Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:52:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 18077751 A Bespoke Kawasaki KZ650 by Mifune Werx Custom Motorcycles https://silodrome.com/custom-kawasaki-kz650/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:52:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=99034 The unusual custom Kawasaki KZ650 you see here is the work of Brent King, founder of Mifune Werx Custom Motorcycles based out of Ohio. We turned it over to Brent to tell us about the build in his own words, it’s a fascinating story resulting in a bike unlike anything we’ve seen before. I am...

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The unusual custom Kawasaki KZ650 you see here is the work of Brent King, founder of Mifune Werx Custom Motorcycles based out of Ohio. We turned it over to Brent to tell us about the build in his own words, it’s a fascinating story resulting in a bike unlike anything we’ve seen before.

I am a licensed landscape architect practicing in Ohio, I have a bachelors and master degree in landscape architecture. I am Lead Designer and Principal at PLANIT Studios, a small boutique landscape architecture, graphics and wayfinding studio. My venture into custom motorcycles came out of a desire to actually build something with my hands, instead of simply drawing all day long. My goal is to build one “significant” bike per year, while continuing to work in my design profession.

I am also a martial arts instructor and own my own dojo. I started traditional martial arts at 12, and continue to practice and teach regularly. During college I became involved in the arts of Kendo and Iaido, and became infatuated with the beauty of Japanese and English weapons and armoring. I have been involved with armoring since I started martial arts (both English and Japanese) so most of my fabrication skills stems from these interests (sword fitting, chain mail, plate armor, leather armor, methods of attachment, ornament, engraving, repousse’, historic techniques of reproduction, etc).

My father was a sheet metal worker/fabricator at Republic Steel, and my mother was a florist, so fabrication and design has been in front of me ever since I can remember. I would watch my dad make all kinds of things around the house, and instilled in me a “there’s nothing you can’t make for yourself” mentality. Then my mother would chime in about what a wonderful job Dad did, but it would look better if it was this way or that way! I always felt I got the best of both of their skills.

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Side 4

My general mechanical experience comes from working on muscle cars with my dad and my friends. My parents were pro dirt bike, but heavily discouraged street riding early on, hence, my delay in getting on the street.

The bike was purchased from a widow down the street, her husband had passed away and she was slowly downsizing all of his shop tools and vehicles. Sadly, none of their kids had any interest in any of it, (which actually kinda’ pissed me off at the time, passing these types of things down is a sacred thing in my opinion).

I had recently purchased a bundle of parts the week before for a ’78 KZ650, and I noticed the intact ’79 sitting in the corner. It was a survivor, but in pretty bad shape. I decided to take a look at it, it wasn’t running and she had no idea what was wrong with it. I tried to get it running but was not successful, it had a plethora of electronic issues, and I noticed that her late husband had been soldering recently in the battery box. It had good compression, so I made her an offer, she accepted, and I had my kids help me push the bike about ¼ mile to the shop.

I did a temporary fix on the electrical system, replaced everything that would stay with the build after it was complete, and adjusted the valves. The valves turned out to be the main culprit, they were extremely tight, and after making about 4 rounds of incremental adjustments, they were back in spec. After completing that, as long as you let the carbs fill up, she starts quicker than a fuel injected bike, believe it or not.

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Braker Light

I wanted to build something different. I wanted nothing to do with a sterile, clean, café build. I appreciate the discipline and effort required for these types of builds, but I wanted a build with character, some wabi-sabi, something not everyone would ‘get’. Essentially, a piece of functional art.

Originally I wanted to take the next step in pushing my design skills on this one, but what I really ended up doing was pushing my fabrication skills. Since all of my skills were armor based, I had never done anything this large scale before, and the learning curve was a bit steep.

Shinya Kimura is by far my most important influence, and even more so after I met him and Ayu. Images of his builds are pretty readily available even going back to his Zero days, so the idea/image board consisted mostly of Shinya, and Max Hazan.

I fabricated the aluminum fairing, the aluminum cowl, the side panel, dash panel, and brass accents for this bike – anything that is not stock was fabricated by me using traditional methods like sand bags, a hardwood stump, an English wheel, planishing hammers etc.

