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18 décembre 2009 5 18 /12 /décembre /2009 14:31
Elvis’ Panhead



Words & Pics: Rich King



Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

Of course Mark isn't the Elvis, he's an Elvis - a nickname he got given by cruel Harley Riders Club of Great Britain types just

because he tends towards your more Rocker than your Hairy Arsed.

Bikers eh?

Tch.


 Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

But of much more interest is his 1958 FL Duo Glide Panhead chopper, and it definitely is a chopper and not some offsprung variant

like a lowrider, power custom or streetfighter. And before purists start howling foul murder,it also came into his possession as a

chop: he'd been riding an XR1000 Sportster beforehand, then some eighteen months or so ago he sold it to a mate and bought the

chop.

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

By all accounts the Pan had been actually chopped quite some time ago, a 1986 Motex frame hints at the last major structural

change, but goodness knows what changes it went through before then. Somehow I cannot imagine in 1986 someone pulling apart a

pristine, concours '58 Duo Glide to build the chop: much more likely is that this Pan has had a very interesting life and has gone

through a myriad of changes, seeing a lot of action on the way. A bit like Madonna. Certainly Elvis had known the Pan had been run

hard before it had come into his possession, the guy had used it hard and it had very rarely let him down, he just wasn't a preener

and polisher.

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

Elvis bought the Pan as a runner, and a good, first time runner too - if you could live with the loose clattering and clunking and

oil squirting out in various directions. The previous owner could: that's the way he ran them. Elvis couldn't. A project was born,

but at this stage Elvis was visualising quite a simple project. A bit of an engine re-build, new pads and tyres and a run 'round

with a damp rag sort of thing. Certainly he was taken with the looks of the Pan, arriving orange with a black flame job with

white/cream pin, so it shouldn't take much … should it?

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

Yeah, you know it. His mates come around as soon as he started and before you can say 'You don't want to do it like that …' you've

got a full-on project on your hands. Nobby (with help from Elvis) settled happily into motor re-build mode: anything that was good

was kept, cleaned and put to one side while anything that was okay was fettled and anything that was dead was binned. So the crank

was balanced and the heads re-furbished at Matts Machine Shop, for instance, but clutching a V-Twin catalogue, the motor parts were

minutely examined and if anything had to go, V-Twin would get the call for the replacement.

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

V-Twin supply both original parts and also their own replacement pattern parts too. Never a purist, Elvis neither knows nor cares

all that much whether the replacement parts that he ordered were original 1958 Panhead or not. It's a good bet that he received a

mixture of both, and an even better bet that the Pan wasn't exactly 100% original when it first came into his hands anyway. If it

works and it looks right, so what?

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

As this wasn't a full restoration, Nobby and Elvis could also take their pick from a cornucopia of after-market performance parts

too and so were able to opt for a V-Twin cam and S&S rods, acting on standard type V-Twin lifters. As the engine neared completion

an S&S carb and filter were chosen to feed the motor, while Paughco provided the impressive exhaust to empty it again. The

transmission stayed 4 speed, rebuilt by Nobby and Elvis, and was finished off with a new V-Twin primary cover.

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

Meanwhile, with an engine coming back together so nicely the rest of the machine started to look a little bit shabby and not

wanting to leave a job half done …

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

So the 'original' Motex hardtail frame was seriously cleaned up, and just about every other cycle part was put to one side and

replaced with the best stuff Elvis could source. Up front 6-inch-over wide glide forks were slotted into a set of V-Twin Smoothie

yolks, mounted into those are a set of 8inch risers which support the impressive - rather you than me - High Boy apehanger

handlebars. The 21-inch front wheel was new too: the individual parts sourced from V-Twin and later laced together at Ted's Cycle

Shed, as was the rear 17-incher. The front wheel features a very minimal drum/hub brake to keep the law happy, but while Elvis

admits it isn't very effective, it sure looks right. Actual braking is taken care of at the rear, an entirely non-standard disc,

which works fine.

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

Nobby and Elvis did the electrics, wiring in a Paughco Teardrop front headlamp, among other things, while Drag Specialities

provided the entirely accurate mini speedo. Harley-Davidson parts include the Horseshoe tank, which I believe was sourced new and

also the mudguards, the front looking like a standard, unmodified WideGlide/Sportster, but I have absolutely no idea what's on the

rear.

