Rare Racing History Resurfaces at Wheels Through Time!
These bikes, numbering over range from original as raced examples to serial number ones, national champions, and more. Currently, in the shop, there are over a dozen restoration projects and rebuilds, including several more racing machines. One of the more special bikes on the lifts right now is a famous Harley Davidson Panhead Drag Bike formally owned and raced by famed Harley-Davidson dealer Les Myers.
His dealership dated back to back into the s, and over the years, he sponsored many racers across multiple states. Wheels Through Time currently has on display his short track racing motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson peashooter. This bike was brought back to life in the shop during the winter of The machine started as a cc bike, and Meyers modified it to a cc.
He also cut the frame down and shortened the gas tank. All standard practices to lighten the bike for racing. Later in his career, Myers turned towards drag racing and the bike under discussion dates to the pinnacle of his drag racing career.
In , Myers became the A. During this event, Myers piloted the machine to a blistering one hundred and seventeen miles per hour on the quarter-mile, taking top honors and securing his place in motorcycle drag racing history. Les Myers With His Top Eliminator Early motorcycle drag racing machines consisted primarily of modified components and dates to a time before specific speed equipment was offered for motorcycles.
The power plant is a bored and stroked 80 cubic inch Harley-Davidson Panhead engine with a front-mounted Edison Racing Magneto taken from an earlier o. The frame has been cut down, shortened and modified to lower the bikes overall stance and to accommodate the shorter Harley Davidson lightweight fork from the s.
It overall has been shaved and lightened to reduce weight in all in almost all possible areas. Close inspection also shows that the oil tank is incorporated into the seat post of the frame. The machine also features lightweight aluminum racing rims and, in an unconventional fashion, had a s, Harley Davidson W. This transmission has also been modified, welded up kicker, narrow sprockets on the transmission and the rear wheel, homemade brake levers, and homemade rear brake control.
Upon inspection inside the transmission, we noticed there is no first gear, and all other gears had been lightened and speed cut. All put together, this made for a lightweight and powerful combination that proved successful on the drag strip. Both wheels have lightweight racing aluminum rims. The rear has a homemade recapped slick that started with a used Goodyear Street Tire. A racing class designation is brush painted on the sidewall of the front tire.
The gas tanks were even customized and were Simplex Servi-cycle tanks that were split to rest over the frame backbone. Waddell was a successful dealer whose dealership is still in operation today. Walksler and Waddell quickly became friends, buying, selling, and trading with one another for the various projects that they had underway. The interesting thing which comes into play later in this story was that many of the machines that Waddell bought from Myers were eventually disassembled into individual parts, sorted and then stored in the warehouse.
The inventory was still vast and required six semi-trailers to transport it to Maggie Valley, NC, and the museum. The photo was a former drag racer kneeling next to his bike with a trophy; no caption, no information, nothing known about the picture.
After a few months of selling parts, Matt happened across the picture of Les Myers and his drag bike. A neat coincidence but nothing to really think about at the time. The next thing you know, Matt finds a slick rear wheel in the pile. At that point Matt started thinking that maybe the rest of this bike was there amongst all the parts and then piece by piece, almost the entire machine has been uncovered; the modified frame, original to the bike, was discovered stored underneath the trailers, along with an original s lightweight racing fork.
Some items were for projects he currently had underway, but he also often bought the unusual oddball items that just caught his eye. While cleaning the shop one day, Matt came across a crusty old Harley 45 transmission sitting on the stairs leading to the parts storage area. Engine Cases Harley 45 Transmission Bottom He picked the transmission up to move it off the stairs and noticed it was sitting on a handmade cast aluminum adapter plate made for bolting a 45 transmission into a big twin frame.
Matt got on the phone and called Dale to ask about the transmission. Matt picked up the transmission and walked over to the frame, and it dropped right in. The adapter plate bolts were still there, and the plate was a perfect fit.
Realizing that they have a single-cylinder mounting plate but have Panhead grips, two kill switches, and only one throttle cable, he pulls out his copy of the Les Myers picture and confirms that these are exact bars. Piece by piece, the bike was coming back together. After finding these parts, Matt knew he had to chase down the gas tanks.
The tanks had been sold to a fellow in Japan who is a well-known collector, and thankfully we ended up working out a nice deal and got that gas tanks back.
The most recent find is the primary clutch basket and engine sprocket assortment, for which Myers had numerous gearing combinations. The bike is currently being rebuilt in the Restoration Shop, and much of the chassis has been ironed out.