I utilized the MotoGadget M-Unit Blue for the brain of the bike – the entire electrical system was replaced, with new wiring, reg/rec, a Dyna Tech electronic ignition and coils, and Posh switches. I also used KustomTech clutch and brake levers, Buchanon Sun aluminum rims (which I spoked myself), Dime City rear sets, Tek Bike rear adjustable shocks, Progressive front springs, the stock brake rotor was drilled, and I fitted Delkovic stainless headers with a Cohn Engineering stubby can muffler.

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Headlight 2

The biggest challenge on this build was the timeframe. Originally this build had no deadline, it started as a design study that you sit and look at for a while, design for a while, then change your mind a couple times before you actually fabricate something, and then redo the piece, before you are happy…err, satisfied.

I just completed building the shop in October, so I was working on this bike while I was running electrical and lighting for the shop, etc, getting things operational, much of this bike was built under temporary garden lights with extension cords. I had the design roughed up in cardboard when I saw an advertisement for the Greasy Dozen builders collective and decided to enter.

By this time it was December, and I had the fairing roughed up in aluminum and was moving along. She ended up being selected to be included in the Dozen and I was ecstatic and terrified all at the same time, because now I had a timeframe of 5 months to build a running machine that would be capable of making the Greasy Dozen Run, which was about a 150-200 mile run through rural Ohio.

This meant it had to be done weeks before so I could trouble shoot it. The frame hadn’t been nickelled, parts hadn’t been ordered, all the design decisions hadn’t been made, etc. So, logistically, for me, being a one man shop, with a goal of one bike a year, whilst maintaining a demanding professional job, it became a bit tight.

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Rear 2

After I got it running in its stock form, I ran it for a season while I worked on the other KZ650 build named Beastie (it is on my Instagram as well) It ran very strong, I checked the top end, and everything looked good, so I left the engine alone.

The carbs were rebuilt, and rejetted for the velocity stacks and exhaust.

I had built my own stainless exhaust on my previous build, and loved how it came out, and planned to do something similar on this one, but due to time constraints quite honestly, I went with a Delkovic stainless header setup, with a Cohn Engineering stubby muffler.

This build is currently for sale, and next up is a ’73 Norton Commando – it will look like no Norton you have ever seen! For better or worse! And for the purists, the frame was modified when I got it, so no original will be harmed in its production.

Follow Mifune Werx Custom Motorcycles on Instagram.

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Rear

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Tank

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Seat Pan

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Engine

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Seat Up

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Side 3

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Side

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Headlight

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Metal Work

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Dash 4

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Dash 3

Kawasaki KZ650 Custom Pannier

Images by Jay Thurston

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Queen Lead Guitarist Brian May’s BMG “Mini May” Travel Guitar – £204 MSRP https://silodrome.com/brian-may-bmg-mini-may-guitar/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:00:10 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98927 The BMG Mini May guitar was developed by Brian May of Queen and the team at BMG Guitars, a company dedicated to building modern versions of the legendary guitar “Red Special” that was built by May and his father in the early 1960s using part of a fireplace mantel. May played the Red Special almost...

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The BMG Mini May guitar was developed by Brian May of Queen and the team at BMG Guitars, a company dedicated to building modern versions of the legendary guitar “Red Special” that was built by May and his father in the early 1960s using part of a fireplace mantel.

May played the Red Special almost exclusively on Queen albums and at concerts throughout the band’s active years with original singer and global icon Freddie Mercury. Brian May composed many of Queen’s greatest hits using the Red Special, including “We Will Rock You”, “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “I Want It All”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Save Me”, “Flash”, “Hammer to Fall”, and “The Show Must Go On”.

Brian May is consistently rated as one of the greatest guitarists of all time alongside other luminaries like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He was ranked the 2nd greatest guitarist of all time in a Guitar World Magazine readers poll in 2012, a Planet Rock poll rated him 7th in the world, and Rolling Stone Magazine rated him 26th in their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list.

Interestingly, May earned a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London in 2007 and he was a science team collaborator with NASA’s New Horizons Pluto mission. He was also the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008 to 2013.

Brian May BMG Mini May Guitars

The BMG Mini May guitar is a solid body design made from meranti wood with a signature red finish. It features a bolt on hard maple neck with a double action truss rod, merbau fretboards, a graphite nut, 18 medium frets, and a fixed bridge with individually adjustable saddles. The pickup is a BM Brand custom Tri-Sonic style single coil and it has two pots, one for volume and one for tone.

