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Old 01-25-2020, 12:48 PM   #821
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

To my mind this is just a beautiful motorcycle.

A neighbor of mine back in Michigan, c. 1974, let me take his non-Desmo 350cc race bike for a ride. Top speed wasn't much to write home about but it sure was quick. Up to that point I'd been real happy with Triumphs for their good handling, but that small Duc was a revelation. Plus its sound, going up through the gears, was like a combination of air wrench and Thompson gun.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:08 PM   #822
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

Roll your own, XR 750 frame for sale, and look at those tasty parts for-sale on the counter, too. Parts are in Miami FL.


More pics and details after I return from my doctor's appt.

Update: I'm OK, just older and not age 25 anymore.

The red frame I believe is a factory XR-750 frame. The yellow one is from the afrermarket, not-sure whose. Champion, Trackmaster, C&J, Boyd & Stellings, Sonic-Weld?

In the parts for sale were XR1000 cyl heads, Knucklehead cyl heads, and XR 750 heads. Also a bunch of S&S carbs. Much-other stuff too, including a Panhead on a stand.

The Sportster was built in a friend's shop, it's sold, and soon to be shipped to CA.

The last bike, black & orange appropriately, I believe to be from when H-D was allowed to use an engine of another manufacturer to field a short-track entry.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:45 AM   #823
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

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Circa 1962 (?) Parilla Wildcat. Looks like an OHC but it has stumpy pushrods. Unlike the 175cc Parillas I more usually see, it's a 250. This belongs to the Barber Museum.
One of the bike mags did a retrospective on Parilla recently, I was looking for the issue (I have it) but couldn't locate it. I found another article, Motorcycle Classics has good overviews on a lot of vintage bikes.

As Ratso said, it used pushrods, just very-short ones, to operate the valves. I believe it also used the same cam profile lobe for both intake and exhaust, which cut-down on weight, simplified machining, and perhaps added a bit of rev-capability.

The use of a 'high-cam' engine design was also used in the automotive world. GM used such a design for the 1960's OPEL Kadett, I believe the most-popular USA design was ~116 cubic inches (1.9 liters) and rated at 102 HP. I think there was a smaller version of this too, which was popular in Europe, but in the wide-open USA, you need horsepower to cross states, man!

The OPEL GT was a popular car, often referred-to as a 'mini-Corvette,' and it also made-use of this 'high-cam' engine.

Parilla didn't make it into the 1970's, and as is often the story here in the USA with Italian conveyances, parts availability wasn't as-good as it needed to-be, to build the market. The USA importer tried to prod the factory into being more-responsive to both supporting the brand and to releasing updated models as the demand for motorcycles exploded in the late 1960's early 1970's, but such support and product development was not-forthcoming. In exasperation the USA importer decided that Benelli was a better brand to import, and went with them. Before 1970, Parilla was no-more: '67 was the last year of production.

https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/c...parilla-250-gs

Update 2/2/20:
I just found the issue I was looking for w/the Parilla article, Classic Bike, Nov. 2019.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:54 AM   #824
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

Cool, thanks esp. for the exploded drawing.

> the same cam profile lobe for both intake and exhaust

Interesting! Do you (i.e. you or anybody out there) know of other designs whose cam did double duty like that?

The black Sporter would wear me out and, probably, spit me off on my best day.

Black-and-orange bike: Harley had a longstanding association with Aermacchi; the Italian company made H-D's Sprint, widely used in smaller-cc flat track and road racing. A number of lightweight Aermacchi two-strokes were sold as Harley-Davidsons in this country too: all singles, I think, none bigger than 350cc, successful or at least persistent in motocross as well as DT and RR.

One model had "unusual" rear suspension. They were looking for rear wheel travel and evidently left no stone unturned.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:30 PM   #825
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

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Cool, thanks esp. for the exploded drawing.

> the same cam profile lobe for both intake and exhaust

Interesting! Do you (i.e. you or anybody out there) know of other designs whose cam did double duty like that?