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

While the paint job is the same style, the old peanut Sportster petrol tank was replaced by another new-ish H-D addition, a new

style Sportster tank. The new tank fills the frame better and has the added advantage of allowing you to travel a decent distance

before you're forced to find a garage. Just behind the tank, looking just perfect is a La Pera Bare Bones single seat and the sissy

bar? Sorry no idea.

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

What started as sort it out and bung it back together sort of project actually became a painstaking labour of love, the attention

to detail all around the Pan is a credit to everyone who was involved in the build. Elvis was pleased to get the chop back on the

road earlier this year but honestly was not aware that he was riding anything particularly special. As far as he was concerned it

still felt like a bit of a bolt together and bung back on the road job, he'd built it to ride it (and following him on a Dyna Sport

I can certainly vouch for that!). Elvis rode it to a chopper club show soon after it was back on the road, and while attempting to

park it in the carpark was finally persuaded by the organisers to put it in the show. Unsurprisingly to everyone except Elvis, it

scooped the Best of Show, a real accolade if you have seen what the Chopper Club lads put together. But my favourite touch? It has

to be the kick start rubber - perfect, just perfect, that has to be original!

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

Specifications

Owner:
 Mark Pankhurst 
Make & Year:
 1958 Harley-Davidson Panhead
Engine:
 1200cc / 74ci Panhead with S&S rods, V-Twin cam and lifters, with balanced crank and refurbished heads by Matt's Machine Shop.

Stock 4-speed kicker 'box. Engine and box rebuilt by Nobby and owner
Exhaust:
 Paughco fishtails 
Frame:
 1986 Motex hardtail
Forks:
 6"-over Wide Glide in V-Twin "Smoothies" yokes
Rear Suspension:
 Don't be silly
Front Wheel:
 21" laced by Ted's Cycle Shack
Front Brake:
 Drum in hub 
Rear Wheel:
 17" laced by Ted's Cycle Shack
Rear Brake:
 Disk
Seat:
 La Pera Bare Bones
Petrol Tank:
 Harley-Davidson King Sportster (current shape)
Mudguards:
 Harley-Davidson Wide Glide on front, bobbed 6" flat on rear.
Paint:
 Island Art, 2-pack: orange and black 1970s flames
Handlebars:
 8" risers with "High Boys" apehangers
Controls:
 V-Twin Forwards
Electrics:
 Wiring by Nobby and owner.
Lights:
 Front: Paughco Teardrop headlamp
Rear: Lucas-type
Machining:  Matt's Machine Shop
Thanks to :
 Nobby (Anglo American) and Big Trev

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk

Elvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.ukElvis’ Panhead - Words & Pics: Rich King - www.american-v.co.uk
 


sources : www.american-v.co.uk
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3 décembre 2009 4 03 /12 /décembre /2009 14:18
Trike on Time


Words & Pics: Pete Hicks

Trike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.ukTrike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.uk

The post-war motorcycle was a necessity for some chaps: a means of getting to their place of work and, for some lucky families, a mode of transport. Back then it wasn't uncommon for a family to get out and about with the aid of a sidecar, often bolted to the weekday solo for the purpose, but all that was about to change.


 

IN THE HEADY TIMES FROM THE LATE FIFTIES, this two-wheeled God was to become an affordable fashion icon and form of escapism for some youths. Many young lads had one of these vehicular wonderments parked up in their back yard or shed and, at the end of their working week, came the testosterone-fuelled pursuit of tear-arsing about, impressing the ladies and their mates … not always in that particular order. These were the days of the DA, white scarf, studded leather jacket and oily hands from tinkering with their chosen ride.

The bike, not the lady. Behave!

Trike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.ukTrike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.uk

Phil Shellam was one such guy. A young, spirited, motorcycle-loving tearaway, riding with a large contingent of bikers in the Gloucester area. They were the 'Scorpions MCC' and, with their pillions on board, they numbered around a hundred and were a sight to behold when out on the open road together.