A key design parameter for the BMG Mini May Guitar was to keep it affordable so it would be suitable both as a travel guitar for regular players, and as a first guitar for new players. The MSRP of the guitar outside the UK is just £204 and inside the UK it costs £245 (incl. VAT). Each guitar comes ready to play right out of the box (after tuning), and May himself uses the BMG Mini May in live performances (see the video below).

The guitar measures in at just 795mm (31.3″) long with a weight of 2.3kg (5 lbs), and it ships anywhere in the world with its own padded gig bag featuring the Brian May Guitars logo.

A new shipment of these is due any day now and they tend to sell out exceedingly quickly due to the low cost and brand name appeal, but you can sign up for email alerts on the product page to be notified when the next batch arrive.

Visit The Store

Brian May BMG Mini May Guitar Head

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An Italian-American Legend – The Rare Iso Grifo GL Series II https://silodrome.com/iso-grifo-gl-series-ii/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:17:14 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98999 The Iso Grifo GL Series II was the upgraded second iteration of the Iso Grifo GL – a car that had been developed by the Giotto Bizzarini, the father of the Ferrari 250 GTO, with a body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, a man widely believed to be the greatest car designer of the 20th century....

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The Iso Grifo GL Series II was the upgraded second iteration of the Iso Grifo GL – a car that had been developed by the Giotto Bizzarini, the father of the Ferrari 250 GTO, with a body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, a man widely believed to be the greatest car designer of the 20th century.

While examples of the Ferrari 250 GTO now sell for $50+ million USD, it’s still possible to pick up an Iso Grifo GL for approximately 0.4% this figure, and thanks to the mechanical simplicity of the drivetrain the Grifo can be worked on by almost any mechanic in America.

A Bubble Car, Then A Muscle Car

Back in the 1950s if you’d told someone that Iso would be building some of the most desirable sports cars in Italy within 10 years they’d have though you were going soft in the head.

Iso had started out making refrigerators before switching to small-capacity motorcycles and scooters after WWII. Their first production automobile was the Iso Isetta bubble car which was licensed by other manufacturers around the world including BMW, the latter built over 130,000 of them in post-WWII Germany, helping to revive the brand and bring in some much needed revenue.

Iso founder Renzo Rivolta had always dreamed of building high-performance sports cars and in the early 1960s he got his chance. He assembled one of the greatest teams of the era including Giotto Bizzarini and Giorgetto Giugiaro with Bertone, together they created the Iso Rivolta IR 300. The car was first publicly shown at the Torino Motor Show in 1962 and it proved to be a modest success, which allowed further models to be developed.

On of the keys to the success of Iso was the decision to use tried-and-tested American V8s rather than spend a small fortune developing their own engines. This allowed the company to build cars that could compete with the likes of Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin without the need to design and build their own drivetrains.

American V8s were chosen for their reliable nature, their prodigious power output, and their simplicity. A number of other manufacturers used this same basic formula to create some of the most famous cars of the era including the Shelby Cobra, the Sunbeam Tiger, the Apollo 3500 GT, the Jensen Interceptor, and many others.

After the Iso Rivolta IR 300 the company released a number of other models including a few variations on the Grifo – probably the car that the company is best known for today.

Iso Grifo GL Series II Interior

The first version of the Iso Grifo was released in 1965 with a Chevrolet small block 327 cu. in. Corvette V8 (5.4 litres) offering between 350 and 400 bhp, coupled to a Borg-Warner 4-speed top loader transmission. This engine would later be upgraded to the mighty 454 cu. in. (7 litre) V8 before being changed on last time to the venerable Ford 351.

With its world-class design, excellent handling, remarkable power output, and a luxurious Italian interior, the Iso Grifo GL was a strong competitor for its Italian rivals. As with many other marques in the mid-1970s the Oil Crisis quickly collapsed the market for thirsty sports cars, sales dried up, and the company was shuttered. There have been a few attempts to resurrect it in recent years but at the time of writing none have been successful.

The 1973 Iso Grifo GL Series II Shown Here

The 1973 Iso Grifo GL Series II you see here is one of the later models fitted with the Ford 351 Cleveland V8 and a 3.31:1 rear axle ratio. The car also has air conditioning and power steering – making it ideal for regular year-round use.

As a later model the car features that famous elevated hood that had been developed to allow the installation of the larger V8s. The car also has the original pop-up headlights and alloy wheels, it’s finished in white with a tan leather interior.

