Friday, August 30, 2013

1952 NSU Consul 500

I just bought one of these and it looks to be a very well built motorcycle.  NSU was the predominate motorcycle builder in the world in the 1950's until Honda came in and literally stole their design and built the early Honda Dreams.  The big 500cc single was built as a sidecar hauler and had a good reputation for strength and reliability.

The bike I bought does not look this good but is a very complete bike.  I will post pictures later this weekend if I get time.  The NSU is for sale as I am still trying to get the resources together to finish up the BMW R69S deal.  I will be asking around $5000.00 for it, restored bikes are selling in the $12-15K range.

Triumph-Powered Castrol Rocket Attempts Bonneville Land-Speed Record

The super-sleek 2013 Castol Rocket is headed home from the Bonneville Salt Flats after making test runs for the world's top land-speed record.

Powered by twin turbo-charged Triumph Rocket 3 engines, specially built by designer Carpenter Racing, burning methanol and operated by veteran motorcycle racer Jason DiSalvo, the Castrol Rocket went through several days of practice runs but was deterred from setting any records by wet and windy weather....

Maybe next time ?  Nice to see Triumph back in the game.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Change Your Coffee/ Change Your Life !! New Business

If you follow this blog you may have noticed that I am an incurable entrepreneur.  I have had a Tattoo business, I am a General Building Contractor (inactive), I have had a Home Inspection business and I have had my motorcycle business Classic Moto-Cycles since 2003.  I have always believed that there are too many opportunities available to us just by living in the USA to sit around and do nothing or to be an employee making whatever the company allows me to make.  I have made a living doing all of the businesses except the tattoo business which I decided not to follow through with.

I have always been a little skeptical of multi-level marketing businesses as they always seem to be long on hype and short on delivery.  I have seen most of the big operations that have been around for a long time as my parents worked at most of them and they drug me into them at some level or another.  I have no good memories of any of them.

I recently went to an opportunity presentation for  Javita Coffee and I was blown away by the product and the business opportunity.  My wife and I went to the presentation with no interest in signing up OR drinking the coffee.  I didn't even sample the coffee when I came into the room even though I am a die hard Starbucks coffee drinker.  About half way through the presentation I got interested and went over and helped myself to a cup of the burn+control weight loss coffee and was impressed by the taste.  By the end of the day we signed up and put our $500 down to start a business.  The money that can be made is amazing (remember Classic Motorcycles cost money to have and play with ) and the weight loss potential is just what I needed as I have gained some weight over the years.

I started drinking this coffee a week ago and I have lost about 7 pounds.  Along with the coffee I have been much more active and I have watched what I eat.  It has been pretty easy as the ingredients in the coffee curb my appetite and I have a more sustained energy level.

I had planned on stop blogging but I have found a second wind and would like to share this opportunity with anyone who is interested.  There is no high pressure, you either want to take advantage of the opportunity or not.

We are hosting an open house here at our home in Moreno Valley, CA this Saturday from 9-12 am and you are all invited.  Just give me a call at 951-992-9839 and I will give you our address.  If this time doesn't work for you, just let me know and I will get with you at your convenience.

You can check us out at:

or contact me at

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home Built Death Trap

I saw this little death trap of a bike on the local Craigslist.  The reason I call it that was that my cousins in North Dakota had one very similar to it when we were kids.  This was back in the 1960's and my cousin were farm boys.  In other words you took what was laying around and built it into something that was fast, fun and of course dangerous. 

I was visiting the farm with my family and since we were city kids it was always high adventure time.  We would rip and run with my cousins and get into more trouble than you can imagine.  There were 8 of them and 6 of us so there was a wide age span among us and the adventure depended on your age group.  my older brothers had a bit more liberty so they had access to cars and such like to entertain themselves.  I was in the younger age group as were my two cousins Paul and Gary and we had to make do with horses and anything else we could come up with.  Paul had built a motorized contraption very similar to the one in the picture.  If I remember right, it had a Briggs and Stratton engine bolted into a bicycle frame and everything was kind of put to together to work after a fashion.  It had no brakes and no kill switch.  They said, just get on it and give it some throttle and if you want to stop just reach down and pull the plug wire off the spark plug.  Oh yes, this was a high tech piece of machinery !

