Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:11:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 An Indian Post-Apocalyptic Battle Van By Holy Shift Garage https://silodrome.com/battle-van-holy-shift-garage/ Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:03:19 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=105347 Holy Shift Garage is an Indian custom motorcycle (and car) workshop that channel the original spirit of the A-Team but with a distinctly South Asian style. The team have their own TV show on India’s...

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Holy Shift Garage is an Indian custom motorcycle (and car) workshop that channel the original spirit of the A-Team but with a distinctly South Asian style. The team have their own TV show on India’s hugely popular Power Drift channel, with millions tuning in to watch them turn otherwise normal Indian vehicles into wild and wonderful customs.

This Suzuki Omni (Suzuki Carry) van is their latest four-wheeled creation, they started with a scrapped Omni that was in such terrible shape it was almost certainly destined for the crusher. Once they had stripped it back to bare metal they released it was worse than they had initially anticipated, there was rust everywhere, the engine wasn’t working, and the interior was unusable.

Once they had a bare shell the plan began to come together, a new engine, transmission and rear axle would be fitted, as well as new suspension and suspension spacers to give the battle van more ground clearance.

The new rear axle was sourced from a Suzuki Gypsy (Samurai), it was considerably tougher than the original Omni axle however the differential was offset to one side as is common in 4×4 applications. This meant the axle tubes needed to be cut and extended to bring the differential into the centre so it matched up with the driveshaft coming down the centre-line of the Omni.

A new 1,000cc four-cylinder engine was sourced (also from a Samurai) as well as a new transmission – although not big this engine is 200cc larger than the 800cc three-cylinder engine originally fitted to the Omni in India.

“Driving it is a mixture of emotions, fear of death and also a sense of accomplishing something unique.”  Pranav from Holy Shift Garage

The wheel arches needed to be cut out considerably to accomodate the new larger Maxxis Trepador off-road tires, and a new motorcycle carrier was fitted to the back of the van to carry one of the Holy Shift Garage custom motorcycle builds.

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Not content to leave it at that, the team also fabricated a full external roll cage and a roof rack with a light bar, a front bullbar, new LED headlights, jerry cans to carry fuel/beer, and six forward facing spotlights. The side windows were all replaced with vented metal plates and the van was finished off with a military inspired paint scheme.

The team at Holy Shift Garage already have more plans for the battle van, including a a larger engine, and a series of brake and suspension upgrades to make it better suited for cross-country road trips. We’ve included the full episode that shows the build process from beginning to end, it also introduces you to the team and shows just how much work went into it.

If you’re interested in see more unusual custom builds from Holy Shift you can follow the team’s instagram accounts below, they have a lot more on the way including both custom cars and motorcycles.

Follow Holy Shift Garage on Instagram

Follow Rohit on Instagram

Follow Pranav on Instagram

Follow Jesse on Instagram

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Images: Holy Shift Garage

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A Free Motorcycle Adult Coloring Collection by Adam Kay https://silodrome.com/motorcycle-adult-coloring-book/ Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:07:16 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=105322 Many of us are spending far more time indoors than usual and if you’re anything like me, you’re on the lookout for things to keep you occupied. Adam Kay of Untitled Motorcycles in London has...

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Many of us are spending far more time indoors than usual and if you’re anything like me, you’re on the lookout for things to keep you occupied. Adam Kay of Untitled Motorcycles in London has come up with a solution – a collection of free adult colouring images that you can download and get to work on in the comfort of your own home.

Each of the nine images measures in at over 5000 pixels wide and over 3000 pixels high, they’re all 300 DPI so you’ll have no trouble printing them out at a good size on a home printer. Each image was created by acclaimed illustrator and artist Ian Galvin.

Untitled Motorcycles have workshops in both the United States and United Kingdom, one of very few custom motorcycle companies with an international presence.

UMC-54-TRIUMPH-LINE

UMC was founded in 2010 by Adam and Hugo, in the decade since they’ve become one of the world’s leading custom motorcycle companies with multiple features in books, magazines like GQ, Cycle World, and Playboy, as well as websites like Silodrome and Bike EXIF, TV shows like Jay Leno’s Garage, and the recent feature film “Oil In The Blood”.

Adam Kay is the man in charge of the London division of Untitled Motorcycles, as the United Kingdom is currently under lockdown he decided to create this series of line drawings for other people to color in – and help provide some much needed entertainment.

