Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.”

Winston Churchill

Icons of the 1970's

1973 Moto-Guzzi V-7 Sport

The 1970's offered some of the coolest bikes ever built.  You had your choice of the V-7 Sport, the Ducati 750SS, the Norton Commando and Harley Davidson's XLCR .  This is not to mention the immortal Kawasaki 900, which at the time was a monster in a straight line contest.

Why don't motorcycles exude the same degree of coolness today ?  Was it perhaps a time when every manufacturer was striving to be the best and coolest and now they just crank out plastic machines. 

There is a Moto-Guzzi V-7 Sport on E Bay right now if there is any interest, not as cool as this one but pretty nice.

Friday, June 22, 2012

1950 Imme

Photo via;    Theworldofmotorcycles.com

The Imme motorcycle was only built for a few years, I first saw one in the Guggenheim Museum book, The Art of The Motorcycle.  While they were a pretty simple design and not very fast, the innovations that were built into them was pretty astounding.  The front fork and rear wheel suspension only had one side to them and the rear wheel pivot also acted as an exhaust pipe.  It also had a single mono-lever rear suspension, all way ahead of its time.  I have found over the years that the little European motorcycles were very cleverly designed and are like little jewels.

Here is some history on Imme's from Bernies Bike Shed site, I quote.......

"During World War 11 Norbert Riedel had designed a two stroke starter engine for the first **LUFTWAFFE jet fighters.

After the war he moved into motorcycle design,he’s first design was the Riedel R100.The American army desperately wanted his jet starter engines ,so gave him the production tools and equipement which could be used for motorcycle production.His R100 was design with some restraints in place. ie it had to be cheap,easy to build,and he only had about 75% of the raw materials he needed(all of Germanys steel works were bombed by the RAF)

The frame and fork tubing is all the same diameter. The egg- shape engine 99cc and 4.5BHP.The cylinder and the head were one piece.The transmission had no neutral gear.Only one front fork leg and the rear leg is also the exhaust pipe,3 speed handlebar gearchange(engine goes up and down with the rear wheel)Around Christmas 1947 Riedel started the first test drives.

In1948 Riedel found a production factory in IMMESTADT(Bavaria).IMME is a German word for BEE,and the logo and name for the motorcycles were found.Production started in 1949,but only 80 were made in the first year.In 1950 numbers had reached 1,000 a month ,although the motorcycles were selling the works had some financial and warranty problems and the IMME AG went out of business.The numbers of R100 built was around 12,000 today they are very rare bike with less than 20 in Germany and only 1 in the UK.Riedel had designed a new egg- shaped twin 150cc engine and had planned a comeback with an improved version of the IMME.But in 1951 the factory was shut down again."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

HRH Queen Elizebeth

Glenn Curtiss

Glenn Curtiss on his V-8 in 1907, he set a record of 136.36 mph the same year.  Pretty heady stuff for 1907 !

The bike had a 40 horsepower 4000cc V-8 engine.

It is rumored that the To Swift series of books that came out in the early 1900's are based on Glenn Curtiss, he was a pretty amazing man and was very influential in the early years of avionics.

Friday, June 15, 2012

1928 101 Indian Scout For Sale

I may be selling the 101 Scout that I bought to ride in the Cannonball, I am not doing the ride and the bike was and is an expensive venture.

I bought the bike as you see it here, it was fairly complete and all original.  I took it apart and took everything to John Bivens of Indian Engineering.  Here is what is being done to it....

Straightened and repaired the frame including correct footboard placement
Straighten and repair front end
Rebuild the original gas tank to better than new
Rebuild the powerplant with all correct finishes
Rebuild and plate carburetor
Rebuild magneto
Paint the frame and front end to a dark red and install engine in frame (color is still open to your preferance)

This is the work that John and I have agreed upon and the buyer must be willing to follow through on, John is a top notch builder and that means things don't get done over night.  I have $16,500.00 in the bike which still leaves a repair bill on the above for approximately $12,000.00 plus paint.  I will pay for the frame repairs, the footboards were wrong as this was a hill climb bike and one tube was replace at the bottom.   It may be a bit more or a bit less, but that is a ball park figure.  You can then have John complete the restoration or collect the bike and finish it yourself.  If you do not want the paint done that is your call but I am not flexible on the other work being done.  The agreed upon work MUST be completed by Bivens,  period.

As you may have seen a 1928 Indian Scout (not a 101 Scout) just sold on E Bay for $59,200.00.  The buyer did not pay and the bike is re-listed and is currently around $30K   These bikes make very sound investments.

Everything to build the wheels but the rims and tires
Front fender
Rear fender
Repro. battery box and toolbox
New handlebars from Marks Indian
Repro.  John Brown headlight
Seat pan and springs
Seat mounting bracket
Complete front and rear brake assemblies ( need new linings) including cross shaft
Foot controls and newly made brake and clutch rods
Gas caps and oil cap
Oil hand pump
Shift lever
Tail light bracket (no light yet, but maybe ?)
There are some other items but I would have to look things over, it is a pretty complete and original bike.  I like the 1931 look better so the bars and headlight are 1931, if you do not want them we can adjust things to work for you or take everything and trade around, it might be a better deal that way.

I would be happy to discuss the purchase with a serious, qualified buyer.  I have a clear Oregon title that was issued in 1958.  It is open but not in my name.
Call Tim @ 951-992-9839

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1950 MAC

I made some changes on the 1950 MAC.  I didn't like the big pillion even though I understand its use as an extended seat.  I also installed the headlight with the improvised brackets that came with the bike.  Overall it looks better to my eye, what do you think ?  This bike actually runs and is a kick to ride, it feels bigger because of the tank and Dowty forks compared to the girder bike.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Well I messed around with the bikes and they both run !  The girder fork bike started on the first compression kick and made a beautiful noise with that megaphone pipe.
The other bike took a bit more work, I just had to clean the ignition parts up and hold my mouth just right when I kicked it.  It smoked and puked oil all over the ground (now everyone will know which house is mine, look for the oil stains ) but smoothed out and ran good.  Neither bike had been run for over 25 years.

I sure do like the girder bike, it is fast and cool all at the same time !

Saturday, June 9, 2012

MAC Attack


I picked up a truck load of Velocette motorcycles and parts today.  There were two 1950's 350cc MAC singles, three engines and a bunch of parts.  The whole deal will end up on E Bay.  A pretty cool little find, it would be nice to keep one but not right now.  The bikes came with titles which was a bit unusual.