The adventurous Chumma, aka Mr. Fireball visited me in C'bus in late Sept., taking a much needed break. He came up with a great trip for us- take the Musket 998 to NJ for the Classic Cycle LTD annual classic motorcycle picnic. In NJ, we made some meaningful music with our machines, the Fireball#1 and the Musket 998. Curvy, hilly 120 miles riding to and from the meet. Some great response from classic riders and wrenchers. Finally came across a Series II Interceptor with the Musket at hand (thank you, Mr. Keane!) , had to pose the two together.
Dear friends, owing to a steadily accumulating inbox that has proved hard to keep up with, (several hundred still need to be replied to) I'm going to turn off the "contact" link for now.
As the vast majority of mails are inquiries about pricing/ordering, all the information needed will be available to all on the "price and order" page when it goes live.
Believe me, this all-important number is excruciatingly complex to calculate in terms of the several variables and unpredictable factors involved and discussions and research have been ongoing for the past months.
If you need to reach me anyway and it can't wait, please send me a message on Facebook:
In the meantime, after some much needed dazed downtime after severe metal fatigue, I'm back at the shop and various little bits and pieces are being fabricated for the remaining engines in the batch to get them ready for assembly/installation- oil filler necks, filter caps, ignition covers, custom banjo fittings, oil lines, engine plates, etc.
Pictures of progress coming soon.
Happy July 4th!
My dear friends, finally done. Can't begin to describe the complicated welter of emotions right now, a mixture of disbelief (is it really done?), relief, anxiety and total exhaustion. Hope it runs well for the new owner. Pictures were taken hurriedly on the very last day before the truck was due to arrive, thanks to continuous thunderstorms that entire week. As always happens, glitches, problems, changes till the very end. Freak wire randomly shorting out juice to front coil on the *last day*, after running perfectly during test rides in the prior two weeks! Luckily caught it before going on a wild goose chase of carb and ignition troubleshooting. To recap, this build has:
1. 1120 cc from 89mm pistons.
2. Custom "Musket" alloy cylinder barrels with cast-in tappet adjustment window.
3. Custom 7075T6 alloy conrods.
4. Heavy duty needle roller big end bearings.
5. Polished alloy mudguards.
6. Polished crankcase and timing cover.
7. 5 speed gearbox converted to right shift. This is the first build with this box.
8. Thumb-push decompressor valves on both heads allow light kick effort using the required procedure. As you know, the customer is fighting cancer and therefore is grappling with significantly lower muscle strength. To make it easier to start this big twin, the first idea tried was to lock one of the decomps "open" to remove that cylinder from compression/combustion and basically start it on just one cylinder, just like a single. Once running, release the other decomp and it would run on both. This didn't work, probably because the tiny decomp valve opening gave too much resistance to air flow and didn't allow enough flywheel momentum to develop. By accident, the procedure which turned out to work fine on the V twin is to get the *rear* cylinder decompressed on the compression stroke, close the valve and then kick firmly - now the flywheel has a full 360 + 59 degrees of rotation before it reaches tdc on compression for the *front* cylinder and this luckily allows the kickstart to get a full kick *without* compression resistance being encountered. Phew.
I can't deny that this build has been challenging in the extreme and there is a tremendous amount learned...about what not to do and how not to do it. Am taking a much needed breather while the fried brain drowsily tries to rewire itself, been a zombie for quite a while.
Heartfelt thanks to all of you for your support!
Hullo there...taking a minute to share this recent arrival...an 800lb crate full of Enfield engine parts that I'd ordered from India finally reached here, safe and sound. Plenty of essential bits like cylinder heads, cams, rockers, pushrods, studs, pumps, gaskets...the list goes on and took a long time to compile...I kept coming up with more little doodads to add to it. Have opened all the boxes by now and everything seems to be intact. I must say, getting a crate shipped over via ocean...is not something for the faint of heart. Various complicated little documents and regulations and fees needed, none of which is intelligible to a mere mortal, best to go through a broker, which is what I ended up doing, in spite of the hefty additional fees.
The large chunk of my hard earned savings that went into getting this here is making me sweat but it also confirms that I'm in this for real, for sure, no turning back.
Have plenty more pics of build progress, engine is installed in the frame, got kicked over, compression is excellent. Wiring in the ignition, installing carbs, will be uploading pics soon.
Progress on replying to emails is very limited for now and I really appreciate your patience. This build completed, my primary focus will be to provide you with the information you need...which is continually being gathered and updated via this build. A LOT was learned and refreshed in my memory in terms of ALL the little things that are needed to get a complete machine.
Thank you very much, once again.
My friends, this is going to be a difficult post.
Just uploaded plenty new pics of the recent work done on the new rods, barrels and crank, you can take a look below. But, I'd like to share with you the sad side to this story.
As you know, all of these new parts are destined for the very first customer build.
A rare person indeed, now a friend more than a customer, a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast and collector.
In the initial discussions of options months ago, I mentioned to him these new products I had in mind and he immediately was on board to try them out, knowing that they would be the very first test prototypes being built. That is the spirit of the true enthusiast, willing to take the risk.
And, here is the cruel twist.
He was recently diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.
The goal is to simply get this machine done as quickly as possible and get it to him so he can ride it, enjoy it, let it hopefully be therapeutic, medicinal in some way before health issues make it hard or impossible to ride.
I can't deny that fatigue is certainly hindering the brain and body from performing to full capacity and stupid mistakes brush past, dangerously close.
Without making any melodramatic statements, all I'd like to say is that your positive thoughts, wishes, vibes will be greatly appreciated, even if unspoken.
I apologize sincerely for the overdue replies to messages, they will be addressed as soon as time is available. In the meantime, your patience is deeply appreciated.
With best wishes,
A few shots from the crank build. A long, laborious, painful task , includes machining flywheels, making new custom crankpin, assembling, balancing and truing. Crank is complete and ready for installation, final runout on this crank is <.001.
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.