When it was new the car was delivered to Germany where it’s believed to have remained ever since. 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.

Iso Grifo GL Series II

Iso Grifo GL Series II Engine

Iso Grifo GL Series II Rear 2

Iso Grifo GL Series II Side 3

Iso Grifo GL Series II Side 2

Iso Grifo GL Series II Headlight

Iso Grifo GL Series II Back

Iso Grifo GL Series II Side

Iso Grifo GL Series II V8

Iso Grifo GL Series II Rear

Images: Dirk de Jager ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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A Daily Ridden Ducati Scrambler Icon Custom https://silodrome.com/ducati-scrambler-icon-custom/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:30:54 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98939 The new generation of Ducati Scramblers was introduced in 2015 to near universal acclaim. Ducati developed the model as a modern version of their much loved scramblers from the 1960s and ’70s, with familiar styling and a similar purpose. When it comes to modern scramblers we typically think of the 865cc Triumph Scrambler, a model...

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The new generation of Ducati Scramblers was introduced in 2015 to near universal acclaim. Ducati developed the model as a modern version of their much loved scramblers from the 1960s and ’70s, with familiar styling and a similar purpose.

When it comes to modern scramblers we typically think of the 865cc Triumph Scrambler, a model based on the Bonneville with some small accommodations made for light off-road use. The Ducati Scrambler was clearly developed to appeal to this same market, but the Italians went all-out and developed a road-biased dual sport motorcycle with better off-road chops than the British model.

Triumph have since responded with a far more aggressive 1200cc Scrambler, but in the meantime Ducati have sold well over 55,000 Scramblers of their own. There are a number of Scrambler model iterations in the Ducati line, the Scrambler Icon is the one best suited for urban use and the Scrambler Desert Sled is the one best suited to going off-roading with friends who are on bikes like the BMW F 800 GS and the Triumph Tiger 800.

As you might expect, the Ducati Scrambler has been a popular target with custom motorcycle builders around the world. We’ve seen all manner of unusual Italian Scramblers, from the weird and wonderful to more practically updated builds that are designed to be used on a daily basis in real world traffic.

The bike you see here is one of the latter types, and it can now be seen daily on the streets of London.

We’re going to turn it over to Adam from Untitled Motorcycles to tell the story of this clean, minimalist custom in his own words.

The owner of the Ducati came into UMC to talk about getting some paint work done on his motorcycle. After he spent the afternoon looking at our bikes and chatting about his bike he decided to take his bike that bit further into the custom world. He mentioned that he never takes pillions so a small seat would be a good idea. Louder lighter silencers was also something he had thought about. Adam doesn’t like the back end of the Ducati when you take the seat of so a small area to have a bag attached was mentioned in the conversation and smaller rear lights and indicators.

One thing that I wanted to do was keep the frame as it was, I didn’t want to chop anything off it or weld anything to it for the sake of simplicity. This makes customising a bike very interesting as you have to use the mounting points that the manufacturer provide and they aren’t always in the best location. That said, I do love the challenge that this presented, and so a budget was set and the bike brought in so work could begin.

The first order of business was removing most of the plastic, the tank and wheels were then sent to Image Custom Design to be painted. The plastic seat pan was carefully modified and sent to Glenn Moger to work is leather magic, and give it fresh upholstery.

Ducati Scrambler Icon Custom Brake Light

A small rear light was ordered from Alchemy Parts was fitted along with Motogadget indicators front and back, this cleaned up the look of the bike significantly. The heavy original silencer was removed and a new Mivv double gun unit ordered (never order an Italian part just before August, delivery times stretch out like Narnian time dilation).

Alloy side panels were fabricated in-house and slots fitted. Usually I like to fill the slots with a mesh of some sort however on this build I went with truth to materials allowing the internals to be on display. It is a Ducati engine after all.

A small registration plate made up to stop the rain as there’s no mudguard now on the bike. Lower, narrower handlebars were also fitted as the original ones are wide and high not great for filtering in London traffic. I love how the bike rides now, it’s a clean, simple looking custom that has the perfect balance of style and genuine daily usability.

See more from Untitled Motorcycles here.

