Dale’s Been Busy!!!

As the museum winds to a close each year, we spend a lot of time in the restoration shop restoring bikes that will eventually go on display at Wheels Through Time.  While I’ve been gone over the last week, my dad has been hard at work on several KR dirt track and road racing machines.  In fact, two of the bikes are already up and running after less than 7 days.

And these aren’t just any old Harley KR race bikes.  The first bike on the lift was Carroll Reseweber 1952 Harley KR Flat tracker.  The little red and white scalloped 45 cubic inch factory racers was one of Carroll’s first Harley Competition machines, and was disassebled decades ago.  Dale found the bike in the garage of Ralph Berndt, Reseweber’s engine builder and tuner with many of the famed 4-time National Champions other race bikes.  Over the years, Dale managed to finish most of the bikes from the garage, but it took until 2013 to get to this one.

Bike number two is another in the long line of historic racing machines at WTT — this one belonged to 3-time Daytona Winner Brad Andres.  Brad held the number one plate for a few years, and is the only rider to win 3 Daytona 200 beach races.  This machine was initially prepared by Andres father Leonard, who tuned a total of 7 Daytona winning motorcycles, for 1-mile dirt track competition. 

I got home about 8:30 last night, and headed right to the shop knowing my dad would be hard at work on something interesting.  Wouldn’t you know that my timing was perfect — he was just filling the bike up with gas and preparing to crank it up for the first time.  Of course, it fired on the second kick, and boy did it make a glorious racket.

The next machine going on the lift will be another Harley KR competition machine, but this one will be in full road race trim (pre-front fairing).  The bike features lightweight KR frame, all alloy rims, brakes, controls and rear fender, fiberglass gas tank, and too much more cool stuff to list. 

 Keep an eye out for progress on this machine — my guess is that it won’t take long to put it back ont he track!


’64 Sporty Drag Bike Rebuild

Now that regular museum hours have ended for 2012, we’ve been getting loads of work done in the restoration shop.  Several current and ongoing projects are nearing completion, and as you could have guessed, we’ve added a few new ones to the mix as well. 

Back in the early 1970s, Dale built a wild looking stretched out drag bike with a 1964 XLCH Sportster engine with intentions of running it at the local drag strips. Well, he never did get it sorted out and running like it should, and after some trial and error with carburetor and ignition timing, he moved it to the corner of the shop, and left it sit idle.  40 years later, we dragged it out and prepared to get back at it.

You’ll notice the frame is highly modified.  Stretched top tube, neck reinforcement and racing struts.  When we started, the front end had been removed, as well as the rear wheel and brake.  After a little digging, we had it back up on wheels and looking like a bike again.

Since the motor hadn’t been run in decades (and never ran right to begin with, I figured I’d start to tear it down to have a look inside.

When I pulled the front head, everthing seemed to look pretty good inside.  No scoring on the cylinder, piston looked great, and the combustion chamber showed only a little more than a few minutes of running.  You could also see that someone (my guess is Dale!) did a great job working the heads over, installing larger valves and takikng out any imperfections or obstructions in the intake and exhaust ports.

Check out the big bore on that Trock cylinder. Whoa!  Dale doesn’t quite rembmer the exact displacement, but thinks its up around 86 inches.    I plan on measuring the bore and stroke today, which should help in choosing the proper cams and carb.

After pulling and reinstalling the top end (everthing looked good inside — pistons & rings, cylinder bore, flywheel endplay and rod fitment), I figured I’d pull the transmission to have a look.  Just as I suspected, it was like new inside.  It only required a little bit of "de-gunking" and reassembly.  It was actually the first time I’d ever rebuilt a Sportster transmission (1964 is a little later than I usually work on), and all went pretty smoothly. 

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for updates on this rebuild.  Who knows, we might even have the chance to run it at the strip a few times next year!

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