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Dave Currier, aged 68, on Winning Cannonball riding his 1911 Harley-Davidson

By General Posts

by Kevin Wallevand from https://www.inforum.com

Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson

  • Dave Currier turned 68 years of age on the road while racing in the Motorcycle Cannonball
  • Earlier, Dave Currier had been a runner-up in 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson
  • His father sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and 50s in Fargo and also raced them
  • Dave Currier credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on his 1911 H-D

“To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.” – Dave Currier

Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson

A Fargo man has just won a cross country motorcycle run called The Motorcycle Cannonball.

Dave Currier is finally getting some feeling back in his rear-end. He is back in Fargo after competing in the most difficult, antique endurance race in the world: The Motorcycle Cannonball.

“I think this has been the toughest ride of my life,” Currier said. “It is a real grind, I had about eight hours in the saddle every day.”

Riding his 1911 belt-driven Harley Davidson, Currier and 88 competitors crossed 11 states over 16-days straight. From Michigan to South Padre Island, Texas, they racked up just over 3,700 miles.

“The bike is tall. I have short legs, so my feet don’t touch the ground,” Currier said. “To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.”

But Currier, who had a team planning and tweaking this bike, not only competed; he won.

“I had a police escort, it was an absolute incredible deal,” Currier said. “They closed the roads off.”

He crossed the finish line with this checkered flag, bringing home the trophy.

“Before the finish, they handed me the checkered flag, and I rode in with the checkered flag,” Currier said. “It was incredible. (It’s) still hard to talk about it.”

Currier credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on the 1911 Harley.

He said his local sponsors; Milwaukee Tool, Acme Tools, Dakota Fence, and TechLine Coatings all played a role in the win.

Currier, who turned 68 during the race, thinks he had a little help from angels above. His dad, Dick Currier, sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and 50s in Fargo. He raced them as well, and Currier believes his dad would be pretty proud.

“He was a big part of my life,” Currier said. “That’s why I called it, ‘The Last Ride.'”

For more info on the Motorcycle Cannonball visit their website by clicking here.

Earlier Dave Currier had been a runner-up in 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson

From September 2018.

“I’ve already been doing a lot of thinking,” Currier said, chuckling. “I have done the twin cylinder. The next challenge for me would be to take a single cylinder and make it across the U.S. But this was a trip of a lifetime. Going over the mountain in Kalispell, Montana, that’s when I turned 65.”

‘Trip of a lifetime’: Fargo resident named runner-up in world’s hardest antique motorcycle run

Currier says his bike, a 1915 Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder boasting an 11-horsepower engine, took him two years to restore.

by Emma Vatnsdal from https://bismarcktribune.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — Enjoying a sunny 48-degree morning in The Dalles, Ore., Dave Currier and his entourage were getting ready late last week to point themselves east and head back home to Fargo.

While many go west to escape the cold of winter or spend time with family and friends, Currier had a different motivation — and to end up in Portland, he had to start in Portland, Maine.

In 2010, one man set out to become the first person to take a group of 45 like-minded antique motorcycle riders across the U.S. from Kitty Hawk, N.C., to Santa Monica, Calif. Sixteen days later, 10 of the original 45 riders rolled their roughly century-old bikes onto the Santa Monica Pier, completing the inaugural Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run.

Now in its fifth running, the 2018 installment of the run saw more than 100 people ride from Maine to Oregon, giving participants a chance to see much of the U.S. in a whole new way.

Three classes of motorcycles — single cylinder, twin cylinders with two-speed rear ends and bikes with three-speed transmissions — set out, racing to navigate the roads to each day’s checkpoint before 5 p.m. Taking only the “back roads” across the whole country, Currier and the rest of the crew averaged around six hours of riding per day beginning at 7:30 a.m.

In true-to-history fashion, modern navigation systems like a GPS device were not allowed. Instead, riders were given maps each morning 30 minutes before they set out with directions consisting instructions like “drive north 3.2 miles, turn left at the blue house and head west.”

