Engine Swap….

This weekend I’ll be swapping engines in my 1920’s Harley-Davidson half-mile dirt track racer in hopes of going a little faster next year at the Wauseon and Davenport races.  The engine that currently sits in the bike is a 1924 74 cubic inch Harley "JDCA" motor, which is quite fast given the changes we made over last winter. 

Just to the left of the bike sits a 1926 Harley-Davidson FHAC two-cam racing engine, which will be the new powerplant come 2013.  Harley’s two-cams were among the most successful engines during the "Class A" board track and dirt track era, and very few survive today.  This engine was specially modified by racer and tuner George Skeets in the 1930s to send oil to the rod bearings (notice the line from the oil pump into the cam cover).  These engines were capable of higher RPMs, and thus, higher speeds than standard single cam engines.  The special racing top end was designed by Sir Harry Ricardo, perhaps the most notable early pioneer of high speed internal combustion engines. 

With a little help from John the Painter, I should have this motor dropped in and ready to fire in no-time.  Keep an eye out for video!

Surprise Packages from David Uhl!

Autumn Knuckle & The Ironhorse Heist

Yesterday, two large packages unexpectedly arrived at the museum from our good friend David Uhl in Golden, Colorado.  David is the owner of (and talent behind) the famous Uhl Studios, and spends his days creating some of the most amazing motorcycle artwork ever made.  Many of his pieces are licensed by Harley-Davidson, and are usually printed in editions numbering less than 100.  After taking even one look at his work, it comes as no surprise that he is refered to as "the Norman Rockwell of Harley-Davidson artwork".  And personally, I’d call that an understatement.  His creations are some of the most iconic images in motorcycling, and leave the viewer with a feeling like they are actually part of the painting.

David painted "Autumn Knuckle" last October using the 2011 Wheels Through Time Raffle Bike — a beautifully restored 1936 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Bobber, trimmed in golden and black with red striping.  One of the first prints in the edition went to the winner of the museum’s Annual Raffle, who also took home the motorcycle.  Rumor has it that Willie G. Davidson’s wife Nancy bought the original painting to give to Willie as a retirement gift! Certainly one of my favorites, being that it portrays a machine that we took such great care to rebuild.

"The Ironhorse Heist" is one of David’s newest paintings. He debuted it this year at the 72nd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, as part of his Sturgis Commemorative Edition.  The painting portray’s a man running from the law near Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, aboard a fancy new 1909 Indian Twin.  Those in the know will recognize the rider as famed motorcycle nomad, Kevin Bean’re, who used a version of the artwork for his new book.  Bean’re is aboard an amazing original ’09 Indian, which currently resides at Wheels Through Time.

A closer look at the painting reveals no shortage of imagination on Uhl’s part, who brings the painting to life with more than realistic characters beautifully portrayed as if frozen in time.  

For more information, visit David at www.UhlStudios.com