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aostling
07-20-2007, 10:10 PM
I asked the hillbilly at Jerome about this motorcycle, parked a few feet from his sawmill. He said it was a 1942 Harley 45. I'd only heard of the Harley 84 and Sportster, and was surprised they made a 750cc. I shouldn't have been -- this engine had one of longest runs of any motorcycle engine, from 1929 to 1973.

What other motorcycle engines might have rivaled this longevity?

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/Harley.jpg

jkilroy
07-20-2007, 10:42 PM
I'm guessing that BMW very well might have something to come close to that. Indian maybe?

pntrbl
07-20-2007, 11:18 PM
Sochiro Honda's horizontal singles are by far the most widely produced IC engines in the history of mankind. I personally owned a 1963 pushrod 90 and they're still in production today. The Chinese are copying them like crazy.

OTOH, I'd love to have that Harley! That'd be a flathead BTW. Foot operated clutch with a 3 speed aka "suicide shift trans".

Need an edit after thinking about Kilroy's BMW mention. Is the opposed twin boxer motor a pre WWII design? Memory escapes me, but I used to know!

SP

oldtiffie
07-21-2007, 01:59 AM
Deleted/erased-out

MCS
07-21-2007, 04:14 AM
About BMW (source Classic Motorcycles by Vic Willoughby)

The first BMW was made in 1923. Opposite cilinders, integral gearbox and shaft drive.

Designer was Max Friz, debarred from continuing to design aircraft engines by the Versailles treaty, and switched his talents to motor cycles.

John Stevenson
07-21-2007, 05:58 AM
The true story about Max Fritz was he was told by BMW to design a motorcycle to keep the firm going as they had been banned by the treaty of Versailles from producing aircraft engines after the first WW1 spat.

Now ower Maxie boy was a arrogant little bugger and though that designing motor cycles well well below him and flatly refused. No amount of pushing by BMW in the form of pay rises, incentives or the firing squad could move him.

In the end they asked what they could do to keep him happy and get him to design thier new found fortune [ as yet unfounded ]. His answer was a stove.

In the early 20's it was bloody cold in them Barvarian mountains and fuel and most things were short in a defeated Germany so BMW installed a stove in his office and ower Fritz went on to design one of the most longest running engine designs, After the Germans finished with it, it was passed over to Russia as the Ural, after the Russians finished with it , it was passed onto the Chinese and has only just been replace in the Chinese army by a 400cc single .

So from 1920 when it was first designed up until 2005 it owes a lot to a cast iron stove.

.

heavysteamer
07-21-2007, 06:57 AM
I wonder if anyone could post photos of the innards of the HD KR 45 flat track racer engine. THey are almost jewel like.

aostling
06-03-2013, 02:12 PM
In the early 20's it was bloody cold in them Barvarian mountains and fuel and most things were short in a defeated Germany so BMW installed a stove in his office and ower Fritz went on to design one of the most longest running engine designs, After the Germans finished with it, it was passed over to Russia as the Ural, after the Russians finished with it , it was passed onto the Chinese and has only just been replace in the Chinese army by a 400cc single .


I saw this Ural at the gas pump an hour ago, owned by a middle-aged couple who had picked it up in Prescott two days earlier. I guess this must be the Chinese version you mentioned. It was 2WD with a shaft to the sidecar. That could come in handy on muddy roads, so I'm surprised this configuration is not more popular.


http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/Ural_zpscc94f5e0.jpg (http://s168.photobucket.com/user/aostling/media/Ural_zpscc94f5e0.jpg.html)

topct
06-03-2013, 02:32 PM
I saw this Ural at the gas pump an hour ago, owned by a middle-aged couple who had picked it up in Prescott two days earlier. I guess this must be the Chinese version you mentioned. It was 2WD with a shaft to the sidecar. That could come in handy on muddy roads, so I'm surprised this configuration is not more popular.

They sell those at a shop down the street from me. Guy had one out this winter in the snow. Didn't seem to be having any problem.

flylo
06-03-2013, 02:47 PM
H-D used many of the 45s as trikes fot meter maids, etc, Very gool!
Also in WWII.

GNM109
06-03-2013, 02:50 PM
I wonder if anyone could post photos of the innards of the HD KR 45 flat track racer engine. THey are almost jewel like.

