Motorcycles Break Out After 25 Years Behind The Bars

By Hap Jameson

A horn! Sure, just squeeze that little rubber bulb or pull the wire and listen to a screechy, wheezy exhaust whistle. Choose either one.

Well, let’s see-we’ve got the skeleton pretty well assembled so let’s go in for horsepower. Boys, that is one thing we 1935ers can’t imagine-what was used for horsepower years ago. But we have had the neighbors tell us that we would be killed on that fool thing gain’ a hundred miles an hour. Ever hear those words before?

Now we’ve made the rounds and looked over all the various makes and models, have listened to the sales arguments, so we must select an engine for our job. Most of the early birds were “lungers” and a few were “twin” powered. Yes, there were two or three attempts to make a four cylinder motor back in those days, but the result was disastrous. Since we actually want to use this “modern 1910’’ we should select a single motor. Now, we’ve got a variety-2 H.P. to 4 H.P.-to choose from. No matter how we re-vamp and rebuild the 1910 motor, using the best ideas of all engineers combined, we’ll still have a power plant very much lacking in efficiency and speed.

Of course, we must have some kind of ignition and we have the “dry cell” battery ignition, or the magneto. Well, yes, the battery jobs do start easier and you can always find dry cells-even rural telephones use ‘em. Mags were not so Kosher when all Jupe shed his weeps. The dry cell in this case will win out. A simple timing device, that is a little spring with a platinum point on it operating against a timer cam and a device to retard and advance the spark will be our ignition control.

Now-our motor must be as fast, powerful and dependable as we can make it. Our cylinder walls will have some fins on them in an attempt to cool the brute. The piston will be iron and will weigh 26 or more ounces. Our connecting rod will resemble the driver on a locomotive. And the big bronze bearings will be used all around-that’s the way to build precision machinery. Our flywheels will weigh over 30 pounds. Compression! Boys, we can’t have that for we know nothing about 1935 engineering. For intake valve we can have either the automatic or the push rod operated-both noisy and inefficient. There’s more soup in the push rod job, so let’s take it. All we know about cams is to lift the valves sky-high. Yeah, our exhaust valve spring will bother us, it will weaken or break. Also, we can expect trouble from our exhaust valve because we have no steel which will resist high temperatures. But we are only1910ers, you know.

Sure, our motor will vibrate plenty. How in the world can we expect to balance such a contraption? Why, if we run this motor on a stand, the machine will bounce all over the place and nothing can be done about it. The most motor r.p.m. will be possibly under 3000 and if we ever get it up that high, we can expect trouble.

The only carburetor we can select will be a gadget at best, and will be nothing more than a mixing pot. It will be simple and harmless.

Now that we’ve got most of the animal together, we must have some sort of control over it. No matter what kind of controls we select, they will be jumpy, jerky, and will not stay in adjustment. Oh, yes, we have twist grip control, but it is not the smooth positive operating mechanism we find on these late model machines. Our tanks will be dual, that is, hold gasoline and oil in separate compartments and we can carry about two gallons of gas and maybe a little more than a quart of oil. From the looks of the tanks, we can expect gasoline leakage as well as other trouble because they are not made very durable.

By Hap Jameson
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