Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Norm's Technicalities'...the latest in Velocette technical information.

Over the last five years, Norm Trigg, Technical Officer of the Australian Velocette Owners Club has produced regular "Technical Forums" in the club magazine FishTail Down Under ( FTDU), although he's collected information over a lifetime.

Norm had always wanted to publish this information but as is often the case many things seemed to always prevent it.
Keith Canning, the Club president and myself approached Norm almost two years ago to do so via the club. The club committee rallied and the project was underway. I collated what articles Norm had, some 75 pages of A5 magazine...Norm reviewed this, revised and added to it, with the finished product 100 pages.

This is a "must" for the serious Velocette Owners bookshelf.

All members of the Australian Velocette Owners Club will have received one in the post at no charge, this week, together with the current club magazine FTDU345.
The Club committee made the decision to sell the booklet to others not in the club for AUD$11...
£5, €6.40, US$9.50 plus postage.

Woo there.... we can't take individual orders...it overwhelms the volunteers over here in the club. So the decision has been made to sell bulk orders to the UK VOC, Dutch VOC, US VOC, NZ Velo Register.
They will contact us in due course with orders. So seek out a local Velo person who is a member of the Australian VOC and also in one of those clubs mentioned and there are quite a few overseas, have a look and I'm sure you'll want one.
It may be that individuals in the future can contact me to arrange copies, but not at this stage.
This may seem hard and even "unfair", but as I mentioned all clubs are run by volunteer help, we are not a commercial retail outlet.

Norm aboard his special 580cc Venom outfit with Dot in the chair... 2005 Australian Centenary Rally, Richmond, NSW.
Left click on images to enlarge.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Norton Gang.....

Pictures from my Archive… another frequent dip into photographs that I want to share with you….

Many of these photos come from sources that still hold the copyright

For example Morton’s Motorcycle Media, publishers of “Old Bike Mart”, “Classic Racer”, “The Classic Motor Cycle” now own many old EMAP publications such as “The MotorCycle” and “MotorCycling”. They are happy for me to publish with due acknowledgement and where not for commercial gain.
Other photographs come from Fox Photos , Keystone Press Agencies and S.R.Keig Ltd.

I've titled this blog "The Norton Gang"... the photo is a "MotorCycling" one, which came to me from the deceased estate of George Lynn, the one time editor and founder of the Australian motorcycle paper "Australian Motorcycle News" ( the paper still exists today as the premier motorcycling paper in Australia).
George has notated on the back...
"The Norton gang" as they were called at the Junior Prize giving ( IOM TT...I feel it is 1950- the photo is undated, as this was the last year Harold Daniell and Artie Bell rode in the TT and Bell won the Junior TT, Duke came 2nd, Daniell came 3rd and Lockett came 6th, obviously winning the manufacturers and the team prize for Norton.) ..Mayor of Douglas ( Alderman Radcliffe), Johnny Lockett, Harold Daniell, Artie Bell ( with trophy), Gilbert Smith Norton's chief and kneeling Geoff Duke.
Judging by the crowd in the background the photo is taken at the prizegiving at the Villa Marina in Douglas, IOM.

As well I've included two Manx Norton photos, taken for The MotorCycle on 19th May 1960 by the photographer Donald Page of Moseley, Birmingham, UK to whom I acknowledge credit.
Left click on the photos to enlarge the image.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Racing DKWs....

Pictures from my Archive… a frequent dip into photographs that I want to share with you….

With the 2008 Hockenheim Classic races currently on and my good friend "The Vintagent", Paul d'Orleans indulging himself over there, I thought it worth posting some photos of DKWs...I'm sure there will be some parading there, perhaps even some that are in my pictures...
I need some help in identifying the place these were taken at and the date... so any of you out there with literature from this period, drop me a line to help with their identification.
Bo Ekland from Sweden is a likely candidate and has been very helpful so far...
Left click on the photos to enlarge them...

Ewald Kluge, 350 DKW likely during 1951-53 below with Walfreid Winkler, prewar DKW, above

The photo with the Malmeoy sign is probably taken at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa- Francorcamps on July 16th 1939.

Rider no 50, looks very much like Ewald Kluge as the rider and if it is and it is the Belgian GP 1939, then he won that race and continued on to be "Champion of Europe" after having won 4 out of the 7 races counting for the championship.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

499 and 348cc Manx Nortons, the whys and wherefores...

The Manx Norton, a name synonymous with motorcycle road racing ..in this interview of Joe Craig M.I.Mech.E, M.S.A.E and Norton race team manager, George Wilson from "The MotorCycle" discusses two of the famous Norton production racing engines designed specifically for road racing and published in "Motor Cycle Engines", second series, 1955.....