Phil came through those years riding a plethora of bikes, most memorably pre-unit bonnies, beezas and other British iron, but eventually due to work and family building commitments, decided to hang up the boots and jacket to settle down. He drifted in and out of the scene briefly but nothing serious, but as I'm sure some of you have experienced, once the adrenalin rush has struck in your younger days, the biking lust just never seems to leave you.

Then some four years ago, Phil's wife, Helen, bought him a factory custom job for his fiftieth birthday. Why can't we all have a partner like that? Within a short time, the friendship was rekindled with some of his ex-club brothers, and the biking bug bit again, big time!

Something was bugging him though, he didn't know what it was at first, but soon realised that it was the freedom of not wearing a helmet if so wished. This had been taken away from us all in early 1973, by the crap government of the time, with their new legislation. No change there then! I remember this only too well, and it was indeed a bummer. Safer maybe, but hey, why couldn't we keep the choice of wearing a lid or not? It's our bloody heads, after all!

Trike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.ukTrike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.uk

There is a loophole, however and it happened that one of his buddies was running a Goldwing trike, and Phil was quite taken with the fun you can have ... on one of these machines. So just ... for a change, and some memories, Phil decided that a trike was imminent to accompany his bike and while his triking mate wore a helmet, Phil would use the freedom that the trike law allows by choosing not to. He puts his mate's preference down to the fact that he is as bald as the proverbial and needs the extra warmth that this defensive armour provides, but not our Mr Shellam: he's blessed with more than his fair share of hair - the git - and also eats an abundance of Ready Brek - that provider of inner warmth, and all that bollocks if you remember the ad campaign.
So he wanted a trike but the trouble was Phil was unimpressed by many of the trikes he'd seen around - especially the ones that resemble something off a magical kiddies cinematic production. These contraptions are 'Flying Bedsteads', according to Phil. He wanted reliability, quality and class and knew where to go.

He visited the emporium that is MBT Customs in Exeter, who import Rewaco trikes from Germany. If you're not familiar with them, Rewaco trikes are factory built items from Koln, where two technicians assemble them from the ground up … off the end of a conveyor belt, so to speak. There are three Rewaco models in total and this one, the HS6 Sports, is their flagship.

MBT had previously sold this particular trike to a millionaire dude who didn't go a bundle on getting wet: first time out with it with a bit of rain and the black beast was quickly back at MBT for resale. Enter Phil who, after the guided tour of their establishment and a spin around the leafy lanes of the local Devonshire countryside, wanted a few accessories fitted, and a small wedge later he was off up the M5, grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Trike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.ukTrike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.uk

The trike really is quite impressive, and on first appearances it resembles one of those Phoenix VeeDub trikes that were doing the rounds some years back, but on closer inspection it's a completely different animal. Stainless steel has been extensively used throughout, and is on show too, which is a bonus because the tubing and box section steel chassis isn't: that's been hidden away by the two-piece body shell. The rear section of the shell hinges up and back to give access to the battery, a ten gallon stainless fuel tank, the transmission and drive gear … and all manner of other mechanical gubbins.

As it happens, under all that bodywork, the chassis is a nice looking item in its own right. Unlike the toddlers climbing apparatus look-a-like that usually adorns this type of vehicle, the Rewaco chassis is well manufactured, extremely sturdy and, as expected of a factory built machine, there's no bird shit welding to be spotted anywhere. Added to the frame is an axle of Rewaco's own design, and keeping it from dragging on the deck are a pair of huge offset 12x15" chromed steel rims by Mangel, wearing 325/50 rubber and leaving a fair size imprint on the asphalt. At t'other end is a pair of stainless 'Trapezoidal' springer forks, which squeeze a 17" alloy spoked rim with a 150/60 tyre.
Bringing forward motion to a halt is with the use of a single front disc, Grimeca calliper and stainless braided hosing, backed up by servo-assisted inboard discs at the rear. The foot controls for the brakes and clutch are fully adjustable for the size of rider: good forward thinking by the manufacturer.

Trike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.ukTrike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.uk

Making bouncing over the bumps that is our UK road network system more pleasing to the haemorrhoids is a brace of Bilstein gas shocks on the rear … and at the pointy end are those springers!