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Ducati Scrambler Icon Custom Seat

Ducati Scrambler Icon Custom Rear

Ducati Scrambler Icon Custom Tank

Ducati Scrambler Icon Custom

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A Rare Egli-Triumph With A Prototype OHC Engine – £6,000 and £10,000 https://silodrome.com/egli-triumph-ohc-engine/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:30:34 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98893 It isn’t widely known that BSA/Triumph were experimenting with overhead cam engines back in the early 1970s as a way of trying to compete with the surge of high-performance, reliable, and non-leaking Japanese motorcycles pouring into the country. We do know that at least two OHC BSA/Triumph triple cylinder engines were built, they used the...

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It isn’t widely known that BSA/Triumph were experimenting with overhead cam engines back in the early 1970s as a way of trying to compete with the surge of high-performance, reliable, and non-leaking Japanese motorcycles pouring into the country.

We do know that at least two OHC BSA/Triumph triple cylinder engines were built, they used the then-current BSA/Triumph triple cylinder engine as a starting point. A new head was developed with a single overhead camshaft operating two valves per cylinder via rocker arms.

The engines were air-cooled with a 750cc capacity and they were of unit construction with 4-speed transmissions. In order to keep the prototypes as inexpensive to develop as possible they used the standard BSA/Triumph twin tube frame, the standard front/rear suspension and brakes, and as many other off-the-shelf parts as possible

custom triumph motorbike engine

The engineers at Triumph weren’t particularly experienced with overhead cam motorcycle engines so they developed two versions – one that used a chain to spin the cam and one that used a belt to spin it. There are positives and negatives to each of these methods of turning a cam and it’s too much to go into here, but it is interesting that Triumph wanted to try both methods and see which would suit them better.

The lack of funds to develop an all-new engine was a significant limiting factor for the engineers and they did a remarkable job with what little they had to turn out two fully-functioning engines. Many of the executive-level decisions that were made are now lost to history but for whatever reason it was decided to not pursue the BSA/Triumph triple cylinder overhead cam power unit. Instead they stuck with their pushrod engines, and within a decade they went bankrupt.

Fortunately due to a man named Bill Crosby the belt-driven BSA/Triumph lives on. He bought the motor in 1983 and ten years later rebuilt it into a fully functioning Rocket III just in time to attend the 1993 Beezumph Rally at Cadwell Park where it drew huge crowds and much acclaim. What Crosby had built was a window into an alternate reality where BSA/Triumph actually built and sold production motorcycles with an OHC engine.

After some time Crosby decided that he would do what BSA/Triumph never cam close to doing, and build a racing version of the OHC engine. As luck would have it, he already had an Egli frame that had been specifically developed for the BSA/Triumph triple – a special racing frame developed by Swiss racer and engineer Fritz Egli.

Egli-Triumph Prototype OHC Engine 1

The bespoke bike was built using this frame, the prototype OHC engine, standard telescopic forks up front, twin shocks in the rear, front and rear drum brakes, a custom 3-into-1 exhaust, and a pair of low-slung clip-on handlebars. As a track bike this is one of the most fascinating British motorcycles you could possibly roll out of your trailer at the circuit and it’s sure to gather significant crowds wherever it appears.

Bonhams mention that the bike has been running, however it will need some fettling to get the ignition timing correct. The fitment of a modern digital ignition would likely simplify this significantly, and allow the new owner to dial the engine in using a laptop.

If you’d like to read more about this bike or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing. It’s due to be auctioned on the 19th of October with an estimated value of between £6,000 and £10,000.

Egli-Triumph Prototype OHC Engine 2

Egli-Triumph Prototype OHC Engine 3

Egli-Triumph Prototype OHC Engine 4

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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There’s a Twin-Turbo 1,823 HP – 2,135 Cu. In. Deutz V16 Engine For Sale On eBay https://silodrome.com/deutz-v16-engine/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 06:02:18 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98958 The twin-turbo Deutz V16 is a 35 litre (2,135 cu. in.) marine diesel engine capable of 1,823 hp at 2,300 rpm. There are typically two of them fitted side by side in the engine rooms of the kind of high-end luxury motor yachts that I never seem to get invited out on. Deutz AG make a...

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The twin-turbo Deutz V16 is a 35 litre (2,135 cu. in.) marine diesel engine capable of 1,823 hp at 2,300 rpm. There are typically two of them fitted side by side in the engine rooms of the kind of high-end luxury motor yachts that I never seem to get invited out on.