Adam is offering them all for free for non-commercial use, we’ve included lower-resolution versions here for display purposes but if you’d like to download the full collection in high-resolution you can click visit his Instagram using the link below.

Give Adam a follow on Instagram then click the link in his bio to download the full set.

UMC-59-TRIUMPH-LINE

UMC-58-HONDA-LINE

UMC-57-TRIUMPH-LINE

UMC-56-SUZUKI-GS-LINE

UMC-51-KTM-LINE

UMC-37-MOTOGUZZI-LINE

UMC-36-BMW-LINE

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An SAS-Specificaton 1942 Ford GPW – A WW2 North African Desert Survivor https://silodrome.com/ford-gpw/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:30:23 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=105133 This Ford GPW was discovered in the Tunisian desert of North Africa along with a horde of abandoned military vehicles, shortly after it found was sent to Italy for a full restoration. The vehicle’s VIN...

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This Ford GPW was discovered in the Tunisian desert of North Africa along with a horde of abandoned military vehicles, shortly after it found was sent to Italy for a full restoration.

The vehicle’s VIN indicates that this is from the second batch of vehicles built for the Quartermaster Corps of the US Army, it saw action as a desert combat vehicle during WW2 in the brutal desert climate of North Africa – its history between this time and the time it was discovered are lost to history.

The design of the Ford GPW came about because of a three-way battle for the lucrative military contract for WW2. American Bantam was the first to produce both blueprints and a fully-functioning vehicle for testing, the US government then sent the blueprints to both Willys Overland and Ford who were creating their own lightweight 4x4s.

Ford GPW Front

Initially, orders were placed for all three designs however it was decided that the Willys was the best overall option due to its more powerful “Go Devil” engine. Ford was tasked with building the Willys design with they did with the Ford GPW – though many subtle differences between the GPW and the Willys MB existed. The name “Jeep” is largely thought to have come about by troops shortening the “GPW” name into just “GP” and from there to “Jeep”.

Jeeps were one of the single most important vehicles of WW2, in fact President Eisenhower later called it “one of three decisive weapons the U.S. had during WWII.” Jeeps were also supplied to Allied forces including Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Russia – after the war Jeeps would also inspire both the Land Rover and Land Cruiser, as well as probably every other civilian four-wheel drive vehicle of the era.

The Brits made good use of their Jeeps, a number of them were assigned to the newly formed SAS regiment (Special Air Service), there United Kingdom’s premier special forces unit that tallied a number of vital and daring raids behind enemy lines during WW2 and in the decades after.

Ford GPW Arms

The SAS made use of specially prepared Jeeps in the critical North African theatre of war, the Ford GPW you see here has been built to the specification used by the British special forces unit during the war including a battery of firepower headed by a Browning machine gun.

Due to the nature of the behind enemy lines raids performed by the SAS they typically needed a lot of fuel, firepower, and equipment. This Jeep has a slew of jerry cans mounted front and back for both fuel and water as well as the aforementioned armaments and equipment.

Some desert Jeeps (like this one) had their grilles cut to get more airflow through the radiator, many Jeeps were modified by soldiers throughout the war and as a result the vehicle was able to fulfil a wide range of duties it wasn’t originally designed for.

This unusual SAS-Specificaton 1942 Ford GPW is due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s at the Essen Auction in late June, it’s being offered with no reserve and there’s currently no price guide. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Ford GPW Steering Wheel

Ford GPW Side

Ford GPW Sand Tracks

Ford GPW Hood

Ford GPW Guns

Ford GPW Grille

Ford GPW Fuel Jerry Cans

Ford GPW Engine

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Ford GPW Back

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The Pando Moto Mark KEV 01 – Cordura Motorcycle Jeans https://silodrome.com/pando-moto-mark-kev-01/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 10:30:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=104767 These are the Pando Moto Mark KEV 01 Cordura motorcycle jeans, they’re a recent release from the European company made from black 12.5oz Cordura super-stretch denim. This material is highly abrasion resistant which makes it...

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These are the Pando Moto Mark KEV 01 Cordura motorcycle jeans, they’re a recent release from the European company made from black 12.5oz Cordura super-stretch denim.

