The new alloy barrel castings posted previously have now been completed. These took a lot more work than estimated. The key feature of this design is tappet access incorporated into the barrel. Stock barrels on the V twin require tappet adjustment through the rocker covers, this design retains the quick access. Castings were bored to shrink-fit cast-iron sleeves. Sleeves were bored and honed after installation. Both cylinders are now complete and ready for fitment.
Another new part that will be installed and tested in the current build. These were machined from high strength 7075t6 billet - 65,000psi yield strength, often used in aftermarket performance rods. I beam cross section area, height, flange width, all increased. Material added above small end. Shot peened after machining. Rod weight 320gms as shown, without big end. These are fitted with a heavy duty needle roller bearing, another experiment in the search for affordable alternatives to the stock floating bush.
Whew, these were a surprise. Didn't have much hope that the pattern would withdraw without breaking the *extremely thin* sand between the cooling fins. But it did...and here's proof!
Next step on these is setting up the machining- facing, drilling, boring, sleeving.
The current build will be sleeved for 89mm pistons to yield 1120cc. These will take quite a bit of work, methinks.
A teeth chattering greeting to you, dear friends.
It has been a murderously harsh winter. Relentless, unyielding, stultifying. Still grappling with a state of being cryogenically crestfallen. Most of the progress could only be made indoors, the garage was inhospitable in the extreme. So, did continue to plod on in the development of a long mused upon part - an alloy barrel specifically designed for the V twin.
As you've probably gathered, the V twin has high cams, an unavoidable and favorable design configuration decision. This prevents the presence of the handy little tappet adjustment window and cover in the crankcase. I'd been toying with the idea of making a custom alloy barrel for a while anyway, the winter hastened that project...albeit rather slowly :-) and what's more, the first customer's bike will be getting a pair of these!
This new barrel design locates the tappet adjustment window where the pushrod tunnels used to be, allowing the same easy access. Stock barrels used on the v twin work perfectly well but tappet adjustment must be made via the rocker covers.
As we all know, the superior heat dissipation properties of aluminum alloy along with a substantial weight savings has dictated its use in just about every modern air-cooled engine for decades. This barrel will save roughly 8 lbs each, or 16lbs in the twin.
Monday was spent at the foundry with very promising results, 4 were poured successfully but couldn't be cooled, cleaned and blasted while I was there. Awaiting a UPS box in a couple of days, will be posting pics of the molding and castings soon!
Pricing is ready to be posted finally after some extremely intense discussions with colleagues, things went back and forth quite a while but I suppose it is time to just put it out there and see how it goes or one can mull on this very tricky subject indefinitely and no progress will be made.
Here's some signs that I haven't been sitting around too much. Gosh, I'm tired of these paperweights! They better be off and making noise pretty soon.
latest is that I'm on the last operation with the timing cover castings- machining the oil pump bores, drilling and reaming that really deep long hole for the spindle. Brrrr. Still causes nail biting. Long deep holes tend to wander off location by a few thou. The spindle has to mesh correctly with the oil pump worm gear, located *half-way* into the hole, hence the sweat. Ah well. It is the way it is.
Greetings, my friends! Here it is, the very first customer bike, an immaculate 500ES, ready for the full treatment. Got here last week, practically unused, a bare 600 miles on the odo. Belongs to a collector from Mass. who has been very supportive throughout the project and expressed the clear intention to have a Musket done as soon as things got rolling production-wise. Well, he bit the Bullet, shipped it over to me and here we are! I will mention that he also owns a Vincent (!!!) and a rare Rickman Interceptor 750, which has the biggest baddest engine Royal Enfield built mated to the legendary Rickman frame. A gentleman who knows his classic Brit iron intimately and a custom builder himself. Honored to be building something for him.
This complete build for a customer bike will be very useful in calculating the costs for the whole job for those who would rather go that route.
Will be putting heart, soul and body into this machine, hope I can handle the stress of sending it out when done, with the hope that it gives the owner many miles of smiles and doesn't drive him nuts.
Once again, the warmth and kindness of you all makes it possible to soldier on.
Very best wishes to everyone!
My friends, happy to tell you that I'll have my hands very full for a while. The first production batch of 7 Musket engine casting sets is here. Picked them up from the foundry this weekend. Your encouragement and support through this long drawn out project have made it possible to...finally get down to business! Will be trying out some interesting ideas to present riders with a range of options.
Thanks very much.
God, what a day it was! Don't go by this dryish looking pic, this came much later!
Headed out to Mid Ohio around 8:30 am Saturday for the 70 mile ride with buddies Mike and Al.
GOT HAMMERED the entire way by the most furious monsoon rain-rape I've ever experienced. And this is from the crazy kid who used to rush out into thunderstorms on his bicycle, got soaked and smacked and kept doing it.
All my friends awaiting the ever-delayed Monsoon in India, I'm sorry, but it made a detour through Columbus!
*Everything was wet*.
Wetter than a deep sea fish taking a shower in the Marianna Trench.
Wetter than a tiny drop amongst the billions that cascade down the Niagara Falls.
The soul was soaked!
The bo###cks were akin to a pair of poached eggs (pardon the expression).
The water seeped through my skin and diluted my blood till it was a weak pinkish lemonade.
Teeth began to chatter and the previous day had been a sweaty 95!
BUT, the important thing is that the ol'girl made it *without* a hiccup. Not a cough, not a sneeze, just powered through with gusto through the endless wall of water. And this is with points ignition!
Everyday, the mutual trust and affection between us grows and is flowering into a long term commitment
Good afternoon gentlemen!
Mid Ohio Vintage Days, the biggest vintage bike event in the USA is coming up soon, July 19,20,21, less than two weeks away!
Planning to ride the 998 down one of the days.
Anyone among you coming to the event and would like to meet up, do shoot me a message!
And now, a quick update on all progress so far.
First and foremost, I have an appointment.
Wednesday. July 17th. 6:00 am.
At the foundry.
The very first production batch will be poured.
Shooting for around 7 complete sets to be cast that same day if possible. That's 21 separate castings, three per set. It's going to be a long hot day, hence the early start.
And then the machining begins.
Quite honestly, this is very stressful but in a good way.
The 998 has been running GREAT!
Have been riding it to work every morning, taking freeway rides after work, getting close to a 1500 miles, feels well broken in, idles, revs and goes willingly.
And, the best part? After being parked at work all day, *not a drop of oil* under the motor! I know! Something must be wrong!
*Purely for entertainment*, at some point of time soon, I'm going to try and get some rough 0-60 numbers with the phone's GPS speedo. These things are known for being pretty accurate.
The acceleration numbers might not be too bad, in spite of the modest state of tune and output of the stock 500 because it's quite a light machine.
It weighs in at 428lbs.
This is with the stock cast iron cylinders.
Alloy ones will probably shave around 10-15 lbs, rough guess, don't have weight for an alloy jug.
2x1 pipes with a single muffler will further cut about 5-10lbs.
And then, we're really close to a sub-400 lb 1000cc twin!
This is the same weight range as a 70s Triumph Bonny 750.
About 160 lbs lighter than a Sportster.
And that's why this thing feels nippy in spite of the modest, low compression, stock state of tune of the std. Bullet 500.
I shudder at the thought of a DOUBLE FIREBALL set up with this weight range.
Rest assured that this MAD bike will be equipped with disk brakes, a *very robust clutch* and perhaps even a different front end.
Thanks very much!