I got on it and was zipping around having great fun until I wanted to stop.  I was quite surprised by the shock I got when I grabbed that bare spark plug wire !  It was quite hilarious to my two cousins as was anything that involved pain or shedding of blood.  Kind of like when Gary peed on the electric fence wire or when I was talked into shooting my grandfathers 12 gauge shotgun and bloodied my nose.  They were great times and I would not trade those days for anything.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Steib Sidecars

Steib built some of the best sidecars ever made and are still much sought after today.

Steib Metallbau, later trading as Josef Steib Spezialfabrik für Seitenwagen, were a company from Nuremberg in Germany who manufactured sidecars. The firm was founded in 1914 by Josef Steib Senior and began making sidecars in 1928 following a commission from the motorcycle manufacturer Ardie. The company closed in 1957.
The company reached its peak in the 1950s when it claimed to manufacture 92% of all sidecars sold in Germany and the sidecars were the standard model offered with BMW motorcycles.

The product range included a variety of designs with the LS 200 for motorcycles up to 200 cc (12 cu in), the LS. 350 for motorcycles of 250 cc (15 cu in) to 350 cc (21 cu in) and the S 500 L and TR-500 for motorcycles above 500 cc (31 cu in)amongst the most common.

There are some quality replicas being made to day but as with anything else, the original is still more valued.

I have been on the hunt for an affordable Steib for a while now, it would be really cool to haul my granddaughter Gracie around in.  I am in the process of obtaining the BMW R69S which will not make a good candidate for a sidecar so this is probably a long term idea as I would need a whole other motorcycle such as an R60/2.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I always wanted one of these, bikes should fly !

Roadrunner Invasion

When I was writing the last blog it made me remember some things that happened while we lived in the orchard in Corrales, New Mexico.  One of the strangest was the roadrunner invasion !

The roadrunner is a very interesting bird that I knew nothing about when we moved to New Mexico.  I learned some things by watching them and other things by talking to people.  By the way, when in New Mexico, be careful what you believe.

I have observed roadrunners stalk and kill other birds.  They can and will fly short distances and I have read that they will kill a rattlesnake and eat it.  These are not timid birds.

I said all that so you can relate to what I am about to tell.  We often saw them while we lived in Corrales, they are not rare.  One morning I went out to the shop to start my day building motorcycles.  I think I was building Nick's Triumph and the Red Rockette bike at that time.  The garage door was open as I had been out there earlier and I noticed a roadrunner had come into the garage and was roosting on a bike.  Pretty odd !  What was really odd was that there were three of them in the shop and they didn't want to leave.  I finally ran them out as I didn't want scratched paint on any of the bikes.  It was actually pretty cool thinking back on it.  Much cooler that the snakes that came into the shop !

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Old BMW R60/2

My old BMW R60 and the house we had in Corrales, New Mexico.  I found this bike in Gallup,NM and bought it for a good price.  It was a bit rough but I was amazed at the design of this machine.  It was laid out in a straight forward manner and was easy to work on.  I once heard that BMW's do need repair and maintenance but they stay fixed after you work on them.  They also don't leak which is completely amazing to someone accustomed to British bikes.  The British could never figure out how to keep anything as viscous as motor oil inside the cases.

I met a gentleman in Albuquerque who was selling a few bikes.  In the back of his garage was an original paint BMW R69S.  It was beautiful and I said I would have one some day.

As a side note the property in Corrales was really one of my favorite houses.  It had exposed beam ceilings that pooped and creaked constantly.  The only time it was completely silent was the time it snowed a foot, I guess it insulated the roof against temperature change. We fixed it up to be very nice and comfortable. 

The property was part of the agricultural area and we watered everything in our apple orchard off of the Rio Grande river.  For a fee of about $60.00 per year you could access the irrigation system through a series of gates and flood the property.  I would start watering in the morning and by mid-morning I would have about a foot of water covering the entire property except where the house sat which was elevated.  Pretty cool deal !  I would come outside and have Wood Ducks and Mallards swimming in the yard.  We also had Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese come right in the yard.  I miss the Cranes with their wonderful songs when they began to migrate.  Anyway it truly was The Land of Enchantment and I am glad we had the opportunity to live there for about 6 years.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The "New" Indian Chief

New Indian Chief

As I stated earlier, I was eagerly waiting for the unveil on the new Indian Chief.  I thought they might get it right this time.  What a disappointment.