This material is highly abrasion resistant which makes it perfect for use by motorcyclists, it’s a blend of military-grade INVISTA T420 nylon 6.6 and cotton, underneath this layer is a thick interlock-knit lining made of DuPont Kevlar fibers. This combination provides an excellent level of protection against tears and road rash, and it’s been CE certified to the PPE under EN 17092, level AA standard.

The Mark KEV 01 has two-position knee armor pockets allowing you to get the perfect fit, and it has reinforced Kevlar stitching and a thick interlock-knit lining made of DuPont Kevlar fibers. Slim fit Triple Flex knee and hip armor is included with each pair.

There are two traditional rear pockets with snap closures, a cargo pocket on each leg, two hand pockets, and the cuffs are two-position adjustable to get the right fit.

Pando Moto was founded back in 2011 and have made a name for themselves making daily-wearable motorcycle gear and distinctive styling. They now have distributors around the world and a product line the includes wide variety of motorcycle-specific apparel and gear.

The Mark KEV 01 in six different sizes and in any colour you like so long as it’s black with a retail price of €259.00.

Visit The Store

Pando Moto Mark KEV 01 4

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The Tatra T87 – Powered By A Rear-Mounted Air-Cooled V8 + 100 mph Capable https://silodrome.com/tatra-t87/ Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:30:06 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=105064 The Tatra T87 was one of the most advanced cars of its age, it has all-independent suspension, a highly-aerodynamic body and they’re powered by a rear-mounted, air-cooled magnesium alloy SOHC V8 and could reach speeds...

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The Tatra T87 was one of the most advanced cars of its age, it has all-independent suspension, a highly-aerodynamic body and they’re powered by a rear-mounted, air-cooled magnesium alloy SOHC V8 and could reach speeds of 100 mph while returning ~20 mpg – a remarkable feat for the era.

The reputation of the T87 is made up of two major parts, its reputation as a ground-breaking car for its age that would have a huge influence on automobile design and aerodynamics, and its reputation for tricky handling when driven by inexperienced drivers due to the rear-mounted V8.

During WW2 the T87 became a favourite of Nazi officers for its comfort and performance, however so many of them ended up dead because of the car’s propensity for snap oversteer (and lift-off oversteer) that the Wehrmacht Command are said to have forbidden them from use.

Tatra T87

The T87 was primarily the work of three men, Hans Ledwinka, Paul Jaray, and Erich Übelacker. Ledwinka was one of the most important and out-of-the-box automobile engineers of his day, Jaray was a revolutionary designer who penned the shape of airships like the LZ 120 Bodensee (which strongly influenced the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and the LZ 129 Hindenburg), and Übelacker was a talented engineer with a slew of patents to his name.

Design for the car was based closely on the Tatra T77 however it included a number of important upgrades. The Tatra T87 uses a backbone-type chassis with a rear-mounted 2.9 litre magnesium V8 that feeds power forwards to a 4-speed transaxle, and the suspension consists of twin transverse leaf springs up front and a swing axle arrangement in the rear.

The engine is an exceptional feat of engineering in itself, it’s made from a magnesium alloy that’s lighter than a comparable aluminum alloy. It has a single overhead cam per bank and it uses air-cooling rather than a heavier liquid-cooling set up. Tatra engineers understood the potential handling difficulties of having a heavy engine out past the rear axle-line so they took significant measures to keep weight as low as possible through the use of magnesium and air-cooling.

Tatra T87 Side

The front trunk (can’t bring myself to use the word “frunk”) is reasonably spacious, and the interior of the car can seat 5 adults in comfort with a fold down armrest in the rear. The design of the T87’s body was state-of-the-art for the era, it’s an outstandingly aerodynamic vehicle with a drag co-efficient of just 0.36 – better than the Ferrari F50 at 0.372.

The design of the Tatra T87 is said to have caught the eye of both Hitler and Ferdinand Porsche, as a result it was used (unofficially) as an inspiration for Germany’s people’s car – the Volkswagen Beetle. So similar were the designs that a lawsuit was launched, the suit was paused when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, however after the war Tatra restarted the case and in 1965 Volkswagen paid Tatra 1,000,000 Deutsche Marks in an out of court settlement.

Between 1936 and 1950 Tatra built 3,056 examples of the T87, they attracted a slew of important owners including  John Steinbeck, King Farouk I of Egypt, Jay Leno, Felix Wankel, and Erwin Rommel. Jay Leno famously loves his T87 and has written about it extensively over the years.

