Sunday, August 5, 2012

Veteran Motorcycle Adventures (Part 1)---Rockin' Down the Highway

A few more days have passed than I intended before I posted this, but I'm sure you can all understand how busy everything is getting. 25 days left after today. Whoa.... Anyway, this update is pretty long, so I've got it split up into a few posts.

The end to a long battle with government...finally mounted.
Previously I had talked about finally getting Elizabeth legal here in the USA, and what a hassle it was. After 7 weeks of dealing with bureaucracy, I finally had a legal Texas license plate. An hour later, I had bent up a piece of aluminum flat stock for a license plate mount and the BSA was sporting a Texas registration. Whew....finally. It wasn't long before I stapped on my helmet and hopped on for the maiden voyage on a pulic road. Talk about a successful feeling; plus it was nice to know that not only was the bike legal, so was I!

With my dad following behind on his Victory Crossroads to warn motorists of my slow moving vehicle, we set off. With the amount of vibration coming from the motor, I learned one lesson really fast: invest heavily in threadlocker. In the span of 15 minutes, two fairly critical components vibrated off and found their way into the black hole on the side of the road. I lost the float bowl cover for my Amal 276 carburetor, as well as the velocity stack. Oy vay...hopping on the Victory, I ran back to the shop and borrowed the parts from our 1935 Norton 16H and 1946 Norton ES2, as well as picked up some lock-tite. With Elizabeth running again, we set off as evening approached to put some more miles on her in the first major road test. Happy to report that she chugs along quite nicely at 50 miles per hour, which is the Cannonball minimum speed requirement. Up til now, I had been slightly worried about the capability (I had only been able to reach speeds of the low 40's in my neighborhood). As a matter of fact, I even recorded a top speed of 58 miles per hour--with plenty of throttle left to go! Overall day number one was a wonderful first showing for Elizabeth and I, successfully completing 40 miles.
Amal 276 carb with borrowed parts: Float bowl cover,
and velocity stack. Stay tuned for more info about the dual fuel lines.

Trust me when I say it was difficult to come back and get some sleep that night. I spent about 5 hours in the shop cleaning everything and examining the operation of all critical points. Plenty of time was also devoted to removing nuts and bolts, cleaning the threads, and threadlocking them before re-installation. Hitting the sack around midnight, I knew road test number two would come quickly.

Day number two saw about 35 miles completed before a decently-sized problem decided to rear its ugly head. Having just filled up the fuel tank (my consumption rate is about 45 miles to the gallon, or about 45 miles between fill ups, according to our calculations.), we were homeward bound. Suddenly, I lost all power. Pulling off to the side of the road, my first assumption was that my high tension sparking lead had broken or become disconnected. Finding it attached, I went through a mental checklist to see where the problem might lie. One can only sit out in 108 degree heat for so long, so it was another jaunt on the Victory to swap for the truck and flatbed trailer.........

This little Trelock bicycle speedometer has been
working quite lovely, and is very accurate

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer #3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

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