The black Sporter would wear me out and, probably, spit me off on my best day.

Black-and-orange bike: Harley had a longstanding association with Aermacchi; the Italian company made H-D's Sprint, widely used in smaller-cc flat track and road racing. A number of lightweight Aermacchi two-strokes were sold as Harley-Davidsons in this country too: all singles, I think, none bigger than 350cc, successful or at least persistent in motocross as well as DT and RR.

One model had "unusual" rear suspension. They were looking for rear wheel travel and evidently left no stone unturned.
Sure, I knew of the H-D/Aermacchi connection, and I recall then the 'twin pairs of downtubes' suspension bikes were released. The "Y" company had released their dirtbike 2-stroke, reed-valve YZ models, the first were twin-rear shocks, and the next year they released the Monoshock, which started the long-travel revolution. The H-D factory was a bit delayed on the uptake, and I think Aermacchi went with Marzocchi for that rear suspension design. I saw a few in-person back in the mid-'70's, but I don't recall it provided them with a boost over what the competition was running, in either sales or race results.

The 2 stroke H-D Aermacchis were in the 50/100/125/175 cc classes I believe, and the 250 and 350 cc bikes were the single cyl 4-strokes. I recall the jug and cyl head profile of the Aermacchis was reminiscent of the similar-sized Benelli Barracuda. An ad of the day: "(The Rifleman) Chuck Connors rides a Benelli!" The engine being a stressed-member of the frame, requiring a rigid mount, so it conducted more vibration to the rider, and no single or double front loop on the frame, in-front of the engine. The cyl head was provided an uninterrupted flow of air, with no frame blocking the airflow.

I believe Aermacchi had strictly road-racers, probably twins, in 250 and 350 displacements campaigned as H-D's. I have some pics from a N. Florida H-D dealer who was big-time into the road-racing scene in the '60's and '70's. Hollingsworth I believe. I have some pics, I'll try to locate them. I think the business, which had run H-D for generations, was squeezed-out of business by corporate policies years-ago.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:58 PM   #826
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

I hope I didn't seem patronizing or insult your intelligence concerning Harley/Aermacchi. I don't know how much you know, you know?

If you're interested, here's a couple of '70s H-D/Aermacchi race bikes. I was wrong about Aermacchi not making twins. But they are, respectively, 250 and 350cc. Pretty, too.

250RR startup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rcscdYTGGo



350RR OTR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eea8RmM_tFY



Dang. If I'd known Chuck Connors rode a Benelli, I'd a bought one.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:13 PM   #827
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

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I hope I didn't seem patronizing or insult your intelligence concerning Harley/Aermacchi. I don't know how much you know, you know?

If you're interested, here's a couple of '70s H-D/Aermacchi race bikes. I was wrong about Aermacchi not making twins. But they are, respectively, 250 and 350cc. Pretty, too.

250RR startup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rcscdYTGGo



350RR OTR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eea8RmM_tFY



Dang. If I'd known Chuck Connors rode a Benelli, I'd a bought one.
Oh, no, I didn't take it that-way, at-all, thank-you for the consideration. You're one of the more-frequent commenters on-here, I see your comments are usually from a point of information or a well-written inquisitive request for info. I'm on-here in fits and sputters of time, as I'm not-really a 'chopper-guy,' I'm much-more of a vintage-interests about motorcycling kind-of fellow. However, I have acquaintances are more-into the chopped scene, and while I cannot discuss with authority things like when parts changed on a Knucklehead, or the drill for kick-starting an Indian 101 Scout, I can enjoy the back-and-forth banter with my chopper-centric friends. The closest I come to H-D lifestyle or mechanical maintenance is a twenty-four year-old FLSTN, w/all the original sales paperwork.

Here are some pics from an AMCA show last month in Dania Beach FL, held every year towards the end of January. Free admission, and well-worth it, they have a large vintage American and British motorcycle representation.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:38 PM   #828
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

If a moderator has a better place for these shots, please move 'em. There are competition bikes in the group.