Hmmm, I don't have pictures, but I usd to race a 1946 WR. That was the factory 45 cu. in. racer that was the predecessor of the Model KR.

They shared many similar characteristics. They both had much larger cylinder fins than their civilian counterparts, which would have been the WL and K, respectively. They also had larger intake and exhaust valves and used a 1-1/2" ID carburetor.

The valves on both engines were inclined a few degrees towards the cylinder to assist in airflow and the tops of the cylinders were relieved down to the level of the first piston ring, again to aid airflow.

The WR used Dow metal pistons and crankcases. Dow metal is roughly 50% magnesium and 50% aluminum. This was somewhat lighter than pure aluminum. I don't know about the crankcase metal in the KR but I do know that they used Dow metal in their pistons.

Both machines had roller bearing top end bearings like the civilian models but the main and cam bearings were all ball bearing. Both machines had magneto ignition and made use of rather low compression, probably less than 6:1. Harley found out that the flatheads ran very well with low compression so long as the airflow was properly designed.

Both machines used what were called "horsehoe" valve lifters" instead of the standard round roller type that Harley used on the civilian models. These gave increased valve duration for racing. They wore out rather quickly, however.

These machines were very competitive against the Indian racers which were their main competitors at the time. Both brands did well on Class C tracks until the advent of the Tiger Triumphs and BSA Gold Stars, at which time their dominance was over.

Nonethelless, a complete, running example of either a WR or KR would be a valuable unit at this point in time. They are as rare as hens' teeth.

jep24601
06-03-2013, 03:15 PM
Actually BMW licensed the boxer engine design from Douglas. ABC also licensed the design from Douglas. The ABC company had made Sopwith aircraft and at the end of the war found that demand had dropped so much that they went into motorcycle manufacture and, like BMW, looked for the best engine design and licensed it from Douglas.

Doozer
06-03-2013, 03:26 PM
That Don Robertson sure has a lot of junk.
I really like his International KB-12 truck.
Is Pedro the mule still alive?

--Doozer

Black_Moons
06-03-2013, 04:01 PM
What other motorcycle engines might have rivaled this longevity?

My motorized bicycle is a clone of a 1940's german design (As best as I can tell) where the only signifigant change (other then thinner gas tank and other cost saving measures) is they now have a slanted sparkplug hole for higher compression. Although not sure about what the cylinders used to be, they now use chrome lined aluminum. Kit is still being sold today by many manufacturers.

The Artful Bodger
06-03-2013, 04:07 PM
Actually BMW licensed the boxer engine design from Douglas. ABC also licensed the design from Douglas. The ABC company had made Sopwith aircraft and at the end of the war found that demand had dropped so much that they went into motorcycle manufacture and, like BMW, looked for the best engine design and licensed it from Douglas.


I was not aware of any formal license... but you can see the obvious similarity in engine layout..

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6230/6300800601_07430e701c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25239206@N06/6300800601/)
P1010017 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25239206@N06/6300800601/) by aardvark_akubra (http://www.flickr.com/people/25239206@N06/), on Flickr

.......this was my 1952 Douglas 80+, since sold.

jep24601
06-03-2013, 04:59 PM
At the time that BMW licensed the Douglas design the Douglas was still running fore and aft (as was the ABC). It was not until many years later that the Douglas ran transversely.

http://motorbike-search-engine.co.uk/classic_bikes/1921_ABC.jpg
1921 ABC

cidrontmg
06-03-2013, 05:28 PM
"After the Germans finished with it, it was passed over to Russia as the Ural, after the Russians finished with it"
Yes sir, but don't forget the Dnepr motorcycle, in Kiev, Ukraine. They built copycat BMW's, and also German World War II Zündapp KS750's. Equally flat twins. Now defunct, for Dnepr and Zündapp.

Billy Hill
06-03-2013, 05:48 PM
Wow. I didn't know they had a motor in production that long. I've got a '07 Kawasaki KLR 650 that has a single cylinder engine. That motor was first built in 1987 and is still largely unchanged today while still fairly popular. But that's nothing compared to that HD.

The Artful Bodger
06-03-2013, 06:07 PM
What other motorcycle engines might have rivaled this longevity?