Deutz AG make a series of industrial engines, the German company was founded by Nicolaus Otto in 1864 – that’s the same Nicolaus Otto who invented the four stroke engine. The company was originally named N. A. Otto & Cie, it was one of the most important engine companies in the world and it employed some of the greatest men to ever work in the automobile industry, including Ettore Bugatti, Robert Bosch, Wilhelm Maybach, and Gottlieb Daimler.

Perhaps fittingly, Deutz AG are now focussed on the manufacture of industrial four stroke engines and in recent years they acquired Torqeedo GmbH – a company that specializes in electric and hybrid drivetrains for marine applications.

The Deutz engine you see here is an MWM TBD 616 V16, it measures in at 101″ x 54″ x 54″ (2.56 m x 1.37 m x 1.37 m) and it tips the scales at 8,157 lbs (3,700 kgs). Internally you’ll find forged steel connecting rods, a drop-forged crankshaft, lightweight aluminum-alloy pistons, four valves per cylinder, a liquid-cooled exhaust manifold, and each cylinder has a displacement of 2.18 litres.

If you’d like to buy this engine and see if you can fit it into your AMC Gremlin you’ll need to have $79,950 USD handy, and I imagine the shipping costs aren’t going to be insignificant (though the seller does say they’ll send it worldwide).

Visit The Listing

Twin-Turbo Deutz V16 Marine Diesel Engine 1

Twin-Turbo Deutz V16 Marine Diesel Engine Front 2

Twin-Turbo Deutz V16 Marine Diesel Engine Front

Twin-Turbo Deutz V16 Marine Diesel Engine Side

Twin-Turbo Deutz V16 Marine Diesel Engine Back

Twin-Turbo Deutz V16 Marine Diesel Engine Flywheel

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The First Turbocharged Production BMW – 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo https://silodrome.com/1974-bmw-2002-turbo/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:15:32 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98800 The BMW 2002 Turbo was the quickest version of the mighty little 2002, a car named for its engine size of 2000cc and its number of doors – 2. Now before I get a slew of emails from people telling me the engine is actually 1998cc I should tell you that the engine size was...

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The BMW 2002 Turbo was the quickest version of the mighty little 2002, a car named for its engine size of 2000cc and its number of doors – 2.

Now before I get a slew of emails from people telling me the engine is actually 1998cc I should tell you that the engine size was actually 1998cc. I think BMW realised that the model name “1992” sounds far less cool than “2002”, particularly when the car was first released in 1968 and the year 2000 seemed like a future age of jetpacks, flying cars, and self-lacing shoes.

The story behind the creation of the BMW 2002 is fantastic, it’s an essential piece of trivial knowledge for any self-respecting petrolhead.

BMW 2002 Turbo 2

The short and less entertaining version is that two senior executives at BMW both had the new M10 2 litre engine fitted to their BMW 1602s, creating a sports car that could pass as a regular executive car. This would be a formula that BMW would go on to perfect with vehicles like the BMW M3 and the M5, but it was a relatively unique concept.

This combination of a spritely 2 litre SOHC engine in a two-door car with a trunk, seating for 4, excellent fuel economy, a practical upright seating position, and styling that wouldn’t attract the attention of the highway patrol.

The BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW offered a series of upgrades to the 2002 over its life including Ti and Tii versions with increased horsepower and fuel injection. It would be the 2002 Turbo introduced in 1973 that would really set the motoring world alight, and not always in a good way.

The BMW 2002 Turbo was released at the 1973 Frankfurt Motor Show to a very mixed reaction from the local German motoring media. Unlike the reserved appearance of the original 2002, this new Turbo version featured flared wheel arches, front and rear spoilers, and an eye-catching graphics package. This was a 2002 the highway patrol would certainly notice.

BMW 2002 Turbo Seats

The new forced-induction engine started out as a Tii M10, it was fitted with a KKK turbocharger, Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection, and a compression ratio of 6.9:1. In factory-fresh trim the engine was capable of 170 hp at 5,800 rpm and 177 ft lbs of torque – more than enough to propel the ~2,300 lb car to dizzying speeds by the standards of the early 1970s.

The 1973 Oil Crisis hit the same year the 2002 Turbo was introduced, this led to a global loss of interest in performance cars and an uptick in interest for fuel efficient vehicles. Although the 2002 Turbo wasn’t a gas guzzler, certainly not by American standards anyway, it was impacted and sales figures were low. By the time the model left production in 1974 just 1,672 had been built.

