I am not sure that there is a system available that is compatible with the type of swinging arm that was fitted as standard to 1920's Black Ariels.
That's great news, and my Google searches thus far seem to confirm it. This means I can design one and go into business selling them knowing I've cornered the market for swinging arm-powered oilers for 1926-30 Black Ariels.
I can start spending the estimated profits now since the money soon will be rolling in. However, it would be selfish of me not to share my good fortune, so shares in my company are available now at a special introductory rate of only $100 ea., with the size of the IPO strictly limited to the number of people who buy them.
The fuel tank gives me a range of ~100 miles. Since I'll be stopped anyway it only will take another ~2 min. to grease everything with a pistol-type grease gun I've already modified for the purpose. But, I'll keep an open mind about this. Perhaps an oiler pressurized by motion of the Ariel's swinging arm...
but how would maintain a minimal oil flow at stops, with the engine running, while you attended to other tasks?
wait, i've got the answer-- an automatic swingarm activation device. dunno how you fit it, though. no need to pay me for this suggestion.
wait, i've got the answer-- an automatic swingarm activation device.
I've had experience with this type of device before and found them to be quite maintenance intensive, especially when new, although with an ever-increasing cost of maintenance as they aged. However, like many things, perhaps newly manufactured ones have been improved(?). Since most are produced in China and India, and importation of such devices became increasingly uncertain this year (and soon will be in the UK as well), are you aware of a domestic supplier? If so, can they be returned for a full refund if they develop leaks?
Clever Val Page used the total loss oil system for the 27 - 28 black Ariels to lubricate both chains. there is (should be) a short tube from the LH side crankcase breather hole, to direct the oil mist onto the primary chain.
There is a longer one connected to the breather hole (3/8 bsw) at 11 o-clock on the RH crankcase half. The longer pipe connected to this fitting will direct oil onto the secondary (wheel drive) chain.
Clever Val Page used the total loss oil system for the 27 - 28 black Ariels to lubricate both chains.
I'm sure the lubrication quality of overcooked engine oil is better than nothing so it, plus X-ring chains, plus daily doses of actual chain lube should keep the chains going for the required 4000 miles. It's too bad clever Val didn't hit his stride with valve train lubrication until a few years later.
p.s. All the actual experience with Black Ariels seems to come from Australia (plus England, of course). Only a trickle must have been exported to Canada and the U.S. But, this applies to all brands of pre-WWII British bikes.
While getting two Gold Stars ready for last month's 1200-mile ride and then addressing issues with them that came up on the ride (e.g. fabricating a new taillight/license bracket for the Catalina) kept me from doing any actual work on the Ariel for several months, that's about to change. However, not working on it doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it. A major Ariel-related issue that requires thought, not work, is deciding how best to get it to and from the Cannonball.
What tools, spares and supplies I decide I need to bring affects transportation. The fact Google says the starting line is 40 hours by road from home also affects transportation since I don't want to spend 4-5 long days driving just before getting on the bike. If I succeed in rebuilding the Ariel to as-new standards the bike should be good for the 4000 miles without any maintenance, and hence I wouldn't need to ship anything other than the bike. Toward the other extreme, enough tools and spares to completely rebuild the bike in a motel parking lot if necessary might be prudent.
Without going into detail or describing variations, the choices seem to be:
-- Ship the bike in the crate used to get it here from Europe, filling empty spaces with whatever clothes and minimal tools and spares that fit. Airlines allow two checked bags up to 50 lbs. ea. for carrying additional items. Rent a box van in Maine for the team driver, to carry the crate and tools and, I hope not, our bikes if either breaks down beyond being able to be repaired overnight..
-- Build a larger crate. The one my teammate uses is 15.3" longer, 8.8" wider and 4.2" taller than mine, allowing that much additional volume for extras. The cost to build a larger shipping crate would be a few hundred dollars and presumably it would cost more to ship as well, although I'd confirm that ahead of time.
-- Buy a 10'x6' enclosed trailer and pack it with lots of tools and spares along with the bike and rent a pickup truck in ME for the team driver. Such trailers appear on Craigslist with asking prices of ~$1-1.5k and quotes for shipping one filled with 800 lbs. of goods to Portland ME were $1.5-2k (presumably less to ship back from Portland OR, but I didn't ask). Most of the trailer cost could be recovered by selling it afterwards but the total shipping at both ends of the Cannonball would be at least $2.5k more than that of a bike crate.