Rather than a shiny restoration, we decided to take the conservation approach and retain all of the parts in their original as raced finish. The engine is currently on the bench being rebuilt, and hopefully, by late summer of , the completed machine will be running and on display.
DME Racing : Fork Shortening
When suspension works correctly the bike will be much more enjoyable to ride. One of the major keys to a successful suspension setup is the condition of the components. This includes replacing leaky seals, lubricating sticky linkage bushings, and changing old fork or shock oil. Check your steering head bearings for notchiness or tightness and replace them if needed.
And most importantly, squared-off or worn out tires will mask almost any suspension change you make. The following is an outline of the major steps that will be taken to bring you bike into a good riding setup that will help you enjoy your riding experience. I state that the adjustment process is a game because of the trade offs that must be made.
There are trade offs that can be given for each adjustment that you make to your bike. These trade off must be balanced against the gains that a specific adjustment makes to improve your suspension.
As a street rider typically expects a more compliant and plush suspension that needed to soak up the rougher roads and to be more comfortable while riding. This more relaxed stable setup will actually help over the long haul of street riding because of less rider fatigue with a stable. Track riding has different goals of pushing the bike so it provides the optimum effectives for the track. The track does not translate directly into a good street bike and vice versa.
Determining the style of the rider also affects the way your setup reacts for a particular person. A smooth rider will have a different setup compared to a point and shoot style of riding. It is all relative to you and your bike. Along with your initial settings, you should also write down some baseline figures for things such as fork oil weight and amount, ride height, spring rates, and so on. Record any changes you make so that you can refer to them later.
Also, keep notes for different types of riding street, touring, tracks—as your setup will change depending where you are and the conditions. For street purposes, front sag should generally be between 30 and 35mm, and rear sag between 25 and 30mm. This number should be between 0 and 5mm—with the bike off its stand and on its own, you should be able to lift the rear end just slightly and top out the suspension. If your bike is topped out at rest, you need a stiffer spring, because you have got a lot of preload dialed in to achieve the correct static sag.
Alternately, if your bike has a lot of free sag you can lift the rear a bunch before it tops out , you need a softer spring. Compression damping can be initially set as follows: It is difficult to set compression damping without riding your motorcycle and feeling how its suspension works. What feels nice and plush at a standstill may turn out to be too harsh at speed, and compression damping is sometimes set by personal preference as opposed to a definite optimum.
Start with the compression adjusters in the middle of their adjustment range, and take your bike for a spin. Working with the front and rear individually, soften the damping adjuster, and try your bike again over the same road. Is your handling better? The same? Try again, this time with the damping stiffer than what you started with. Continue experimenting, making adjustments accordingly.
When you let go, the suspension should rebound quickly to its original position—but not beyond. If it takes more than approximately one second for the suspension to return to position, less rebound damping is needed.
If the fork or shock over-extends past its free sag, and then compresses again, more rebound damping is required. This will also give you the added benefit of a smooth ride for daily use; you can always dial in a tad more rebound when you get to your favorite road where the surface is more of a known quantity.
One final check—with your bike off its stands, place your hands near the rear of the tank, and push down. A well-balanced setup will have both ends of your bike compressing and returning at approximately the same rate with this push. If the front compresses or rebounds different than the rear, attempt to match them, keeping within the parameters established individually. In general, a bike set for track use is stiffer than a streetbike, due to the increased acceleration, braking and cornering forces involved.
Static sag for track bikes should be in the range of 25 to 30mm—somewhat tighter on the fork than a street setup. Similarly, compression and rebound damping should be somewhat stiffer. Avoid tightening your rebound arbitrarily; you still want the suspension to rebound within one second to its static position after pressing on the bike, but not overshoot.
Ride Height can be initially set as follows: If you have a ride height adjuster on your aftermarket shock, set it to the same length as the stock unit for a start. Similarly, begin with your fork at the stock height in the triple clamps.
Prior to making suspension changes There are a few adjustment to your bike setup that should be done prior to making adjustments to your suspension. These adjustments could affect handling to a certain degree, and throw off getting the proper feedback.
As stated earlier in this article it is important to have your bike in proper running order. Fill out the check sheet Check chain alignment. If not correct, sprocket wear is increased. Proper tire balance and pressure. If out of balance, there will be vibration in either wheel Steering head bearings and torque specifications, If too loose, head will shake at high speeds. Front end alignment. Check wheel alignment with triple clamps. If out of alignment, fork geometry will be incorrect and steering will suffer.