Why can't these people capture the purity of the original design.  Mike "Kiwi" Tomas of Kiwi Indian built an Indian Chief around the X Wedge engine and it was a bike that you could relate to, not some over done conglomeration of Indian bits.  Huge valanced fenders and an Indian head light on the front fender just don't do it for me.

I wish them luck !

Kiwi Indian

Saturday, August 3, 2013

BMW Kompressor

1939 BMW RS 255

Supercharged racing motorcycles were all the rage in the 1930s. BMW's Kompressor flat twin claimed speed records, gold medals and TT accolades just before the outbreak of war...

BMW started experimenting with supercharging their flat twins in the late 1920s and a decade later had refined their Kompressor works racer into a world-beater. The DOHC twin used a huge Zoller blower built onto the front of the crankcases, with the cams driven by a single timing shaft. The remarkably reliable and versatile set-up boosted output of the 493cc engine to give 80bhp at 8000rpm, which translated to a top speed of 140mph on short circuits.

When fettled for outright straight-line speed, the 66mm by 72mm supercharged motor was capable of generating 105bhp at 8000rpm for land speed record attempts. Suitably swathed in an aluminium body shell, it claimed the motorcycle speed record on an autobahn near Frankfurt at 159mph in 1935; then 168mph in 1936, and finally 173.681mph in 1937 -a record which stood unbroken until 1951.

Meanwhile, the supercharged BMW started to enjoy success on short circuits and in road races. Kitted out with an unusually advanced tele fork front end in 1935 (followed by plunger rear suspension in 1936 on some machines); a foot-shift four-speed gearbox and weighing a smidgen over 300lb, the Kompressor 500 won the 1937 Ulster Grand Prix - thanks in part to a superb ride by pilot Jock West. It also proved competitive in the ISDT competitions of the mid-30s, which is when Schorsch (who soon became known as 'George') Meier first put it to good use in helping to secure a team Gold medal.




However, the roaring Beemers took a couple of seasons to find their feet on the Isle of Man. Jock West was again loaned a works Kompressor - the first official BMW machine to enter the TT - and came sixth in the Senior in 1937. In the 1938 TT, the best that the works team of three riders could manage was fifth place in the Senior when George Meier was forced to retire thank to a faulty spark plug and an accident sidelined Karl Gall. Interestingly, Jock West was riding a Kompressor with the earlier rigid frame while Meier and Gall were equipped with the new sprung model, which initially proved harder to manage on the demanding Island course.

Finally in 1939 the Kompressor BMW lived up to its full potential. Meier became the first foreign rider to secure the top step at the Isle of Man Senior TT while Jock West (who, incidentally, was the first English rider to join the BMW works team) secured second place. These successes were a particularly bittersweet accomplishment as the third member of the BMW team, Karl Gall, was fatally injured in practice. That accident served to underscore Meier's performance. He led from the start to the chequered flag, and set a new lap record on his initial circuit. With two pit stops, he completed the course in two hours and 57 minutes at an average speed of 89.108mph.


Said Meier; 'What I really wanted to do most at that point was literally kiss and hug my wonderful machine with its white-and-blue colours on the tank which, apart from all those flies on the wind deflector, still looked brand new, without the slightest trace of oil or any signs of the incredible race we had just been through.'

When Jock West crossed the line some two minutes later, he was more than half a minute ahead of privately-entered Norton rider Freddie Frith. The BMW one-two was a propaganda coup for the Nazi administration - which had also sponsored teams from NSU and DKW to attend the 1939 TT. To be fair to Norton, they did not enter a works team in the 1939 TT, concentrating instead on tooling up for war production. And indeed, just three months later, Britain and Germany were at war.


Hostilities took centre stage - then after the war, the mighty Kompressors raced again as some of the works machines were claimed as war reparations while Meier himself campaigned one in German post-war championships. When Germany was once again allowed to participate in international motorcycle racing, supercharged engines had been barred, and so the Kompressor never competed again on the world stage. John Surtees once said that the Kompressor BMW 'rightly deserves a place as being one of the all-time greats of motorcycle Grand Prix racing.'


