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50 States Special Feature

Special Feature #1 The National Motorcycle Museum

 
What a plethora of fine and rare motorcycles. At the entry we were greeted with a replica of an 1885 Damlier Einspur. Recognize the name? Damlier Chrysler. Yep.
Same company.

 
Note the wooden frame and wheels. And the outrigger wheels. But the date? Wow. Actually in 1867, Sylvester Roper invented the motorcycle, a steam engine model, capable of speeds to thirty miles an hour.  Inside the museum abounded. A video captured our attention. Evel Knievel's Harley sat below the screen, where old footage of his jumps, both successful and not, ran continually. I did note that my son Tim has jumped farther than some of Knievel's jumps when he raced motorcross, but not on a heavy Harley with junk suspension.



 
What caught my attention with this 1952 Vincent Rapide was the gas tank. See how they notched it for the front carburetor? This puppy is capable of speeds of over 125 mph. Lightning fast for its day.  Elmer Trett set fifteen national records and won eight championships in Top Fuel motorcycle drag racing. He turned a quarter mile in 6.06 seconds with this beast. Take note of the engine. He built it himself. No, he didn't build up a factory engine. He built it himself. Estimated horsepower at the crankshaft, 1,000.



 
The sixties and seventies saw many dual engine bikes. Double your horsepower,
double your fun, right? Later they abandoned them for one big freaking engine. 'The Parasite' ran two Triumph 650 cc engines, ran second and third gears, and turned a best time of 10.33 seconds at 150.23 mph.

 
People were innovative back then, and this shows some real ingenuity. A steam powered motorcycle, but around 1934 in the San Francisco area.


 Kawasaki introduced the 900 in the early 1970s, the beginning of the super-bike era. Notice the clean lines, the neat chrome front fender. Very nice.
 
That's all you get for today. More fun tomorrow. Thanks for following and stay tuned.

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