It is fitting that the words "Manx " and " Norton " should combine to name what are probably the most widely renowned racing machines in the world. In a thousand exploits, Manx Nortons have earned for themselves, and for the entire British motor cycle manu­facturing industry, enviable fame. Based on the design of the famous factory power units, the Manx engines are magnificent, high-performance examples of their type. But high performance is not in itself the sole requirement for racing. It is a truism that a machine cannot win a race unless it finishes. Hence, allied with high perform­ance, there must be absolute reliability.

Therefore, at the beginning of my discus­sion with Joe Craig I said: " To be suc­cessful, any racing machine must have two attributes: reliability and high power out­put. Will you be so kind as to explain in general terms the broad principles by which you achieve such high performance and such a high standard of reliability ?"
Answer : "As you imply, reliability and high power output are entirely inter­dependent and both must be continuously available throughout a race. Reliability is ensured mainly by thorough observations of the engines in use during a racing sea­son. Components which give trouble are subjected to a careful post-mortem examination. Entire winters are spent investigating means of increasing re­liability and performance. Changes are made after test and retest, and then only when it is definitely established that a gain will result. Every care is taken to ensure that the engine will not wreck itself be‑ cause of the high inertia forces. These, as you may know, increase as the square of the speed, and assume tremendous propor­tions in an engine tuned for ultimate efficiency.
"High performance is achieved chiefly by admitting the greatest weight of charge per induction stroke (at high piston speeds) and burning it efficiently. The highest possible weight of charge is ob­tained through having a long induction period and by making maximum use of the kinetic energy of the exhaust gases from the previous stroke. The pressure difference across the exhaust valve en­courages the new charge to flow readily into the cylinder. Engine torque is of prime importance, and although an in­crease in bhp. may be possible between, say, 6,000 and 7,000rpm, the torque at this speed may be decreasing. Briefly, we aim at the highest torque at the highest possible engine speed while ensuring that the torque at low rpm does not suffer unduly in consequence.
Heat Retained
" When the best compromise of inlet and exhaust port shape has been established in conjunction with the length of valve opening period, diameter of valve head, and the displace­ment curve of the valves dictated by the shape of the cams and the required ' overlap,' work begins on improving the com­bustion of the charge. The aim is to provide the optimum amount of ' swirl '—agitation of the mixture—and so improve the evenness of the burn­ing. Swirl is influenced by port shape, diameter and angle, valve diameters, and the con­figurations under the valve head. Governed in this way by compromise, the best set of conditions is established. The com­bustion-chamber shape then receives attention so that the fuel is burned as efficiently as possible. It is of the utmost im­portance that the surface ­area-to-volume ratio is as low as possible, for it is this ratio which decides the proportion of heat that will be retained in the charge and the amount which will be barrel and valves. Heat retained is capable of being converted into useful work, but heat dissipated is responsible for many of the troubles associated with the internal-combustion engine."
Question: "I believe that some amateur racing men are inclined to over-rev their engines, sometimes before the oil is properly on the job. This misuse often brings about inertia failures at the big-end, and valve and valve-spring troubles. Are any steps taken in the Manx engine to prevent bothers of this sort arising ?"
Answer : " No advantage is to be gained by allowing a Manx engine to turn over at speeds in excess of 6,200rpm for the 500cc and 7,200rpm. for the 350cc Engines will usually withstand a sudden increase of, say, 500rpm. momentarily, as for instance when a gear is missed or a chain breaks; but when an engine is over-revved the big-end bearing, gudgeon pin and piston bosses are subject to excessive overloading. It is difficult to take any steps to prevent this occurring, apart from impressing upon the rider how harmful and expensive the practice of over-revving can be."
Question: "Bore and stroke dimensions for the 350 and 500cc engines respec­tively are 71 x 88mm and 79.62 x 100mm. These stroke dimensions are relatively long for modern racing engines in view of the present-day high power outputs. Will you explain, please, the requirements governing the Manx bore and stroke dimensions ? Is it not a fact that the use of a long stroke puts a limit on rpm because of piston speed and inertia load­ing considerations ?"
Power and R.p.m.
Answer :
" While there is at present a tendency towards ' squarer' engines, we feel that our 71 x 88mm and 79.62 x 100mm power units have been—and are —quite successful in the hands of the general racing public. Although we agree that the squarer engine may have the ability to rev more for similar piston speed and inertia loading, one should not overlook the important point that higher engine speed is of no merit unless accom­panied by a substantial gain in power."
Question: "One of the most prominent features of the Manx engines is the large, square cylinder head. What is the reason for the use of square-profiled finning ?"
Answer : "Large fins are employed on the cylinder head in an endeavour to get a substantial cooling surface out into the air stream, and not rely entirely on the air that might pass the fork, mudguard and frame tubes. The square shape is em­ployed so that the passing air makes con­tact with the fin surface for the entire length of the head, thus making greater use of the available fin-tip area."
Question: "I believe that the original Manx cylinder head comprised a bronze skull, with the light-alloy fins cast on it. Why did you make the change-over to the present type of all light-alloy head with inserted valve seats? "
Answer : “ In the years before the war when petrol-benzole fuel was used, the composite-type head was most satisfactory. Since the war, however, the available fuel has tended to create higher combustion-chamber surface temperatures. The thermal conductivity of the aluminium-alloy head is superior to that of a com­posite aluminium-bronze unit, and lower combustion-chamber temperatures, there­fore, result."
Question " What is the material used for the cylinder head? "
Answer : "We use a special, low-expan­sion, high-silicon alloy which, among its other virtues, has good thermal conduc­tivity at elevated temperatures."
Question : "What material is employed for the valve guides? "
Answer : " The material for the inlet guide is phosphor bronze and for the ex­haust, chromium bronze. The high thermal conductivity of chromium bronze enables full use to be made of sodium-cooled type exhaust valves. In other words, the hot stem of the exhaust valve is able to lose its heat rapidly through such a guide, thereby lowering the temperature of the exhaust-valve head."
Question : " How are the guides inserted and how is concentricity ensured between their bores and the guide housings? "
