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Old 09-30-2012, 08:39 PM   #991
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I noticed several weak points of the bikes, as I helped work on a bunch of them over 2 weeks. I cant leave a bike stranded along the road, I'll always try to get it running again

harley JD's, valves and generators. about 1/2 the guys were running 6v lantern batteries, as the gennys must really suck on those bikes. almost no one semed to have a working charging system by the 1/2 way point. they'd carry a spare battery, when the bike stopped running, they'd swap in a new one.

I think 47? valves were reworked in sturgis while I was at the shop working on my bike

bmw's, they did really good, as I expected they would. Darryl was blowing head gaskets, even burned a hole in his pants from it. he told me he fixed it by stacking 2 gaskets

Joe Gimple broke the valve lifter 2 or 3 times? then he replaced them with newer bolts, I think he was fine after that

I dont know much about the 3rd bmw

hendersons did good, altho I know of a couple motor swaps done, and a couple late night rebuilds along the way. the motor is worth about 20k, so a swap is not a cheap way to go
I know one of em dropped out due to tranny failuer

the 15 indian got alot of work done to it. the 13 Ex & 14 HD ran great, I think the HD had a mag issue along the way

the brit bikes had problems. magnetos and top ends mostly, the JAP had head & clutch problems. it did alot better when he removed the sidecar
I helped to tinker on a few of them.

the indians were about 50/50, I know of 3 that had no real breakdowns, but they were worked on nightly

one from uk lost the bottom end, one from poland, the top end, another guy swapped his motor, & still didnt finish

and my top end, which Im thinking may have been caused by those alloy wrist pin buttons, & running it so hard & all day, that the heat got to them.

did I leave anyone out?

I didnt see what all went on every night, as when I wasnt workin on my bike, I was usually helping someone else out with theirs.

I had alot of fun & learned alot, just my helping on other bikes.

I wanna get a JD now, as I learned to like them, and I know a bit about keeping them running

so if anyone out there hears of one for sale.......
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:26 AM   #992
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Great footage of the bikes on the road on stage 4 and Doug talking about his day's riding HERE
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:21 AM   #993
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According to The Vintagent the '14 Harley has a lot of modern internals and modifications using modern materials. From what I can find Brad Wilmarth's '13 X is blueprinted but standard. Astounding!
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:43 AM   #994
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hey Doug, I meant to ask you if that's a later model car alternator you've got on yer Indian??
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:14 AM   #995
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Originally Posted by ObiJohn View Post
What a great story with a great ending / beginning of the second part!

I wonder if the mechanical problems encountered by all of the riders was typical of the first few generations of motorcycles, instead of being an artifact of these bike's age. How reliable were those old bikes? I can't imagine what it must have been like for those riders a half-century ago. Makes me appreciate my brand-new FJR... but a retro repro with modern mechanicals would be pretty neat. Could that have been what the OCC guys were thinking as they watched at the start?
In 2010 I asked a similar question to some riders at the stop at Wheels through Time in Magee Valley. As they pulled apart top ends, carbs, welded together two pcs of intake to make one good one, put new bearings in wheels, etc, they explained it this way;

The fact that so few bikes from this era remain suggests that by WW II, most were ready for the the scrap heap and were gathered up to support the war effort. In general they didn't last very long. When they were new, they required maintenence on a regular basis, but very few, if any, were making 250 or 300 miles a day running full bore. The roads were much less improved in the teen's, and twenty's, everything moved at a slower pace and the bikes vibrated apart from the road wear not the engine wear.

A bike like RTW Doug's served time as a police bike, probably stayed near town on better roads, and might have spent more than a few years in municiple storage at some point, thus it's survival.

I'm amazed when I see those "pickers" on TV pulling out rusted scrap and paying big prices for cycles made in the teen's, but I guess if you really want one from that period that is what you start with.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:27 AM   #996
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WW2 is probably one of the biggest factors for the scarcity of pre 1930 bikes.
during the scrap metal drives, I'm sure many guys got talked into giving up that old bike under the scornful looks of their wives and being scolded into being 'patriotic' when the wives probably were just using it as an excuse to get that old junk out of the garage.

and now, here I am, riding a jap bike across the US

the shame....the shame.....

oh, and the alternator on the 101 is off a geo. a jap/GM product.

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Old 10-01-2012, 07:36 AM   #997
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after the 1st day on the kz, I have to say, its really a nice bike.
I need to find a set of 1" risers to bring the bars up a bit, but it rides alot better without the rib stickers that were on it before.

It goes twice as far on a tank of gas, and goes twice as fast also.

Im not too worried about the cops, as the bike isnt in my name, so unless they actually catch me, they wont know Im riding it

altho its not gonna outrun a motorola, even a Hiyabooska cant do that

Oddly enough I get alot of compliments on it, which surprises me.

