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Archive for the ‘Motorcycles’ Category
Posted in Motorcycles, People, Photography, The thirties, The twenties, Transportation, Traveling, tagged Female motorcycle riders, Madge Saunders, Marjorie Cottle, Miss E. Foley, Miss L. Ball, Nancy and Betty Debenham, Sally Halterman on February 24, 2015| 4 Comments »
The BMW R32 was the first motorcycle produced by BMW under the BMW name. An aircraft engine manufacturer during World War I, BMW was forced to diversify after the Treaty of Versailles banned the German air force and German aircraft manufacture. BMW initially turned to industrial engine design and manufacturing.
In 1919, BMW designed and manufactured the flat-twin M2B15 engine for Victoria Werke AG of Nuremberg. The engine was initially intended as a portable industrial engine, but found its main use in Victoria motorcycles. The engine was also used in the Helios motorcycle built by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, which was later merged into BMW AG. Bayerische Flugzeugwerke also manufactured a small two-stroke engined motorcycle, called the Flink, which was not successful.
After the merger, General Director of BMW Franz Josef Popp asked Design Director Max Friz to assess the Helios motorcycle. Upon completing his assessment, Friz suggested to Popp that the best thing that could be done with the Helios would be to dump it in the nearest lake. More specifically, Friz condemned the Douglas-style transverse-crankshaft layout, which heavily restricted the cooling of the rear cylinder.
Popp and Friz then agreed to a near-term solution of redesigning the Helios to make it more saleable and a long-term solution of an all new motorcycle design. This new design was designated the BMW R32 and began production in 1923, becoming the first motorcycle to be badged as a BMW.
The M2B33 engine in the R32 had a displacement of 494 cc and had a cast-iron sidevalve cylinder/head unit. The engine produced 8.5 hp (6.3 kW), which propelled the R32 to a top speed of 95 km/h (59 mph). The engine and gear box formed asingle unit. The new engine featured a recirculating wet sump oiling system at a time when most motorcycle manufacturers used a total-loss oiling system. BMW used this type of recirculating oiling system until 1969.
To counter the cooling problems encountered with the Helios, Friz oriented the R32’s M2B33 boxer engine with the cylinder heads projecting out on each side for cooling, as used in the earlier British-manufactured ABC. Unlike the ABC, however, the R32 used shaft final drive from a flexible coupling on the gearbox output shaft to a pinion driving a ring gear on the rear wheel hub.
The R32 had a tubular steel frame with twin downtubes that continued under the engine to the rear wheel. The front fork had a trailing link design suspended by a leaf spring, similar to the forks used by Indian at the time. The rear wheel was rigidly mounted. A drum brake was used on the front wheel, while a "dummy rim" brake was used on the rear wheel.
The R32 established the boxer-twin, shaft-drive powertrain layout that BMW would use until the present. BMW used shaft drives in all of its motorcycles until the introduction of the F650 in 1994 and continues to use it on their boxer-twin motorcycles.
Text from Wikipedia
An electric tricycle, capable of a top speed of 15 mph, has driven into a safety row on its first day on the road.
The Sinclair C5 – launched by the computer millionaire, Sir Clive Sinclair – is designed for short journeys around town and can be driven by anyone over the age of 14. But the £399 vehicle, driven by a battery-powered motor, only 2 ft. 6 in high and six feet long, has raised safety concerns.
It’s a sort of milk float you’re putting into the traffic stream
Dr Murray MacKay, Birmingham University
The British Safety Council says the vehicle is too close to the ground and the driver has poor visibility in traffic. He sits with his legs outstretched and the controls are beneath his thighs.
With a top speed of only 15 mph, safety experts say the C5 could be vulnerable to knocks from other cars. The vehicle is open-topped and the driver is not obliged to wear a crash helmet or even have a driving licence.
Dr Murray MacKay head of the Accident Research Unit at Birmingham University said: "It’s a sort of milk float you’re putting into the traffic stream and that sort of dislocation is going to cause conflicts, particularly turning right."
Sir Clive claims his new vehicle will be a perfect runabout: "It’s ideal for shopping, going to the office, going to school, any trip around town."
BBC News asked British motor racing legend, Stirling Moss, to take the C5 for a spin around town. His verdict: "I think it’s safe if you drive it realising it isn’t a car… ride it just like a bicycle and I think you should be alright."
The Sinclair C5 was a commercial disaster. Only about 12,000 were ever produced. However, it has since achieved cult status and in 2002, a vehicle in mint condition could fetch up to £900 – compared with an original retail price of £399.
Prior to the C5, Sir Clive Sinclair had chalked up significant successes – the first pocket calculator, the first pocket television and the best-selling British computer of all time. He was awarded a knighthood by Margaret Thatcher.
Now in his sixties, Sir Clive still controls Sinclair Research. His recent inventions include a device which propels bicycles without the need for pedalling and a radio the size of a 10p coin, designed to fit in the ear.
Text from BBC’s OnThisDay
The advantage two-strokes had over four-strokes was that they completed their power cycle in half the time of a four stroke engine. This meant they could rev very fast, so ‘Das Kleine Wunder’ (the little marvel) was the perfect engine for DKW’s new range of motorcycles. 1928 was a bumper year for DKW. Thousands of motorcycles, all powered by their new engine, practically raced off their production line and year on year sales just keep increasing.
Motorcycle production peaked at 55,000 in 1937 making DKW the largest and most successful motorcycle company in the world.
Text and image from Project Heinkel
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle. A motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack.
Mr M Bertoux, a French army officer, secured a prize offered by a French newspaper in 1893 for the best method of carrying a passenger on a bicycle. The sidecar wheel was mounted on the same lateral plane as the bicycle’s rear and was supported by a triangulation of tubes from the bicycle. A sprung seat with back rest was mounted above the cross-member and a footboard hung below. A sidecar appeared in a cartoon by George Moore in the January 7, 1903, issue of the British newspaper Motor Cycling. Three weeks later, a provisional patent was granted to Mr. W. J. Graham of Graham Brothers, Enfield, Middlesex. He partnered with Jonathan A. Kahn to begin production.
One of Britain’s oldest sidecar manufacturers, Watsonian, was founded in 1912. It is still trading as Watsonian Squire. Automobile producer Jaguar Cars was founded in 1922 as a sidecar manufacturer, the Swallow Sidecar Company.
In 1913, American inventor Hugo Young, of Loudonville, Ohio, designed a new sidecar which was not rigidly fixed to the motorcycle. Instead, his invention employed a flexible connection, which allowed the sidecar to turn, raise, and lower without affecting the balance of the motorcycle. This was a great improvement over the original design, allowing for much safer and more comfortable experiences for both the passenger and driver. Young opened up the Flxible Sidecar Company (the first "e" was dropped to allow for trademarking the name) in Loudonville, Ohio and soon became the largest sidecar manufacturer in the world. When the motorcycle craze began to fade in the 1920s due to more affordable cars being marketed, as well as the banishment of sidecar racing in the United States, the Flxible Sidecar Company began producing transit buses, ambulances, and hearses. Until the 1950s sidecars were quite popular, providing a cheap alternative to passenger cars; they have also been used by armed forces, police and the UK’s AA and RAC motoring organisations. During World War II, German troops used many BMW and Zündapp sidecar motorcycles. On German, French, Belgian, British and Soviet military sidecars, the side wheel was sometimes also driven, sometimes using a differential gear, to improve the vehicle’s all-terrain ability.
Text from Wikipedia