The T87 you see here is a 1948 model, the third last year of production, it’s presented in excellent overall condition and carries chassis number #3480 332. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.

Tatra T87 V8 Engine

Tatra T87 Top

Tatra T87 Steering Wheel

Tatra T87 Roof

Tatra T87 Rear

Tatra T87 Interior

Tatra T87 Front

Tatra T87 Front Wheel

Tatra T87 Fin

Tatra T87 Back

Tatra T87 Back Seat

Images: ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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A Brief History of the Norton 16H – The World War II Workhorse https://silodrome.com/norton-16h-history/ Wed, 01 Apr 2020 07:30:08 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=99496 The Norton 16H – A Roaring Norton for the Roaring Twenties The Norton Model 16H had its beginnings back even before the Roaring Twenties, and before the outbreak of the First World War. The 490cc...

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The Norton 16H – A Roaring Norton for the Roaring Twenties

The Norton Model 16H had its beginnings back even before the Roaring Twenties, and before the outbreak of the First World War. The 490cc single cylinder engine that would provide the power for the 16H was created by James Lansdowne Norton and installed in a motorcycle which he entered into the 1911 Isle of Man TT in the 500cc Senior Class. That engine had a bore and stroke of 79mm x 100mm, a dimension that was to remain the Norton standard for single cylinder engines up until 1963 when they were phased out.

James Norton had established his Norton Manufacturing Company in 1898 and had gone from making bicycle parts to manufacturing complete bicycles and then on to powered bikes beginning in 1902 with the “Energette” powered by a Belgian made 143cc Clément single cylinder engine. In 1907 a Norton was entered in the Isle of Man TT and won the twin cylinder class: and then in 1909 Norton created his own 633cc “Big Four” single cylinder side-valve engine.

Brooklands Norton 16H sidevalve motorcycle Vic Horsman Brooklands race circuit

So when James Norton entered his belt driven Model 16 490cc single in the Isle of Man TT of 1911 he had some background as a motorcycle designer and maker, and some background in the Isle of Man TT. Norton did not gain a place in that race but having learned some things he went back to his workshop and improved his engine and then entered the 1912 Brooklands TT, which he won, and set three world records while he was at it.

Norton 16H Brooklands Special motorcycle

With the Brooklands success under his belt Norton got to work on creating motorcycles to sell to an eager public and by 1913 was selling his “Brooklands Special” (BS) which was capable of lapping the Brooklands circuit at 70mph, and “Brooklands Road Special” (BRS) which could lap Brooklands at 65mph: both bikes achieving this feat with a single speed gearbox and belt drive.

This success was to be short lived however with the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, a war that would later become known as “The First World War”.

With the Great War over in 1918 Norton went back into motorcycle production in 1919 producing an improved version of their pre-war 16H. This new model featured a three speed geabox by Sturmey-Archer combined with a chain drive. The following year in 1920 Norton entered the 1920s with a move to a new manufacturing premises in Birmingham’s Bracebridge Street.

In the 1920 Brooklands TT races a Norton machine ridden by Norton works rider Douggie Brown managed second place behind a Sunbeam, but more importantly more than half the riders in that event were riding Norton motorcycles: the name was well and truly established as a maker of fast and reliable motorcycles.

It was in 1921 that James Norton introduced his Model 16H, which had the 490cc side-valve single engine installed in a lower “Big Four” frame. This model was designated the 16H with the “H” standing for “Home” because it was intended for use on Britain’s road system which was quite good in most places by that time. A model using the same 490cc side-valve engine installed in an older model frame that provided higher ground clearance was designated the 17C, with the “C” standing for “Colonies”, and the bike being intended for use on the rough roads and tracks to be found in places like Africa and Australia.

Those 1921 models did not yet feature adjustable tappets and so if valve clearances needed to be adjusted it required the rather permanent use of a file to shorten the valve stem. This shortcoming was remedied in 1922 with adjustable tappets being fitted and also in 1922 James Norton introduced an overhead valve version of his 490cc single and installed that in a bike that would come to be called the Norton Model 18.