Panther must be worth consideration?

jep24601
06-03-2013, 09:52 PM
"After the Germans finished with it, it was passed over to Russia as the Ural, after the Russians finished with it"
Yes sir, but don't forget the Dnepr motorcycle, in Kiev, Ukraine. They built copycat BMW's, and also German World War II Zündapp KS750's. Equally flat twins. Now defunct, for Dnepr and Zündapp.

.... and after the war, as war reparations, the British aquired the BMW designs from which they came up with, believe it or not, the Sunbeam shaft drive bike. (Yes, nothing like a BMW I know but that is what BSA came up with)

_Paul_
06-03-2013, 10:40 PM
Sochiro Honda's horizontal singles are by far the most widely produced IC engines in the history of mankind. I personally owned a 1963 pushrod 90 and they're still in production today. The Chinese are copying them like crazy.

SP

From around 1967 weren't they all OHC engines? I remember having an Iron head pushrod C100 & C110 in the mid 60's and having the later C50 (OHC) machine in 67'

Paul

andywander
06-03-2013, 10:49 PM
I could argue that the current Harley-Davidson Big Twin Overhead Valve engine is substantially the same as the one introduced as the E (or knucklehead) in 1936.

barts
06-04-2013, 12:18 AM
They sell those at a shop down the street from me. Guy had one out this winter in the snow. Didn't seem to be having any problem.

Yup... saw one last weekend driven in mud and on very steep inclines - no problem. Top speed is about 50-55 mph; there's no differential so 2wd is only for loose conditions.

cidrontmg
06-04-2013, 06:41 AM
Panther must be worth consideration?
Panther started early, 1904, but it closed also early, in 1967. Harley Davidson started at 1905, maybe a dozen or so for the first year, and some 50 bikes for 1906. "Serious" production started at 1908.
Indian was the earliest American marquee, it was first sold to the public in 1902, but went bankrupt in 1953.
The oldest motorcycle still in production is Royal Enfield, likewise the longest motorcycle production run of all time. Founded in 1893, it continues as Royal Enfield (India), in Chennai.

John Stevenson
06-04-2013, 08:00 AM
I think we are talking about models here, not marques.

The Harley was produce for so long just to allow the first bikes to complete their journey.

Willy
06-04-2013, 11:15 AM
I too thought that the Royal Enfield Bullet is the longest production MC engine.
Of course I'm talking about the older pre-unit Bullet engine and not the current redesigned unit-construction engine.
If you want to include the new style unit construction engines and go back to the Bullet's inception of 1932 then it's no contest.

http://www.gizmag.com/the-royal-enfield-bullet--the-worlds-longest-running-production-motorcycle/10747/

http://buzzbringer.com/royal-enfield-the-worlds-longest-running-production-motorcycle/

I know John likes to poke a little fun at the Harley Davidson's reliability record but after having owned and loved British bikes from Royal Enfield, BSA, Triumph, and Norton, I can honestly say that my current one owner 36 year old HD has been a benchmark of reliability and has given me less trouble during all of those years than anything British from that same era. :)

saltmine
06-04-2013, 03:13 PM
The Harley "Trike" was formally known as a "Servicar" with the box on the back. As mentioned earlier, it was used widely as a Meter Maid bike. One thing that nobody mentioned was the fact that the "Servicar" had a different transmission than the two-wheelers. It was equipped with reverse. A guy I used to ride with blew the transmission on his 45 KR flathead. Looking around, he found a guy who had a transmission laying in the corner of his garage. The owner thought it was from a flathead Harley, so my buddy bought it. We got it installed, and had some trouble getting the "jockey shift" to work. Eventually we discovered that, yes, it was a "Servicar" transmission, and it had reverse. He used to have great fun with it parking front-into a parking place of whatever, then, jiggling around with the shift lever and backing out of the space.. He rode the bike for many years, until that fateful day, we were sitting at a traffic light, in Los Angeles. The "jockey shift" bikes were tricky to hold up, balance, and depress the clutch, while trying to put the transmission into gear at a stop. As usual, he didn't have time to re-adjust the old Linkert carburetor, now that he was off of the freeway, and it was idling at about 1200 rpm's. The traffic light turned green, he lost his balance, the bike started to fall to the left, as he tried to get the gearbox into neutral, his foot came off of the clutch, and he rocketed backward into an Oldsmobile sedan sitting in line behind him. I really don't know who was more surprised, him or the driver of the Olds. I crashed too. I was laughing so hard, my bike fell over, also.

topct
06-04-2013, 04:58 PM
So does anyone here have one of those made in India made Enfield bikes? They have been around now for many years, just wondering how they have turned out.