Currier said it was a voyage to remember.

“It was incredible,” Currier said. “It was a fantastic trip kind of re-enacting what the old-time people did when they had the opportunity to go across the U.S. What was really kind of special was I had my birthday (during the trip). Going over the mountain in Kalispell, Montana, that’s when I turned 65. It was kind of a monumental trip in many ways for me.”

Lifelong passion
There are few requirements about which motorcycles qualify for this cross-country road trip, but there are standards that must be met. For the 2018 run, all motorcycles had to be manufactured in 1928 or earlier, and must still appear original in nature.

While period-correct modifications were accepted, no modern replica bikes could be entered.

Electrical charging systems, auxiliary fuel tanks and modern wheels were OK, though GPS systems were specifically banned.

Currier says his bike, a 1915 Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder boasting an 11-horsepower engine, took him two years to restore.

“I started with the basic frame and completely refurbished it from the ground up,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed the motorcycles since I was 7 years old when I first rode one. Restoring this was pretty special.”

Safety is the No. 1 concern during this race, especially because the bikes are sometimes older than riders’ grandparents. Upon arriving in Portland, Maine, riders completed a half-day of safety classes consisting of rules of the road and safety features.

Each Cannonball rider is also allowed a support team to help them along the way. Currier chose his wife, Kay, two friends from Alaska and a co-worker to assist him with any repairs after each day was done.

“When you get done with the day and you check out, you can do any service work you want on your bike,” he said. “You can change motors, you can overhaul it, whatever you can between 5 at night and 7 in the morning. The support team can’t have anything to do with you during the day.”

Even with the small issues he faced — losing bolts, tough winds and unsoldered ground wires — Currier says he wouldn’t have placed runner-up in his class without the support of his wife and family.

“They’ve always been incredibly good,” he said. “I couldn’t have done this without them.”

The Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run happens every two years, and Currier said he’s started planning for 2020.

“I’ve already been doing a lot of thinking. Six to seven hours a day, you got plenty of time to think about a lot of stuff,” Currier said, chuckling. “I have done the twin cylinder. The next challenge for me would be to take a single cylinder and make it across the U.S. But this was a trip of a lifetime.”

What is Hub-center Steering Motorcycle & Why it is Better

By General Posts

by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

Hub-center steering is one of several different types of front-end suspension and steering mechanisms used in motorcycles and cargo bicycles. It is essentially a mechanism that uses steering pivot points inside the wheel hub rather than a geometry that places the wheel in a headstock like the traditional motorcycle layout.

Perhaps the most venerable example of the idea came in the form of the 1930 Majestic. This Georges Roy design used a novel pressed-steel monocoque chassis, and it incorporated an automotive-type chassis with hub-center steering. Other bikes had already used the configuration in such machines as the Ner-A-Car and the Zenith Auto-Bi, but the Majestic made it lovely to behold.

Another bike, the Vyrus 984 C3 2V Razzetto, was one such motorcycle that used hub-center geometry.

Vyrus is a small Italian motorcycle manufacturer based in Coriano, Italy, and their bikes such as the “Tesi” – Thesis in Italian – had their designs originate from a university engineering project linked to the motorcycle legend Massimo Tamburini. The Tesi, and the Vyrus 984, were instantly identifiable by their use of their hub-center steering front suspension and steering arrangement.

Those fabulously expensive bespoke motorcycles have been called “functional works of art,” and they look a bit like something you might see in a video game.

In hub-centered bikes, the front wheel is attached to a swingarm with a shock and an internal pivot point. Steering is achieved using those linkages to turn the wheel on a pivot point. Hub-center steering has been employed on motorcycles for more than a century, but the design, despite what some engineers say offers a distinct advantage, never took hold.

But the founder of Vyrus, Ascanio Rodorigo, once worked for Bimota as a race mechanic and engineer during the 1970s and his tenure there lasted until 1985. When Rodorigo finally left Bimota, he started his own company but partnered with Bimota on the hub-center-steered Tesi. He then went on to take the steering concept deeper and refined it for his own company’s motorcycles.