Answer : " The guides are arranged to have an interference fit to the cylinder head. Every care is taken to ensure con­centricity of the valve-guide bore to its outside diameter during manufacture, but, to provide absolute concentricity, the valve seats are cut and the valves ground after the guides have been fitted. The actual guide bore is used as a location for these operations."
Combustion-chamber Shape
Question : " Is there anything unusual about the cylinder-head combustion-chamber shape? "
Answer : "No; the combustion chamber is nearly hemispherical. This shape has always been found to be very good, both volumetrically and thermally. The fact that it is also readily machineable ensures good reproduceability.'"
Question : " Are the valve seats pressed, or cast into position? "
Answer : "The valve seats are shrunk into the cylinder head with approximately 0.003” interference. This operation is carried out by heating the cylinder head to a predetermined, controlled temperature, until the degree of expansion enables the seats to be readily inserted."
Question: " What are the valve seat materials and why are they used? "
Answer : " The valve seat inserts are made from an austenitic cast iron—a material with approximately the same co­efficient of expansion as that of the cylinder head, and possessing qualities which render it comparatively free from distortion. Long seat life is thus assured."
Question : " Will you explain, briefly and in as non-technical a manner as pos­sible, how the Manx system of megaphone exhausting affects power output?
Answer : " In an exhaust system for a racing engine, the gases must be dis­charged so that the piston works against the minimum possible gas pressure. The kinetic energy of the gas must be utilized in such a manner as to produce the maxi­mum negative pressure in the cylinder towards and at the end of the exhaust stroke. Use can thus be made of a large valve overlap to get the inlet gas column moving in readiness for the next filling stroke. It has been established that the combination of exhaust pipe length and diameter is important in achieving the best possible results, and that no one com­bination is equally efficient over the whole speed range of the engine. " Usually a long pipe of small diameter is good for power at low rpm, while a short pipe of larger diameter is better for power at high rpm. It is necessary to compromise with a pipe diameter and length that will give the best results at the most used part of the engine-speed range. The length is often less than the regula­tion requirements for racing, and in the early days the megaphone was introduced to bring the length of the exhaust pipe to that required by the regulations. In later years, however, the exhaust pipe has been subjected to intensive investigation, and the angle of taper and length of mega­phone have been found to be important in achieving the greatest possible extractor effect and the consequent beneficial in­fluence on top-end performance."
A Compromise Length
Question : "Is it not true that consider­able induction pipe length and long valve opening periods are necessary in order to make full use of the phenomenon you have described? What are the length and diameter of the 348 and 499cc induc­tion pipes respectively, and how were the dimensions arrived at? "
Answer : "In the 499cc Manx engine, the diameter of the inlet port is 1.219” and the distance from the end of the carburettor trumpet to the inlet-valve head is approxi­mately 10.375”. The 348cc Manx engine has a l.125”diameter port, and the tract measures 10.375” from the end of carburet­tor trumpet to the inlet-valve head. Dis­regarding all the complex problems asso­ciated with the kinetic energy of the inlet charge, it may be said that the indicated mean effective pressure could be raised considerably at any one engine speed by the use of a longer induction tract. In the case of the Manx racing engine, we are forced to use a certain compromise length in order to accommodate the widest that, generally speaking, the greater the length or the smaller the diameter of the tract, the greater is the amplitude of the pressure waves and the later is the arrival of the pressure peak near the time of closing of the inlet valve."
Question : "What is the reason for the centres of the inlet and exhaust ports being offset in plan as they are? If the ports were truly aligned, would there not be greater advantage from the extractor effect of the megaphone? "
Answer : "The offset inlet port helps to impart the necessary swirl (or agita­tion) to the ingoing charge, thus ensuring an acceptable rate of flame travel through it. The offset exhaust port is necessary to allow the exhaust pipe to clear the frame tubes. The offset also helps to direct the hot gases away from the valve stem. The advantage gained in promot­ing turbulence to the ingoing charge is far more important than any possible ad­vantage to be had from straight-through ports and the assumed microscopically greater extractor effect of the megaphone."
Question: " Since the speed of the pressure waves in the induction pipe varies with temperature changes, does not the brake mean effective pressure vary con­siderably with altitude and geographical locations of various race meetings? "
Answer : " Yes, the speed of the pres­sure waves in the induction pipe varies slightly with changes of temperature which, theoretically, have their effect upon the kinetic energy of the inlet charge. In practice, however, this amounts to very little, and the variations of atmospheric pressure due to altitude have a much greater effect than temperature changes. These variations affect the specific weight of the air and consequently the bmep. As I said earlier, it is the weight of the inlet charge that is important for high power output, not necessarily the volume."
Cylinder Charging
Question :
" According to the data in the information panel, the inlet valve open­ing period is 307.5°. Is there any direct relationship between the length of the induction pipe, the rpm and the in­let opening period ? "Answer : "In a naturally aspirated en­gine, the ingoing air has imparted to it a velocity sufficiently high at the carburet­tor jet to raise petrol and to continue at an increasing velocity along the port until it enters the cylinder. The force mainly responsible for this velocity is the nega­tive pressure created by the descending piston. This negative pressure occurs only for 180°of crankshaft move­ment and at, say, 6,000 rpm, precious little time is afforded to this cylinder-filling period. However, because the gas column is travelling at such high velocity, cylinder charging continues until the pressure created in the cylinder by the rising piston is equal to the pressure exerted by the gas column. In the case of the Manx engines, this pressure bal­ance takes place some 67.5 degrees after bottom dead centre. This ramming effect occurs as a result of high engine rpm, the shape of the valve-lift curve and the length, diameter and shape of the inlet tract. This ramming effect occurs as a result of high engine rpm, the shape of the valve-lift curve and the length, diameter and shape of the inlet tract. As I have mentioned, the kinetic energy of the exhaust gases helps the inlet charge provided, in the case of the Manx engine, the inlet valve is open some 60 degrees before TDC.