The pullback bars are home to a quick action throttle, and Rewaco clocks and gauges. In fact everything a trike pilot needs to know is relayed back to them via the white-faced, chrome-bodied instruments. Seating arrangements are two bucket-type seats, including curved side supports, and the pillion is spoilt rotten by the addition of a neck pad and arm rests, all fitted to a stainless sissy bar and guardrail. More guardrails, in the form of side impact footboard rails, engine and exhaust guards complete the protection.

All the polishing of stainless and alloy, and the chroming was all done in-house, and that's a lot of brightwork. The fibreglass bodywork, including the mudguards, is gel coated in 'Brilliant Black Metallic' and the framework is plastic coated in Silver Metallic.

All the electrical doodahs are housed in the fatbob style dummy tank, which also doubles as a home for the gearshift lever. Lighting is achieved by means of six round type car lights on the rear fenders, and a full compliment of Indian replicas up front.

Trike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.ukTrike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.uk

I suppose you were thinking how does this thing get from A to B? It must be too heavy to push, surely? Well I've saved my favourite part of the trike's inventory until last. Look, I'm the storyteller: I'll please myself!

The all singing, all dancing motor is a Rev Tech, eighty-eight cubic inch (1438cc) V-twin lump of metal refinement. And it looks so cool, don't you think? Brazenly stuck out there at the back, for all the adoring public to swoon at. Plumbed-in on stainless braided hoses for its lifeline of oil, the motor is then coupled up to a stainless exhaust system, which also incorporates a 3-way cat … these bloody bureaucrats will pollute the air with rotting egg smells, won't they? Their emission laws stink.

Such are the perfect calculations made by Rewaco, that the riding position for their riders is near nigh perfect. This trike eats up the miles with so much ease that Phil gets to where he's going and then ponders how he got there - well it it's either that or decent drugs.

So the up-shot is that Phil and his old 'Scorpion MCC' chums are still out there, doing what they did nigh on forty years back, although they're doing it somewhat slower and less boisterously nowadays.

… and if you believe that, you'll believe anything.

Trike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.ukTrike on Time - Words & Pics: Pete Hicks - www.american-v.co.uk

Specifications

Owner:
 Phil Shellam 
Make & Year:
 2001 Rewaco HS6
Engine:
 RevTech 88-inch, 1438cc V-Twin, stainless steel braided hosing, RevTech 5-speed gearbox with reverse, servo assisted clutch
Exhaust:
 Stainless with 3-way catalytic converter
Frame:
 Rewaco steel box-section and tube.
Forks:
 Stainless Trapezoidal Springers
Rear Suspension:
 Bilstein gas shocks on Rewaco rear axle
Front Wheel:
 150/60x19 alloy 
Front Brake:
 Single sided Grimca calliper
Rear Wheels:
 2 x 325/50x15 by Mangel
Rear Brake:
 Servo assisted in-board discs
Seat:
 2 single seats with side support
Petrol Tank:
 stainless 5-gallon
Mudguards:
 ribbed fibreglass front, rear combined with bodywork
Paint:
 Gel-coated Brilliant Black
Polishing:
 Rewaco
Handlebars:
 Pullbacks
Electrics:
 Rewaco
Thanks to: Phil at MBT, and to Helen.




sources : www.american-v.co.uk
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19 octobre 2009 1 19 /10 /octobre /2009 14:58
Words & Pics: Andy Hornsby

At the time of the launch of the V-Rod, there was a sole picture included with the press pack that showed a drag-race version of the ’Rod about to launch down the strip. Complete with its oh-so-short pipes, slicks and a presence that came through in the pictures, we were really looking forward to more information ... but none came. Bummer.

Willie and the V-Rods Willie and the V-Rods
 

SUCH A SHAME: such a good looking bike, and so great was its impact that the figure of Willie G standing next to it in another picture, that was seen but not supplied, passed me by. It didn't occur to me that he was there for any other reason than he was in charge of the project, and was taking credit where it was due.