A Ducati dual spark bored out to 1,079cc and making 100hp L-twin provides the power for the 319 lbs (145 kg) Vyrus 984 bike, and it’s delivered to the road for via a six-speed transmission.

Now builders like Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto, Revival Cycles, and others have built beautiful machines which harken back to the hub-centered glory days of the Majestic. Builders such as Stellan Egeland used a hopped-up 1200 boxer engine from a BMW HP2 Sport. He also added his own hub-center steering setup from ISR to a frame he made from a 2391 steel tube. The ISR kit is a thing to behold.

Revival’s ‘The Six,’ which features a ballsy Honda CBX motor, is another take on the hub-steer geometry. It was commissioned by museum owner and bike collector Bobby Haas for his Haas Moto Museum in Dallas and made by Revival’s Alan Stulberg and his crew.

Stulberg said the commission was aimed at paying homage to the Art Deco classic Majestic and added that he and the team became “obsessed with its design language and flow” since they first saw the bike at the Barber Museum.

Hub steering systems don’t dive as much under braking and hard cornering as do conventional telescopic fork setups. They push braking forces back into the chassis more efficiently rather than transferring immense bending forces to a pair of upright forks. The ride experience is exceptional as braking performance throughout corners is greatly enhanced.

It works like this: A wheel hub pitches back and forth on a central pivot and is supported by two large steering arms actuated by handlebars. The handlebars connect to the front steering and swingarm using complex linkages. A fixed arm connects a pull-and-push rod on either side of the hub-center to help steer the bike. The geometry also includes a second pair of static rods to ensure the axle stays level with the bike’s mass.

While hub steering has a number of clear advantages, its downfall is that it is considerably more expensive to manufacture and maintain and requires exceptionally experienced mechanics to tune and repair.

But it does look good, works more efficiently from an engineering standpoint, and directly addresses the most important factor in the motorcycling experience: braking.

The Majestic – Artistic Design from the 1920s
from https://www.odd-bike.com

While the engineering of the Majestic might have been relatively conventional, what was unprecedented was the styling, the hallmark of the Majestic to this day.

All the oily bits were fully enclosed under louvered panels, with partially enclosed fenders covering the wheels at both ends. The rider was completely isolated from the grime and muck of the running gear and powertrain, perched upon a sprung saddle and controlling the machine via levers and bars that poke through the all-encompassing body.

Presented in 1929, the prototype Majestic (which was reported as Roy’s personal machine) featured an air-cooled 1000cc longitudinal four-cylinder engine from a 1927-28 Cleveland 4-61. This would not remain for production, however.

While at least two Majestics were built with a 750cc JAP V-twin (arranged, like a much later Moto-Guzzi , with the Vee transverse and the heads poking through the bodywork) and records note that JAP singles, a Chaise Four, and at least one Gnome et Rhone flat twin were also employed, the majority of production machines coming out of Chartenay featured air-cooled Chaise engines.

These were overhead valve singles featuring unit two or three-speed gearboxes operated by hand-shift, available in 350cc and 500cc displacements. Distinctive for their single pushrod tube that resembles a bevel tower (but contains a pair of tightly-spaced parallel pushrods) and external bacon-slicer flywheel, these powerplants were a favourite of French manufacturers during the interwar period and were used by a variety of marques in lieu of producing their own engines.

The base price of the Majestic was 5200 Francs for a 350 with chain final drive; an extra 500 Francs netted you optional shaft drive.

An additional option that is rarely seen on surviving examples was a fine “craquelure” paint option that was applied by skilled artisans. It involves a process of deliberately screwing up the paint job in the most controlled and flawless way possible, applying a contrasting top coat over a base using incompatible paints that will cause the top coat to crack in a uniform fashion, something like a well-aged oil painting or antique piece of furniture.

The result is spectacular – and perhaps a bit tacky, giving the machine the appearance of a lizard skin handbag. (Maybe a later Rock Star would have loved to ride it as the “The Lizard King” ? )

The Majestic was impeccably stable at higher speeds compared to the other motorcycles of that era.

