Yay! Bought another bike today.

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by Andrew Szafran, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. I was riding home from work on Long Hill Road near Chatham, NJ today, and
    I just had to stop when I saw a small sign - "Motorcycle for Sale $200" -
    on the side of the road. The arrow on the sign directed me to someone's
    back shed, where an old, funny-looking bike sat gathering dust. Well, to
    make a long story short, I bought it for $150. It wasn't running, so I
    brought my Volvo wagon, a friend, and some tow chain, and he towed me
    home. Fortunately, the tires still held air.

    The bike is a Spagthorpe Clumber Spaniel WWII-era amphibious military
    motorcycle, the kind that Phyloe wrote about riding a few days ago. The
    front wheel is 10" in diameter, with a full pontoon fender that doubles as
    a rudder, suspended by an advanced torsion-bar reverse-Earles fork. Aft
    of the front wheel sits a 6-speed Wilson pre-select gearbox connected to a
    two-stroke inline-twin Diesel REO engine mounted behind it. Shifting
    looks like it is electric - there are two buttons marked "UP" and "DOWN"
    on the left handlebar, and the pedal on the left hand side of the bike, I
    assume, is the shift pedal (i.e. select the next gear using the buttons,
    and hit the pedal to shift). I'm not sure if the pedal doubles as a
    clutch for moving off from a stop, or if the bike has a torque converter.

    Drive to the rear wheel is by a three foot long shaft with rubber-spider
    type U-joints, coming from the rear of the gearbox, and an exposed
    bevel-type gearbox. The rear-wheel is 24" in diameter, with paddles for
    marine operation placed around its circumference. Rear suspension is by
    twin longitudinal left springs that double as the rear swing arms.
    Damping is by conventional car-type tube shocks, both front and rear.

    ! ! ! !
    ********############ OOO
    ********J=======================JO O
    ********############ ^ ^ OOO
    ^ ^ | | ^
    | | driveshaft | |
    gearbox engine | final drive gear unit
    u-joint

    Twin 10-gallon fuel tanks are part of the floats on both sides of the
    bike. A sticker on each tank states that "marine operation of this
    vehicle with more than 1 gal. of fuel in each tank is hazardous to the
    operator's life. Always wear a life preserver." Two small wheels are on
    the outboard side of each float - to park the bike, you can just settle it
    down on one set of wheels, and actuate the sprag-type pneumatic parking
    brake to prevent it from rolling. Unfortunately, this arrangement looks
    like it will limit the lean angle to a sedate 7.5 degrees, although the
    floats have some type of pneumatic rams attached to them. Does anyone
    know if they are supposed to retract when the bike is travelling as higher
    speeds on land?

    The exhaust system is interesting, consisting of a pipe with a bong-type
    arrangement on its end. Presumably, some sort of liquid is supposed to by
    poured into the muffler, which allows the exhaust to "bubble up" through
    the liquid, thus attenuating noise. Unfortunately, the muffler is pretty
    rusty, and I don't know what kind of liquid is supposed to by used.
    After I weld the pinholes, would a PCB-based transformer oil work (it's
    very heat-resistant)? The end of the muffler has an iron-cross-shaped
    plates mounted to the end of it - the plate can spin. The plate is
    labelled "Stuka." In the bike's tool kit, I found several other plates of
    that type, labelled "Leopard tank" and "BMW bike." Does mounting this
    plate on the end of the muffler "chop" the exhaust pulses to make the
    exhaust sound like another type of vehicle?

    Starting is via a cartridge starter, where burning gunpowder moves a
    piston, pushing a rack that in turn spins a gear that's connected to the
    engine via a one-way clutch. I tried to start the bike once, but didn't
    have any more black-powder cartridges left. Anyone know where I can get
    more cartridges, or should I just stick to push-starting until I scrape up
    the dough to convert the bike to an electric starter? Also, could the
    piston-return spring on the starting piston be broken, thus not allowing
    the starting piston to return from the end of it's travel?