Question: "Obstructions in the inlet pipe, I believe, set up turbulent pockets which result in a falling-off in the size of the pressure waves. In the Manx engines, the inlet valve guide protrudes well into the port. Is this not a disadvantage in a high performance engine?"

Answer : "Even in racing engine design a certain amount of compromise has to be faced. In this instance, the guide does protrude a short distance into the port, but this is necessary to provide sufficient guide length for supporting the valve. The guide is, however, fairly well tapered to offer a minimum restriction to the inlet charge and, furthermore, care is taken to see that there is no reduction in cross-sectional area of the port. As a matter of interest, I might add that it has been found that when an inlet port was very large, a gain in power could be obtained by extending the inlet guide farther into the port."
Question : " What is the reason for double overhead-camshaft operation of the valves? "
Answer : " The reciprocating mass of each valve and its attendant mechanism can be kept to a minimum consistent with reliability. This low inertia of the recipro­cating mass facilitates high-speed valve operation in conjunction with the cam profile necessary for high power output."
Why a Vertical Shaft ?
Question : " Some successful racing en­gines with ohc operation of the valves employ chain or spur gears to transmit the drive from the crankshaft up to the cylinder head. Why do you favour the use of a tubular coupling and two sets of bevels? "
Answer : "The use of a vertical shaft and bevels for the camshaft drive reduces the possibility of cyclic variations in the system. It simplifies compression ratio changes, which, in the case of spur-gear drive with fixed gear centres, have usually to be made by alterations to the piston-crown height and shape."
Question : " How is balancing of the cam lobes effected? "
Answer : " Balancing is by means of a suitable hole drilled through the cam lobe. However, as the cams run at only half engine speed, balance is of secondary importance."
Question : " What is the reason for the Oldham couplings at the top and bottom of the vertical shaft? "
Answer : " These couplings are em­ployed principally to take care of shaft-length variations caused by expansion and contraction. Compression ratio changes, too, are simplified; the couplings can also accommodate slight misalignment be­tween the bevel gears and the vertical shaft."
Question : " Why do you favour the use of separate caps on the tips of the valve stems? Is it not preferable, with racing engines, to harden the tips? "
Answer : " The type of steel used for the manufacture of racing valves is not easy to harden. But as there is no rub­bing motion on the ends of the valves, the caps are not hardened either, but heat treated to ensure toughness. Caps are used, too, for convenience—because the method of adjusting the valve clearance is by the use of shims under the caps. The virtue of this method is that it keeps the reciprocating weight at this critical point to a minimum consistent with the provision of some adjustment."
Question : " Valve timing is, presum­ably, rough set by means of meshing the pinions in the cam box in their appro­priate positions to one another. How is fine adjustment achieved? "
Answer : " Valve timing is rough set in the first instance as you suggest, and finer adjustments are effected at two points : a removable peg locating one of the 12 holes in the cam-box bevel gear to one of the 11 holes in the cam-box bevel shaft, pro­vides for approximately 2¾ degrees angu­lar adjustment, representing approxi­mately 5½ degrees at the engine shaft. In the second case, the same principle is applied to the cam and its pinion : i.e., the cam has 11 equally spaced holes and the pinion 12 holes."
Question : " What material is used for the cam-box pinions and for what reasons is it suitable? "Answer : " The material used is EN.36V. It is used because it gives a very hard case with a strong core, while retaining a high degree of toughness."
Question : " I note that the idler pinions in the cam box have 33 teeth and those of the cam pinions only 21 teeth."
Answer : "This particular train of gears has been arranged to work in with the overall geometrical requirements dictated by the distance across the valve tips. This in turn is controlled by the valve angle and length, and by the relative vertical position of the cam box to the cylinder head."
Question : " What is the reason for sup­porting all the cam-box spindles on these expensive-looking ball and roller bear­ings? "
Answer : "The camshafts are each sup­ported on a roller bearing at one end and a ball bearing at the other. The idler gears run on standard 3/16”-diameter x 3/16”long rollers suitably caged about a fixed spindle. The bevel shaft, as you can see, is mounted on a ball bearing at the bevel gear end and a roller bearing at the other end; the whole provides an arrangement that offers very little fric­tional loss and does not require pressure lubrication."
Question : " Oil-pump drive is by means of spur gears from the timing-side mainshaft. What is the reason for the driven 44-tooth pinion being so much narrower than the 22-tooth driving pinion? I note that the larger is 5/16” wide and the smaller ½” wide."
Answer : " A certain amount of end ad­justment is required for both gears, and the position of the timing pinion on its shaft is dictated by a 30°, included-angle taper. The difference in gear widths ensures full tooth contact."
Question : " I note that the mainshafts are separate from the flywheels and pressed in. Would not the assembly be more rigid if the units were forged integral with one another? "