The Call to War

The Great Depression came in 1929-1930 and even as people were hoping for some joy and relief there emerged the twin specters of the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany in the early 1930s, and in Asia the shadow of a modernized and militaristic Japan which in 1932 invaded China and established its own government in the newly created territory of Manchukuo.

In Britain’s War Office clear heads could see that a war with Germany was going to be inevitable, and even while the government was telling the public to be hopeful for “peace in our time” the War Office quietly got busy with the job of arming Britain so that when what was deemed inevitable happened Britain would be equipped to repel the potential invader already flexing its muscles in Europe.

Norton WD16H military motorcycle

Given that by this time Norton had established an enviable reputation not only for performance but also for reliability they were contacted by the War Office with a view to them submitting a motorcycle model made to military specifications for the trials to choose a motorcycle for the expected war.

Wisely Norton did not choose to submit an overhead valve engine fitted bike, nor one of its newer models. Norton chose to build a modified version of their tried and proven 16H and submit that for evaluation. This modified WD16H (i.e. “War Department” 16H) was equipped with a higher frame to provide the 5¾ inch ground clearance required.

This was accomplished by using a shorter front down tube and shorter saddle tube. (These dimensions being the way to distinguish the military frames from the civilian ones). These bikes had the reliable 490cc side-valve single cylinder engine and were fitted with heavy duty front girder forks fitted with strengthened rebound springs (the main springs remained the same as on the pre-war civilian model), steel trials type foot-pegs, a carrier, sports tires, speedometer, electric horn, and a long propstand. It was of course painted in army drab olive green.

Norton WD16H military motorcycle

At that time the British military had been using a 500cc BSA “V” twin cylinder motorcycle which had been originally purchased as a replacement for the Douglas and Triumph motorcycles used in the First World War, but these BSA twins had been found lacking.

In all, eight manufacturers submitted motorcycles for the trials including Matchless, Triumph and Enfield among others and the War Office found all the motorcycles tested to be superior to the BSA “V” twins they had. But the Norton 16H stood out as the best of them all and so it was the motorcycle the military wanted and in 1936 Norton were awarded a Directorate of Army Contracts order for 300 bikes built to the army specification along with spare engines and frames.

Norton built these 300 bikes between February and mid-March of that year demonstrating their manufacturing ability. They were then awarded two more contracts so that by the end of 1936 they had produced 900 16H type motorcycles for the military. Triumph were also awarded contracts with Norton being ultimately responsible for making about a quarter of Britain’s wartime motorcycles, in the order of 80,000 to 100,000 units.

Norton WD16H military motorcycle

By the end of 1936 Britain’s re-armament was well underway and shipyards were laying down warships, aircraft were being built, and all the other materials of war were being methodically acquired.

Norton were presented with an order for 2,000 more bikes in 1937 and also with the order to do some improvement work on their design, and the bikes already in military service. This included the fitting of a compensated voltage system for the Lucas electrics, which was not difficult to do when the bikes were routinely serviced.

Norton WD16H military motorcycle

In 1938 Norton received an additional order for 500 16H motorcycles for the India Office fitted with improved air-cleaners for the dusty environments they were to be used in. Of these 50 were for the Nizam’s forces. 16H bikes were also ordered for the High Commissioner for South Africa and other colonial authorities and some of these orders were for the later 1938 model engine with enclosed valve gear, and so were different to the WD16H ordered by the British military.

By 1940 Norton were producing 400 WD16H motorcycles per week and had withdrawn from racing for the duration. The members of the racing team took their place on the production line to help keep up the production numbers, which rose to 500 per week during the war.

Norton WD16H military motorcycle

These Norton WD16H motorcycles weighed 388 lb (176 kg) dry and had a 3.5 gallon (16 liter) fuel tank. Brakes were drums front and rear. The top speed was listed at 68mph (109km/hr) and the gearbox was four speed with a chain final drive.

The Post-War Period

By the end of the Second World War a great many of the approximately 100,000 Norton WD16H bikes had survived and found themselves being sold off as military surplus. Many of these bikes were sold to foreign military buyers from such countries as Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Greece and Norway. Others were sold to civilian commercial dealers who would “civilianize” them so many of the original WD16H bikes were given new paint jobs and things like the military black-out lights were changed for conventional civilian ones.

Norton WD16H military motorcycle rebuilt civilian

Despite the large numbers of military surplus bikes on the market there was still a strong demand for Norton to reintroduce the 16H civilian model which they did as soon as they could after the war’s end.