Now four Bavarian racers will go under the hammer at Bonhams auction in Las Vegas in January 2013, with a 1939 RS (rennsport) 255 Kompressor leading the pack. The RS 255 is a documented supercharged 1939 engine mounted in an authentic 1951 frame, and it's accompanied by a 1954 BMW RS 254, a 1954 BMW RS 254 outfit and a 1956 BMW RS 256.

The last time Bonhams auctioned a similar machine was in 2010, when a very rare, factory prepared 1939 BMW RS R51 sold for US$130,200. Likewise, this quartet of German racers is expected to attract significant interest, particularly the Kompressor. The sale takes place on 10th January 2013 at Bally's Hotel and Casino on The Strip.

Text by


Text of the June 1962 Cycle World BMW R69S Road Test
“Birth of a Legend”

Ask any motorcyclist what he considers to be the two-wheeled equivalent of the Rolls-Royce and you will almost certainly be told "BMW". That answer will not be too far wrong, either, except that the products coming from the Bayerische Motoren Werke incorporate a good deal more in advanced engineering features than the famous English car. Actually, the BMW motorcycle is more like the Mercedes than a Rolls-Royce: conservative in many respects, but quite advanced nonetheless. In any case, the BMW has attributes that make it unique, and it has acquired a reputation that makes it a "prestige" motorcycle — even among people who ordinarily don't give two wheelers a second glance.
One of the reasons for the BMW's reputation is its appearance, which is overwhelmingly massive in flavor. Even to the "layman's" eye it looks as though nothing in this world would be enough to break it, or even spring it just a trifle. The frame is a two-loop cradle of heavy, round-section tubes that extend from the steering head back almost to the rear axle. It is not triangulated, or gusseted, but somehow, in looking at it, one gets the idea that it isn't ever going to bend. "Unyielding" is a word that describes it very well. All of the miscellaneous hardware is just like the frame. The fenders, tank, and the headlight fairing are drawn from heavy gauge steel and are fixed in position with a vengeance. Every part is enameled, with a black that looks like polished obsidian, and a white pin-stripe following the fender-bead and the tank contour provides just the right amount of trim. Where chromium plating is used, as on the exhaust system, wheels, air-feed pipes and the spring/shock units, it is deep and we would bet that it's there to stay. The suspension system is interesting: at the front, a true "Earles fork" is used, which has long leading arms locating the wheel. This system gives a useful amount of anti-dive action, which keeps the bike's nose from dipping when it is braking hard, and which also permits quite long wheel movements — a feature that accounts for part of the BMW's phenomenal riding qualities. Here again, in the front suspension, there is that massive quality and in this instance, it lends a much appreciated stiffness to the fork and, consequently, precision to the steering. We noticed too, that an alternate mounting is provided for the suspension links; the purpose is to allow the fork geometry to be re-set for sidecar work. A final very nice touch was the telescoping hydraulic steering damper. This device looks exactly like a small shock absorber — which it is — and it stops any fluttering of the forks before it can begin. It acts in the same way as the adjustable, friction-disc type steering dampers more commonly used, but it is superior to the friction type in every way. The rear suspension is reasonably conventional, but with a couple of "different" touches. For example; the trailing links that locate the wheel serve a double function. The right link is also a torque-tube that houses the BMW's drive shaft. The springing is handled by spring/shock units that fit up into a pair of high steel housings that extend upward from the rearmost frame loop. The mounting looks odd, but it does the job and that is all that matters. Adjustments for the load can be made by hauling around on levers that are on the bottoms of the spring/shock units. The rear suspension, like the front, gives an unusually long wheel travel and quite soft — and ultra-comfortable — springing. The BMW's brakes are unusually large for a touring motorcycle. Of course, these machines are often used in hauling sidecars with a passenger and a mountain of luggage, so the company has shown a lot of foresight in providing the big brakes. The actual drum diameter is just under 8 inches (with shoes 1.4 inches wide) and the drums are cast from aluminum alloy and have cast-in iron liners. The front brake is of the double leading shoe type, with the brake cable pulling on one actuating-cam lever and the cable housing forcing the other lever forward with reaction pressure. The arrangement assures that both levers will be applied with equal force, and has the additional virtue of adding to the mechanical advantage. As a direct result, the brake action is light and smooth; you couldn't want anything better. The rear brake is more conventional, having only one leading and one trailing shoe. However, it is not worked as hard as the front brake and probably doesn't need the two-leading shoe feature. Besides, it is more effective when the bike is rolling back, and that is more important with a heavily loaded sidecar. In the midst of all this mechanical excellence stands the engine, which has the characteristics that account for at least half of the BMW's overall appeal. It is an opposed twin, mounted with the crank centerline parallel with that of the motorcycle's and the cylinders poking right out into the airstream. There are numerous advantages to this layout. Improved cooling is one; with the cylinders horizontal, and standing clear of the front wheel the air can blast can travel right over the cooling fins without any interference. Also, the wide separation of the cylinders assure that there will be no hot-spots between