Here are shots from St Augustine FL at the Riding into History show, May 2019.

This is a representative group of the variety you can see there.

I think it was Floyd Clymer who began badging British bikes after WW II as "Indians" and importing them.

My personal favorite of this group is the Buffalo, NY-built Pierce Arrow, yes the same company who built the American equivalent of the Rolls-Royce, even-though at one point R-R automobiles were built here in NY after WW 1. Pierce Arrow only built motorcycles for a brief period, but they were very-advanced for the time. This example has patina-galore, and is probably well above $100,000 in value, given the current market, I assume.
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:10 AM   #829
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

Nice pics.

This here's a Dick Mann-style early A7 (500cc). I swiped the image from British Iron, an English fella's blog.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:13 AM   #830
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Nice pics.

This here's a Dick Mann-style early A7 (500cc). I swiped the image from British Iron, an English fella's blog.
Isn't that an archetype for an early 1960's flattracker? A real traditional look. The Triumph, Matchless, and Norton twins all have similar engine profiles, to this BSA and the pre-unit construction, separate gearbox BSA's and the other bikes look 'right'. I suppose that if you're someone who started being a dirtbike kid in the early/mid 1970's then the two-strokes will be what appeals to you.

Jay Leno once voiced his appreciation for "bikes you-can see-through," and this BSA certainly has the look in spades.

Here is the other side of the BSA single I posted earlier. I'm also including a Yankee-OSSA 500 cc twin, which was available in the early 1970's as an enduro, though I'm sure most people removed the lights and ran them as dirtbikes. The east coast importer of OSSA's had the Yankee made, two OSSA cylinders on a common crankcase. I believe the OSSA's were actually 230 cc each. The Pioneer was their enduro, and they had an ISDT bike, and the snorting racer was the Stiletto. I once had a Stiletto. A friend had a Pioneer, and it was a very-good bike in the dirt, we did a lot of trail riding and sand and gravel pit hillclimbing with it.

One of my friends tried roadracing a Yankee-OSSA 500 cc 2-stroke twin. The vibration was intense, and it had a string of DNF's due-to it. The fasteners kept coming-loose. He ran it at Daytona, among other tracks.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:36 AM   #831
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I always liked the looks of those Spanish-American twins.

This late* Triumph looks good to me, too: nothing spectacular but well used, which suggests well put together out of the right bits and pieces. I'm sure riding the thing would focus one's attention in a good way.

* Late Olde Triumph, not Hinckley Triumph. The attraction of "retro" anything (with two wheels or four or none) escapes me.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:19 AM   #832
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I always liked the looks of those Spanish-American twins.

This late* Triumph looks good to me, too: nothing spectacular but well used, which suggests well put together out of the right bits and pieces. I'm sure riding the thing would focus one's attention in a good way.

* Late Olde Triumph, not Hinckley Triumph. The attraction of "retro" anything (with two wheels or four or none) escapes me.
1] Yes I'm with you on that one always liked the looks of those Spanish-American twins. and almost any Spanish bike you can name had a sense of style that was their own, to my way of thinking. Montesa, Bultaco, OSSA, they all were attractive, and were performance-oriented, simple, strong, and fun to ride.

My friends whose family owned a dealership by Lake Ontario in western NYS going back-to the 1950's, when the boys got to be running their own businesses, later, one of their deals was to buy-out the east coast OSSA distributor in Schenectady NY when OSSA stopped production. They also got Hi-Bore, I believe. One of the stock was a flattrack Dick Mann Replica OSSA w/zero track time on it, it was a static display in the lobby of the business.