Answer : " We like to case-harden our flywheel shafts so that a tough core is ob­tained, and also to eliminate the danger of seizure of the bearing inner race to the shaft. To produce hardened shafts and soft flywheels with an integral design would be extremely difficult. In our arrangement, the shafts are of 1.125” diameter where they enter the flywheels, to which they are force-fitted, keyed, and nutted up against a large flange formed on the shaft. A very rigid assembly results."
Question : " The crankpin, I note, is made from the solid. Some racing crank­pins are in two parts, a separate roller track being pressed on the pin proper. What are the advantages of your system? "
Answer : " Although the one-piece crankpin is more costly to produce, we feel that it is worthwhile because of its extra rigidity. In addition, much greater accuracy is always possible where the number of parts demanding concentric accuracy is kept to a minimum."
Question : "The big-end eye of the con­necting rod is 2 5/16” diameter and the small-end bush bore diameter is 0.875”. The rod is no less than 1.250” wide at the small end and 1½” wide where the big-end webs blend to the general rod section. The webs around the big-end eye are on the rod's outer edges. What is the advantage of this design over the more common one of having a single web running round the big-end eye ? "
Answer : " There is less tendency for the outer edges of the big-end eye to be­come bell-mouthed' and there is a web supporting the track under each set of the two rows of rollers in the big end. While this form of construction is costly, we have found it to be worth while."
Question : " Obviously, the Manx con­necting rod must be able to withstand very severe bending loads. What is the material used and what are its properties? "
Answer : "The connecting rod material is KE805 which is a nickel-chrome, molybdenum steel suitably heat-treated to give a high tensile strength, good fatigue qualities and high resistance to shock load­ing."
Question : " Pistons for both 499 and 348cc engines are of slipper design, but the 499 cc piston has a dome top and the 348cc piston a flat crown with a markedly prominent radius between the top land and the crown. Also, with the 348cc piston, there is more land above the gudgeon-pin bosses than there is with the bigger one. Will you explain the reasons for these differences? "
Answer : "As I mentioned earlier, the best thermal conditions in a combustion chamber are obtained when the surface ­area-to-volume ratio is as small as possible. A flat-top piston offers the least surface area of any, and although the 499cc piston has a slight curvature, for all prac­tical purposes it could be considered flat. This slight curvature and any other dis­crepancies between the crowns of the two sizes of piston have been necessary to ob­tain the desired compression ratio in con junction with the combustion-chamber shape."
Question : " What is the piston material? "
Answer : "The pistons are forged from Hiduminium RR59 which, when heat-treated, possesses excellent mechanical properties at elevated temperatures, high thermal conductivity and a low friction co­efficient."
Question: " I note that the big-end bearing has a Duralumin cage while the main bearings have bronze cages. Why is there this difference ? "
Answer: " A main bearing cage, un­like that for the crankpin, does not impart centrifugal loading to the bearing. Hence, bronze can be employed for the main-bearing cage."
Power Outputs
Question: "What is the reason for the very tall crankcase ? "
Answer: "It enables the cylinder bar­rel to be deeply sunk into the crankcase and, by keeping the joint between crank­case and cylinder barrel as high as possible, the whole engine structure is ex­tremely rigid."
Question: "Is a bonded liner used in the composite cylinder ? "
Answer: " No. The close-grained, cast-iron liner, which has a corrugated outer surface for keying purposes, is cast into the light-alloy finned muff."
Question: "What is the recommended rpm range of each of the engines ? "
Answer: " Up to 6,000rpm for the 499cc and 7,000 for the 348cc"
Question: " What are the respective power outputs ? "
Answer: "Approximately 37.5bhp at 6,000rpm for the 499 c.c. engine and 29.5bhp at 7,000rpm for the 348cc. These figures are for 80-octane fuel, and assuming normal barometric pressure and temperature conditions."
Question: " Will you explain briefly at what part of the torque curve a rider should change gear when racing, and why ? "
Answer: " Generally speaking, the torque curve of a racing engine over its useful revolution range is more or less flat, with a pronounced dip at the ends, i.e., at low rpm and at the highest rpm. In order to make full use of the engine torque in travelling from A to B in the shortest possible time, a higher gear should be selected at the engine speed at which the torque (not the hp.), has just begun to “fall off” from peak. By so doing, one not only has the maximum effort the engine can exert available for acceleration, but any tendency for the en­gine rpm to decrease (because of gradient, or headwind) is overcome by the torque increase accompanying this slight falling off in rpm. The engine should be taken up to this predetermined rpm in every gear until top gear is engaged, and in top only should the engine be allowed to reach peak revs. The time taken to reach peak revs after maximum torque has begun to fall off can usefully be employed in accelerating in the next gear. For example, the 499cc Manx engine develops its maximum torque between 4,500 and 5,500rpm, with a slight “fall­ing off” up to 6,200rpm. The time to change gear, therefore, is when the engine revs have reached, say, 5,600rpm."