Willie and the V-Rods Willie and the V-Rods

I largely forgot about the bike until the NEC show in Birmingham last year, where among the V-Rods was a plinth, and upon that plinth sat a V-Rod drag bike. It was a stunner. It was the same bike: it had to be, and it should have come as no surprise that it was Willie G's personal property and served to demonstrate what can be achieved with access to an R&D department the size of Harley-Davidson's. I could rabbit on about the instruments and start a debate as to why the rev-counter is jammed hard against the red-line; or the mirror finish "tank" with the Screamin' Eagle logo etched onto it; or the seat with no padding beneath the rider, but plenty to stop them sliding off the back; or the air-shifter that seems to be set to go up the box but relies on the hand of God to shift back down, or even draw attention to the stand that holds the thing upright, which is a work of art in itself. But I won't.

Willie and the V-Rods Willie and the V-Rods

I will just sadly report than when asked, towards the end of the show, where the beast could be seen spinning its wheels, or even just howling through those minimal pipes, I was told that everybody at Harley-Davidson enjoyed working there, and they weren't about to compromise their position by ignoring the explicit instructions that Willie G's bike would not be started. It was destined to be nailed back into its crate the following day and freighted back to the US.

Willie and the V-Rods Willie and the V-Rods

Sniff.

Still, we hadchance to look at it properly, and made the most of the last opportunity to shoot it before the crowds hid it from view once again.

Willie and the V-Rods Willie and the V-Rods

Specifications

Owner:
 Willie G Davidson
Make & Year:
 2000 VRSCA V-Rod
Engine:
 Harley-Davidson VR Revolution engine
Exhaust:
 Presume Screamin' Eagle
Frame:
 Presume stock 
Forks:
 Look like stock 
Rear Suspension:
 Presume Screamin' Eagle
Front Wheel:
 Steel rim laced to a single disk hub - presume Sportster.
Slick tyre
Front Brake:
 Single H-D 4-pot calliper
Rear Wheel:
 Stock wheel, square-section drag racing click tyre
Rear Brake:
 Stock
Seat:
 Seat? polished base with a paded squab to stop the rider sliding off the back. 
Petrol Tank:
 Stock
Mudguards:
 Polished stock rear, missing front.
Paint:
 Polished aluminium 
Polishing:
 Owner's development crew - at a guess
Handlebars:
 Clip-ons
Controls:
 Stock
Electrics:
 largely stock, at a guess.
Lights:
 Missing
Machining:  Owner's development crew - at a guess
Other:
 At least an instrument pod and air-shifter, preseumably much, much more buried deep inside.


sources :
photo : http://www.american-v.co.uk
texte : http://www.american-v.co.uk
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4 octobre 2009 7 04 /10 /octobre /2009 14:15
Words & Pics: Rich King

Fashion comes and goes, and technical advances add more and more refinement to each successive generation of motorcycles intended for the road, so much so that it is not a difficult task to place a road going machine in its own time.

Red Indian 101 RacerRed Indian 101 Racer
 

RACING MACHINES, HOWEVER, ARE DIFFERENT: a purity of design that works, the necessity to stick to the absolute basics means that even oldest racing bikes are still able to pluck the 'phwoarr!' chord in a modern biker's heart. Yeah, the long history is there and you feel the same nostalgia as you do with any other classic, but that additional emotion bubbles to the surface as you survey it's lines. Age is forgotten. 'That!' your whole being tells you, 'That is a proper bike!'

I spotted this Indian at the Indian Riders rally in late September 2002 and approached its affable owner, Fred Weare, to ask if I could photograph it. I had no idea what it was, I just knew I liked it a lot. It was red and, like an old prizefighter, looked more than capable of inflicting severe humiliation regardless of its age.

Red Indian 101 RacerRed Indian 101 Racer

But what was it? The complications started soon after I'd finished the photos. Fred and I had sat around a table in the marquee to complete the all important spec sheet: I was there to learn, and I knew I was at the very bottom of a sharp learning curve. Fred impressed me in that even though he'd been around Indians all his life, following his fathers love of the marque - and his father is still very much alive and still very much an Indian man - he didn't pretend to know everything, and so soon after we started, he enlisted the help of a fellow club member, Mike de Bidaph.