2] My thought on 'retro' is that if people take a late-model Triumph and carve it up, that may spare the Meriden models from being 'bobber'ed.' Also, I suspect the supply of spares for the late-models is easier to come-by, and they are probably less trouble-prone. As-for the new production of 'retro style,' I'm perfectly content to see these come to market. Most retro bikes are easy to identify, their family style cues are easy to recognize, whether it's a 2020 Softail, or some Japanese Brand H, Y, or S. Let's face it, the Harley-Davidson business plan for probably 50 years has been 'retro.' It didn't hurt them, and they've survived. It's just now that they're trying to appeal to the Millennials as their core demographic Boomers age-out of riding. Sadly, the War Babies who preceded the Boomers, or those even-older, who would now be age 79, almost 80 years of-age, and older, well, they aren't likely to be buying new bikes, much-less riding them. Sure, there are a few grey-beards out there, but when you have prosthetic knees and hips, the last thing you want to-do is to be trying to kick-start a backfiring, recalcitrant V-twin, or other bike. I've seen some of my older friends (I'm almost 70) going to trikes, which while not as maneuverable as bikes, allows a safer time on the road for the older enthusiast.

I'm glad to see H-D trying new models to improve their image with younger riders, those below age 55 (the Boomer younger limit). Smaller displacements built in countries where the production costs are lower (please, no hate, I'm retired from two union jobs) and where their global presence can grow in those segments, that's the way for them to-survive. They may-not even choose to distribute those smaller-displacement products in the USA, allowing the global marketplace to absorb the production, and to wait to-see if there is a demand for those smaller engine bikes here. Straight-from the pig's snout: https://www.harley-davidson.com/us/e...otorcycle.html Their conceptual drawing displayed is very-much in the style of current popular bikes of smaller displacement.

Some pics: late-model dirt-track style H-D Sportster; pre-WW II H-D, I believe it's a circa-1927 JD; Don Bradley drawing for the St. Augustine FL Riding Into History bike show; OSSA 6 Days' Replica 250 cc enduro. Unfortunately, Don has died, he used-to donate a drawing to support the annual Riding Into History show each year. I'm fortunate to have known Don, he was a true enthusiast, he'd been a Palm Beach FL-area dealer, he was a machinist, and he rode his bike across our country: how-many people do you know touring interstate on their Vincent? I have a bunch of his different posters, and their designs are great wall displays, unfortunately, I don't have the wall-space for all-of them, so I have-to rotate them. That's OK, it keeps 'em from fading.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:42 AM   #833
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Elektron, I'm getting a bad feeling that the conversation between you and me could be jeopardizing the existence of this thread. While I feel that it's a very useful one (like, useful to someone who wants to build a flat-track-influenced custom and needs examples & visual references to what the real thing looked/looks like), no one could call it a tech thread.

As it def seems like the requirements for a thread's survival on the JJ are becoming more stringent (I've certainly had a few well-intentioned attempts shut down, and been denied when I've asked for mod permission to start one), it might be prudent to take at least our more word-heavy contributions out of the public eye. To PM-land, I mean.

A good number of threads I've found (sometimes) materially useful as well as (usually) enjoyable have gone dark. I don't know if that's because the often highly skilled and wildly creative guys who once posted in them have drifted away, or because they no longer fit in with the site's "vision," or because the builders & other artisan types who used to fill their pages have been warned off or discouraged from keeping them going. To repeat myself, I'd hate to see this thread get abandoned or even shuttered.

(I also think we've been pushing it by putting up as many "borderline"-acceptable bikes as we do -- two-strokes, for one thing, and from countries other than the U.S., the U.K., and maybe Australia, for another. But that is one more conversation we ought not to gunk up this thread with.)

What do you think? I'm asking (1) Elektron, (2) everybody else who cares, and (3) the JJ's sole remaining moderator, who may not deserve to be burdened with this shit.

Thanks
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:22 PM   #834
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

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Elektron, I'm getting a bad feeling that the conversation between you and me could be jeopardizing the existence of this thread. While I feel that it's a very useful one (like, useful to someone who wants to build a flat-track-influenced custom and needs examples & visual references to what the real thing looked/looks like), no one could call it a tech thread.

