Author Topic: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball  (Read 4046 times)

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Offline steveale

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1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« on: 31 Oct 2014 at 23:39 »
I will be taking my 1913 Douglas across the USA in 2016 as a rider in the motorcycle cannonball.  The ride only takes part every 2 years and it is a test of man and machine, covering ~4,000 miles over 17 days.  Each day is a stage of approximately 250 miles, riders cannot get assistance from their support crews during the daily ride.  Riders must fix any problems themselves or with assistance only from other riders.  Once the final day checkpoint is reached (either under power or via sweeper trailers following) then the crews can assist with repairs or maintenance prior to the next morning start.

In 2010 the cannonball was 1915 or older motorcycles, truly the spirit of Erwin "Cannonball" Baker who rode a 1914 indian coast to coast in 11 days.  In 2012 the event allowed any motorcycles pre-1930 and in 2014 the upward trend continued with pre-1937 motorcycles being mustered for the run.  However, in 2016 they are "getting back to Cannonball Baker's roots" and requiring all entries be pre-1917 which means all competitors will be riding machines a century old or older.

As you can imagine a number of spares will be required to cover nearly every scenario of mechanical problems.  Over the prior 3 events it has been realized that even the most meticulously prepared machine will have some type of mechanical problems over that length of run.  Any help in getting me connected with sources of spares will be most appreciated.  This will be the FIRST Douglas motorcycle to compete in this event.  I would like nothing more than to represent the brand with a great finishing position in the final standings.

I have a little under 2 years to amass the parts I think I will need, I'm sure the time will flash by quicker than I expect.

Offline Doug

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #1 on: 01 Nov 2014 at 00:02 »
Steve,

Recommend that you stockpile two or three spare crankshafts! On modern roads the little belt drive Dougies will slowly creep upward in speed until the crankshaft breaks. Broken crankshafts are getting fairly common. Also some fresh cylinders and valves will be needed to get over the Continental Divide. A 350cc is a very small machine to attempt the Cannonball on. Once you get inside the engine and have a look at the skinny connecting rods, you might change your mind!

With the Cannonball the smallest class is 700cc and under. So what you really want is a 4hp Dougie. They were introduced in 1915, so would be earlier than the cut-off date.

-Doug

Offline steveale

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #2 on: 01 Nov 2014 at 00:43 »
Doug,
all true but also the cc's of the machine and age of the machine is a factor in scoring within class.  A 340cc 1913 will always be ahead of a 1915 700cc machine if running full miles.  I know it is a bit more of a gamble but it could be the difference in winning and just running well in class.

I will also say that I have run analysis on all 3 cannonballs, by age of machine, by class size, etc.  No pre-17 class I bike <700cc has run a complete perfect score on any of the 3 cannonball events. 

At some point one is gonna make it and when that happens it will be the clear winner due to size/age. 

I'm really just in it for the experience, riding a 100 year old machine from coast to coast.  Not many can say they have done it.  I hope to be one of the few that can say they have...

Offline steveale

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #3 on: 01 Nov 2014 at 02:49 »
I realized I put this in parts for sale instead of parts wanted...oops.  can you move it?

Offline Doug

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #4 on: 01 Nov 2014 at 03:36 »
Done.

-Doug

Offline graeme

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #5 on: 02 Nov 2014 at 21:51 »
That's a big ask for a little engine - mighty though they may be! And Doug is correct - the conrods are very light. I would suggest fitting beefed up conrods for a start, and prepare a couple of spare engines to the same specification to slot straight in. Also a complete gearbox in good order, plus a spare magneto. I would also think it would be essential to change the wheel bearings to sealed modern bearings. Thoroughly check the frame and forks for cracks, which are very common in these old machines. Good luck!

Offline steveale

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #6 on: 19 Feb 2015 at 20:35 »
I'm confirmed in the cannonball...spares urgently being sought.  Keep me in mind if you have or run across any fits for 1913 2 3/4 hp machine.  Thanks in advance. 

