Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fortnight Feature

This really isn't a video but a montage that really hits home. Having recently lost my father and having been blessed three weeks ago with the birth of my son, I am particularly touched by this piece. As ephemeral as modern life is, I look to classic motorcycling as a sort of continuation of the lifes of our forebears. Working on my bike forces me to look back, employ techniques, and appreciate the workmanship of an earlier age. I hope I can hand down to my son the same legacy presented in this beautiful piece

Friday, February 18, 2011

Something Unusual- Part 2

Last week I wrote about a cool little race bike that was for sale on Ebay. The Tehuelche 100cc racer is a rare marque. It is an innovative Argentine motorcycle that deserves a great home. Well, not this time. The auction stalled below the reserve price so who knows its future. If you want to know more go to my previous post. Here's a pic (I think it's safe now).

Friday's Pin-up

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Something Unusual

I spend a fair amount of time researching stuff on the web. All you have to do to appreciate this is look at how many blogs I follow. I also check out multiple auction sites not the least of which is Ebay. There are definitely opinions out there regarding Ebay and I have mine but try and do without it. Every now and then something interesting shows up on Ebay that prompts me to dig deeper. The first thing that comes to mind when I see something rare on Ebay is the thought process behind choosing that venue versus a conventional auction house. I'll admit that I don't know jack about auctions so there may be an excellent reason such as speed of sale or economics. The next thing that comes to mind is whether or not it's real and the item's provenance. Let's face it for all of us regular Ebay users there probably is no other place where the proverb "caveat emptor" figures so prominently.

Tehuelche Racer ridden by Gomez

Right now there is a Tehuelche racer for sale on Ebay US similar to the one above. Wish I could post the pics because they are great but I don't need the trouble. Truth be told, I have been wanting to write a little article on this marque for some time now and this bike's appearance on Ebay is as good a motivation as any.

Tehuelche motorcycles were built between 1957 and 1964 in Argentina through the partnership of Juan Rafaldi and Roberto Fattorini, who were two immigrants from Italy. The Tehuelche marque can be considered Argentina's first and only original motorcycle as all others were copies of mostly Italian origin.
The prototype engine was a four stroke SOHC engine with no oil pump constructed out of aluminum. Its original displacement was 50cc and in 1955 started competition regionally.

1963 Super Sport Model

For the mass market, the engine was redesigned with an increase in displacement to 75 cc. Below is the technical data:

Engine: Four-stroke
Cooling: Air
Bore: 48 mm
Stroke: 41 mm
Capacity: 75 cc
Compression ratio: 6.5:1
Power: 4.74 hp
RPM at maximum power: 6500
Approximate consumption: 1 liter of gasoline per 50 km
Distribution: Single overhead camshaft (SOHC)
Valves: Two valves arranged in a 90° configuration, operated through rocker arms.
Lubrication: Wet sump, splash lubrication. A hook, attached onto the connecting rod, dips into the oil in the sump and splashes it around the inside of the engine.
Clutch: Mono-disc in oil bath
Gearbox: Three-speed
Gear ratios:
    1st gear 2.628
    2nd gear 1.542
    3rd gear 1
Speed relations:
    1st speed: 28 km/h
    2nd speed: 48 km/h
    3rd speed: 74 km/h
Carburation: Dellorto MA16 carburetor, made under license in Argentina.
Frame: Chassis made out of welded steel tubes
Weight: 96 kg

During the seven year production run, Tehuelche produced 5,000 motorcycles of which less than two dozen are known to exist. Making it as rare as the Ebay description suggests.Tehuelche foundered in 1964 amidst the economic turmoil of the developing Argentine economy. Rafaldi and Fattorini went on to start their own workshop to service their clients. They tuned race bikes to 100cc which proved very successful at the hands of Alberto Gomez and Jaime Enriquez


Alberto Gomez in 1964

Jaime Enriquez in 1963

It should be interesting to see how the Ebay auction pans out. I hope the bike goes to a good home or perhaps to a museum so that all of us get to enjoy such a cool little racer.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Clutch Restoration----Part Three

Last post, I inserted the cork friction material into the plates and chain wheel. The real work is sanding the corks down even and to the right thickness. The photo below shows how proud the unfinished plates are within the chainwheel.


I have received a great deal of helpful advice on how to finish these from much more experienced gentlemen such as Pete Young and Rick Parkington. The constant theme appears to be that sanding these down is "knuckle-busting" work. Fortunately, I found the right tool--a Black and Decker palm sander. It spans several corks and lets me slowly sand them down evenly.

chainwheel being sanded

In similar fashion, I have been sanding the friction plates. It's tedious work requiring frequent measurements to ensure that the plates are close to the same thickness. My concerns are starting to build as more material is removed. If I leave the cork too thick, it will be be difficult to adjust the clutch. Furthermore, cork expands as it heats impacting clutch performance to the point that some advocate leaving the bike in neutral while at a stop. This violates the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's rule of staying in gear to theoretically avoid getting rear ended. Good theory but I don't know about the practice. If the corks are too thin then reliability goes by the wayside. We'll see how this progresses.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Finally I have a little shop help!!!!!!

I am sure you all have noticed that I haven't posted a great deal of restoration work lately. Hopefully this will change  now that I am going to have a little helper around.............

Conrad Lawrence Hutson
"Clutch"
Februrary 3rd, 2011
7lbs 14 oz


Dad and Conrad talking motorcycles

Kate, my wonderful wife, is doing great and will be coming home with Conrad today!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday's Pin-up

Velocette speeding on the sand