on their hands. Other than the time on my hands part of it, I'd say I fall into the category of those capable of building said motorcycle. And if you have the ability and machinery to build said motorcycle, would you want to settle for simple design that's nearly 100 years old? Why not something a little more current?

How about something like a Linto? Basically a pair of 250 Aermacchi motors hooked together to make a 500. Like TV Tommy Ivo, Russ Collins and many others, If you want to go faster couple up another powerplant. If two's good, three's even better. This photo's from here. Lot's of cool stuff at the site but it's in Italian. 

Obviously if you were going to build something, you couldn't hope to out do any of the modern manufacturers. The only guy I can think of who managed that was John Britten. However, in the earlier days of both car and bike racing, there were a lot of specials built by "average" guys. 

Guys like Smokey Yunick for example. Photo from here. However, there aren't too many racing venues for guys who want to start from scratch and build themselves a world beater. Even Porsche didn't have much luck cracking the Indy nut when they showed up. Land speed records are still probably the most available to a homebuilder who wants to try his hand against the best or play beat the clock. That and drag racing. Drag racing is still open to experimental designs. They've always been a run-what-you-brung haven. I had a lot of fun and some success with both my drag racer and my vintage road racer. I'm no Smokey Yunick, but I did have a bike on the front row at Daytona, so I've got that going for me. Plus I had the pleasure to meet Smokey one time. There was a guy you could learn things from.

Now-days a guy could build himself one of these. It's a HAMB dragster. Go as fast as your wallet will allow. Compete against other guys racing on the cheap within a short list of rules. Get me a 235 Blue Flame Six and a pile of tubing and I'd have a dragster in no time, he says to himself with a wry smile.

See how my mind works? I've got a million and one projects to finish, about a half-million more I need to start on when I get those done, and I'm still thinking of something else to play with down the line. It's a friggin' curse. Someday, however, I'll come up with the masterpiece/capstone project for my career. And you'll be able to buy it cheap because it'll be in a half finished state when I go belly up like a bunch of other projects the Missus will be cursing me over. 

Enough already. Warm again today. Off to do a little hand to hand combat with the 900.


dorkpunch said...

Any more info on the book about builing a motorcycle from scratch? I've had a hankerin to do that for a looonng time. Sketched out all kinds of plans and ideas to build something along the lines of the 1911 Flying Merkel board tracker... Someone always seems to beat me to it though. Any book I see now about building motorcycles is about building a bobber or chopper. Not as much fun.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Check back tomorrow.

Traveling Pirate said...

Don't know if you heard but some brave teachers in Washington voted to boycott The Test. God, I love a little civil disobedience! It's amazing what a brave and united group can do. Solidarity forever!

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Traveling Pirate: I like the last paragraph. Typical administrative response. You don't suppose the teachers went to them first, do you? Sure they did, but the administration couldn't call off something they instituted. That would mean the "educational reform" package they sold to the community would be exposed as a load of crap so they dig in their heels. "We'll get back to you but in the meantime, keep wasting the students and your time" And as long as they do, no need to change. Problem solved.

Some day, the people in charge will wake up to the fact that there has to be a constant state of flux of a proactive nature. Not the reactive type we've been seeing. They're also going to have to realize that you're never going to get the desired results regardless of the test used. Motivated students buy in, unmotivated don't. I had students who took the ISTEP every time they gave it so they could get a diploma. They did the worthless computerized remediation but do you suppose they went to the library and started reading? Hell no. How are you going to ace the algebra on the high stakes test when you can't add or subtract fractions? If the test is that damn important, give a entrance exam to get into high school. "When you can finally do your ciphering, Jethro, come see us. Otherwise stay at the middle school." That would be a high stakes test that would wake some people up. It would also require expanding the parking lots at the middle schools when all the sixteen year old students would be driving rather than taking the bus - probably why they don't give the test. No money for parking lot expansion.

God Bless the Seattle teachers. Indiana teachers should be looking hard at this. If we were still in the classroom, both of us would have been highly pissed not to get our raises because the school got a poor grade even though we were doing our jobs well. It's not like we could go down to the math or English department and force them to do a better job. Maybe the politicians should interview the drop-outs and see why they left. If you're not serving your clientele, maybe you should talk to them first, then formulate the plan.