them and finally, when the bike is stopped, the heat from the cylinder will cause the air between the cooling fins to rise, creating a natural draft — just like a chimney — and drawing up cool air from underneath to remove heat from the engine. There are, obviously, some disadvantages. The first one that comes to mind is that if the rider "comes a cropper" the fall may damage the cylinder heads, which are of aluminum alloy and are somewhat exposed. Actually, the heads are strong enough to take a dreadful whacking without breaking. You may scar them a bit, but serious damage is very unlikely. For the rider who is nervous about this, BMW offers a sturdy set of crash bars that solve the problem neatly. A more real objection to the opposed twin layout is that the cylinders occupy a part of one's foot space. A BMW rider's feet actually fit under the cylinders and if the weather is cool the situation is very cozy — warmer weather will involve warmer feet. Whatever its merits as a foot-warmer, the BMW engine has few faults as a powerplant. Externally, it is distinguished by great cleanness, with cast enclosures surrounding all of the machinery that is usually "left hanging out like the vitals of an Elizabethan traitor's" as one British journalist once put it. Close attention has also been given to the seals and gaskets, and there are no oil leaks — not even the usual seepage. Inside, there is a great lot of roller and ball bearings — plain bushings are almost nonexistent. The crankshaft is made in three pieces and has the crankpins pressed into place, which permits the use of one-piece connecting rods. The crankpins are spaced at 180 degrees, so that the pistons move in opposite directions and each piston cancels the out-of-balance forces from the other, which makes the overall balance of the BMW engine nearly perfect. The offset between cylinders introduces a slight twisting vibration, around a vertical centerline, but not enough magnitude to be particularly noticeable. The only area in which the BMW could be improved is in its valve gear. With a centrally-mounted camshaft, the pushrods are entirely too long and heavy, and the BMW cannot be expected to "rev" with most of its contemporaries. The valve gear is simply too ponderous to allow very high engine speeds and while the R69S has been refined to permit much higher engine speed than any others in the BMW line, it has its limits. On the other hand, the BMW is a touring machine and for that kind of service its smoothness is the most important characteristic. BMW's transmission system is as different as their engine. A single-plate clutch, mounted on a flywheel, as in an automobile, takes the drive to a truly massive gear train. Shifting is done with sliding dog-clutches — as in any other bike — but the sheer strength of the unit is extraordinary. The bike actually makes three steps to the side: A pair of spur gears takes the drive from a spring-and-cam on the back of the clutch shaft to the transmission's "cluster gear". Then, the drive jumps over through another gear-set to the transmission's mainshaft and from the mainshaft it passes through a U-joint to the drive shaft and finally to the spiral-bevel gears that drive the rear wheel. The drive shaft is rather thin, like a torsion bar, and it is designed to "wind-up" a bit under shock loadings and thus cushion the drive. The BMW drive layout dispenses with all of the jangling chains we usually see in motorcycle , and it must be commended on that score. However, we would be less than fair if we failed to mention that in eliminating those bothersome chains, BMW has created a drive that passes through no less than five gears at all times and is, in fact, less efficient than the conventional chain drive. The road behavior of the BMW is intended to be, and is, the very thing for the long-distance, touring rider. The ride is extremely soft, the engine is unbelievably smooth and the saddle is deeply-padded, "form" fitting and comfortable in a way that beggars description. For extended touring, this really is THE bike to have. Starting is easy: much of the spark and carburetion machinery has been arranged to insure that there will be no fussiness on those cold mornings. We do have one complaint though: the kick pedal swings outward from the left side of the bike and the bike cannot be conveniently started from an "onboard" position. This has, no doubt, been done to facilitate starting with a sidehack attached, but it creates some difficulties when the BMW hasn't some kind of a prop to holding it up. Our acceleration and speed tests with the BMW revealed that, even in R69S form — as our test machine was — it was no world-beater for speed. The performance data could be improved by a bike with more miles behind it, our test BMW's odometer showed only 3500 miles, and it takes more than that to get everything in their closely fitted engines to bed-in. We are told, by people who know the BMW well that they do not reach their peak until approximately the 10,000 mile mark. Therefore, one might logically expect that our 16.0 second "standing quarter" would be slightly improved and that the top speed might go up to, perhaps, 108 or 110 miles per hour. For those who are interested: removing the BMW's mufflers showed that: A, they are extensively baffled inside; and B, they are enormously heavy. Indeed, we are not sure if the improved acceleration can be attributed to reduced backpressure, or reduced weight. Whatever the BMW's merits in a contest of speed, it is still the smoothest, best finished, quietest and cleanest motorcycle it has ever been our pleasure to ride. To be honest, we think that anyone who would worry much over its performance-potential is a bit of a booby. The R69S is fast enough to handle any encounter, and it has attributes that are, in touring, infinitely more valuable than mere speed. All things considered, if we were planning a two-wheel style vacation/tour, the BMW would have to be our choice of mount.