It was also agile and light footed in a way that similar machines, like the Ner-A-Car, were not.

The relatively low weight, around 350 pounds, carried with a very low centre of gravity made for tidy handling that was more than up to the meagre output offered by the powerplants.

Majestic was targeting a clientele that didn’t really exist: the gentlemanly rider who might desire a superior (read: expensive) machine as a stablemate to their elegant automobiles.

Georges Roy’s previous design produced under the name “New Motorcycle”

Georges Roy’s earlier 1927 brand called New Motorcycle was a far better barometer of things to come, predicting the style and design of machines that would emerge during the 1930s and beyond. The Majestic has far less impact and was more of a curiosity than predictor of trends to come.

Georges Roy’s brilliance as a designer is unquestionable, and deserves more praise than he ever earned during his lifetime.

Majestic is a little bit of elegance floating on the sea of staid machines that clutter up the history books.

Georges Roy was a French industrialist and engineer born in 1888 who achieved success in the textile business – specifically in knitting and sewing equipment. He was, however, an early adopter of motorcycling at the turn of the 20th Century – reportedly his first machine was a Werner, a Parisian machine that introduced the term “Motocyclette” in 1897.

The Flying Wrens: Sisterhood of Motorcycling Heroes

By General Posts

All-Female British dispatch riders of WW-II

Originally, the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was formed in 1917, during WW-I.

Riding on narrow British roads in all weather conditions can be a dangerous enough occupation. Doing so around the clock during WW-II with the German Blitz going on around you required steel nerves.

The bikes used were mostly small, single-cylinder affairs, built specifically for military use.

Click Here to Read this Feature Article & Historic Photos on Bikernet.com

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Five Tips for a Time-Sensitive DIY Job

By General Posts

Learn to tackle your next time-sensitive project with confidence
by Kyle Smith from Hagerty.com

The garage is a strange place.

Some projects you tackle with all the time in the world, and others are on a deadline tighter than ten-year-old denim. Anyone that has rushed to wrap up a project understands the stress and frustration that accompanies a time crunch.

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Pandemic Panhead Project: Part 3 Tuning

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It was a lesson in Frustration on Several Fronts

I’ve built a number of bikes and maybe I was just lucky. With the Pandemic not so lucky. Trouble getting it started in Sturgis, so we brought it home and sent the Morris Magneto back to Deadwood Custom Cycles for a check-over.

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Pandemic Project Panhead: Part 1

By General Posts

The Basket Case from Hell

By Bandit with photos by Wrench

It all started on a dark, foggy harbor day in 2018 when the Pandemic basket case arrived at the Bikernet Intergalactic World Headquarters in Wilmington, Califa. It didn’t have the rights to the Pandemic title just yet, but it was coming…

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Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Tuner and Automatic Tuning Model

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Tuning Done The Right Way

by Dale

Your average biker that has a Harley usually adds some customization to the bike not leaving it stock very long. And if they are a gear head, usually the first thing they do is take off the stock exhaust and upgrade to something that is louder and throatier. With fuel injection you can make some minor changes to the exhaust or air cleaner but not both at the same time without the need for re-tuning the motorcycle. There are plenty of aftermarket solutions for this but if you’re like me riding a new motorcycle you will void your warranty if you do.

How to Handle the Four Most Common Road Emergencies

By General Posts

You are out on the Highway, enjoying your getaway when suddenly your motorcycle stalls. What to do? Fortunately, the four most common road emergencies can usually be prevented by regular inspection and maintenance, but here’s what to do when that doesn’t work. FROM www.ridermagazine.com

1. Out of Gas
Run out of gas on the road and you’ll need a donor bike and a transfer device. To siphon, the fuel level in the donor bike must be higher than the level it will reach in the recipient bike; place the donor bike on a curb or rise. Carry a siphon hose, at least three feet of flexible, transparent hose that is easy to coil and stow under a seat or in a fairing pocket. Get one with a squeeze bulb and you won’t need to undergo the potentially disgusting ritual of siphoning raw gas with your mouth.