Even with a trailer I couldn't take a lathe, TIG welder, hydraulic press etc. so it's not like that option would let me be prepared for anything that possibly could happen. Clearly, how much to bring requires both risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis. While some things at the extremes are fairly obvious (e.g. the risk that a lathe might be needed is fairly small while the cost to bring one would be large, whereas the opposite is true for packing an extra tire) it would be very helpful to hear from those of you with actual experience.
At the moment I'm leaning toward the larger crate option. Comments?
Hello MM, your question is something that we all ponder whenever we plan a trip and there is no right or wrong answer (which you know already) and everyone will have a different opinion. Also, I don’t have any first hand experience of the Cannonball so you really need the input of previous participants. Preferably one of the ones who didn’t have unlimited budgets and a support crew rivalling the number of extras in a Cecil B Demille movie.
However here are my thoughts.
I think that your decision on what to take with you (which will drive the answers to the other questions) will depend on how much confidence you have on the bike and its various components to last the distance. The level of confidence will, I believe, depend on when you get the bike back together and how much time you have to put miles on it and get to know it before you have to make the final decision on crate size or trailer or van etc.
Also, even with a high level of confidence in the bike, there is always the risk of an old component failing without warning (I am assuming that you are not replacing 100% of the bikes old parts). Some of these parts are probably small and easy to carry, girder fork spindles for example. Some not so small such as the crankshaft or cylinder.
The next question is how to ship it? For me, my most valuable resource is time so I would ship the bike to the start so that rules out driving but I think you have ruled that out already yourself.
The next bit is easy, van hire vs Pick-up hire (using your own trailer). For me this is a simple maths question. Work out the costs of the two options and go for the cheapest.
Also you may want to consider security when you stuff is unattended, remember the trailer that was stolen in a previous Cannonball. You can get a tracker for quite a small cost which would give you peace of mind which ever way you go?
I would not worry about large tools. Looking at previous years reports it seems that there were lots of people along the way with fully equipped machine shops who have helped out at the drop of a hat so I am pretty sure that if you did need, say a lathe, you could find one to use pretty quickly.
The last bit therefore depends on the above maths question. If the trailer is cheaper (which I suspect it isn’t) then you have your answer regarding shipping method.
If not then its a matter of how much stuff to take which drives the crate size. Personally I would probably go for the larger crate at this stage although I would get shipping quotes now just to make sure its not thousands of dollars more to ship the bigger box.
Also, if you cant fit some items in or decide they are not needed, could you pack them up and leave them clearly labelled in you home shop. Then, in the unlikely event that they are needed, your wife/daughter/friend could get the relevant package express shipped to you overnight. You would lose a day but at least you would still be in it.
On the subject of boxes, have you considered a box with a metal frame and then thinner plywood infill sides? I have seen people use them in other posts on AdvRider and Horizons Unlimited and I assume you get a bit more internal space for the same external volume plus I think they might be lighter compared to an all timber box of the same size.
Like I said at the start I don’t have first hand experience so this is all just my ramblings. An actual Cannonballer might come along in a minute and give you some proper advice.
I drive 3000 miles every spring and fall to Colorado from Nova Scotia and then another 600 miles on to Bonneville a couple of days later. In the fall, I tow my 5' x 10' enclosed trailer with my land speed racing bike (9' long) with tools and spares with my Toyota Venza. I always find the week preceding the trip with packing up and trying to allow for all possible spares and tools more stressful than the actual drive. The drive to Colorado takes about 40 hours over 3-4 days and I do 90% of the driving. Satellite Radio and NPR and the GPS are your friends along the way. The big advantage of an enclosed trailer with torsion suspension and the ramp rear door is the ease with which you can load and unload and the peace of mind that it will always be with you. These trailers tow so easily (single axle), and with the narrower 5' wide model, you don't even know it's there until you look at the gas gauge! And I dare say you could fit a Thermal Arc 95-S Tig welder in the trailer as well.
Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated. The 40 hour drive isn't just a matter of time and cost (gasoline and hotels add up so it's not "free" to drive), but exhaustion as well. It took two days after the 12-hour drive back from Texas last month for the effects to wear off.
Originally Posted by George Kaplan
I think that your decision on what to take with you (which will drive the answers to the other questions) will depend on how much confidence you have on the bike and its various components to last the distance.
Maybe it's just me, but even with high confidence in a bike, knowing that I have tools to deal with unexpected issues, even when I don't expect unexpected issues, relieves pressure. I have a highly developed 10 lb. toolkit I strap to the mudguard so that when on the road a noise or rattle becomes something to deal with at the next stop, as opposed to a cause of anxiety since I would have no way of solving the problem if it got worse. Even when things might be going beautifully on the Ariel, just knowing that a wide range of tools and spares are waiting at the motel that evening would relieve pressure so would be well worth having even if I never had to use them.
Originally Posted by George Kaplan
You can get a tracker for quite a small cost
I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for mentioning it.
Originally Posted by George Kaplan
have you considered a box with a metal frame and then thinner plywood infill sides
I haven't looked into the options, which includes getting shipping estimates. As you said, it's possible that having a crate that's just 1" over some size might put it into a significantly higher price category. I'll now look into "composite" crates as well.
Originally Posted by koncretekid
The drive to Colorado takes about 40 hours over 3-4 days and I do 90% of the driving. Satellite Radio and NPR and the GPS are your friends along the way.
I'm afraid that, for me, the thought of a drive that would require endless hours and miles of Interstate makes me numb. Endless hours and miles on a 90-year old rigid-framed bike, that's completely different...
Originally Posted by koncretekid
my 5' x 10' enclosed trailer
It's just a single snapshot, but a quick look at the regional Craigslists just now found that used 5x10 enclosed trailers seem to sell for significantly more than 6x10. But, I think either size would be fine for the task should I go for a trailer rather than a crate.
Originally Posted by koncretekid
packing up and trying to allow for all possible spares and tools more stressful than the actual drive.
I can well understand that. I've been setting aside supplies and special tools for the Ariel as I use them or as they come to mind, but general purpose tools (BSW sockets, adjustable spanners in various sizes, etc.) have to remain in use so the worry is not forgetting any of them when it comes time to pack.
It's not a question of if there will be mission creep as I assemble items for this event, it's a matter of how successful I will be keeping it to a manageable level.
Ain't that the truth!
So it might be a "chicken and egg" thing. Work out your box/trailer options and also work out your list of stuff to take in parallel. Then compare the two. If you cant fit all of the stuff in the preferred box option then look at the next size up. Rinse and repeat. Once you get to the biggest box or trailer that you are willing to take then that is the limit of stuff to take.
Its a balance that only you can decide on and depends on too many variables to list.
Its a balance (on a much smaller scale) that I am pondering at the moment for a trip I am planning next year. I had planned to take an old bike in my panel van with lots of stuff but it turns out that the ferries are booked up for vans on the dates that I am going however they do have bike space. So now I have the choice of an old bike with less stuff or a newer bike with more stuff. My preference is an old bike with lots of stuff. Only I can figure out what is acceptable for me. Much like your own dilemma although yours is harder.
Disappointment arrived in yesterday's mail in the form of a package from Draganfly. Two of the three items in it were incorrect, although to Draganfly's credit they immediately acknowledged the problem and offered to refund the return postage.
One of the items was a 19T sprocket for 1927-30 Burman Q gearboxes that I was going to modify using a larger sprocket I already had purchased. Unfortunately, the sprocket in the package was a "simple" one rather than the more complicated Burman sprocket with an integral hub as part of it. They now realize their entire stock of these sprockets is incorrect so, if they don't find a source of proper ones in the next month or so, I'll have no choice but to modify my current sprocket. I always like to have a backup in hand when modifying something so that I have the option of returning to original condition if I want, or in case things go badly, but that may not be an option.
They've also fixed a problem on their web site that until today when you clicked on Part No. 25-Q for that sprocket a "Related Item" showed up as gasket set 00-3312. Since it was "related" I naturally assumed this was for the Burman Q box so I ordered it. However, thanks to a programming error, it was for the BSA A65 gasket set I found when I opened the package.