Friday, August 2, 2013

1960 Triumph Vintage Drag Bike For Sale

This is the real deal, an original special built vintage dragster. It is a very cool vintage Triumph Drag Bike built in the 1960's.  It is unique in every way.  The frame is built of square tubing with a built in oil tank and a hand fabricated aluminum fuel tank.  I have NO history on this motorcycle at all.  I bought it as a rolling chassis and at the time it had an old original 18" Avon drag slick on it.  I replaced the tire with a new M&H Drag Slick.   The transmission should be gone through and has a broken clutch adjustment cable lug (I have the broken piece).
The engine was sourced through a builder in Bakersfield, CA and has original T120 cases and an original tachometer drive side cover .  It is missing the drive piece for the tachometer that bolts to the inner gear.It was built as follows and has not been run
: Original 1960 Bonneville Triumph cases
: Nine bolt top end with Bonneville 9 bolt head
: Racing valves and springs
: High compression 9.5:1 piston set up
: One piece crank w/new bearings and re-grind
: Polished con rods
: High lift race cams
: Balanced and lightened crank set up

It has a BTH magneto with a fixed timing gear, I know it is hot but don't know the history.  Needs to be timed.
The rear shifter was made from a Panhead mouse trap set up and looks like it would work fine.
I was told the front end was rebuilt with new tubes and it looks right.
Things I know need to be done:
Needs carburetors and manifolds
I made a plate that fits between the frame rails widen the frame so the rear wheel can be centered.  Needs to be welded.  The rear brake plate fit a slot in the frame but I would highly advise setting up the brake with a traditional real stay bar.  Just need a tab on the frame and a bolt on the brake plate. Need to finish the seat, I made a pan from diamond plate.
Needs correct bolt set for engine and to anchor motor and transmission to mounting plates.
Needs a complete primary set up.
Rear chain.  I have a rear sprocket but it should have a new one.
A few other odds and ends like the rear fender etc.
This is a very interesting project bike that needs to finished.  It is a piece of history !!
I do have a few more parts for it like a better set of rear sets, racing cams, lightened timing gears, etc.  Extra parts are negotiable, base price for the bike as shown is $5000.00
NO TITLE, this is a race bike.  Bill of Sale only


Today I made the first step toward the purchase of a 1961 BMW R69S, this is one of the coolest bikes ever built (again, in my opinion).  Over the next 60 days I will be selling off my Triumph drag bike and all my few remaining cool vintage bike parts, etc.  My bike does NOT look like the opening picture presently, it is a bit rough but that is the way I usually get them.  These bikes sell in the mid to low 20's when restored and no doubt I will have about $20K in it when done but spread out over a space of time. And I will know it is done right !

The bike I am buying is shown below, a little rough but not too bad.  It looks better in person I think ???