Saturday 31 May 2014

Friday bike

EBR 1190RX

That's EBR as in Erik Buell Racing - the guy who used to build the Harley Davidson powered sportsbikes until HD pulled the plug.
This one's got an 1190cc V twin engine built by BRP-Powertrain (aka Rotax) that produces 185 horsepower - a bit more than a Harley engine!

Avaialable now in the US for $18,995 = £11,334 = 13,933 Euros. Website

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Friday 23 May 2014

Friday bike

Here's another rarity.
Barron 125

This rare beast was built by a British company called Barron Eurotrade. Approx. 120 bikes were built between 1976 and 1981, and I can still remember the adverts in the magazines.
It was a strange mixture of parts - Polish built WSK 125 frame and cycle parts, Italian Motori Minarelli engine, and British MP (Metal Profiles) forks, and the side panels featured the flags of the supplying countries.

I never saw one when they were available, but about 5 - 10 years ago I was working in the Highlands and stopped at a petrol station. After buying fuel I used their toilet round the back of the shop. In the rear yard there was a selection of rusting wrecked cars and against the wall, half covered by old wheels and scrap metal, was the remains of a Barron!
Found this video of one running.

Friday 16 May 2014

The Jet Age

Bikes in the Park pictures

I'd posted previously about the recent 'Bikes in the Park' event held in Kirkcaldy. I couldn't go as I was 'on call', but some pictures have been posted on YouTube.

Friday bike

"Torinese engineer Salvatore Majorca created the revolutionary Moto Major straight after WWII. Apparently it was an engineering rather than styling exercise, but 60 years on, its shape is still breathtaking. The wheels, in particular, would not look out of place on many modern motorcycles."..."The Major, born in 1948 on a draft of an engineer in Turin, Salvatore Majorca. Its aim is very clear: to create a very exceptional art, both stylistically and mechanically.
As for aesthetics, one can not but look confirm the opinion of all those who see the Major is ahead about ten years compared to its contemporaries. The study of the creature is extraordinarily accurate, the line creates a unique form from which emerges only handlebars and wheels. And if you believe that the project was born after the Second World War, when there are so many is the Guzzini, one can imagine the emotion aroused by the Mayor at the time of his presentation."
Apparently the bike had no suspension as such, the 'spokes' of the wheels had rubber inserts to dampen any shocks!

Sunday 11 May 2014

Friday bike update update

Back in January I featured the Honley 250 Venturer as my Friday bike. Later I was told that it was the same as a M1NSK TRX 300i. I've now been told that it's the same as a Zongshen ZS250GY-3!

Friday bike

Last of the bikes I considered before buying my SR 500, the most oddball, and the one I thought about for the shortest time before ruling out.
Hercules (DKW) W2000

This was built by German firm Hercules, but marketed in some countries (including the UK) as DKW. Raleigh Industries (the bicycle company) owned the rights to the name Hercules is some countries, hence the change.
It had a nominally 294cc single rotor Wankel engine built by Fischel and Sachs, which I think originally had been made for a snowmobile. As part of the deal with NSU (owners of the rights to the Wankel engine) the engine was limited to 30 hp, so the bike wasn't that powerful.
Early versions had petroil lubrication, but later had a separate oiltank mounted above the rotor and covered with an metal plate.

At the time I thought about one, I had only read about them in magazines, and this was the era when Wankel engines were 'the next big thing'. However, as we now know, that didn't work out as planned. A few years later I saw one in a bike shop and to be honest, the quality of equipment and finish were pretty poor.
Here's a cutaway engine and you can see just how small the rotor is.
I've only seen a couple since and they were both in museums, so I've never actually seen or heard one going. I found a bit of video that'll give you some idea of the sound.
The W2000 sold in very small numbers, but I believe that the engine was 'doubled up' and became the basis of the Norton Rotary. (Anyone confirm this?)

Further reading

Sunday 4 May 2014

Trip to Turkey - Approach 2

This trip was filmed and was posted as a sequence of videos:

Which approach would you take?

Trip to Turkey - Approach 1

Found details on the Web of a couple of bike trips from Britain to Turkey that took somewhat different approaches to bike touring.

Approach 1:

Loads of good photos on their websites:

Outward leg

Homeward leg

Friday bike

This week's is a bike I know nothing about other than it was built by British firm OEC in the 1920s or 30s (judging by the clothing).
I found the photo on the Web, and the caption was 'OEC Tinkler'. It has OEC's distinctive front forks and and enclosed enging and petrol tank.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Aren't motorcyclists wonderful people - Part 7

This one's from Russia where the driving style takes no prisoners. A rider spots an elderly man (possibly blind or partially sighted - is that a white stick?), and shepherds him to the side of the road.