As soon as I saw Mike I knew he was somebody I ought to have known: if I was worth my salt, I should have known. It was embarrassing to have to ask his name, but I did anyway. He has the natural air of a born leader, obvious aura of 'been there done that' and guru rolled into one, and it was Mike who originally found the bike. But for all that, what follows is everybody's best guess. Nobody claims it to be wholly accurate - corrections, suggestions or, better still the full story, in an e-mail please.

Why? Because this Indian is, first and foremost, a working competition machine and therefore it has been heavily modified for racing. Different parts have been used to build up the machine, and many of those parts have also been altered, and it will have been built up by young and talented guys, eager to get it to go as fast as possible, over 70 years ago.

Mike located the Indian in Florida, USA, towards the end of the Eighties. It was part of a private collection in a private garage along with other machines, and for sale as part of the estate of man in his 80s who'd sadly passed away.

Red Indian 101 RacerRed Indian 101 Racer

Instead of the usual Indian airfilter cover, many racers replaced the filter cover with handmade items, often bearing their name, nickname, team name or bike's name: in this case, the airfilter cover bears the name 'George Beerup'. Does this ring a bell with anyone out there, we, but particularly Fred, would love to know more. Mike is not sure whether the dead man in Florida man actually was George Beerup. The only one we know of is a George Beerup (George Birop) who ran a bike shop in California in the forties, which was the launch pad of pinstripe wizard, Von Dutch, but the name could even be a pun - legend has it that the riders used to get well and truly plastered BEFORE the race - especially the savagely dangerous (wood) board racing which finally was outlawed in the USA in the late 1920s.

However, we don't think … okay, Mike doesn't think, that what we have here is a board racer: he thinks it is more likely to have been raced in the late 1930s, and its stance and modifications suggest it campaigned on Short Circuit.

Learned colleagues, let us examine the evidence:

At first Fred and Mike believed the engine they had jointly worked on was based on a 1926 600cc Scout, but which had later been modified for the track with 750 Sport Scout heads and barrels. After all, the oil system is total loss over the crank and rods but what angle were the footboards? 'Eh?' I thought, and grabbing my pen and paper scuttled after Fred and Mike who'd just wandered off to check.

Ah, the footboards are flat, that changes everything.

Mike was able to state with some degree of certainty that this Indian was originally a 750cc, and almost definitely a 1929-ish Indian 750 101 model. The heads and barrels are Sport Scout, added later, mid '30s as a performance mod, so there is a chance that the cam could also be Sport Scout too. Another performance modification would be the big bore Linkert carb, a carb which came as standard on the later big twin Chiefs.

Nobody was surprised to hear that the ignition runs from a magneto ('Doesn't 'alf 'urt!' was Fred's comment) nor that the exhausts were straight through. No help there to help date the machine. But I held out hope for the gearbox. Oh the naivety of the thick, I can hear the titters of Indian owners world-wide …

Why?

Because, foolish child, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it!'

The Indian Motor Co. built an agricultural, chunky 3 speed helical gear driven box back in 1915 which basically worked so well they never needed to think about changing it - whatever the application, whatever the year. Well, I was there to learn.

The foot board angle meant that the frame is almost certainly a 1929 101, it's obviously a hardtail, and always was. However, the rear end has also been modified for Short Circuit racing, being shortened to bring the rear wheel in. A shorter wheelbase means quicker turning and with that in mind the racers reversed the linkage of the front forks too, bringing the front wheel in as well. Interestingly the handlebars have been shortened, there must have been some good reason for this but I have no idea what. Wind resistance? Narrower machine? Short armed bloke?

Red Indian 101 RacerRed Indian 101 Racer

While going and steering was obviously a priority with these guys, stopping, just as obviously, wasn't: the Indian has just one brake at the rear wheel, a band brake which by all accounts is 'totally useless!' and indeed, looks it.

Not at all contemporary with the rest of the Indian is the seat: a modern looking sand/speedway single seat which just happens to look spot on. Fred however is on the lookout for an original solid pan seat, so if anyone has one …

So there we have it, Fred's 750 Indian 101 Short Circuit racer: 'George Beerup'. Any additional information gratefully received of course, but at the end of the day it simply stands on its own as one hell of a stonky bike.

sources : http://www.american-v.co.uk
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Published by erwan edrad - dans reports
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