Left click on images to enlarge.
Copied from "Motor Cycle Engines", Second Series,published by The Motor Cycle, 1955 with acknowledgement to Mortons Motorcycle Media, holders of the copyright.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The diesel motorcycle.....

Pictures from my Archive… a frequent dip into photographs that I want to share with you….
The two photographs are from Fox Photos in London and the captions on the back I've transcribed below....
“Following in the wake of the diesel taxi cab is the diesel motor cycle and the world’s first motorcycle to be powered by a diesel engine was given its first road trial in West Cornwall, England. The creation of this engine has been the work of Mr. Freeman Saunders, whose laboratory at Newlyn (Cornwall) houses the Freeman Saunders Engine Company, pioneers of the diesel motor and taxi. When the machine is fully developed, it is estimated that its fuel consumption will be 130 miles to the gallon, and there will be little difference in outward appearances between the diesel motorcycle and the ordinary petrol driven one. In fact, work on the diesel model has involved adapting an ordinary 500cc engine from a standard model, designing and making new parts and altering others.
One photograph shows Mr. Freeman Saunders, seen on his diesel powered motorcycle, during trials near his Newlyn laboratory. The second photo shows a close up of the diesel conversion.”
Photos by Fox photos London, September 1st 1954.
Left click on images to enlarge.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pictures from my Archive… a frequent dip into photographs that I want to share with you….