Loved the story saltmine. I had a neighbor that had a side car rig with one of those clutches. Had to get the thing into his garage after he passed away. Only took me a half hour to move it twenty feet. :D

The Artful Bodger
06-04-2013, 05:16 PM
So does anyone here have one of those made in India made Enfield bikes? They have been around now for many years, just wondering how they have turned out.


I have only seen one, it seemed to be going OK ...

saltmine
06-04-2013, 09:20 PM
I remember those bikes. If memory serves, they were Royal Enfield 500 and 700 twins. The "Indian" connotation came from the fact that Floyd Clymer (of shop manual fame) imported them from England, assembled them here, and marketed them as Indian Motorcycles (yeah, Clymer had the copyright to the Indian Motorcycle)
Yes, the Country of India needed motorcycles to patrol their borders, so, they ordered 800, 350cc Enfields. From this order, a company was established called "Madras Motors" who manufactured Royal Enfield motorcycles in India. I seriously doubt if any Madras 350's were ever brought to the USA.
A friend of mine got a 700cc Royal Enfield (Indian) as a rolling chassis and a cardboard box full of oily parts. He asked me to "help" him put it together (you know who ended up doing all of the work.) While it was going back together, we discovered that the connecting rods were badly worn and there were no gaskets to be had. Fortunately, Clymer was still hanging on, and I ended up purchasing two brand new rods. but nobody had gaskets. The bottom end of these Enfields had poured babbit bearings, so, I got to learn bearing scraping at an early age. For most of the gaskets, I used an old antique aircraft trick. With everything thoroughly cleaned, I painted a layer of Permatex gasket sealer onto the sealing surfaces. Then, I laid a thin soft brass wire (.010") along the surface, overlapping it where the wires met. Another coat of sealer went on, and then the cover or case was applied and torqued down. It must have worked, because he rode it for many years after, and none of the brass wire/Permatex joints ever leaked a drop.

thaiguzzi
06-04-2013, 11:53 PM
Edward Turner's Triumph vertical twin, 500 -750cc, pre unit and unit construction, 1937 -1982. God bless 'em.

jep24601
06-05-2013, 08:23 AM
No mention yet of the JAP engines (J. A. Prestwich). They were still popular in speedway until quite recently.

cidrontmg
06-05-2013, 09:17 AM
So does anyone here have one of those made in India made Enfield bikes? They have been around now for many years, just wondering how they have turned out. :D
You might have seen one RE India, but it's a rare event. RE India churned only 74.600 bikes a year (in 2011), and exported 3.500 bikes/year to over 20 countries. The Indian population is over 1.2 billion people (>4 times the U.S.), and the waiting list is 6-9 months (average 8). So even India is a rather rare event, seeing/hearing thumping a Royal Enfield Bullet through the streets.
There's another factory (besides the old Chennai (former Madras) factory) who is brand new, state-of-the-art, in Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. It began production on April 30, just one month and one week, and it will double their company's former output, at 150.000/year, maybe even 175.000. IMHO, the waiting list will be shorter, but not much (3-4 months?). There's lots of olive green RE Bullets in their premises...

topct
06-05-2013, 09:37 AM
You might have seen one RE India, but it's a rare event. RE India churned only 74.600 bikes a year (in 2011), and exported 3.500 bikes/year to over 20 countries. The Indian population is over 1.2 billion people (>4 times the U.S.), and the waiting list is 6-9 months (average 8). So even India is a rather rare event, seeing/hearing thumping a Royal Enfield Bullet through the streets.
There's another factory (besides the old Chennai (former Madras) factory) who is brand new, state-of-the-art, in Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. It began production on April 30, just one month and one week, and it will double their company's former output, at 150.000/year, maybe even 175.000. IMHO, the waiting list will be shorter, but not much (3-4 months?). There's lots of olive green RE Bullets in their premises...

There was a person selling them here, or trying to. I did see one bike on display at a racing event years ago. I think I might have heard that was his problem, to long a wait for the bikes.

cidrontmg
06-05-2013, 09:59 AM
No mention yet of the JAP engines (J. A. Prestwich). They were still popular in speedway until quite recently.
Hm. "Recently" = 50 years... (JAP closed in 1963).

jep24601
06-05-2013, 10:21 AM
Hm. "Recently" = 50 years... (JAP closed in 1963).

