Making a Motorcycle Engine

Has anyone seen a home built, viable, IC engine? Specifically a single cylinder motorcycle engine typical of the early 1900s. Not the fastest in
the world, just viable.
I know it can be done, because it has been done.but I just can't seem to find anyone on the internet who has done it.
Any ideas.direction?
I was thinking cast cases, with more common/modern/avaiable internals.
Thoughts...cheers....jeers?
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The only thing I've seen is is a homemade steam powered bike. Sounds interesting though. Karl
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Jeeeze, Karl ! Are you behind, or what? Useta be a guy on RCM that had a steam-powered pickup truck - a V8, no less.
Bob Swinney
wrote:

The only thing I've seen is is a homemade steam powered bike. Sounds interesting though. Karl
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Are you looking for a From-Scratch motor, or modifying something else to make it work type of engine?
haven't tried it, but i've had this tickle in the back of my head for a while:
I used to have a couple of Automotive air conditioning compressors from the mid 1960's. they were either single piston or dual piston depending on the model, and each cylinder was (guessing) about 200cc in size. the cranks and cases looked relatively beefy. You would definitely need to make a new cylinder head to get valves that could handle combustion, but the rest of it was designed to spin at 3000RPM or so.
Maybe a good starting platform to figure some stuff out?
--


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Well, it started as a "from scratch" IDEA. But.....
The starting point is function follows form...I know, wrong way to do it, but the purpose is to have a vintage/antique style as an intended result.
I admit, the end result is to have a unique motorcycle with a unique engine. I don't want a Harley engine, because ...well, because I keep getting told I need to have a Harley engine. I don't want a Japanese engine...probably for the same reason the Harley owners don't want a Japanese motorcycle/machine. I thought about something as simple as a Briggs and Stratton engine, but...well.....it tends to look like a Briggs and Stratton engine. But....
It's hard to argue with the success of Harley, Honda, B&S, etc....so I guess my happy medium is the parts from one of these within the case/cylinder/head of my own making. Harley parts are just sooooooooo expensive, the Japanese new stuff probably isn't much cheaper....and so I thought of perhaps settling on B&S internals.
Remember this thing does not have to win races, or travel to the ends of the Earth...Just your basic engine that runs, doesn't blow up, gets 50-60 MPG, last 10K to 15K miles. (lasting longer is fine, but I kind of felt that with the splash lubrication of a B&S limited my expected life). It would power something like a Simplex (http://www.servi-cycle.com/history.htm ).
I realize everything I want to do can be purchased...but only at a price. I'm a little tired of living a life in which I go to work, die slow, repeat the next....all because I don't have a million dollars.
My shop is moderately equipped. MIG, Lathe (9x12), Mill, etc....not the best of everything, but AT LEAST as good as most early makers had at their disposal. I realize that some aspects will need to be sent out (i.e. Bore/hone/etc).
wrote:

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On Wed, 3 Sep 2008 22:05:52 -0500, "James Newell"
<snip>

<snip>
I have owned two Honda 550 4 cylinder motorcycles. A 1976 and a 1978. The 76 would get ~35 mpg and the 78 ~38 mpg. They were pretty simple designs, air cooled, chain drive.
And ya, I know how to check the mileage. My current Honda Magna VF700C gets ~45 mpg. Maybe 48 mpg if I stay under 50 mph and really try hard for mpg.
Watch your motor size, cooling and such if you really want 50-60 mpg...
I would keep my eyes open for old Honda's (mid 70's) in need of repair and then use your equipment to create your own Frankenstein from them :)
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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I only ride motorcycles. I thought those four wheeled things were for people who couldn't balance on two. Nothing wrong with V8 motorcycles though. http://www.bosshoss.com/products.asp Karl
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Google Excelsior and Paul Brodie. Try this YouTube link.
<http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=board+tracker+replica+BC&hl=en&emb=0&aq=f#q=youtube%20board%20tracker&hl=en&emb=0
Or his web page.
<http://www.flashbackfab.com/pages/excel00.html
Pete
--
Pete Snell
Department of Physics
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Just a guess, James. Anyone smart enough to have done it in the early 1900s is probably dead already or not hanging around on the internet.
Bob Swinney
Has anyone seen a home built, viable, IC engine? Specifically a single cylinder motorcycle engine typical of the early 1900s. Not the fastest in the world, just viable.
I know it can be done, because it has been done.but I just can't seem to find anyone on the internet who has done it.
Any ideas.direction?
I was thinking cast cases, with more common/modern/avaiable internals.
Thoughts...cheers....jeers?
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I haven't done it, but if you can find copies of "The Model Engineer" magazine from the early 1900s, there were plenty of how-to articles on building motorcycles and altering existing bicycles. Note that the bicycles back then seemed to be a lot more heavy-duty that what's currently available. Most conversions used a single cylinder engine replacing the upright under the seat and a big leather belt to drive the rear wheel. "The Model Engineer" was a staple of British modelmaking for decades, sometimes it was a weekly, sometimes a biweekly. A lot of big-city libraries have back issues, either as bound volumes or on microfilm. The college library had all the issues back to volume one, they covered just about everything you could think of that you could make in a small shop and then some. In later years, it was more oriented towards the live steamer folks, but in the early years it had a lot of different projects in it. I've got reprints from the first decade, they are worth having.
Stan
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I haven't done it, but if you can find copies of "The Model Engineer" magazine from the early 1900s, there were plenty of how-to articles on building motorcycles and altering existing bicycles. Note that the bicycles back then seemed to be a lot more heavy-duty that what's currently available. Most conversions used a single cylinder engine replacing the upright under the seat and a big leather belt to drive the rear wheel. "The Model Engineer" was a staple of British modelmaking for decades, sometimes it was a weekly, sometimes a biweekly. A lot of big-city libraries have back issues, either as bound volumes or on microfilm. The college library had all the issues back to volume one, they covered just about everything you could think of that you could make in a small shop and then some. In later years, it was more oriented towards the live steamer folks, but in the early years it had a lot of different projects in it. I've got reprints from the first decade, they are worth having.
Stan
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James Newell wrote:

Check out the castinghobby group at yahoo.com for starters . Lotsa good info there for your cases . As far as internals , you might consider modified Harley crank parts - or homemade parts of similar design . Shortened crankpin , run modified Sportster cams . How ya gonna lube this thing ? I presume you want overhead valves ? Gonna be some interesting core work on that head !
--
Snag
'90 Ultra "Strider"
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James Newell wrote:

The guys who exhibit at the NAMES show certainly could build a power plant for a bike. There have been a couple articles in Home Shop Machinist about an engine with electronically controlled valves, but the engine is quite a bit bigger than the typical home shop engine, and ought to be powerful enough to move a bike. Then, of course, there are the guys with WAYYYY too much time on their hands who build 1/4-scale Offenhausers, V-8 boat engines, 18-cyl radials and other exotica. One guy with a V-8 boat had some videos of his boat doing what had to be 100+ MPH on a lake, but it was all a blur! You could pick up the entire boat in one hand, I think. 2 years ago, the Sherline award winner from France had his 1/4-scale Ferrari car there. The engine sounded quite awesome.
Jon
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James Newell wrote:

Try googling for John Britten. Staggering what one guy can achieve!
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