In 1947 the 16H was modernized by the fitting of telescopic front forks and remained in production until 1954 when it was phased out in favor of Norton’s twin cylinder motorcycles. That original 490cc engine would continue in production through until 1963.

Norton 16H shoe sidecar

Conclusion

The Norton 16H earned itself a reputation for being near unbreakable: these bikes would keep on going even when their gearbox had been almost torn loose by riders who were pulling out all the stops to go just as quickly as they could. The 16H was built to be absolutely dependable, and to last for a long time.

Although they were nicknamed “The poor man’s Norton” they have a dedicated following of owners who appreciate them as being something like a “Land Rover” of motorcycles, albeit able to go much more quickly than a post war Land Rover.

If you happen to be one of those happy Norton 16H enthusiasts you might want to visit Rob van den Brink’s website which has manuals and other detailed information available for download.

Norton WD16H military motorcycle rebuilt civilian

Picture Credits: Norton, Bonhams.

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The Rare Hercules W2000 – A Production-Built Rotary Powered Motorcycle https://silodrome.com/hercules-w2000/ Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:28:27 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=105222 The Hercules W2000 was the first production motorcycle to be powered by a Wankel rotary engine, it showed the world that rotary-powered motorcycles were a possibility, a possibility that Norton would later develop into a...

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The Hercules W2000 was the first production motorcycle to be powered by a Wankel rotary engine, it showed the world that rotary-powered motorcycles were a possibility, a possibility that Norton would later develop into a wins in the British Superbike Championship, the British Formula One Championship, and the Isle of Man TT with their own rotary-powered motorcycles.

On paper, the Wankel rotary seems like a perfect engine for use in motorcycles. The engines are typically small and lightweight, and they run very smoothly with little to no vibration. The main drawbacks are emissions and apex seals – oil needs to be mixed in with the fuel to lubricate the engine and the apex seals (at each point of the rotor) typically have a limited lifespan.

Fichtel & Sachs had purchased the Hercules motorcycle marque in 1963, around the same time they had bought a license to build Wankel rotary engines with a view to using them in stationary motors and in vehicles like the Arctic Cat Panther 295 snowmobile.

Hercules W2000 Engine

It made sense therefore to combine the Hercules motorcycle marque with their new rotary engines, specifically with the new single-rotor engine they had already developed for the Panther 295. The result of this was the Hercules W2000, also known as the DKW W2000 in Britain and some other markets.

I order to create their first rotary-powered motorcycle the team at Hercules essentially started from scratch, they had the engine they were going to use of course but they now needed to figure out how to effectively build a production motorcycle around it – which no one had ever done before.

The 294cc single-rotor engine has a front mounted fan to increase airflow over the block, it’s an air-cooled motor and rotaries run a little hot at the best of times so this was a wide choice by the engineers. Power is sent backwards through a 5-speed gearbox and a chain final drive. The bike has an electric starter but a kickstarter is also provided as a backup.

Considering the sub-300cc capacity the power output of 27 to 32 hp at 6,500 rpm (depending on model year) and 24.5 ft lbs at 4,500 rpm is reasonable, however the fuel economy of 33 mpg (US) does leave a little to be desired.

Hercules W2000 Side

Due to inexperience with Wankel engines insurance companies of the period classed the Hercules W2000 as a motorcycle with a capacity of 882cc rather than 294cc, this larger number is the total swept capacity of the motor and not just the capacity of the combustion chamber. As a result of this, insurance costs in many countries was on par with the most powerful superbikes of the era, despite the far lower power output.

The Hercules W2000 was sold largely to people who were interested in the unusual and quirky nature of the engine, but sadly sales weren’t particularly good. Much quicker, more economical, and cheaper to insure motorcycles were easy to find and by the end of the the 1974 to 1977 production run just 1,784 had been sold.

Today they’re highly collectible and far cheaper to insure, and they always attract a lot of attention when they come up for sale.

The 1977 Hercules Wankel 2000 you see here is from the final year of production, it’s fitted with a luggage rack and it has just 8,550 miles on the odometer. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.

