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Tuckerfan
07-07-2009, 02:31 AM
Dig the "spoon brakes" on that baby! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t93QlgBu4Is&feature=player_embedded

The host never says if he topped the bike out or not, but he got it up to at least 20 MPH or so. The original bike supposedly did around 70.

Michael Edwards
07-07-2009, 04:39 AM
I saw this bike at an antique motorcycle show in Bellingham about 5 or 8 years ago. There were a lot of interesting bikes there, but when he fired the steam bike up, it was as if it was the only bike there. It was interesting to see him ride around the parking lot, very quiet. A more modern version would be a lot of fun on a quiet early morning weekend ride.

ME

oldtiffie
07-07-2009, 04:42 AM
I'd bet that he and Evan have similar Genome/DNA codes.

chief
07-07-2009, 07:48 AM
Sir John,
Did the bike come with a warranty when it was new?

andy_b
07-07-2009, 10:26 AM
i want one. only i'd put better brakes on it.

so is the one cylinder on the left side supposed to keep the water level up and the pump on top just for an extra shot every now and then? my only concern, as i'm sure any of you would have, is the water level running low and the thing exploding. i wonder how far you could go on one pile of charcoal and tank of water?

andy b.

Tuckerfan
07-08-2009, 02:00 AM
i want one. only i'd put better brakes on it.

so is the one cylinder on the left side supposed to keep the water level up and the pump on top just for an extra shot every now and then? my only concern, as i'm sure any of you would have, is the water level running low and the thing exploding. i wonder how far you could go on one pile of charcoal and tank of water?

andy b.
A flash boiler would eliminate the worry about an explosion, and you wouldn't have the 45 minute warm up time.

Roy Andrews
07-08-2009, 10:27 AM
the hand pump is to add water when not moving. while in motion the piston pump supplies water to fill the boiler whenever the valve is opened. most of these bikes you see that are used antiques have heavy guards around the sight glass as this was a very vulnerable piece. the big explosion danger is trying to re-introduce water to a hot empty boiler. dry firing a small boiler like that isn't particularly dangerous although it can damage the boiler for future use.

Tuckerfan
07-08-2009, 09:25 PM
It seems some clever fellow in Indonesia has also made himself one: http://lostbiro.com/blog/?p=1460

More photos can be found on his blog: http://sepeda.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/r-nan-01-indonesian-steam-bicycle/

Unfortunately, its written in the native language, so good luck in trying to read it.

aboard_epsilon
07-08-2009, 09:44 PM
interesting ...the second guy on that film pronounces lever the UK way

usually, you guys say lever, like in leather

all the best.markj

wierdscience
07-08-2009, 11:28 PM
Neato,a modern version would be even better.Propane campstove bottle for fuel?

Tuckerfan
07-08-2009, 11:34 PM
Neato,a modern version would be even better.Propane campstove bottle for fuel?
Bob Jorgensen was going to convert his before he died, but I don't know if he ever got around to it. (http://lindsaybks.com/gallery/Jorg/index.html)

wierdscience
07-09-2009, 12:09 AM
Bob Jorgensen was going to convert his before he died, but I don't know if he ever got around to it. (http://lindsaybks.com/gallery/Jorg/index.html)

Thanks for that link,excellent workmanship.

I've seen several of the little steam runabouts at various shows,all repro's.There seem to be two models,Excelsior and Witton??

Michael Edwards
07-12-2009, 04:28 AM
Here is a link to some build pics. In that first pic, one of those shadows is probably me. It was very interesting to see the motorcycle in action.

http://www.steamcar.net/roper-1.html

ME

tom in nh
07-12-2009, 03:06 PM
Finally, some mention of Sylvester Roper. He is my hero. I have been researching about him for approx. 6-7 years now.
The original 1896 bike is now owned by a gent from Michigan ( he married the granddaughter of one of the Stanley brothers - of steam car fame).
Sylvester Roper was a truly brilliant inventer, machinist, and tinkerer. Was involved in guns, textile machinery, and other thing that escape me at the moment.
I hope others can share knowledge about this man, as records are scarce.
The original motorcycle (approx. 1863) is in the Smithsonian. Has 34" wheels (wooden with wrapped outer iron bands - same brake set up as the 1896 bike). The water tank is the leather seat you sit your fat arse on. The handlebar looks like a paper towel holder - rolling it fowards or rearwards controls the throttle .
I tend to believe that this Smithsonian bike is in fact the world's first motorcycle.
I am specifically interested in his steam records, drawings,etc.
Any other Roper students out there?
Thanks,
Tom

Michael Edwards
07-12-2009, 03:40 PM
Hey Tom, you probably already know of this site, but just in case.

http://www.flashbackfab.com/pages/steam01.html

Roper was a pioneer. Doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there on steam motorcycles.

ME

tom in nh
07-12-2009, 07:00 PM
Michael,
I did see that web page not too long ago.
Thanks for the refresher though....
Are you interested in steam? Sure is captivating, like watching a shaper or planer in action.
I have piles of info on this subject.
But little on Roper....I hope to someday write a book on this early steam pioneer.

Tom

Michael Edwards
07-12-2009, 07:20 PM
Are you interested in steam? Sure is captivating, like watching a shaper or planer in action.


I have piles of info on this subject.
But little on Roper....
Tom

Ya I'm a steam fan. Funny that you should mention a connection between steam and shapers. :D
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2326/1558017808_d4fce82cee.jpg

Lindsay Publications has a booklet called Motocycles of 1899. Yes, motocycles is how it's spelled, anyways there is about six pages of info on Roper's bike in there... FYI. I would love to have time to make a steam motorcycle... maybe some day.

ME

tom in nh
07-12-2009, 08:00 PM
Michael,
Love those shapers!....especially those big twin girls with the tilting tables, are those a pair of 24 inchers?
I only have a lowly Atlas 7B - in great shape though.
I get to use my mentor's modified Whitcomb planer on occasion.
I have that book from Lindsay, too.
I would like to build a bike someday also.
Jeez, are you sure you are not my twin brother??
I do have some steam engines. Need time and more time to play with them.

Tom

Michael Edwards
07-12-2009, 08:17 PM
Left to right, 28", 24", 16" and 14". Long time ago I made the PM Research 3A. Later on I replaced the flywheel with a bronze one. I'm in the middle of a Tiny Power steam hammer, but it's on the back burner due to lack of time. Nothin wrong with an Atlas. That's cool about the planer, not too many of those around, makes shapers look common. Have a good one... bro. ;)

ME

Tuckerfan
07-13-2009, 03:52 AM
Roper was a pioneer. Doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there on steam motorcycles.

MESo, far, all I've been able to find, besides the stuff I linked to, are these scans of an article from Mechanix Illustrated on a 1950s Harley converted to steam:
http://usera.imagecave.com/tuckerfan/steamcycle01.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/tuckerfan/steamcycle02.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/tuckerfan/steamcycle03.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/tuckerfan/steamcycle04.jpg

A brief piece on one a guy built in the 1930s:
http://usera.imagecave.com/tuckerfan/steamcycle05.jpg

And this one from 1884:
http://patentpending.blogs.com/patent_pending_blog/2007/03/copeland_steam_.html

Michael Edwards
07-13-2009, 04:47 AM
So, far, all I've been able to find


Thanks for the links, I haven't seen any of them before.

ME