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Granddad Breaks World Speed Record With Steam Bike

By General Posts

Graham Sykes had a passion for speed for most of his life. He has been associated with motorsports since 1979 and turns 60 years old in 2023. Even his wife is involved in the engineering efforts of this engineer.

Sykes has created a steam-powered monster named ‘Force of Nature’ which clocked a 3.878-second, 163.8 mph standing start run on a 1/8 mile. This was at Elvington Speed Week in May 2023.

This is officially a new world record for a steam-powered motorcycle. It reached an exit speed of 163.8 miles per hour.

For racing this unique creation, water is heated using hydrogenated vegetable oil, keeping the pursuit of speed as environmentally friendly as possible. The granddad rider was zooming at 180mph while doing this, but that wasn’t part of this record-breaking achievement. It may not be surprising that he was riding his own ‘force’.

Certified by the UK and ITA governing body for UK and European Land Speed Records this machine was a journey that was 10 years in the making. Sykes had already set a British national speed record in 2015 for a three-wheeled vehicle. That V8-powered three-wheeler had a top speed of 180.3 mph with an average speed of 171.4 mph on quarter mile.

With 9 grand-kids, Sykes wanted to aim for a ‘Force of Nature’ that was environmentally friendly. He has no intention to stop the pursuit of speed and action. His next goal is to surpass the milestone of 200 mph on a standing 1/8-mile run.

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American Creates Beer-Powered Motorcycle

By General Posts

with inputs by Kumar Debvrat from MSN.com

An American Has Created A Beer-Powered Motorcycle,
Claims It Could Reach Speeds Of Up To 240 Km Per Hour

Ky Michaelson, is an American infamous for unusual inventions. His past accomplishments include a rocket-powered toilet and a jet-powered coffee pot. Now his latest invention is: a beer-powered motorcycle.

Speaking to Fox9, Ky explains that the unique motorcycle has a 14-gallon keg with a heating coil instead of a gas-powered engine. This coil heats the beer up to 300 degrees, which then becomes super-heated steam in the nozzles, making the bike move forward. Ky’s garage in Bloomington is where he built this unique motorcycle that runs on beer (or is it steam?).

Ky told the publication that he aims to do what others have never done. He blamed the rising prices of gasoline as a reason for not finding it useful for powering a vehicle.

Ky, is nicknamed ‘Rocketman’ for being the first civilian to launch a rocket into space.

The motorcycle could reach speeds up to 150 miles per hour (240 km per hour) as per Ky. He hopes to take the bike to a drag strip soon to test its capabilities. The unusual inventor also noted that any liquid, including Red Bull and Caribou Coffee, could fuel his bike.

So far, Ky’s vehicle has made it to a few local car shows, where it won the first position. Ky had also shared a video on his YouTube channel 9 months ago, featuring his son presenting detailed information about the motorcycle.

Ky Michaelson, a space and movie stunt enthusiast, has created many such innovations in the last few years and converted his home into a museum.

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World’s Oldest Production Motorcycle Sells For $212,000

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This example may be the earliest one still in existence in 2023.
World’s Oldest Production Motorcycle Sells For $212,000 At Auction

by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com

The early days of motorcycling were a wild time. From strapping engines to the frames of unsuspecting bicycles, to steam-powered velocipedes, people were eager to find new and improved ways to get around. New technological frontiers are typically a time of great experimentation, and this era in motorcycling was certainly no different.

In February, 2023, an extremely interesting piece of that early history went up for auction at Bonhams Paris The machine in question is an extremely rare 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, which bears the reputation of “the first powered two-wheeler to enter series production,” as well as the first vehicle to be called by the name “motorcycle” (or “motorrad,” in German). It ultimately sold for €195,500, or roughly $212,000 Yankee dollars including the premium.

Brothers Heinrich and Wilhelm Hildebrand set to work crafting their first powered two-wheeler designs during the crucial transition between steam-powered and gasoline-powered vehicles. As the story goes, they started with steam, but eventually turned to a two-stroke design in cooperation with two other individuals: Alois Wolfmüller and his mechanic Hans Geisenhof.

Development is often an iterative process, and what the team eventually came up with to make this production vehicle was a water-cooled, four-stroke, parallel twin engine with what must have been a breathtaking displacement at the time: 1,489cc. This reportedly made about 2.5 brake horsepower at 240 RPM, and resulted in a machine that could top out around 30 miles per hour. That might seem terribly slow in 2023, but was likely more impressive in a time when motor vehicles (let alone faster ones) weren’t so commonplace.

If this machine seems like an alien contraption to your modern eyes, that’s because it’s quite different from any motorcycle we know today. Here’s how the Bonhams listing describes some key features of this bike:

“Steam locomotive practice was further recalled by the long connecting rods directly linking the pistons to the rear wheel, which opened and closed the mechanical exhaust valves via pushrods actuated by a cam on the hub. The latter contained an epicyclic reduction gear and there was no crankshaft flywheel, the solid disc rear wheel serving that purpose. Rubber bands assisted the pistons on the return stroke. Fuel was fed from the tank to a surface carburetor and thence via atmospheric inlet valves to the cylinders where it was ignited by platinum hot tube, as developed by Daimler. The box-like rear mudguard acted as a reservoir for the engine’s cooling water, while one of the frame tubes served as the oil tank. The tires, manufactured under license from Dunlop by Veith in Germany, were the first of the pneumatic variety ever fitted to a motorcycle,” it reads.

Also, this bike didn’t have a clutch. Instead, the starting procedure involved pushing it until the engine fired up, then jumping into the saddle and riding it wherever you needed to go. (Perhaps it wasn’t only the world’s first production motorcycle, but also the world’s first production exercise bike?)

The design for this bike was patented in 1894, and the machines were produced both in Munich, by parent company Motofahrrad-Fabrik Hildebrand & Wolfmüller , and also under license in France as La Petrolette. People of the time were reportedly optimistic about the new bikes, but their optimism was soon tinged with regret and demands for their money back due to starting difficulties and unsatisfactory running performance. By 1897, after French licensee Duncan, Superbie et Cie lost a court case with a customer about these issues, both the German and French concerns went bust. It’s unclear how many of these machines were ever made, but it’s believed to be somewhere between 800 and 2,000 in total.

This specific example is believed to be the earliest numbered example still existing today, with frame number 619 and engine number 69. It was last sold in 1990, and documentation that accompanies this sale includes papers from that time, as well as period marque literature (mostly, if not all, in German). The tires and bands have been replaced (and one of the bands needs replacing yet again), but this bike is otherwise in mostly untouched condition—which makes it even more remarkable, given the fact that it’s almost 130 years old.

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Mid-South M.I.L.E. 2021

By General Posts

Bikers gathered in Dallas, Texas for the 29th annual Mid-South M.I.L.E. event

from Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)

Like the Midwest’s Heartland STEAM event, the Mid-South M.I.L.E. brings together bikers from neighboring states to discuss legislative priorities, share ideas and build relationships.

CLICK HERE To Read this Event Coverage on Bikernet.com

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