Thanks to them paying for the return postage I won't be out any money, but I'm left without two items I had mentally crossed off my to-buy list.
I had the same problem re 19T sprocket from Draganfly; the wrong style / type arrived.
The solution was straight-forward; purchase a 19T industrial sprocket with integral hub, and machine down the hub to copy the original sprocket (easy peasy for you, Magneto man). Then I had the internal splines wire cut.
Result; perfect copy of original sprocket for reasonable cost (and a left-over sprocket from Draganfly).
industrial sprocket with integral hub, and machine down the hub to copy the original sprocket
Great idea, thanks for suggesting it. An appropriate one of the "Machinable-Bore Sprockets for ANSI Roller Chain" on the McMaster-Carr web site looks ideal.(*) I can mount it to the rotary table to broach the necessary splines once I have the gearbox apart and make the necessary measurements. The hub looks like it might be shorter than the proper Burman one, but that would be simple to solve with a spacer. Again, thanks very much.
(*) 23T now on order. 3/4" ID bore x 3" width.
Last edited by Magnetoman; 11/15/173:33 am. Reason: (*)
The standard industrial hub here in Oz has a substantial boss (no pilot bore);
Originally Posted by kommando
This company will induction harden the teeth on sprockets for you,
Thanks guys. Six hours after I placed an order for a 22T version of the type of sprocket suggested by Richard an email from Draganfly arrived. They had contacted the supplier (that turned out to be the Ariel Owners Club) and were told it actually is correctly made for the Burman splines but it also requires a spacer, for which the club has been meaning to find a manufacturer as well.
I hadn't yet packaged the parts to send back to Draganfly so to work with I have:
-- the original 19T Burman sprocket that's on the gearbox now (I'll leave it as-is). -- a reproduction 19T that also requires a spacer, to serve as a donor of its splines and a 22T sprocket to serve as a donor of its teeth. -- an industrial 22T that requires boring to size and broaching six splines (and facing off its boss to be the correct length).
I'll be keeping the Draganfly sprocket, although overall I expect it would be easier for me to broach those six splines in the industrial sprocket than it would be to graft two sprockets together. Once the industrial sprocket arrives I'll measure the hardness of the teeth and bore/boss of each to know if any further hardening is required.
Last edited by Magnetoman; 02/14/1811:25 pm. Reason: added photo
So do you think this 'procedure' (and money) you are going through is multiplied by the number of entrants in the event? If so, this event has a real impact on the Vintage Motorcycle Industry.
So it would seem that the event is limited to engineers/machinists with quite a bit of free time and some financial resources. Of course I'm sure there will be at least one entrant who will buy his bike on eBay a couple of months before the start date and just show up on the starting line pulling the bike on an open trailer.
All this to say: I am amazed at the care and planning you are taking. I really do hope it pays off.
Alan Cleared m out....left only 59 BSA Bantam (Trials) 78 Triumph Bonny (UPS) 02 Suzuki GS500
So it would seem that the event is limited to engineers/machinists with quite a bit of free time and some financial resources.
Luckily, I know how to engineer and machine things, don't have lots of free time but have reasonable time management skills, and am not wealthy but know how to spend money anyway. Although this will take a fair amount of time and money before it's done, I'm trying to squander resources "intelligently" rather than throwing money at the preparations. Or, taking the Walt Disney approach to preparations ("wishing will make it so").
Originally Posted by Alan_nc
I am amazed at the care and planning you are taking.
I'll take that as a compliment...
Stated as follows, "Solve the problem of riding a 90-year old bike 4000 miles across the U.S. while minimizing the total cost as well as the chance of breakdown, while also being prepared to repair a wide range of breakdowns that might happen anyway," it can be seen as an optimization problem with constraints. Given similar skills and constraints I think someone else would approach this pretty much as I am. Of course, a more reasonable person would recognize this as an idiotic problem to want to solve in the first place, and would spend their time and money on something less foolish.
Originally Posted by Alan_nc
I'm sure there will be at least one entrant who will buy his bike on Ebay a couple of months before the start date and just show up on the starting line pulling the bike on an open trailer.
I'm pretty sure that has happened more than once in the past so no doubt you're right. Although the odds of such a bike not breaking down aren't good, someone with this "Walt Disney approach" to the Cannonball could get lucky.