My Cannonball adventure

My Cannonball adventure
Meet "Effie" our 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin 3 speed

Friday, December 11, 2009

We awaken the sleeping beauty...

A few squirts of oil here and there and on the top of the rockers where there is a small hole for one to manually squirt some precious drops of lubrication to the tiny pushrods… hmmmm seems like we have spark. We pull off the spark plug wires and lean them on to the heads, Pat kicks again… “Yes, I respond happily, we have spark”. Okay… must not be getting enough gas. It took a few minutes of figuring out the petcock wasn’t opened enough. It had plenty of compression, much more that I thought to my utter amazement. I was more used to my Low Compression “34 VD, which anyone could probably start with a little practice. Pat didn’t think the compression release was working right and it took a few minutes before the motor coughed a few times and sputtered to life. It was much louder than I had imagined it would be. Does this thing even have a muffler?” This motor has some power! I don’t know what I was thinking. It is a 61 cubic inch motor, though it resembles an old bicycle with the pedals. “Step Starter” is term Harley-Davidson coined for it, but it really is a kick starter with pedals. We got it to run, me… bravely having to squirt more oil into the tiny opening at the top of the rocker boxes a few times, all the while I’m praying the old metal holds up and a piston doesn’t fly out and hit me in the head! After a few adjustments the bike almost idles.

Next, it’s my turn to try and start her. I get the hang of it pretty quick and it starts pretty easily. Very cool, now I just need to train myself to remember to advance the spark I turn the handle grip away from me. When the bike starts I back it off and pull it towards myself. Boy, this is going to be a whole new way of riding a motorcycle and I haven’t even learned the foot clutch and tank shift yet! Very good… it was a very good day. We put the bike away and plan to take the wheels off tomorrow.

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