It is my good fortune to have a well stocked library of motorcycling ( and occasional other) photographs and literature and as the current “custodian” I want to ensure they are made available to as many people as possible…so I’m indulging myself on a frequent basis with a pic or two from it….. Look on!….
These two interest me and are quite contrasting... I'm always pleased with comment on my blog and Bo Eklund of Sweden was quick off the mark with some expanded information on the Swedish GP photo and so I'm correcting my comments, expanding them and adding his... thanks Bo...
The first , taken 10 August 1939, likely during practice for the Swedish GP at Saxtorp...barely weeks before the outbreak of WW2 and the cessasion of motorcycle racing for 6 long years...
Note the two factory supercharged BMWs of #5 Ludwig "Wiggerl" Kraus and #1 Georg "Schorsch" Meier, with the cylinders covered to prevent heat loss and the three Mk.8 KTT Velocettes leaning against the pit wall.
#43 is Ernie Thomas KTT ( engine number KTT815) and he can be seen immediately behind and standing between the number plates #46 and #10.....
#10, is the Austrian rider Franz Binder's KTT, entered in the 500cc class ( interesting this, as it has the special experimental rear suspension units which came out to Australia on the last Mk.8 supplied in Dec.1939, engine number KTT 851....I suspect Binder used this and it was refurbished at Veloce before despatch. I owned the frame for 30 years, with these units on...), but retired in the race.
#46, Englishman David Whitworth's KTT ( this could have been engine number KTT836, supplied by Veloce for Billy Tiffin to ride in the IOM TT as a supported rider...Whitworth also enjoyed "semi works" support). The other machines were....
Nr 55, de Döry, Hungary, NSU.
Nr 83, Petruschke.
Nr 81, Ewald Kluge, probably a DKW.
Nr 42, Fleichmann.
The person on the far right in the picture (with cap #10) is Harry Larsson who knew Binder well from before 1934 when Binder raced at the Swedish TT and Larsson was the organizer of that race. Larsson also raced together with Thomas in the Swedish TT 1929 and 1930. Later in the 1950s Larsson was the organizer of the Hedemora TT-races during the period of 1949 -58.

The contrasting photo, taken at "The Douglas Depot", is taken in the IOM during TT week 1925 and shows several of the sidecar TT machines, including the winning Douglas machine, ridden by Len Parker who is pictured in "Tam-O-shanter" cap with his right hand on the sidecar wheel of the left hand machine.
The little chap on the right, also wearing a "Tam-O-shanter" and smoking a cigarette is Rex Judd, a well known rider the later proprietor of a North London motorcycle business, Rex Judd Motorcycles.
The fastest lap during the race was made by Freddie Dixon, also on a Douglas.

Evocative stuff......

Left click on images to enlarge....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pictures from my Archive… a frequent dip into photographs that I want to share with you….

Continuing with another selection from Allan Schafer's literature collection, now in my custody....Allan Schafer of Grafton, a town in northern NSW, Australia as a young man was a prolific letter writer to overseas motorcycling "greats". This one is a reply to his letter together with an autographed photo, from Les Archer, from a flamboyant family in English motorcycling, who ran a business, father then son, both Les Archer, Known as Archers of Aldershot and "The Riders Agent" . The first photo shows father and son with what many consider an example of the mysterious Mk.6 KTT Velocette. The model that was never released...I'll do a future blog on this model KTT... factory records indicate three were use in the 1936 IOM TT, I've photos also of one in 1937 and the Archer one was taken then.
The second is Les Senior on a works Velocette "Dog Kennel" 350cc SOHC racer, at Quarter Bridge during the 1934 Junior TT, in which he finished 6th.

The bottom photo is a still of Les,snr, on the 1934 works Velocette in the paddock of the IOM.
This photo is acredited to S.R.Keig Ltd, code 1934/66.

Left click on images to enlarge...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cartoon and Pen and Ink Drawing time again- all from older Motorcycle magazines...

As I mentioned in an earlier blog.. graphic art has changed dramatically with computer and digital cameras…. lets go back again to an age when graphic artists, cartoonists and the like, armed with pen, ink and pencil recorded the images of the day in concert with the film camera.
There is huge skill in recording engineering drawings and visual scenes of the day…
This form of recording seemed to die out after WW2, with perhaps the exception of cartoons.
So I want to share with you in this and forthcoming blogs, the skill of the artists… Jock Leyden, George Beresford, Hugh Grimes to name a few, whose work graced the pages of “The MotorCycle” and “MotorCycling” in the 1920s and 1930s……
Acknowledgement is made to Mortons Motorcycle Media and to the families of the artists for use of the images.
Left click on images to enlarge.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Harley Davidson..."The Founders"......

