Monday, June 30, 2008


Side Car motorcycles found their use fullness as a military tool during the war years. The German Government produced thousands of them during the 2ND. world war. They were used in numerous tasks from courier uses to combat uses. The above BMW R75 was a workhorse staple of the army. It weighed in around 9oo pounds and this particular restoration unit sported a MG34 machine gun. They usually had a three man crew and had two wheel drive. The side car wheel was driven from the M.C. rear axle. They had two forward gear ranges and two reverse gear ranges. Note the gear hand shift lever on the right side of the tank. They were used in nearly all theaters of operation from the Libyan desert to the arctic like conditions of the eastern front in Russia.
This model is accompanied by two small ammunition trailers in tow. These rigs were eaten up by the war and were destroyed and abandoned by the thousands across the war zones. A few have survived and are now cherished by many collectors. Every now and then one will surface which was stashed after the war and kept in the original condition.
These guys have their work cut out for them to dig this 900 lb. machine out of the quagmire. This appears to be a Zundapp(?) machine. Most likely this was on the Russian Front where the soldiers were faced with endless miles of mud and open country. Many of the common German soldiers were not unlike our soldiers. They were called out by their government to serve and did the best they could. Mostly they served for the survival of their fellow comrades and made the best of the conditions they were confronted with. Most were not hard core Nazis but were common men who felt a duty to serve their country, right or wrong. Nearly all were quickly disillusioned with the theory of "glory". There is no glory in war, only suffering, hardship and horror. So many of the young men on all sides of the conflict gave their lives from the direction of a few. Maybe someday the leaders of the world will all face off and settle the future conflicts and leave the common man out of the picture. That would surely simplify the "art" of warfare. Dream on.........
Slogging through what used to be a road. Soldiers probably thousands of miles from home with little chance of ever seeing home or family again. The Russian Front was the graveyard for hundreds of thousands of German and Russian soldiers and civilians. Of the millions of German Army troops that entered Russia only a few thousand ever made it home, and most of them were held prisoner in Stalin's' Russia for dozens of years after the war. Of course the German troops had little regard for the lives of the Russians so after the war it was payback time. No mercy given on any side, except for maybe the Americans. War is definitely the lowest point that any country can sink to as there is never a winner, only losers in the long run. The 2ND world War was probably the one exception as there was a definite goal to be achieved, and a positive result for the multitudes of enslaved people.
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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spring Solstice

Bob Clement of "Bobs' Motorwerks" fame throws a little "Spring Solstice" Party each spring over in Roberts MT. We made it over to one about 10 years ago. The gathering has now evolved into an overnight camping gig complete with a large feed. The grill was cooking and there was a huge table full of food. Darian and I rode the sidecar over from Dillon for its' first shakedown run. The bike performed well and gave me no problems. Coming home on Sunday we were faced with some serious head winds so the speed was reduced. I jumped on some Interstate frontage roads so as not to be a "slow" hazard on the freeway. I was reduced to probably 55 mph on some hills so thought it best to exit the freeway. Darian needed to visit our daughter and Grand kids in Billings so she only spent an hour or so at the party. She was missed.
This is a shot of Clements' sidecar rig. It is a Ural hack with a Goldwing Tug. It sports an RC propeller which does some serious RPM's when underway. It would spin so fast that Bob had to preload the bearings a bit to slow it down. Bobs' shop was full of bikes slated for repairs and restorations. I have never seen so many Earls' Forks in one place. Bob specializes in vintage airhead beemers.
This is a photo of the infamous unwashed beemer belonging to the "BMW Dog", Rex Mongold of miles City. Rex and I have been in contact via the Internet for a couple of years. We have passed on the road three times as I recognized his rig but had never met. Rex is a great guy and it was about time we met. Rex is a silversmith and is quite an artisan. His handmade silver items are works of art, all hand hammered. Rex did some Mexico, South America trips a few years ago, once in an old Subaru, and then on a beemer. He winters down in AZ. a couple hundred miles from us.
Dr. Gregory Frazer made an appearance. Greg is a world renowned around the world guy and has circled the globe five times if I'm not mistaken. We have run into each other four or five times over the years. He grew up near my home town and now has places in Denver, Fort Smith MT. and Thailand. He had his computer with him and showed me some photos of a common friend "Kirsten" from Germany. I haven't seen her for a number of years. Greg rides with her in Asia every winter. She used to hang around San Diego for a few weeks each winter. Greg has some great stories to tell and I loved his adventures in Asia. The $25.00 "Soapy" in Thailand is quite the bargain. No such bargains like that to be had around here! The party was a great time and I especially enjoyed my visits with John and Joanne Werre, the Montana "Air Marshall's". Great folks and am looking forward to getting together with them again. It so happens that John also has a "Jupiter" sidecar hooked to a beemer. We are planning a trip to Yellowstone Park on the 4Th of July weekend. Hope to take some good photos during the trip.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Lotsa Gas

