Great article. My favorite is the "Old Wing". I've always dreamed about building a custom bike with cheap parts from eBay, swapmeets, junkyards, etc. Hell, with the way guys toss factory H-D parts for custom bits, you should be able to buy everything but the frame and block.
My only beef with the article is this line about the Segway - "a potential historical moment in transportation, or merely a footnote, that's yet to be seen."
Uh, no. You forgot option #3 - "The first major con-job of the 21st century." Dean Kamen is PT Barnum and he's finding plenty of suckers.
The Segway - for those who seek the versatility of a Huffy for the price of a Vespa.
Cool bikes. I admire both the creativity of the people. In addition, their ability to pull it off into real machines that run is awesome. Makes me more optimistic about the world. i.e. the world is not just made up of longrides, Budglyds, serasuzwa and the like you know naysayers.
As someone with one foot firmly in the two-wheel camp and the other happily grounded in the old-school four-wheel world, I would really like to know how heads from an overhead-cam Porsche 911 were mated with a pushrod Porsche 912 (***** 356) block, never mind fitting it into a BMW two-cylinder (versus four-cylinder Porsche motor) chassis. Either someone did some very canny valve work, or else someone has waaaaaaay too much access to a whole lot of machine tools without a steady guiding hand - or thought.
At my old job, there was a half-built bike that sat in the corner for about 6 months. It was like the few other choppers that I'd seen as projects, except this one had an extra cylinder (a v-tripletish thing).
I guess somebody figured out that it wouldn't work, and there was a v twin in it one day. The twin looked exactly like the triplet, so I almost want to think that they removed the third cylinder, but I don't know.
I told the new guy about it months later, and he didn't believe me, even when I had everyone on the shift vouch for me. Has anybody seen one of these? I'd love to find a picture online and shove it in his face.
Not to mention, an overhead cam, and six cylinders. When I see something like this, I have to wonder how correct the rest of the story is.
Reminds me of the time me and a buddy took this old Willis-Knight sleeve-valve motor, and filled up one of the ports with JB weld. This optimized the compression ratio, and brought the brake effective mean ration pressure (on the Borgward scale) up from 2850 to over 3000! Yikes! We had to retard the throttle dashpot at full chat, down to something like 2700. That's ok, when running a Bernie Bergmann wet-dry timer (Ruxel @1.10 x .002646).
This was a W-3, am I right -- one cyl at 45 degrees and another at 90 from the first -- like a standard Harley with another cyl spaced an another 45 degrees? If so, it was built by a guy named Feuling (sp?) who died recently. It was featured in at least one of the US moto rags a couple of years back (either CycleWorld or Motorcyclist).
Actually, this design culminated in the "Vauxhall-Diablo" design, of the late teens.
It used a panhard rod/split-tooth knuckle arrangement, that aligned the centre cylinder(s) with the crank-pin, and the pre-requisite babit coated (oblong) caster/shoe assembly.
Some of these were "monosoupape" in design, and frequently caught fire. A simple modificaiton fixed the problem, but by that time, the design had become obsolete, and was dropped in favour of the Sussmann principal.