I've not only Velocette material in my archive and this photograph is interesting and historic.
On the back is captioned..."The Founders"....
This founders image date is likely early1930’s The journal on desk in right foreground bears a title and date, a higher resolution scan reveals "Leading Advertisers 1930"
Fairly positive identities are as below:
In suit and tie at left, William S. Harley, Engineering.
In vest and shirtsleeves, William A. Davidson.
Seated signing document, Walter Davidson, President.
In suit with bow-tie at right, Arthur Davidson, Sales.
William A. Davidson died 1937.
Walter Davidson, September 30, 1876 - February 7, 1942.
William S. Harley died 1943.
Arthur Davidson, February 11, 1881 - December 30, 1950

I'm indebted to Neale Gentner from Queensland for assistance in the identification.
Left click on the image to enlarge.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Castrol Six Hour Production Race...the complete history, written by Jim Scaysbrook...

I've just come back from the official launch of well known writer, motorcycling journalist, Velocette rider and clubmember, Jim Scaysbrook's latest book that I believe is long overdue…I even admit to urging him to write it…
From 1970 until 1987, the Castrol 6 hour race was "The" race for production motorcycles, both here in Australia and overseas.
In fact the Japanese factories used it to introduce new models and together with the European factories saw it as a great advertising opportunity.
Jim rode in it and partnered Mike Hailwood one year…I admit to riding in it and my only claim to fame, together with Australian Velocette OC member Dennis Fry is that we rode the only Velocette to enter it.As mentioned in an earlier blog, sadly we never finished with Dennis Fry crashing out.
RRP price is AUD$69.95 and it is available Australia wide from - Pitstop Bookshop Perth, WA; Sue’s Transport Books Kogarah, NSW; Motorbooks St Ives, NSW; Autobook World Clarence St Sydney , NSW; Mountain Motor Books, Qld; & Wheels in Time, Dandenong, Vic.
For others, perhaps overseas....
The publisher is Renniks Publications tel. +61.2.9695.7055, fax;+61.2.9695.7355 email ianpitt@renniks.com, web address http://www.rennicks.com/
The launch was a "who's who" from Australian motorcycle racing...ex World Champion Wayne Gardiner, current MotoGP commentator on Australian TV and former GP racer Kevin Magee to name a few, several riders over from NZ, some 20 past winners of the event with many other riders who competed, all together for the first time in many years.
Hosted at Deus ex Machina's motorcycle emporium in Sydney, and it is an emporium.. one feels like a kid in a candy shop with all the delectable classics on show...check out their website...
http://www.deus.com.au/ ...visit them when in Sydney.... 98 Parramatta Road,Camperdown, NSW, near the Missenden Road intersection,+61.02. 9557 6866 .
Left click on image to enlarge.
An additional note to my earlier blog on Velocettes in Antarctica....Jim Scaybrook published it in his classic magazine..."Old Bike Australasia" ( I'll run a blog on this shortly) and received an email over it.. I'll publish it in it's entirety....
Dear Sir,
Firstly, as an old motorbike aficionado, I wish to complement you on an outstanding magazine. In 1950, on my 17th birthday, I bought my first bike, a BSA bantam, and have had a multitude of bikes since, including a Black Shadow that I found in Saigon, still in a box, but the reason for this letter lies in a slight error in the abovementioned article. As a RAAF pilot, I was to board the "Thala Dan" on 31st December 1960 for a tour at Mawson, (they always departed on New Year’s Eve for tax purposes) but due to both the aircraft being destroyed in a blizzard, the Air Force contingent was scrapped for that year. To my sorrow, I had missed out on one of the adventures of a lifetime. It was the year prior to that that the Dakota was taken down to Mawson, and both the Dakota and the Beaver were destroyed early December 1960, just as we were about to go on pre-embarkation leave. The thing that really pissed me off now, is that as well as missing the whole Antarctic adventure, a fact that has given me extreme grief for all those years, I now learn that, but for the birds being parked in a totally unsuitable spot up on the ice shelf, not only would I’d had the Goonybird and Beaver to play with, I’d have had the Velocette as well. Heaven on Ice.

How much grief can a man bear???

Again, congratulations on a great magazine. I’m a subscriber.

Murray Raynes, Nannup, Western Australia 6275