Popularity of the unit continued for some time until eclipsed by the Jawa.

Quote: "the Speedway JAP had the longest run of any engine in this branch of the sport and was, in its day, the most powerful unsupercharged engine of its capacity in the world. The power output from an engine that is so simple in basic design is truly amazing - rough, instant power that demands the greatest of respect. Even today, this 50 year old engine is still capable of giving a good account of itself under the harsh light of competition."

bob_s
06-05-2013, 12:12 PM
So does anyone here have one of those made in India made Enfield bikes? They have been around now for many years, just wondering how they have turned out.
:D

The kid who does the late shift at the CT gas bar where I usually fill-up in Edmonton has one. It is a single cylinder (500 cc), fuel-injected, and under break-in conditions was getting better than 80 mpg.

All in all the 'new' Enfield looks to be well built, has modern conveniences, and still looks like a real motorcycle, not one of the newer 'donor-cycles'.

I'd sure like to convert my 74 Norton to a fuel injection system and get rid of those Amal carbs. Has anyone seen a retro-fit fuel injection kit?

- bob

saltmine
06-05-2013, 02:40 PM
Kits are available, Bob. But the cost borders on terrifying.....But, beware when shopping for one...You get what you pay for....most of the time.
My brother bought a set of injectors for his old Kawasaki H-1 Three-cylinder. He played with them for many months without much success....Eventually the carburetors went back on.

I'd like to put a set on my bike....It would save me the hassle of pulling the carburetors every time I needed to change the main jets or raise or lower the needles. What a PITA.

Amal carbs? An old biker once told me that an Amal carb was a fuel leak with a carb built around it.

topct
06-05-2013, 02:49 PM
A couple of Mikunis would make a huge difference.

jep24601
06-05-2013, 04:43 PM
I had 3 generations of Amal carbs on different bikes and don't ever remember having to mess with any of them. Why would you change the jets or needles once they were set? (Not that it isn't easy to do anyway). Mikunis gave me problems with sticking floats.

Evan
06-05-2013, 05:27 PM
I love the look of that Ural especially since I can no longer ride a two wheeler. My balance is gone. I had to sell my Suzuki GN-400 some years ago. Not an average Japanese bike, single cylinder 398cc 4 stroke. I built it up from a frame and several boxes of parts.

http://ixian.ca/pics10/gn400.jpg

When I checked up on the Ural I discovered that it has a reputation for being a RPOC. (Russian Piece Of Crap)

Oh well.

topct
06-05-2013, 05:32 PM
I had 3 generations of Amal carbs on different bikes and don't ever remember having to mess with any of them. Why would you change the jets or needles once they were set? (Not that it isn't easy to do anyway). Mikunis gave me problems with sticking floats.

Most all the problems with Amals had to do with the crap metal they made them out of. That and combined with a flange mount that when over tightened would warp the body and contribute to excess wear between the body and the slide. The need to "mess" with them was secondary. At WOT they would work great. It was the inconsistent idle problems because of premature wear and all the slop created that also made mid range unpleasant. The Mark 3's were much better but I don't recall them being made in any other than a spigot mount. A good thing. Just not a bolt on.

The only problems with Mikunis floats I ever saw was that someone tried to mount them at some weird angle.

bob_s
06-05-2013, 05:35 PM
I had 3 generations of Amal carbs on different bikes and don't ever remember having to mess with any of them. Why would you change the jets or needles once they were set? (Not that it isn't easy to do anyway). Mikunis gave me problems with sticking floats.

Because they were manufactured and setup at or very near to sea level. Put them on the road in Calgary, and after about a thousand miles of operation, you could use the crankcase oil as fuel in a diesel vehicle. Move the circlip on the needles one notch, and you were guaranteed to burn the chrome off the exhaust headers.

