Just remembered that it was the wee hours of Jan 23rd three years ago that the lump fired up for the first time. I suppose it's Happy Birthday Musket! Remember this....
Hi guys! Check out the current issue of "The Horse"! They were kind enough to honor the Musket with a lovely 4 page spread! THANK YOU!
Hi there! Long time, I know! But, time spent with the nose to the sandstone...errr...grindstone. Phew...that was a LOT of tricky nooks and crannies to sand and blend in smoothly. Worked on Christmas eve too...and will keep at it even today, applying finish coats.
Things which caused delays - biggest one was a modification which will allow *left side shift* with the newer 5 speed transmission. I had never seen one of those transmissions up close until I saw Chumma's. Discovered that the left side shift lever is mounted on a shaft that runs through a hole drilled right through the crankcase. This ofcourse needed a new boss to be accurately located and placed right where this drilling would be. Don't ask me how annoying that was and how long it took :-( Then there was a change in the timing cover for machining reasons, had to completely remove and rethink the bosses for the oil feed banjo bolts. Better now in wood than later in metal. Some of the features of the new design:
1. V angle is now 59 deg. This was arrived at after considering feedback on the original Musket engine, making it more compact, reducing length and making frame fitment much easier while allowing both 350 and 500 top ends. The original 70deg. angle was tricky to fit in the frame. The narrower angle looks nicer, though this is a matter of taste.
2. The oil filter is now housed in the timing cover- the smaller and lower of the two holes visible. This needed a lot of relocation of the internals but simplified the oil circuit (the original motor has an external filter housing which needed more plumbing). The larger and upper hole, at the 'peak' of the timing cover is the ignition/points housing, which is now a part of the casting, as opposed to the bolted on housing in the original engine.
3. Cooling fins sculpted onto the timing cover. Just HAD to do this :-) Pretty! The timing cover is much more in keeping with classic air-cooled aesthetics. It is overall a much more sculpted, smoothly radiused form which recalls fondly the beautiful castings from our favorite vintage engines. Took a LONG time!
4. New motor will allow left side shift with the 5 speed gearbox.
All in all, I think this is an improvement. Let's see how it goes.
Forgive the *slight blurriness* of some photos, after so much sanding, my hands are just a bit shaky :-)
Don't miss the very last photo which shows the two complete sets of identical twins :-). Yup, everything had to be done twice over to make a backup pattern. After the disaster last time....
My god, it was a HOT day. But, met with some great people! I finally managed to meet PAUL CROWE of THE KNEESLIDER! And, as is my tendency, was so excited that I completely forgot to take a picture of him. I'm going to have to take a "calm-the-heck-down" pill soon. It was GREAT to see you Paul! Here's some pics from later in the day, when I finally remembered that I did have my camera.
Chumma, Tom, Aniket, Fireball 1, Musket. Brothers in arms!
My friend Al on left, who's planning to build a vintage sidecar Musket, Tom and Chumma. This gorgeous machine is the very first Fireball built with the combined efforts of Tom and Chumma. It is FAST! I'm lusting after something just like this. Understated, purposeful, timeless. And an exhaust note to die for.
Justin (whose immaculate Tiger 750 can be seen in the background) and the three of us. Justin is also a Fireball rider.
The BADGER! Mouthwatering machine.
I had a delightful chat with this interesting gentleman on a fantastic MotoGuzzi Falcone. Just have to love that external flywheel!
Guys, Mid Ohio Vintage Days is getting close- just a couple more weeks!
I'm planning to ride the Musket there. Chumma will also be there with the Badger racer team as well as the No. 1 Fireball Bullet. Hope to see you there! I will post later about when and where.
Check out this beautifully shot teaser for a pulse-racer of a project!
The best thing is that the motor for this 500cc Bullet based vintage racer is being built by my terrific-madcap-engine-building-geniusFireball buddy Sumanth aka CHUMMA! You guys must have seen the Kneeslider article on the performance package for the 500 Bullet, called the Fireball, developed by the combined forces of Chumma and Tom Lyons, the learned sage of ACE Performance:
The Badger racer project is a bike that you can ride on the street, ride hundreds of miles to the racetrack, race it and ride it back home. Quite a project!
Please support it as much as you can, you will be acknowledged in the end credits in the DVD movie on the whole story!
Not a motorcycle related post.
Have to put it here because it's the biggest thing to happen in my life.
"Delhi Belly" is the most atypical, un-bollywood, funny-as-shit movie ever. If it's playing anywhere near you and you have a taste for a wacky, well written, mild-expletive-sprinkled comedy, WATCH IT!
My brother Akshat wrote and 'assistant-directed' it!
And here's the kicker- he wrote this script FIFTEEN YEARS ago, as a student at UCLA film school. As always happens in the movie business, it takes a LOT of time and effort and tweaks before a script turns into a movie.
Even more impressive that after all that time went by it still seems so fresh and made the impact it did, the world over. Positive reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, and a bunch of other places and a NINETY ONE on rottentomatoes.com!
I just can't get over it, the whole thing is surreal, unreal, fantastic.
It's been a while, I've kept busy and life has been quite complicated. Why is it that life stuff has to happen when all your energies are best devoted to your big project? Ah well, that's life.
Anyways, just about the only thing left to do on the patterns is the COOL COOL cooling fins.
Aren't cooling fins such an integral aesthetic component of vintage engine design? Too many and they look crowded. Too few and they don't help. Not too close, not too far, not too deep, not to shallow. Blend in well with the other design elements. Yes, I'm fussing with them. And then, the patterns are DONE! Hang with in there guys, good things can't be hurried!
Just a quick note to let you know that the new production patterns are in the final stages of assembly and sanding/finishing.
I must say, in the past weeks, progress was slow due to a rather difficult phase in my personal life.
Things seem to be better now and I can devote more of my energies to the project.
Thank you all for your continued interest and support.