Chain Adjustment: Proper chain adjustment minimally affects the overall length of the rear swingarm. Although this is not significant it is a factor because of other the proper chain tension can have an impact on how the suspension reacts. This negative effect has become less pronounced with new motorcycle models because of the suspension pivot being located so close to the counter shaft. You want the chain at maximum extension — or with the front sprocket, swingarm and rear sprocket all in line with each other.
Wiggle the lower run of the chain as close as possible to the middle. You should have about mm of slack up and down. Good question. A tight chain will place a lot of unnecessary strain on itself, the sprockets and even gearbox bearings. Keep running chains too tight and you can do a lot of expensive damage. Have it too loose and you risk the chain thrashing around and causing increased sprocket wear or, in a worst case, throwing itself off the sprockets altogether and causing a crash.
A well adjusted and lubricated chain transmits the power smoothly you can actually see the difference on a dyno , lengthens the service life, smooths out your gear changes and makes the bike feel better to ride. Whenever you tension the chain or move the wheel for any reason, you generally just line it up against the alignment marks stamped on the swingarm.
The trick is to get a ball of twine, or you can do this exercise if you can somehow find two straight edges that are longer than the bike. Usually this is easiest with the bike on the side stand the center stand usually gets in the way and propped up as close as possible to vertical.
A race stand is often a good option. Wrap the string around the front of the front wheel, as high as possible without snagging fairings and associated under-bike hardware when you run each end of the twine under the machine.
The pics will give you the idea. From there the plan is to get the front wheel straight, and then the rear wheel adjusted so it is too. This is often best done with two people, one working on each end of the bike. Getting it all lined up will be a bit of a fiddle, but simple enough assuming the bike is straight.
Stamped on the outside of many of your tires is a recommended tire pressure range. At least an upper limit. Further, this pressure should be determined while the tires are cold — meaning, have not been used for a couple of hours. This is the number they consider to be the best balance between handling, grip and tire wear.
Just as you would for a car, increase the pressure 2 psi or so for sustained high speed operation or 2-up riding to reduce rolling friction, increase tire life, and casing flexing. In order to get optimum handling a tire has to get to its optimum temperature, which is different for each brand of tire and different uses. Tire temperature is important to know because too much flexing of the casing of an under-inflated tire for a given riding style and road will result in overheating resulting in less than optimum grip.
Over-pressurizing a tire will reduce casing flexing and prevent the tire from getting up to the optimum operating temperature and performance again suffers. First check the tire pressure when the tire is cold. Then take a minute ride on your favorite twisty piece of road to get your tire temperature up, then measure the tire pressure immediately after stopping.
So for example, starting at a front tire pressure of Once you obtain this pressure increase for a given rider, bike, tire, road and road temperature combination, check the tire pressure again while cold and record it for future reference.
Each manufacturer is different. Each tire model is different. A tire design that runs cooler needs to run a lower pressure psi front to get up to optimum temperature. Remember carcass flex to generate additional heat. The rear tire runs hotter than the front tire on both road and track. So the rear tire cold-to-hot increase is greater. Dropping air pressure has the additional side effect of scrubbing more rubber area, and can additionally add more traction at the cost of a little stability As an example for Aprilia RSV Mille the recommended starting temperatures for STREET use are.
Front Tire Cold which in turn should be approximately Track Track tire pressure is a different animal altogether.
The lower the tire pressure the more the tire deforms. The more the tire deforms, the more friction there is between the tire and the road surface. The more friction, the more heat.
Competitors with a blanket below the minimum ground clearance will be required to remove the blanket every time that tech requires a ground clearance inspection. Bikes will belly pans or other solid ballistic retention devices must pass ground clearance will all components attached.
The clutch assembly must have at least half of the side surface covered. The guards should be steel or. Rear fender and seats are not chain guards. Clutch cover must be adequate to protect the rider in the event of mechanical failure. No epoxy or similar material may be used bond pieces. Override shifting means that, during up-shifts, the transmission is briefly engaged in two gears at once, allowing power to be continuously applied to the rear tire during gear changes.
Any transmission containing components that would allow the transmission to engage two or more gears simultaneously is considered to be an automatic. These components include, but are not exclusive to, windowed shift drums, split forks, split gears, split fork slider rings, gear or fork detent springs, etc. Any aftermarket transmission utilizing pneumatic, hydraulic, electric, or other style drumless engagement is considered to be an automatic.