To avoid mouth siphoning immerse the hose deep into the donor bike’s fuel supply, cap the other end with your thumb and begin to slowly draw out the hose and lower it into the recipient bike’s fuel tank. Remove your thumb once the level of fuel in the hose drops below the top level of the fuel in the donor bike (that’s why a transparent hose is best), and the fuel will begin to flow.

If this is not possible, drain fuel into whatever is handy, such as a beverage container, sidecover or tool tray by removing a fuel line and turning on the petcock. This may not be possible if the donor bike has a vacuum-flow system. Rinse the container thoroughly with gasoline, and be certain ol’ Jimbo ain’t lightin’ up during this procedure.

Tools: Siphon hose

Prevention: Check the gauge, dummy! Zero your bike’s trip odometer when you fill up, and it will show the elapsed mileage.

2. Flat Tire:
Establish whether your bike has tube or tubeless tires. For the past few decades, most bikes with cast wheels have carried tubeless tires, while most with wire spoke wheels have had tube-type. If it’s a tube-type, you’ll have to “break the bead,” pull the tire away from the wheel (pack tire irons) far enough to expose the puncture in the tube. This may mean removing the wheel from the bike. Roughen the area around the puncture with the tool supplied in the patch kit and apply cement. Wait momentarily till the glue becomes tacky, and apply the patch.

For a tubeless tire, it’s only necessary to remove the nail and insert the tool from the patch kit to enlarge and roughen the hole. Cover a plug with cement and insert. Cut off excess and add air. The three methods of doing so are with CO2 cartridges, an electrical pump that runs off the battery and a hand pump.

Tools: Toolkit, tire patch kit, tire irons, air supply

Prevention: Inspect tire tread frequently for depth and foreign objects, and check pressure regularly. The last 10 percent of tire life results in 90 percent of the problems.

3. Low Oil:
Suddenly the oil light comes on. You’re a quart low—oops! Rodney has a quart along, but your bike runs that expensive 20W-50 synthetic bike oil and his is 40W cheapo car oil. Can you mix them?

The answer is yes. Considering that the alternative is either serious engine damage or sending someone on a 100-mile goose chase, mixing will not harm the engine, though it will dilute the properties of the high-quality oil. Change oil and filter at your earliest convenience.

Tools: Rag, funnel, extra quart

Prevention: Check oil

4. Sudden Engine Stop, Reason Unknown
A sudden engine cutout usually boils down to fuel or electricity. Check fuel supply, check for a clogged gas cap vent (does opening the cap suddenly and temporarily “solve” the problem?) or fuel filter. If your bike is carbureted and there’s fuel in the float bowl(s), the problem likely resides elsewhere.

Turn on the ignition and see if your bike has lights, horn and starter. If not, check that battery cables are tightly connected and clean. If your battery isn’t maintenance-free, are the cells properly topped up with distilled water? Spray WD-40 on the sparkplugs, wires and coils to displace any water.

If the lights and horn are strong, check fuses (know your bike’s fuse box location, and carry spares). With a clip lead and light, clip the lead to ground (a piece of bare metal on the engine) and place the point on either side of the fuse with the ignition on. If there’s power on both sides, the fuse is good.

If the starter cranks but the engine does not start, use the clip lead to establish if there is juice at the coils. If so, pull the spark plugs and establish if they’re sparking. If not, trace the wires back to the last place where there was electricity, then inspect upstream for bare wires or breaks. Listen and watch for obvious stray sparks. Wrap broken wire with tape to get you home.

Tools: Clip lead, electrical tape, fuses, WD-40

Prevention: Pray

And, of course, whenever you go for a ride, carry a cell phone, credit cards and some spare cash–sometimes calling in the cavalry is your only option. It’s also a good idea to have coverage with a roadside assistance plan, such as the one that’s included with annual membership at the American Motorcyclist Association.