Today the surviving BMW 2002 Turbos are highly sought after, well-sorted examples with their original numbers-matching engines fetch the expected price premium.

BMW 2002 Turbo

The 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo Shown Here

The 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo you see here is a matching-numbers example that recently went through an exhaustive comprehensive nut-and-bolt restoration by marque specialists Oldenzaal Classics. The restoration involved a complete tear down and rebuild, essentially returning the car to as-new condition.

Since its rebuild the car has covered just 132 kms (82 miles) and its presented with all the correct BMW Motorsport livery, including the reversed “Turbo 2002” script on the front spoiler to people can read it in the rear vision mirrors and get out of the way.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s. It’s listed with an estimate of between £110,000 and £120,000 and it’ll be rolling across the auction block in London on the 24th of October.

BMW 2002 Turbo Back

BMW 2002 Turbo Engine Bay

BMW 2002 Turbo Trunk

BMW 2002 Turbo Tail Lights

BMW 2002 Turbo Interior 3

BMW 2002 Turbo Dashboard

BMW 2002 Turbo Interior

BMW 2002 Turbo Back 2

BMW 2002 Turbo Front

BMW 2002 Turbo Side

BMW 2002 Turbo Engine

Images: Tom Wood ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Goodspeed Sonoma Watch – A Classically-Styled Racing Watch – $150 to $275 USD https://silodrome.com/goodspeed-sonoma-watch-a-classically-styled-racing-watch/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 04:34:54 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98877 The Goodspeed Sonoma is a new watch that was inspired by the timepieces used by racing drivers and their teams throughout the golden age of motorsport. When ordering your Sonoma you have the option of choosing a mechanical or a quartz version, allowing the watch to appeal both to those who like the simple reliability...

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The Goodspeed Sonoma is a new watch that was inspired by the timepieces used by racing drivers and their teams throughout the golden age of motorsport.

When ordering your Sonoma you have the option of choosing a mechanical or a quartz version, allowing the watch to appeal both to those who like the simple reliability of a quartz watch, and enthusiasts who prefer traditional mechanical watches and are willing to spend a little more.

The team at Goodspeed developed the Sonoma, named for the famous California race track, as an affordable modern watch with a slew of vintage styling cues from classic racing watches like the Heuer Autavia.

The Sonoma has a 316L stainless steel case and back, with a sapphire crystal on the mechanical version and a mineral crystal on the quartz version. The band width is 20 mm, the case diameter is 42 mm (without the crown), and both versions of the watch are water resistant to 10 ATM, that’s 100 meters or 330 feet.

Goodspeed Sonoma Watch 2

When ordering you can choose from four color ways – stainless + black, stainless + Pepsi, black + black, and black + Pepsi. You can also opt for the add-on stainless steel bracelet designed to resemble the vintage Gay Freres “Beads of Rice” style bracelets found on a number of vintage 1970s-era Heuers.

The mechanical version of the Goodspeed Sonoma is powered by the Seagull ST1901, which is based on the Venus 175. It’s a 23 jewel, column wheel, chronograph movement, operating at 3 Hz (21,600 vph). The quartz version is powered by the tough and reliable Japanese Miyota 6S21 movement.

Prices for the quartz version of the Sonoma starts at $150 USD, and the pricing climbs to a starting point of $275 USD for the mechanical version. The watch is being funded on Kickstarter, it’s already far surpassed its funding goal so it will be going into production – which means you can pick one up now for less than the eventual MSRP.

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Goodspeed Sonoma Watch 1

Goodspeed Sonoma Watch 3

Goodspeed Sonoma Watch

Goodspeed Sonoma Watch 4

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A Very Unusual 1985 Norton Rotary Racing Motorcycle Project – £1,000 to £2,000 https://silodrome.com/norton-rotary-racing-motorcycle/ Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:00:56 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98757 This 1985 Norton Rotary racer is a fascinating project bike, fitted with one of the most unusual engines ever fitted to a motorcycle. Wankel rotary engines have a troubled history in the world of motorcycles – a number of manufacturers tried developing them, including Hercules, Suzuki, Norton, and Yamaha, but they were never much of...

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This 1985 Norton Rotary racer is a fascinating project bike, fitted with one of the most unusual engines ever fitted to a motorcycle. Wankel rotary engines have a troubled history in the world of motorcycles – a number of manufacturers tried developing them, including Hercules, Suzuki, Norton, and Yamaha, but they were never much of a sales success.

