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Video of 1896 Steam Motorcycle in Action!

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  • Video of 1896 Steam Motorcycle in Action!

    Dig the "spoon brakes" on that baby! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t93Ql...layer_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.

  • #2
    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

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    • #3
      Genome

      I'd bet that he and Evan have similar Genome/DNA codes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sir John,
        Did the bike come with a warranty when it was new?
        Non, je ne regrette rien.

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        • #5
          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.
          The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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          • #6
            Originally posted by andy_b
            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.

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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/...steam-bicycle/

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

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                • #9
                  interesting ...the second guy on that film pronounces lever the UK way

                  usually, you guys say lever, like in leather

                  all the best.markj

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                  • #10
                    Neato,a modern version would be even better.Propane campstove bottle for fuel?
                    I just need one more tool,just one!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wierdscience
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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??
                        I just need one more tool,just one!

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                        • #13
                          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
                          Last edited by Michael Edwards; 07-12-2009, 03:30 AM.

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                          • #14
                            S. H. Roper - music to my ears.....

                            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

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                            • #15
                              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

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