Offline Dirt Track

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #7 on: 22 Feb 2015 at 04:49 »
G'day all.
I would question ones reason to go in such a "race" as the Cannonball.....If an entrant is changing engines and wheels and broken frames and the like....what is it all going to prove...nothing more than someone had a heap of spare parts!
Surely the motive to go on such an endurance trip is to finish with the same engine / frame / forks and wheels that you started with to show that firstly the machine was up to doing such a trip and secondly that your preparation is up to the task and thirdly that you are up to it!
I truely take my hat off to someone who can do this or even "have a go" but there is a limit to what should be allowed to be modified on the bikes?
Imagine the Pioneer Run if they allowed disc brakes and modern bicycle forks / seats and electronic ignition Oh and while your at it swap the Auto Inlet motor for a Honda 4....Mmmm what about Nitrous Oxide.
Makes it all a bit of a joke really.
I can hear it now...who is this from Tasmania...who does he think he is?
All the best.
Howard.


[edit.  22Feb15.  Doug. Site Moderator]
« Last Edit: 22 Feb 2015 at 13:13 by Doug »

Offline steveale

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #8 on: 08 Mar 2015 at 03:57 »
howard,

you make fair points.  Rules are original engine, gearbox, frame to start.  Spares from like era in case of failure.  Only modifications for safety reasons...so non-clincher tires/rims, headlamp, tail lamp and brake lamp usually are led's runniing from flashlight batteries...and yes, brake upgrades are allowed since the run traverses both the Appalachian and Rocky mountains.  The run is nearly 4,000 miles over 17 days, averaging nearly 250 miles per day (one day is a rest/maintenance day).  Some guys are purists and run original (except lighting)...lighting mods are the only "required" safety modification.

The london to brighton pioneer run is only a single day 50 mile run from what I gather.  Are there any pioneer runs in Australia?  With the size of the continent, I could see a formidable run from coast to coast there...probably similar to a usa coast to coast distance.

Offline AssortedNuggets

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #9 on: 08 Mar 2015 at 08:39 »
Was asked if I wished to be part of a team for next years Cannonball.

I understood that the rider has to take enough spares / essentials with them for the days riding. If the bike is not fixable, then the sweeper truck picks up the riders broken down and not able to fix by the side of the road.

Then overnight the maintenance crew / rider can fix the bike for the next day.

Some of the pit crews/ maintenance crews have full machine shops in the back of the pantecnicans, some are just a crew of enthusiasts with genius engineers!

The rider and support take different routes. ... Bikes this next one have to be far more original.

Certainly will be an experience.


Offline Dirt Track

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #10 on: 08 Mar 2015 at 09:19 »
G'day Steve.
Hope I did not come over too strong in the first place but I do think these runs are better if the original machines are used and then it relies on the workmanship and robust nature of the original bike.
I think I heard someone had "Nitrous Oxide" injection fitted to his veteran engine....on a veteran machine...really!!
Yes we have similar runs here in Australia, they are called National Veteran Motor Cycle Rally's and are held over a full week long ride. They are held every two years and in a different location somewhere in Australia.
We have also had Sydney to Melbourne, Adelaide to Darwin and Perth to Sydney runs...all for veterans ( I have not been on one) and I am sure they will be others to follow.
I heard someone is contemplating using an original condition 1903 REX....it wont survive in one piece!!
Anyway best of luck with your entry and hope you enjoy every minute of it.
Howard.

Offline steveale

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #11 on: 12 Mar 2015 at 17:18 »
Not a bother Howard, I agree with most of your points because I am a purist at heart as well.  I was actually trying to educate on the facebook cannonball site regarding clincher tires.  Like anything proper equipment, maintenance and respect will go far when using older technology.  I know at least one guy who ran the whole run last year on clinchers without a bother.  I know the guys that procured the Rex, I don't know the rider personally but several members of the team.  Getting that machine across the finish will be nothing short of a miracle....but that is part of the draw to this event.  Making the seemingly impossible, possible.  Happy motoring!


BTW, still looking for spares.  Any help is appreciated. :D

Offline steveale

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Re: 1913 spares for USA motorcycle cannonball
« Reply #12 on: 22 Mar 2015 at 02:30 »
Update:  I heard today that the 1903 Rex will not be used in the CB due to originality and rarity of the machine.  I think the rider is looking at a more common 1904 Rex in restored condition to run in the event.  I guess going from 03 to 04 is an upgrade  LOL....