Any transmission utilizing planetary gears is considered to be an automatic. All components must be contained within the engine cases, and must be in their original location. Operational front and rear brakes are mandatory and must be in safe operating condition. Brake lines must be OEM type or braided steel hose or stainless steel line. Braided steel hose is highly recommended. Brake lines are to be routed and mounted properly to insure no contact with moving parts. Carbon fiber brake pads or disks are prohibited.
The spreading of pads away from the disk is prohibited. Drilled disc brakes may be used if commercially manufactured or they meet the following requirements: The original diameter must be maintained as a minimum.
Koenig: New Light Weight Drag Fork
No two holes closer than 1. Hydraulic-dampened tube type only, with a minimum tube diameter of 34mm. Forks must have enough front spring force to keep forks extended at least. Travel is measured from the compression bump stop to the rebound bump stop. No more than 1. Stops must be cast or machined into the frame or steering neck, or may be welded to the frame or steering neck.
Straps must be specifically designed for the purpose of front suspension lowering. Generic tie-downs not permitted. Travel limiting straps are not allowed on any wheelie bar-equipped bike, regardless of class. Retention straps are allowed only in SC and TG if not using a wheelie bar. Retention straps must be no more than three years from date of manufacture.
Manufacturers Cup Tech Officials may disapprove lowering straps that are not sufficient and could cause a safety issue. No parts of the front suspension, brake system, fender system, or rotating assembly may be remanufactured from exotic heavy materials, including tungsten steel, HD, or Mallory metal.
No portion of the front fork leg assemblies may be replaced with a heavier replacement component. Aftermarket or custom forks may not be heavier than industry-standard OEM sport bike forks. Legality of such forks will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Extreme drag-bike modification for Hero Xtreme: Turbocharger and streamliner fairing!
Whenever possible, OEM components will be used as a reference when determining what are appropriate sizes and dimensions. Lightening holes, gun-drilling, and other weight-saving techniques utilized on the OEM components may be deleted. Pre-approval of custom or aftermarket components is highly recommended. The tech staff has final decision on all front suspension component matters, and will be closely monitoring the use of these components.
Abuse of these rules will result in Manufacturers Cup implementing a maximum weight for suspension components, resulting in racers being required to remove their front ends during post-race inspections. Implementation of this weight rule may occur at any time during the season. No part of the axle or nut may protrude more than. No part of the axle, axle nut, or spacers may exceed 1. The total weight of the front axle assembly, including spacers, nuts, washers, etc.
The use of lead or other heavy materials is not allowed on any axle components. Material should be chrome-moly. The minimum diameter for all sections, except braces, brackets and gussets, shall be 1. If the top main tube is of a one-piece design it must be a minimum of 2. Minimum wall thickness of all tubing is. Aluminum chassis are prohibited without prior approval.
Minimum seat height with rider in position and seat compressed measured from lowest point of seating position to ground, inches unless otherwise instructed per class rules. The lowest point of the wheelie bar wheels may not be more than 3-inches from the ground. May not exceed the wheelbase of bike and must be sufficiently cross-braced to prevent side whip.
On all mounting bars, butt welds or inner sleeved bar designs must have visible welded reinforcement i. Wheels must be non-metallic. All side panels must be securely fastened at inch intervals minimum. The minimum ground clearance value indicates the minimum height above the ground for every part and component on the bike, except for the portions of the tires and wheels which are supporting the bike.
Both hard parts and flexible components such as bodywork must be above this minimum value. The only exception to this rule is for ballistic blankets. The depth of tread or wear indicator in the center of a tire must be a minimum of 0. DOT tires on any wheel wider than 6. Manufacturers Cup highly recommends that all car tires utilize a bead lock or rim screws, to attach tires to wheel. Non-bead lock wheels should utilize locking screws nissan navigation sd card hack 2018 should be installed at 45 to 90 degree angle in addition to side-mounted screws only.
It is recommended that drag slick mounting screws only are used to prevent tire bead from unseating at high speed. Follow instructions from screw manufacturer. Holes drilled in wheel must have enough clearance to allow screws to pass freely through wall. Four screws per side minimum with eight per side recommended. For safety, tire width should not exceed rim width by more than two-inches, bead seat to bead seat. All stock wheelbase entries must maintain OEM front tire sizing.
The use of carbon fiber or composites as any component on a drive wheel is prohibited on any car tire entry. Be careful not to over tighten. Carburetor-equipped entries using a gravity-feed fuel system and flexible fuel line such as Tygon or PVC may use wire ties or safety wire as clamps on these fuel lines.
