30 November 2012

Speed records, slow bikes, and smoked Cowboys

Every year I get a DomiRacer catalog/poster in the mail. I think the only thing I've ever actually ordered from there were some clip on bars as their inventory is more suited to English bikes - i.e nothing in my stable. I've held on to them because they have pretty neat posters on the back of them and I didn't want to just throw them out. This year I sent off the BSA one to Ranger and the Triumph land speed record one to CK. It got me thinking about the BMW museum in Munich where Sara and I came across Ernst Henne's 1937 supercharged 500 (pictured below) that set a speed record on the autobahn at 173.7 that held for 14 years

I remember reading something about them having to remove the cockpit hatch to set the record because it was making the bike unstable. Then I think about BMW airheads being notoriously tractorlike and slow. My R90/6, even with the modifications I made, tops off around 115-ish, and even if I put in the higher compression pistons and dellortos I can only expect gains of about 7hp. Airheads were never close to the supercharged racers, or even the naturally aspirated RS54 racers, whereas other manufacturers kept their street bikes somewhat tied to competition racers (Ducati for instance).

This got me thinking about the Aermacchi/H-Ds, mainly this:

My Sprint 250 isn't a CR model, but I still doubt that this was a standard CR engine, either way this is pretty insane. This record is 100mph more than the top speed of my SS 250, I'd really love to see more details about this bike and how they eked out that much power from a 250 single - with apparently no intakes in the bodywork for cooling the engine. Mick Walker never really covered the stuff going on in the US in his book about Aermacchi/Harley Davidson and since Harley refuses to acknowledge this part of their history it's slim pickings for info online. Maybe a trip to the H-D museum would yield more info, but I'd rather use that time and go back to Germany for the BMW museum again

In other news, Dunkin Donuts let me have this poster, my boss wishes they hadn't

I should have added a bloody spinal cord to Tony Romo's head

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