I wish I had a place to cut the windshield down a few inches, but, oh well.

its so quiet, I put a stereo on it. It seems that a cop bike blasting Slayer isnt a real common thing around here, judging by some of the looks I get

Now I have to decide which route to take today......
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:49 AM   #998
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Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
........and now, here I am, riding a jap bike across the US

the shame....the shame.....


The horror! hope this doesnt mean you are getting old on us A nice cushy ride, good brakes, protected from the wind.

what's next: round the world in a range rover, or something? probably going to start sitting home, watching Wheel of Fortune.

you may have started down a dark alley you wont be able to escape. and, we will all mourn our hero..................

"Otherwise, its been a carnival of idiots, and Im the f*ckin ringmaster" - RTW Doug
Speed is your friend, it also why you see a bike up in a tree from time to time - WarLlama

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Old 10-01-2012, 08:12 AM   #999
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Next thing you know he'll be stopping for raw fish and drinking sake.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:14 AM   #1000
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In 1925, when he was sixteen, my Dad bought a brand new Harley with the money he'd saved up from years of doing odd jobs. When I was growing up he told me about many of his adventures on it. He said that it would easily do 60-70 mph for extended periods but that you had to remember to give the manual oil pump a squirt once in a while. He forgot that once and almost seized the motor. He had buddies with bikes and they would meet up at a cafe and then decide they would ride up to, for a real example, Rutland, Vermont (from Bristol, Connecticut) for a cup of coffee and then come right back the same day. No breakdowns reported. I've plotted his likely route on Google maps and it works out to about a 325 mile round trip. He and his pals did trips like this regularly as day trips, and there don't seem to have been many problems other than cars and aggressive dogs. They were not likely to have been riding flat out the whole way, though. I would imagine that, given the roads as I know them, they were probably averaging around 35 mph. As for the roads, the ones he rode seemed to be fairly well paved, although he said he deliberately sought out sandy, gravelly country roads in order to practice riding in such conditions. All in all, the bikes seem to have run well, when new, although extra care had to be taken if run at high speeds for very long (the manual oil pump, tires). Dad always said that it was youthful ego that led him to buy the Harley, as he knew in his heart that the Indian was a better choice, because he would have gotten one with a smaller, more fuel efficient engine than the Harley's (even though gas was cheap, hourly pay was awful low). He lusted after a Henderson or an Excelsior but couldn't afford one. I think somewhere I have some photos he took of the bike. If I can find them I'll post them in the bike porn forum.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:33 AM   #1001
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back in the day, when i was in the navy in 1979-80, we used to go to Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines regularly. there was a guy there in subic, Toby.... he was in all the harley chopper magazines back then. he had a boneyard outside of town full of WWII era military harleys and indians. from what i remember, it was real hip to have a Toby renovated hard tail..... he had a metric buttload of original parts for these old bikes.... he used to drive around Olongapo on this full faired, painted up, and dingleballed electraglide, looking like all the jeepneys.....just tried to google it, but couldn't find anything.... he's probably dead by now.... we went to his place once, w/a pretty good buzz on if i remember correctly.... he was proud to show you his scars, had some bike gang stab him about 10 times, probably did somebody a bad deal.... Mayor Gordon at the time got the navy to patch the guy back up, pretty ugly really.....

is this still known in the old bike world? probably a killer source of stuff if it is still there.... his place was like a museum....
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:50 AM   #1002
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Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
its so quiet, I put a stereo on it. It seems that a cop bike blasting Slayer isnt a real common thing around here, judging by some of the looks I get
Oh hell yes.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:25 AM   #1003
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I think some of the failures were due to old parts but some of it is just plain old engineering and materials were not that great almost 100 yrs ago. Back then, 10,000 miles on a bike was probably a lifetime. Even today it is uncommon to find a used bike with more than 10,000 miles on it. Cross country on these bikes when they were new they may have experienced the same types of failures.


Originally Posted by charlie101 View Post
I was looking all over the forums for damage reports in order to learn something from the CB about the weakness in the engines, but very little was described in detail. I don't know if the guys where ashamed of mistakes they done in their restorations or if the parts where weak in construction. Some things a normal restorer can't have control of, coils, condensers and some is more difficult, generators, magnetos, metallurgy and such, but still I think there was little willingness to describe their obstacles and remedies.
Retro repro is what most already do more or less in these rare machines, and there is many nearly complete repro bikes out rolling. A few even in both CB's. Some think it's wrong, but I'm of different opinion. My take is that it is the original constructers and technology of the time that is celebrated not the metal in it self. That's why damage reports are so interesting in my mind.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #1004
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Looks like he stopped for Burger King

This SpotWalla is like the Trueman Show

Originally Posted by DUNDERHEAD View Post
Next thing you know he'll be stopping for raw fish and drinking sake.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #1005
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Originally Posted by OaklandStrom View Post
Oh hell yes.

SLAYER Kicks Ass

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