The painter got the tank finished up yesterday. He attempted to stripe the tank but wasn't up to the task. Paint looks good and has 5 coats of clear over the black paint. It looks too shiny but I'll surely scratch and mark it up before too long. Then it will match the rest of the bike. I spent the morning getting the tank mounted and everything hooked up. We couldn't salvage the original tank knee pads as they were cracked, crispy and looked like crap. Stopped at the gas station and put in $20.00 worth for about 1/2 a tank full. Who would have ever thought it would take over $40.00 to fill up a motorcycle! Darian wasn't into a longer ride so I dropped her at home, (a serious golf tourney was on TV) and took off for a ride.
I ran about 40 miles north towards Butte on the frontage road. Lots of farm, grass lands and the irrigation was in full swing. Also lots of fisherman out today as it was a nice sunny day. Gophers were all over the road and I nearly got a couple of the little fellers. Saw a number of them that met their maker today. Their buddies would run out into the road to pay their last respects (or get a bite to eat) and were getting smacked by the traffic. messy business. The bike ran fine and along the way I messed with a wireless electronic speedometer I had mounted but have never got to function properly. It will run up to about 16-18 mph then goes back to zero. It is a neat little unit with an odometer, speedometer, elapsed time indicator, clock and about ten other functions. I mounted it everyway possible and still no go. Made some aluminum brackets to position it perfectly and same old shit. Must be bad or the radio signal is getting screwed up from the bike? Who knows. I'll mount it to my bicycle ans see if it works there. The bikes final drive seemed to be running pretty hot. Could hold my hand on it but not for very long. I guess I never checked the old one that often so don't know if the new one is running abnormally hot. The front tire is looking a bit thin so I've ordered another Dunlop to replace it.It should show up during the week. If we run to Bobs' Motorwerks Solstice Party next weekend I'll need to swap out the tire at some point. Well another work week is upon me so I'll be running the gauntlet again all week. Working with the bureaucratic federal government is a pain in the ass. Unbelievable minutia and bullshit paper trails. Spent over 1/2 a day putting together submittals for frickin traffic cones. 8 pages of bullshit for justification for brand new cones. Give me a break! No wonder our taxes are so high. On and on it goes......
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

On the Road Again

Finally had time to roll out the /5 today. Darian helped me wrestle the sidecar out of the trailer and we had it attached in about 15 minutes. The pin attachment makes the hook up easy but I imagine that it also gives a tiny bit of movement to the sidecar. I did a quick run in Dillon and gave everything a bath. I was hoping to install the Heinrich fuel tank today but couldn't get ahold of the painter. Maybe tomorrow. Once I get the tank back I will measure the tool box opening and forward the dimensions to a guy who has an old Heinrich cover. Hopefully his is the same size, and he won't want a fortune for it. We'll see. A new reproduction cover is over $400.00 so I don't really want to go that route.
Darian hopped in and we went for another ride into town. The 32:9 final drive helps a lot as the take off now doesn't require any clutch riding. The new 900cc top end seems to perform better the more I run it. Seems to have more power and definitely more low end torque. Put her down the Interstate and 75 MPH wasn't a problem. I increased the lean out a bit after the 2nd ride. Then went around and checked all bolt connections and torqued them all down to maximum. Hoping to drive the rig over to Roberts MT. next weekend for Bob's Motorwerks annual Summer Solstice party/campout. Quite a ride from here but should only take 5-6 hours to ride over (with breaks). Expected to develop push rod tube seal leaks after a few miles (as they are too tight), but so far so good.
Bob's Solstice Party is an annual event but we have only been over to one of them about 8 years ago. I hear it gets a little bigger each year. I heard rumor that 6 or 7 European riders are expected to show up this year. I hope Rex Mongold shows up as we have never met in person. I have seen him on the road 3-4 times over the last few years but we have yet to meet face to face. He has not posted in his Blog since April so I hope all is well with him. The lower photo shows the Russian Engineered Rube Goldburg side car attachments. Pretty scary looking set up but it has stayed put for over 1200 miles so far. I keep a close eye on everything and it appears to be sound. The front lower mount is shoe horned in behind the exhaust header with minimal clearance to the frame. The R90/6 (which donated the 900cc top end) hauled the side hack for a number of years with the identical attachment so I do have a certain amount of confidence in the rig. The cheapo paint job on the hack is showing some bad spots upon close inspection but it should hold out for a couple of years. I'll add some photos tomorrow if I get the Heinrich tank back.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jupiter Examples

This is an interesting example of what used to be a Jupiter side car. I wish I could talk the guy out of the "Jupiter" name plates on the hood. It's the only thing left on it that's supposed to be there so what the hell. Looks like half a Yamaha has been grafted to the side.
This looks like a Brit bike with a windshieldless Jupiter.
This is a real nice old Beemer with a Jupiter attached. I've made significant progress on the /5 this past two weekends. Finished assembling the engine on Sunday. Rejetted the R75 carbs with R90 parts, changed fuel lines, Added the newly required 4 quarts of oil to fill the new deep oil pan. 4 or 5 kicks and the engine came to life. Took her for a few mile ride and all seemed O.K. Feeling a bit of vibration at the footpegs at around 65 MPH and up. I'm not sure where that is coming from. The 32:9 final drive made quite a difference in the gearing. I'll hopefully have the side hack attached this weekend if it ever quits snowing around here. (Had three inches today at our office.) Bob Clement (Bobs' Motorwerks) is having a Spring Solstice party weekend after next in Roberts MT. We hope to have the bike shook down and make it over for the weekend camping gig. The 10 gallon Heinrich tank is in the paint shop right now and should be done in the next couple of days. Definately want to rack up some miles locally before taking off on a 800 mile weekend run. I think I messed up on my push rod tube seals as two of them appear too tight on the block. They are deforming outwards and may be a problem. These type of push rod tubes have an adjustable coolar to tighten the seals up. I checked the old /5 tubes ( which I know were never adjusted downwards) and they were the same as the R90 tubes so I assumed they were right. Apparently they were not. I had to use the old bushing type R75 rocker arms assemblies as I couldn't get a bad bearing swapped on the R90 neeedle bearing rocker arms. (Needed a press which wasn't available in Dillon.) Should be fine but they are a bit noisier than the upgraded rockers. I may end up pulling the heads back off anyway if the tube seals leak due to too much pressure. Adios for now.
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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.