May have been just fine in 'jolly old', but certainly the s***s in north America.

saltmine
06-05-2013, 06:20 PM
That's what I'm working toward. When I got my bike (new), it was jetted correctly, nice & quiet. Performance wasn't what I thought it should be (In Arizona, we have highways with 75 mph speed limits, and even if you drive 10 mph over, you could still get run over). I started to tinker with the machine. First, I made a mandrel to hold a step-drill, and punched out the stock mufflers. Holy crap! That was easily worth an extra 25 mph on the top end, and the gas mileage went from 55mpg to 66mpg. I knew I was on to something. A quick calculation showed me that the stock air filter (which isn't cheap) was badly restrictive, too. I didn't realize how much until I replaced the stocker with a pair of Unipod oiled gauze filters. Then the jetting went so lean, it would hardly run. Being an idiot, (doubting my own abilities) I took it to the local bike shop and had the guys there install a Dynojet performance jet kit.($93). the labor cost me over $200. When I rode it home, I could tell it was crazy fat. Throttle response was flat, and the inside of the pipes were black. It finally dawned on me that in my younger days, I used to do this all of the time....What was I thinking? I pulled the carburetors, and discovered a pair of nice fat main jets, about 12 jet sizes richer than stock. I bought a pair of leaner jets, and installed them. A quick ride (about 75 miles) revealed that it was still too rich, even though I'd installed a new pair of Dunstall replica mufflers in place of the factory silencers.. I called the jetting specialist at Dynojet and he suggested I go with a pair of jets about 2 sizes leaner. Jets got ordered, and I got a pair one size leaner....just in case. The carbs were finally installed....maybe not as fast as the guys at the bike shop, but they were on there. Now, all I have to do is wait until the weather cools off a bit, and go for a ride. Not leaving anything to chance, I also installed a wide-band, UEGO air-fuel ratio gauge on the bike. No more seat-of-the-pants guessing for me. Installing the air-fuel gauge required a bit of machine shop tom-foolery. I had to bore a 15/16" hole in one of the exhaust pipes, weld in an oxygen sensor bung, wire the gauge and sensor, and fabricate a bracket for the gauge from a sheet of 1/4" 6061 aluminum. It all came out well, and the mount is nice and solid.

http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu155/saltmine_album/bracket002_zps5d8a1643.jpg (http://s643.photobucket.com/user/saltmine_album/media/bracket002_zps5d8a1643.jpg.html)

http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu155/saltmine_album/bracket009_zpsf2ab31f9.jpg (http://s643.photobucket.com/user/saltmine_album/media/bracket009_zpsf2ab31f9.jpg.html)

thaiguzzi
06-06-2013, 04:23 AM
And let's not forget my favourite motorcycle engine, the Giulio Carcano designed Moto Guzzi air cooled v-twin. Originally 700cc, later 850-950, 1050, now 1200, and with all sorts 350-500 thrown in between. All alloy, pushrod across-the frame, first production road bike designed with no kick start facility (before BMW), first road production engine with no cast iron bores, engines that could do colossal mileage and a mechanic's dream to service and (eventually) rebuild. To this day i have not worked on a more simple and well thought out design. Heads, barrels, rods and crank out, and the cases are still bolted in the frame, how great is that? Minimal special service tools too.
1965 - present, and still going.
Mike.
BIG Guzzi fan.

GNM109
06-06-2013, 09:29 AM
Some nice bikes were shown in this thread. I'm still a Harley guy, though. I like that I don't have to explain what it is when I stop somewhere. :D

John Stevenson
06-06-2013, 01:56 PM
Some nice bikes were shown in this thread. I'm still a Harley guy, though. I like that I don't have to explain what it is when I stop somewhere. :D

That's the biggest problem with harleys, just stopping any place ;)

Willy
06-06-2013, 04:51 PM
That's the biggest problem with harleys, just stopping any place ;)

The alternative of course is an old British bike, then the problem is going any place.http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j31/250willy/cee48e43.jpg

GNM109
06-06-2013, 07:50 PM
That's the biggest problem with harleys, just stopping any place ;)

I remember my BSA's fondly. After riding them in various races and on the California desert for more than 20 years, I learned why they called them BSA = "Bastidges Stopped Again".

Tommo
06-06-2013, 08:51 PM
I've got a '76 Bonneville; the only major trouble I've ever had w/ it was electrical. That being said, I don't count "major trouble" including the following things vibrating off while riding: License plate, headlight (that was the funniest one), tank badge, mirror, tail lamp assembly (which got pulled into the rear wheel), carb retaining nuts (probably my own fault), side cover, footpeg, clutch adjusting nut from the handlebar perch... That's all I can remember for now. I try not to think about it. I've only been stranded once in ten years, however. Dead battery.