Hercules W2000 Wankel Rotary Engine

Hercules W2000 Side Cover

Hercules W2000 Seat

Hercules W2000 Logo

Hercules W2000 Fuel Tank

Hercules W2000 Fuel Tank 2

Hercules W2000 Exhaust

Hercules W2000 Engine 2

Hercules W2000 Back

Images: ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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The Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser 40 Rock Crawler – 1:10th Scale Kit Built R/C https://silodrome.com/tamiya-toyota-land-cruiser-40-cr-01-rock-crawler/ Tue, 31 Mar 2020 07:54:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=105187 This is the Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser 40 rock crawler, it’s a 1:10th scale remotely controlled vehicle based on Tamiya’s highly-regarded rock crawler chassis/platform featuring a ladder frame with aluminum side channels and resin crossmembers,...

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This is the Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser 40 rock crawler, it’s a 1:10th scale remotely controlled vehicle based on Tamiya’s highly-regarded rock crawler chassis/platform featuring a ladder frame with aluminum side channels and resin crossmembers, 4-link suspension with aluminum rods, a four-wheel drive system with lockable differentials, heavy duty off-road tires, and beadlock wheels.

With many people under quarantine or lockdown there’s been a huge uptick in interest around model building and remotely controlled vehicles like this one, the added benefit to the Land Cruiser 40 rock crawler is that you can use it inside the house on elaborately constructed rock crawling environments made from sofa cushions, canned food, books, and sleeping friends or family members.

The Toyota Land Cruiser J40 series is a four-wheel drive that needs no introduction, it’s one of the most beloved 4x4s in the world and it remained in production for decades – from 1960 until production ceased in Brazil in 2001. A number of companies have appeared over the past 10 to 20 years that specialise in restoring and restomodding J40s, with some examples selling for the better part of $100,000 USD.

The Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser 40 is based on the aforementioned CR-01 rock crawler chassis, it has a lightweight polycarbonate body with an oval-shaped grille which is separately-moulded, and there are separately available LED lights that can be installed to give it functioning headlights.

Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser 40 CR-01 Rock Crawler Front

The rock crawler platform is highly capable, we included a video of it in action above, as you can see the wheel articulation is excellent. The model measures in at 435mm (17.1″) long, 265mm (10.4″) wide, 274mm (10.7″) high, and it weighs in at 2,330 grams (2.33 kgs or 5.13 lbs).

Many model builders already have a slew of controllers, battery packs, and other essentials so Tamiya offer this kit without them to keep the cost down, if you don’t have them you’ll need to get yourself an ESC speed controller, a receiver/transmitter, and a battery. The good news is that they can also be used with most other Tamiya kits so you typically only need to buy it once.

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Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser 40 CR-01 Rock Crawler Back

Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser 40 CR-01 Rock Crawler Box

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The AMC Mighty-Mite – An Unusual V4-Powered American Mini Jeep https://silodrome.com/amc-mighty-mite/ Mon, 30 Mar 2020 10:30:17 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=104859 The American Motors Mighty-Mite was developed in the mid-1940s as a lightweight alternative to the Jeep that could be more easily deployed by helicopter. Interestingly, an early prototype (the MARCO MM-100) was powered by a...

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The American Motors Mighty-Mite was developed in the mid-1940s as a lightweight alternative to the Jeep that could be more easily deployed by helicopter. Interestingly, an early prototype (the MARCO MM-100) was powered by a Porsche flat-4 air-cooled engine, and unusually for a four-wheel drive vehicle at the time the Mighty-Mite has all-independent suspension.

The Willys Jeep had more than proven its mettle during the Second World War and the Mighty-Mite wasn’t intended as a replacement, more of a supplement that was better suited to air deployment and for use in environments that called for a smaller more manoeuvrable vehicle.

The Mighty Mite

American Motors (AMC) built two main variants of the Mighty Mite, the M422 with a 65 inch wheelbase, and the M422A1 with a 71 inch wheelbase. Both were powered by the unusual all-aluminum, air-cooled V4 engine with a capacity of 107.8 cu in (1.8 litres) called the AMC AV-108-4, it had been developed by American Motors specifically for the Mighty Mite with the key goal being compact and lightweight.

American Motors Mighty-Mite Rear

The engine is capable of 52 bhp and 90 ft lbs of torque – not huge numbers but the lightweight aluminum-bodied Mighty Mite only tips the scales at 1,700 lbs (770 kgs). The drivetrain consists of an integrated synchromesh 4-speed transmission and transfer case that allows the vehicle to switch between two and four-wheel drive on the move.