    The engine appears to have some kind of primitive Peltier cooler instead
    of a water-cooling system. A thick cable goes from the generator to the
    radiator, then to the engine from the radiator. I assume that chassis
    ground comprises the third "leg" of the circuit, or maybe a cable is
    missing. Not surprising - the bike *is* 60 years old and has been sitting
    for the best part of 30 years.

    Lighting is electric, with a headlight, taillight, and blackout light, all
    powered by what looks to be a 277VDC generator driven by a bevelled shaft
    from the rear end of the engine's crankshaft. The horn is a simple
    squeeze-bulb device, but the rubber bulb is rotted, so I couldn't test it.
    A 2-way vacuum-tube radio is mounted where the fuel tank is normally
    situated on a bike. The antenna is mounted as the rear of the bike, and
    is a flattened 5-foot-long strip of metal with one sharpened edge.
    Perhaps it was designed to double as a sword if the going got really
    rough.

    The bike has full instrumentation, including 0-350VDC voltmeter, oil
    pressure gauge, air-pressure gauge, 80mph speedometer, compass, tach,
    nautical log, chronometer, and gear position indicators.

    Does anyone here have any idea of what this bike might be worth, fully
    restored? Are parts difficult to get, and can anyone recommend any
    sources, especially for rubber parts like the 10" front tire, u-joints,
    and engine seals? I'll post pictures of the bike as soon as it gets light
    out again - I have a cheap digital camera and it doesn't take good
    pictures at dusk.

    -Andrew
     
    Andrew Szafran, Sep 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. Andrew Szafran

    Diablo Guest

    <<snipped a bunch of interesting stuff>>

    what a find mate !...I gotta see pics of this !
     
    Diablo, Sep 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. Andrew Szafran

    Tim Morrow Guest

    Um, no. No, it isn't. That's a Spanish Civil War era machine. Check your
    provenances.
     
