Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Basics of Carburettor Operation

The basic secret of carb function is that inside each carb are thousands of tiny gnomes, each with a small bucket. As you open the throttle, more of these gnomes are allowed out of their houses and into the float bowl, where they fill the buckets and climb up the carb's passages to the intake, where they empty their buckets into the air stream. 

But, if you don't ride the bike for a while, bad things can happen. Tiny bats take up residence in the chambers of the carb, and before long the passages are plugged up with guano. This creates a gnome traffic jam, and so not enough bucketfuls of fuel can get to the engine.

If it gets bad enough, the gnomes simply give up and go take a nap. The engine won't run at all at this point. Sometimes you'll have a single dedicated gnome still on the job, which is why the bike will occasionally fire as the gnome tosses his lone bucket load down the intake.
There has been some research into using tiny dwarves in modern carbs. The advantage is that unlike gnomes, dwarves are miners and can often re-open a clogged passage. Unfortunately, dwarves have a natural fear of earthquakes, as any miner should. In recent tests, the engine vibrations caused the dwarves to evacuate the Harley Davidson test vehicle and make a beeline for the nearest BMW dealership. Sadly, BMW's are fuel injected and so the poor dwarves met an unfortunate end in the rollers of a Bosch fuel pump.

Other carb problems can also occur. If the level of fuel in the float bowl rises too high, it will wipe out the Section 8 gnome housing in the lower parts of the carb. The more affluent gnomes build their homes in the diaphragm chamber, and so are unaffected. This is why the bike is said to be "running rich". 

If the fuel bowl level drops, then the gnomes have to walk farther to get a bucketful of fuel. This means less fuel gets to the engine. Because the gnomes get quite a workout from this additional distance, this condition is known as "running lean".

The use of the device known only as the 'choke' has finally been banned by PETG (People for the Ethical Treatment of Gnomes) and replaced by a new carb circuit that simply allows more gnomes to carry fuel at once when the engine needs to start or warm up. In the interests of decorum, I prefer not to explain how the 'choke' operated. You would rather not know anyway.

So, that's how a carburettor works. You may wish to join us here next week for electricity 101, or "How your bike creates cold fusion inside the stator, and why the government doesn't want you to know about it."

Proper Racing

The Ultimate Trip 1977

I'm not sure if this is an advert for Kawasaki Motorcycles or for the use of hallucinogenic drugs.

Dream Machine

Matchless G80CS (1961)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Lesser Spotted Beemer

I came across a BMW C1 like this one on my way home today.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop and take a photo so I did a quick Google search and came up with this one. I also came across this site which has loads of photos of the BMW museum in Munich. Lots of nice old bikes on show.

I never really understood the point of the C1. It was aimed at commuters, but it was cumbersome and far too expensive. Added to which, it’s small engine capacity (125cc or 175cc) made it unsuitable away from town centre traffic. I did once see one on the motorway and it was painful to watch its rider try and cope with other, faster traffic while getting blown all over the place by a swirling cross-wind.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Hands Up

Words fail me….

Cheer Up!

There are times when riding a motorcycle doesn’t seem that bad, regardless of what the weather can throw at you.

One of those times is when it’s chucking it down, you’re cold and tired, and you’re what seems like a very long way from home. And then, you pass a cyclist. Dressed in all their lycra fineness they’re even wetter, colder and further from home than you are. You'll probably be home before they are and it does cheer you up. It shouldn’t, but it does!

And then there’s this guy…..

Waiting in the queue for the ferry from Denmark to Norway.

Water In The Carb

Any Old Iron

It seems that Norrie has bought himself a new ride

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Birthday Boy

Muhammad Ali turned 70 today. Here he is in his prime.

Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston (1965)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

New Year’s Resolution # 999

I really must give the shed a long overdue clear out this year.

While looking for something else this afternoon I came across this in a box. It’s a brand-new Simson moped engine. I have never owned a bloody Simson moped, so why do I have this?


You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda


Russian Memorial

Norrie’s blog has a link for a website on Russian life. On having a look through the site I came across a page on the history of the pre-Soviet era cruiser The Varyag, the pride of the Imperial Russian Fleet. 

The name rang a bell and I looked for and found these other photos that I took outside the village of Lendalfoot on the Ayrshire coast where there is a Russian Naval Memorial for the Varyag.

It's not a war memorial as such, since the ship simply sank. More of a tribute to a particular ship which played an important part in the history of a particular country. I'm sure that if you looked hard enough you'd find comparable stories elsewhere. 

The story of the memorial can be found here, and there are more photos here, with an entry in Wikipedia here.

Wheels of Steel

Anyone got any idea what this is, other than the obvious? I was sent the pictures without any background or explanation at all.

I did try searching for it on the interweb and drew a blank. Funnily enough I didn't get very far when looking up 'weird bicycle with loopy metal wheels'.

Proud Owner or Mad Inventor?
It could be a ‘design’ thing, a serious attempt to run a bicycle without a tyre (in which case I don't imagine that they will be too popular in areas with cobbled streets), or simply an interesting piece of kinetic sculpture. Your guess is as good as mine.

Canal Dreams

My friend Donald thought that I might like this picture for the site. That's his MZ TS150 in front of a canal boat called “Thistledown” on the Union Canal near Falkirk.

Friday, 13 January 2012

DDR Motorcycle Museum Berlin

Uwe Kobilke's private collection of East German (DDR) motorcycles and mopeds is now on public display in Berlin. 

A nice display which is well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity.

Details here

Assassin Wanted?


Motorcycle Statue, Olas Altas, Mazatlán

Statue dedicated to city hero and police motorcyclist José Pedro Infante Cruz, better known as Pedro Infante in his hometown of Mazatlan, Mexico. Located at the southern end of Olas Altas beach.


Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Island

You have to try it at least the once if you can. You know that you want to.


 “I have a BMW. But only because BMW stands for Bob Marley and The Wailers, and not because I need an expensive car.” 

Bob Marley


First Rule