After seeing the Discovery Channel’s show on Bonneville last night it got us revved up enough to provide a long overdue update on the Bonneville projects.
First, there hasn’t been any progress on the Ducati. The realization that there is a desperate need for electronic fuel injection became apparent after the trip to Byron Dragway, but the comprehension of and the loading of tuning parameters into the Microsquirt has thus eluded us. If you know anyone who has used one of these nifty little units on a 90 degree twin, please let us know as we can sure use some help with it!!!! The high fuel consumption of a mechanical fuel injection system would cause too great a late-run weight imbalance (inducing wheelspin) to allow that to be used, thus relegating us to electronic fuel injection or blow-through carburetion (an equally mysterious but in my mind roulette-wheel type of tuning). Once again, the electronic devotees out there…..Help!!!!
Well, things have continued to be a challenge on the blown Triumph front as it seems this bike is insisting on being dragged, kicking and screaming, to the starting line. The decision to use a conventional front end to keep in the “retro” motif has caused the bike needing to be raised 2 inches to maintain a relative balance and some weight bias adjustability. This necessitated a lower triple tree made by Guy Bartz to be used to keep the hike in height to just 2 inches. It also allowed the use of the beautiful aluminum unit in place of the stock SV-650 cast steel unit (what were they thinking?). The rear end also needed to have the axle blocks flipped over as well. The initial design of the chassis was also allowing for the 190mm tire to be the shortest tire, as all the drag racing slicks tended to be taller, causing the initial location to be the lowest possible. The Ducati, on the other hand was never intended to be at the dragstrip so the 200 rear tire was expected to be the tallest. Go figure. An upside-down front fork would solve this problem, but we also have kept the right side shift on this project as well, keeping the schizophrenic nature of the beast intact.
The motor, being a 1966 vintage also has the delights of Whitworth, British Standard, and OBA threads. In case you didn’t know, the British are the only people that came up with a more disparate and eccentric manner of bolting things together than the U.S. In many instances the threads are 26 threads per inch which doesn’t coincide with anything. Even the wrenches have issues as they are designated by the size of the bolt threads they are to fit, not the size of the bolt head. You need the British tool set, the U.S. and Metric wrenches out all at once to expect to get things done this century. It is trying Fred’s patience, I can tell.
Reversing the cylinder head to allow the rider to sit down in the bike also requires a different set of cam timing specs. Luckily about 26 years ago, a former employee Allen Jelle, did a reversed-head Triumph while he was here. He was gracious enough to sell us the bottom end, and help with the intuitively conflicting cam timing. AJ’s front-engined blown Desoto-powered dragster is a thing of beauty, so he also has a vested interest in this project. A certain restraint is needed to keep from blowing everything to pieces via blower overdrive and/or nitro percentage in both the Desoto and our bike.
The design and manufacture of the blower/fuel pump and ignition drives is started, and will hopefully be done in the next two to three weeks.
There is a general shaking of heads when this project is viewed by the rest of the world it seems, but just watch the Discovery Channel program on Bonneville or pull out your trusty copy of “The World’s Fastest Indian” and you’ll understand.
Until the next “milestone” (millstone?).