Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two Wheeled Inspiration

I have never been attracted to twin cylinder motorcycles.  I greatly appreciate the look the sound and the mechanical variation of twins but they just sort of leave me cold.  Cold, in that I never developed a desire to own one.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever been tempted to ride a twin.  Just as a certain simplicity and style of design and craftsmanship has attracted me to some cars the same is true for my two wheeled inspiration.  Most are J.A.P. engine small production bikes or racing specials.  And some will be twins.  Each one has elements of design and fabrication that have attracted my eye or in their total presence are just plain cool. 

The first motorcycle I saw that used a J.A.P. and really sparked my interest in building my own special with an Over Head Valve engine was a 1926 Brough-Superior.  Not your typical twin Brough-Superior.  But the one and only single cylinder racing Brough that ever rolled out of George’s garage.  I ran across a mention of a single Brough some time ago and made an inquiry to the Brough-Superior Club regarding the bike and if it still existed.  The answer was yes with a short bit of information and three photos.  No indication of who owns the bike or if it is even run on a regular basis.  It obviously has been rebuilt and there is one photo around of it being ridden at some field meet.  I can only guess the bike is in the UK.  I do wish I could talk to the owner.  But unless somebody knows the bike and is willing to share I probably won’t ever have that chance.  The bike has a stance and a minimalist style perfect for a racer.  The use of the twin port head presents a very strong sweep of pipe on both sides of the bike.  I have read that the J.A.P. twin port was never really a very good head in terms of performance.  And the engine has the old style dog ear valve train.

This is a wonderful O.E.C. of unknown age and I can’t remember from where I nicked the photos.  What was interesting to me about this bike is the use of the race engine fitted with what appears to be a bronze head along with the large fin ALFIN barrel.  It is possible that this maybe an example of either a privateer order for a grass track bike or an attempt by the factory to be competitive in that area of racing.

This is a 1937 OK Supreme which without a doubt has a five stud race engine and it is licensed and run on the street on methanol.  And this bike I may get a chance to correspond with the owner.  We shall see.  It’s just all in all a lovely bike from the color to the stance to the fit and finish.  These photos are courtesy of Keith Marshall from the J.A.P. Engine page on Face Book.!/group.php?gid=262038688796
I have to remind myself to keep track of where I nick photos.  Not providing attribution is very rude and I apologize.  I can only say in my defense that I am always so taken by the image of a fine motorcycle that I forget my manners.   This is a Crocker single and is there anymore that needs to be said?