As it def seems like the requirements for a thread's survival on the JJ are becoming more stringent (I've certainly had a few well-intentioned attempts shut down, and been denied when I've asked for mod permission to start one), it might be prudent to take at least our more word-heavy contributions out of the public eye. To PM-land, I mean.

A good number of threads I've found (sometimes) materially useful as well as (usually) enjoyable have gone dark. I don't know if that's because the often highly skilled and wildly creative guys who once posted in them have drifted away, or because they no longer fit in with the site's "vision," or because the builders & other artisan types who used to fill their pages have been warned off or discouraged from keeping them going. To repeat myself, I'd hate to see this thread get abandoned or even shuttered.

(I also think we've been pushing it by putting up as many "borderline"-acceptable bikes as we do -- two-strokes, for one thing, and from countries other than the U.S., the U.K., and maybe Australia, for another. But that is one more conversation we ought not to gunk up this thread with.)

What do you think? I'm asking (1) Elektron, (2) everybody else who cares, and (3) the JJ's sole remaining moderator, who may not deserve to be burdened with this shit.

Thanks
J. rats
This thread is a "show me", so it's essentially similar to many of the picture threads. Comments are fine, but like in those, short and sweet for the most part.

Nothing is more stringent now, the rules haven't changed, so no reason to vent in a thread. You said it yourself, PM is a great tool.

Less is more, especially in a picture thread.
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:31 PM   #835
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I apologize for venting. It took a while to convince myself that that was what I was doing, but I managed it eventually. Congratulate me if you like, I don't mind.

This here is a 350cc Kohler-Escoffier Moto-Ball special (1936). Its not exactly a retro-custom or whatever the hep term may be. The bike was originally factory-built to excel at the sport of moto-ball (which does take place on dirt; look it up), a.k.a. moto-polo. Loosely (over-?) restored by Serge Bueno. The fuel tank is from a smaller Koehler.

The French Owl probably knows all about Kohler-Escoffiers (and probably owns six of them), but the name was new to me.
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Old 03-01-2020, 05:57 AM   #836
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Cool bike, but if there is kicking going on, Id want a chain guard.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:24 AM   #837
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I apologize for venting. It took a while to convince myself that that was what I was doing, but I managed it eventually. Congratulate me if you like, I don't mind.

This here is a 350cc Kohler-Escoffier Moto-Ball special (1936). It’s not exactly a retro-custom or whatever the hep term may be. The bike was originally factory-built to excel at the sport of moto-ball (which does take place on dirt; look it up), a.k.a. moto-polo. Loosely (over-?) restored by Serge Bueno. The fuel tank is from a smaller Koehler.

The French Owl probably knows all about Kohler-Escoffiers (and probably owns six of them), but the name was new to me.
I think the Russians were big-into moto-ball. I recall seeing b&w pics of guys on Jawas, DKW's and CZ's in what appeared to be an arena with a pretty-good sized ball, buzzing-around. This goes back many years to 'twin-shock' bike days.

Last edited by Elektron; 03-02-2020 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:37 PM   #838
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

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Old 03-02-2020, 10:14 PM   #839
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

From Classic Bike magazine, a U.K. publication. A hillclimbing Vincent which won national titles in Canada and the USA. It was sleeved-down to 750 cc, and runs BSA pistons.

Also a pic of a Triumph single flattracker, sorry for the crummy quality.

Then a pic of a hand-built bike by Lucky Keizer, from the Southern Hemisphere (Australia). It's a DOHC V-twin, two cylinders cut-off one of the most-famous engines in WW II history, the Rolls-Royce Merlin. Note the GMC supercharger, as-if a 5 litre engine wasn't enough. A Rochester Quadrajet rides on-top of the blower. Sorry for the poor pic quality. The last two pics were taken at Daytona Bike Week probably > 30 years ago.
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Last edited by Elektron; 03-13-2020 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:21 AM   #840
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Default Re: show me your flat trackers and desert racers

Circa 1918-1920 H-D board track racer.
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