There was no low range option however the transmission was designed with a very low first gear to compensate. Power is sent to front and rear limited-slip differentials and inboard differential mounted drum brakes are used front and back. The aluminum body is mounted to a conventional ladder-style chassis and suspension consists of ¼ elliptical leaf springs on each corner.

The top speed of the Mighty Mite is 65 mph however the maximum operating speed recommended by the USMC was 55 mph. Range is approximately 221 miles or 362 kms, two people can be carried comfortably however up to six can be carried when required. The load carrying capacity is a respectable 850 lbs (390 kgs) off road and the vehicles could be adapted for towing.

American Motors Mighty-Mite Engine

The original requirement for the Mighty Mite had been for a lightweight 4×4 capable of carrying Marines across varied terrain and being deployed by helicopter or parachute. From the 1950s to the 1960s the carrying capacity of helicopters had increased significantly and could easily carry normal Jeeps, this reduced the need for the Mighty Mite and contributed to reduced demand which saw less than 4,000 made between the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Today the vehicles are highly sought after for collectors for their novelty value, however they remain excellent small off-road vehicles with a fascinating history.

The American Motors M422A1 Mighty-Mite Shown Here

The vehicle you see here is an American Motors M422A1 Mighty-Mite, it’s one of the second generation designs with the slightly longer 71 inch wheelbase. It’s one of the most pristine examples we’ve ever seen, it’s carrying the correct USMC markings and it’s fitted with air-deployment shackles on all four corners.

If you’d like to see more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s. It’s due to roll across the auction block in early May and it’s being offered without reserve.

American Motors Mighty-Mite Interior

American Motors Mighty-Mite Tail Gate

American Motors Mighty-Mite Switches

American Motors Mighty-Mite Sign

American Motors Mighty-Mite Rear Tray

American Motors Mighty-Mite Markings

American Motors Mighty-Mite Gauges

American Motors Mighty-Mite Front

American Motors Mighty-Mite Engine 3

American Motors Mighty-Mite Engine 2

American Motors Mighty-Mite Bumper

American Motors Mighty-Mite Back

Images: Darin Schnabel ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Goldtop Viceroy Gloves – Classically-Styled British Motorcycle Gloves https://silodrome.com/goldtop-viceroy-gloves/ Mon, 30 Mar 2020 05:30:36 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=104999 Goldtop was founded in 1951 and quickly grew to become one of Britain’s leading motorcycle gear manufacturers, many of the original ton up boys of the late 1950s and ’60s wore Goldtop gear while riding...

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Goldtop was founded in 1951 and quickly grew to become one of Britain’s leading motorcycle gear manufacturers, many of the original ton up boys of the late 1950s and ’60s wore Goldtop gear while riding their cafe racers, and the company has supplied both the British Motorcycle Police Force and the Household Cavalry over the years.

As with all Goldtop gear, the Goldtop Viceroy gloves are based on traditional ’50s and ’60s era designs that have been subtly upgraded to offer more modern materials and safety. Each pair is made from a single high-quality 1mm thick aniline cowhide, each hide is hand selected by Goldtop leather workers and they refuse to use offcuts or imperfect leather.

The gloves have a double layer in the index finger to thumb area, typically a high-wear region on motorcycle gloves, and they have perforated backs to increase airflow and cooling.

Goldtop Viceroy Gloves 4

In order to guarantee toughness and longevity Viceroy gloves use five strand cotton thread stitching throughout and they have a heavy-duty wrist Velcro closure to keep them firmly in place. Inside the gloves you’ll find a 100% silk liner on the back of the hand and a traditional unlined leather palm in order to maximise feel on the throttle and levers.

For additional safety the gloves have a floating knuckle protector designed to stay comfortable when your hand is open or closed, and the 1mm thick aniline cowhide leather offers excellent protection against abrasion or tearing.

Goldtop products tends to sell fast as they produce a limited amount in each batch to ensure quality, the Viceroy gloves do still have availability in sizes M, L, and XL, however XXL and S has currently sold out.

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Visit Goldtop here for additional sizes.

Goldtop Viceroy Gloves 1

Goldtop Viceroy Gloves 3

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