    Tim Morrow, Sep 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Andrew,
    PCB Transformer oil is a known cancer causing product.
    I would be surprised if you can legally get it today.
    Burnt PCB has a black sticky residue, so be carefull.
    Normal mineral oil transformer oil has a flash point of 150 deg. Celcius.
    Rob.
    | I was riding home from work on Long Hill Road near Chatham, NJ today, and
    | I just had to stop when I saw a small sign - "Motorcycle for Sale $200" -
    | on the side of the road. The arrow on the sign directed me to someone's
    | back shed, where an old, funny-looking bike sat gathering dust. Well, to
    | make a long story short, I bought it for $150. It wasn't running, so I
    | brought my Volvo wagon, a friend, and some tow chain, and he towed me
    | home. Fortunately, the tires still held air.
    |
    | The bike is a Spagthorpe Clumber Spaniel WWII-era amphibious military
    | motorcycle, the kind that Phyloe wrote about riding a few days ago. The
    | front wheel is 10" in diameter, with a full pontoon fender that doubles as
    | a rudder, suspended by an advanced torsion-bar reverse-Earles fork. Aft
    | of the front wheel sits a 6-speed Wilson pre-select gearbox connected to a
    | two-stroke inline-twin Diesel REO engine mounted behind it. Shifting
    | looks like it is electric - there are two buttons marked "UP" and "DOWN"
    | on the left handlebar, and the pedal on the left hand side of the bike, I
    | assume, is the shift pedal (i.e. select the next gear using the buttons,
    | and hit the pedal to shift). I'm not sure if the pedal doubles as a
    | clutch for moving off from a stop, or if the bike has a torque converter.
    |
    | Drive to the rear wheel is by a three foot long shaft with rubber-spider
    | type U-joints, coming from the rear of the gearbox, and an exposed
    | bevel-type gearbox. The rear-wheel is 24" in diameter, with paddles for
    | marine operation placed around its circumference. Rear suspension is by
    | twin longitudinal left springs that double as the rear swing arms.
    | Damping is by conventional car-type tube shocks, both front and rear.
    |
    | ! ! ! !
    | ********############ OOO
    | ********J=======================JO O
    | ********############ ^ ^ OOO
    | ^ ^ | | ^
    | | | driveshaft | |
    | gearbox engine | final drive gear unit
    | u-joint
    |
    | Twin 10-gallon fuel tanks are part of the floats on both sides of the
    | bike. A sticker on each tank states that "marine operation of this
    | vehicle with more than 1 gal. of fuel in each tank is hazardous to the
    | operator's life. Always wear a life preserver." Two small wheels are on
    | the outboard side of each float - to park the bike, you can just settle it
    | down on one set of wheels, and actuate the sprag-type pneumatic parking
    | brake to prevent it from rolling. Unfortunately, this arrangement looks
    | like it will limit the lean angle to a sedate 7.5 degrees, although the
    | floats have some type of pneumatic rams attached to them. Does anyone
    | know if they are supposed to retract when the bike is travelling as higher
    | speeds on land?
    |
    | The exhaust system is interesting, consisting of a pipe with a bong-type
    | arrangement on its end. Presumably, some sort of liquid is supposed to by
    | poured into the muffler, which allows the exhaust to "bubble up" through
    | the liquid, thus attenuating noise. Unfortunately, the muffler is pretty
    | rusty, and I don't know what kind of liquid is supposed to by used.
    | After I weld the pinholes, would a PCB-based transformer oil work (it's
    | very heat-resistant)? The end of the muffler has an iron-cross-shaped
    | plates mounted to the end of it - the plate can spin. The plate is
    | labelled "Stuka." In the bike's tool kit, I found several other plates of
    | that type, labelled "Leopard tank" and "BMW bike." Does mounting this
    | plate on the end of the muffler "chop" the exhaust pulses to make the
    | exhaust sound like another type of vehicle?
    |
    | Starting is via a cartridge starter, where burning gunpowder moves a
    | piston, pushing a rack that in turn spins a gear that's connected to the
    | engine via a one-way clutch. I tried to start the bike once, but didn't
    | have any more black-powder cartridges left. Anyone know where I can get
    | more cartridges, or should I just stick to push-starting until I scrape up
    | the dough to convert the bike to an electric starter? Also, could the
    | piston-return spring on the starting piston be broken, thus not allowing
    | the starting piston to return from the end of it's travel?
    |
    | The engine appears to have some kind of primitive Peltier cooler instead
    | of a water-cooling system. A thick cable goes from the generator to the
    | radiator, then to the engine from the radiator. I assume that chassis
    | ground comprises the third "leg" of the circuit, or maybe a cable is
    | missing. Not surprising - the bike *is* 60 years old and has been sitting
    | for the best part of 30 years.
    |
    | Lighting is electric, with a headlight, taillight, and blackout light, all
    | powered by what looks to be a 277VDC generator driven by a bevelled shaft
    | from the rear end of the engine's crankshaft. The horn is a simple
    | squeeze-bulb device, but the rubber bulb is rotted, so I couldn't test it.
    | A 2-way vacuum-tube radio is mounted where the fuel tank is normally
    | situated on a bike. The antenna is mounted as the rear of the bike, and
    | is a flattened 5-foot-long strip of metal with one sharpened edge.
    | Perhaps it was designed to double as a sword if the going got really
    | rough.
    |
    | The bike has full instrumentation, including 0-350VDC voltmeter, oil
    | pressure gauge, air-pressure gauge, 80mph speedometer, compass, tach,
    | nautical log, chronometer, and gear position indicators.
    |
    | Does anyone here have any idea of what this bike might be worth, fully
    | restored? Are parts difficult to get, and can anyone recommend any
    | sources, especially for rubber parts like the 10" front tire, u-joints,
    | and engine seals? I'll post pictures of the bike as soon as it gets light
    | out again - I have a cheap digital camera and it doesn't take good
    | pictures at dusk.
    |
    | -Andrew
     
    Getting Slower & Slower !, Sep 5, 2004
    #4
  5. Is that the model with twin overhead chrome plated grease nipples?


    James
     
    James Caldwell, Sep 6, 2004
    #5
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