The most successful in competition was the Norton, and the most successful in the sales department was the Suzuki. Against all odds, Norton rotaries would take a victory and podiums at the Isle of Man TT (Senior), they won the British Superbike Championship, and the British Formula One Championship, plus a slew of other race wins.

The reason these victories were against the odds is because the original Norton rotary engines were largely developed by one man, David Garside, at the old BSA Umberslade Hall research facility. He used some parts including rotors from the Hercules, though the casing and the majority of the two rotor engine was bespoke.

Norton Rotary Racing Motorcycle Side

Approximately 100 examples of the original air-cooled motorcycle were sold before attention shifted to a more advanced liquid-cooled version capable of higher RPM, resulting in more power.

It would be this later liquid-cooled version of the Norton rotary that would achieve race and championship victories, however the earlier (and rarer) air-cooled engined bikes are highly sought after by collectors.

In factory trim the air-cooled Norton rotary in the Norton Classic was capable of 79 hp at 9,000 rpm which wasn’t bad for a 588cc engine, but the bike tipped the scales at a little over 510 lbs which did limit performance somewhat. That said, the top speed was 130 mph and the bike reportedly did handle well in part thanks to its low centre of gravity.

Due to the inherent issues of the rotary engine it’s unlikely we’ll see them in production vehicles in the future, mostly because they typically need a small amount of oil in the fuel/air mixture to lubricate the apex seals inside the engine. This results in the oil being burnt of course, which is the primary reason we don’t see many new road legal two-strokes on the road today.

Norton Rotary Racing Motorcycle Engine 2

The Norton Classic-based racing motorcycle you see here has a mysterious past, it’s now fitted with an alloy Manx-style fuel tank and it appears to be fitted with the original front end. The bike clearly needs a lot of work to get back into road or track going condition, however it has the potential to be an entirely unique project – just 100 were built originally and most of them are in pristine condition in climate controlled storage.

The good news is that Norton has a huge online community of dedicated enthusiasts, which tends to make Norton-based project motorcycles a little easier to work on than some other marques. A Norton rotary will always present some unique challenges however due to the model’s low production numbers.

This bike will be rolling across the auction block with Bonhams on the 19th of October with an estimate price of between £1,000 and £2,000 – a relatively affordable sum given the rarity. If you’d like to read ore or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Norton Rotary Racing Motorcycle Tank

Norton Rotary Racing Motorcycle Engine

Norton Rotary Racing Motorcycle Side 2

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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The Davida Koura Full Face Motorcycle Helmet – 100% Made In Britain https://silodrome.com/davida-koura-full-face-helmet/ Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:30:34 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98576 The Davida Koura is a full face motorcycle helmet designed by engineers with experience developing helmets for both MotoGP and Formula 1. Although the shell design of the Koura is retro, the the engineering that went into it is entirely modern. The Koura has been safety certified by the ECE R22-05 (EU), DOT FMVS 281...

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The Davida Koura is a full face motorcycle helmet designed by engineers with experience developing helmets for both MotoGP and Formula 1. Although the shell design of the Koura is retro, the the engineering that went into it is entirely modern.

The Koura has been safety certified by the ECE R22-05 (EU), DOT FMVS 281 (USA), and ACU Gold (UK) safety standards. Most helmets have one or two certifications, but three from major world markets is unusual, and a good indication of high build quality.

Davida is one of the only motorcycle helmet manufacturers who still make 100% of their helmets in England, most other companies have shipped production out to China, however Davida founder David Fiddaman chose to keep manufacturing in Britain so he could focus on quality control.

Davida Koura Helmet Front

The Davida Koura can be ordered with either a traditional glass fibre shell or a carbon fibre shell, a number of shell sizes are used to ensure different head sizes can have a suitable shell size and no one ends up looking like a bobblehead.

Each helmet has an ECE R22-05 certified anti-scratch and anti-fog visor, as well as a three-piece removable leather liner. Replacement leather liner kits are available in five colors, and replacement visors are available in clear, half-tint, and full tint.

The Koura has an aerodynamic shell with a vented chin bar and a double D-ring closure, a wide variety of colors are available and there’s a handy sizing chart on the website to ensure you get the right size first time.

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Davida Koura Helmet Side

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