Any fuel line that is part of a pump-forced fuel system must use hose clamps or AN fittings at all connections. Flame-retardant covering, such as fiberglass or Silco, is required on ALL fuel lines on carbureted nitrous entries. Covering must cover the entire run of fuel lines. Carburetor feed lines must be clamped at both ends and covered. The use of safety wire or wire ties as clamps is permissible on carburetor feed lines only.
Methanol is sold in two U. Federal Grades: A and AA. Either grade is permitted for use in Manufacturers Cup competition, and racers should ensure that the methanol they purchase meets Federal standards of purity. The purity standards for each grade are listed in the NHRA rulebook. Methanol is tested and certified at Manufacturers Cup events through the application of various chemical analyses as considered appropriate by Fuel Check personnel.
To be considered legal, methanol used in Manufacturers Cup competition must meet the Federal standards of purity. Any deviation from these standards because of impurities beyond the limits established in the Federal specification in the fuel sample will result in disqualification. Nitrous bottles must be DOT rated with a pressure relief valve and secured with a bottle bottom anti-drop strap to prevent the bottle from falling off. The use of frame or swingarm in place of a bottle for nitrous oxide is prohibited.
The mounting of a nitrous bottle outside the frame rail is permissible on streetbikes only with the use of a Manufacturers Cup approved nitrous bottle valve protector; otherwise, N2O bottles must be completely contained within the bike frame rail. Outside-the-frame bottles must be securely fastened with an approved bottle bracket. See Ballast 2. Bottles must be mechanically fastened; hose clamps or tie wraps are prohibited.
All nitrous bikes must have thumb butterfly body fasteners. Purge lines must face away from the rider. Oil blanket or oil catch pan is mandatory on all nitrous bikes. Oil blanket or oil catch pan is mandatory on all nitrous bikes not utilizing a street-type exhaust passing under the oil pan. Single stage nitrous is defined as one nozzle per cylinder.
Leading edge of the front of the body may have regular fasteners. All bikes must have front fender excluding Super Eliminator. InMyers became the A. During this event, Myers piloted the machine to a blistering one hundred and seventeen miles per hour on the quarter-mile, taking top honors and securing his place in motorcycle drag racing history.
Les Myers With His Top Eliminator Early motorcycle drag racing machines consisted primarily of modified components and dates to a time before specific speed equipment was offered for motorcycles. The power plant is a bored and stroked 80 cubic inch Harley-Davidson Panhead engine with a front-mounted Edison Racing Magneto taken from an earlier o. The frame has been cut down, shortened and modified to lower the bikes overall stance and to accommodate the shorter Harley Davidson lightweight fork from the s.
It overall has been shaved and lightened to reduce weight in all in almost all possible areas. Close inspection also shows that the oil tank is incorporated into the seat post of the frame.
Superbike-Coach Motorcycle Suspension Guide
The machine also features lightweight aluminum racing rims and, in an unconventional fashion, had a s, Harley Davidson W. This transmission has also been modified, welded up kicker, narrow sprockets on the transmission and the rear wheel, homemade brake levers, and homemade rear brake control.
Upon inspection inside the transmission, we noticed there is no first gear, and all other gears had been lightened and speed cut. All put together, this made for a lightweight and powerful combination that proved successful on the drag strip.
Both wheels have lightweight racing aluminum rims. The rear has a homemade recapped slick that started with a used Goodyear Street Tire. A racing class designation is brush painted on the sidewall of the front tire. The gas tanks were even customized and were Simplex Servi-cycle tanks that were split to rest over the frame backbone. Waddell was a successful dealer whose dealership is still in operation today.
Walksler and Waddell quickly became friends, buying, selling, and trading with one another for the various projects that they had underway. The interesting thing which comes into play later in this story was that many of the machines that Waddell bought from Myers were eventually disassembled into individual parts, sorted and then stored in the warehouse. The inventory was still vast and required six semi-trailers to transport it to Maggie Valley, NC, and the museum.
The photo was a former drag racer kneeling next to his bike with a trophy; no caption, no information, nothing known about the picture. After a few months of selling parts, Matt happened across the picture of Les Myers and his drag bike. A neat coincidence but nothing to really think about at the time. The next thing you know, Matt finds a slick rear wheel in the pile. At that point Matt started thinking that maybe the rest of this bike was there amongst all the parts and then piece by piece, almost the entire machine has been uncovered; the modified frame, original to the bike, was discovered stored underneath the trailers, along with an original s lightweight racing fork.