Archive for ‘Engineering’

November 8, 2017

ISS

Endurance – great lecture this evening by astronaut Scott Kelly who has spent over 500 days in space, including one mission of nearly a year. From this lofty perch he would spend his spare moments gazing down at the earth from the observation cupola. 

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October 22, 2017

Hurricane

Triumph by Vetter – these a lovely looking machines.. a combination of the BSA triple engines and the sleek bodywork of Craig Vetter, visionary motorcycle designer. These saw limited production for the US market to create a trendy look whilst the early Japanese superbike invasion was underway. The color scheme, three into three exhaust, and a solid looking motor give it a confident roadworthy air.

October 21, 2017

Autumn Day

All Fall in – we’re still experiencing unseasonably mild weather for late October day. A good ride out was planned, undertaken and enjoyed.

We stopped off at Morries Place in Ringwood McHenry County before a 40 mike sojourn into Wisconsin. I always enjoy peering at the old stuff Ed Zender has in his ‘showroom’ . A sample of vintage ‘cycles from the 30’s to the 70’s. The signs on the walls a suitable backdrop too. His workshop is lined up with many projects, maintenance jobs and carefully catalogued and shelved parts. 

October 19, 2017

The camshaft’s connected to the connecting rod

Technical Exploded Drawing – parts in a state of disassembly. I always like to see how the engineering draughtsman put the components together in a form so you can visualize how they fit together. 

September 19, 2017

Dealer

Repairs under Warranty – that’s what was behind the dealers doors in the 70’s. Poor management, product, and development back in the U.K. Meant shiploads of Bonneville’s, Trophy’s, and Tridents were sent ‘Statesward in various levels of quality… the red overlay hints at the bloodshed that was to be… well as they said back then: “You meet the nicest people on a Honda!”

September 15, 2017

Built for Speed

Donkey & Horse – “The story with the next one will be much more interesting. Built up as a road racer in 1973 with the best stuff available. Never finished and sat for 43 years. Now I get to finish it. New Trackmaster frame, trick motor, Magnesium wheels, Cieriani forks, Hunt plasma sprayed aluminum rotors, Lockheed calipers, Fontana master cyl, TR2 Yamaha tank and seat. It’s gonna be awesome!!! ” Richard Pollock (Mule Motorcycles)

September 13, 2017

mule

The Dog’s Pollocks – SoCal bike builder extraordinaire Richard Pollock Can conjure up a mean moto. He puts his able hands to many models but the tracker Triumphs are his most sublime offerings in my opinion. Tight geometry that will direct the riders control with immediacy; engines that have been fettled to a symphonic tune; and exotic frame elements, such as the 70’s Panther oil-in-frame & under-braced swingarm; all make for Mule badged machine.  A Pegasus Burro.

September 5, 2017

Trailie 

Long Legged Lout – another reincarnated Moto using a Triumph twin lump to power its knobbly tyres. Blacked-out engine shoehorned into a svelte twin/shock off-road frame. Wide bars steer the mile high forks whilst the rear springs allow any airborne antics to land with fair stability. I’m sure I can make room for one… 

September 2, 2017

Retro

What was old is new – this would be a corker of a project. Take a newer chassis with eyesmarting brakes, supple suspension and other choice bits; drop in a tuned Triumph twin then twist ‘n’ go! Double takers all around. Your face would hurt from grinning!

August 27, 2017

South Shore

Coaling Tower – the ride today took us along Route 12 into Michigan. It runs parallel to various rail lines including the South Shore. This structure stands just outside of Michigan City and was used to refuel steam locomotives. 

Calumet River span – another distinctive structure was the raised bridge over the Calumet. Great engineering. This was in its up position for maintenance. The detour took us over the 95th St Bridge; another bascule structure, which was used to dramatic effect in the Blues Brothers car chase. 

August 22, 2017

Mr Universe

Pumping Iron – each of these were forces to be reckoned with in their day. From the ’71 BSA Rocket Three which briefly had its moment in the spotlight before Honda’s CB750 turned up on the scene. Honda’s 450 Black Bomber heralded reliability in mechanics and electrics. The scaremongering H2 Mach IV 750 from Kawasaki to quote a contemporary Moto journalist  “scarily fast, good-looking, no holds barred motorcycle”. 

Finally the grandsire of all modern superbikes Kawasaki’s Kz900. The example here was sublime in finish, a looked like its engine was straining at the seams for a good thrash along the highway. It was also for sale…

August 5, 2017

Prince of Darkness

“Get home before dark” Lucas motto

August 4, 2017

Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today

I want to ride my bicycle- This 1903 Triumph safety bike has such an elegant shape. With a sinuous open frame to allow women to pedal in their skirts. These old human powered machines just look so perfect in their functional purpose. The advert to the left is a mid-Century model promoting the bike as a form of exercise; though the dropped cross bar seems a tad dated.

August 3, 2017

‘shop scene

Morrie’s Place – the busy workshop at Ed Zenders place is a hive of activity. With all four workstands taken up with motorcycles under repair, a workbench full of engines, parts, tools; and more bikes awaiting attention, there’s a healthy dose of work in this great vintage ‘shop. Overhead the old signs herald days past when more local garages kept owners rides roadworthy.

August 1, 2017

Roof Crossing

Covered Bridge – a quick stop on the ride was to see this older creek crossing located at Long Grove just off Old McHenry Road. Steel plated tire tracks and a few roofing shingles missing, I had seen better days. It is a metal half-hip pin-connected Pratt pony truss. Built in 1925.