Wheels Through Time

February 27, 2012

Motorcycle Cannonball Harley JDH 2 Cam Project Update

Work on my 1929 Harley JDH is in fits and starts. I bought the bike complete and sort of running, but not quite. Under the watchful eyes of Dale and Matt Walksler at Wheels Through Time we (mostly they) got it running.

Big issues with the engine components and lack of brakes. So we pulled it all apart and sent out various pats to specialists around the US. And now we wait for the parts to come back so we can reassemble them and make sure everything works right together.

Buzz Kanter and his 2 Cam Harley at Wheels Through Time workshop

 The wheels were pulled apart for rebuilding with stronger spokes at Buchanans. Some of the engine parts went to Wisconsin and others to California for rebuilding. This is one of the last photos of me with the two cam before we tore it down for rebuilding. 

Buzz's 1929 Harley JDH 2 Cam later that first day at Wheels Through Time.

We ended up pulling the engine, carb, ignition and transmission. Some of the items could be cleaned, checked and rebuilt at Wheels Through Time and other parts needed specialists.

We will be adding an original Harley luggage rack and set of saddlebags as well as a Heather’s Leathers custom made seat with sheepskin cover before I attempt the 3800 mile coast to coast endurance ride on the Motorcycle Cannonball 2012. You will be able to follow this in the pages of American Iron Magazine.  And thanks to Wrench, Ride, Repeat tm for sponsoring me on Team American Iron.

Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries, Classic Motorcycle Maintenance by Buzz Kanter

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October 29, 2011

Motorcycle Cannonball, Pre-Event Planning & Spares

I have more than a half a year to prep for the next Motorcycle Cannonball, and with the experience of having ridden in the first one, I have a better idea of how I am going to plan for it. On one hand I feel it will be easier as many of us will be riding on newer motorcycles (up to 1929 now, vs 1915 and older for the last one), but on the other hand we will be riding more miles every day adding to the stress and strain on motorcycle and rider.

Two of the greatest mechanical issues to plague the 1915 and old motorcycles were oil management and magneto ignitions. I believe this will not be as important riding across the US on motorcycles of the 1920s. At least I am counting on that.

1926 Harley J Motorcycle as purchased. I will rebuild it totally before attempting to ride it across the US on the Motorcycle Cannonball in 2012.

In addition to taking apart and carefully rebuilding and reassembling all parts of my 1926 Harley J I plan on having important spare parts either in my saddlebags or in the support vehicle. Off the top of my head this would include basics like oil and spare gas, basic handtools, tape, wire, sparkplugs, etc. In addition to this I’m hoping to have access to a freshly rebuilt and broken in engine, spare rebuilt generator, spare, rebuilt carburetor, spare battery, clutch, tires and brake components.   

Mid to late 1920s classic Harley J-style V-twin engine with the VIN restamped as much earlier.

It has to be a mid to late 1920s engine. I feel it would make an excellent back up engine for my 1926 Harley Motorcycle Cannonball machine once we disassemble, freshen up and break in before the event. I degreased this classic Harley engine earlier today and will crate it up and send it down to Wheels Through Time for a total rebuild to stock specifications over the winter.

This old engine has a generator (which will need to be rebuilt) and intake manifold but no carburetor.  So I will be on the lookout for a decent spare carburetor. More on this to follow as I am able.

Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries, Classic Motorcycle Maintenance, Events, Random Ideas by Buzz Kanter

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October 17, 2011

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Ride – A 1200 Mile Harley Panhead Adventure

Day 1

Wednesday, October 5, 2011…D-Day.  Weeks of preparation (an procrastination) had come down to this.  Sitting in my driveway were my two entries into the first Motorcycle Kickstart Classic,  a 1972 BMW R75/5 and a 1964 Harley-Davidson Duo-Glide.  My good friend Tim volunteered to pilot the BMW and I rode the Harley-Davidson.  We left on a clear cool morning in central North Carolina, so I donned my full set of  leathers before kicking the panhead to life.  We let the bikes slowly warm up as my wife took a few parting photos.  By 8:30 we were fueled and on the road, headed west on I-40.  Our destination was Maggie Valley and the Wheels Through Time museum.  Maggie Valley is a straight shot down I-40 from my home and at only 250 miles, we had high hopes of making it to Wheels Through Time by early afternoon.

1964 Harley Davidson Duo-Glide and a 1972 BMW R75/5

1964 Harley Davidson Duo-Glide and a 1972 BMW R75/5

About 80 miles into the trip, I hit reserve and we pulled off for gas.  Trying to maximize my minimal range, I filled both tanks to the top, assuming that the bike would be upright for the next couple hours.  The bikes were running great and Tim commented that if we’ve made it this far without issue, we’ll probably make the entire trip without any problems.  Well, Murphy’s Law kicked in right after that and within ten minutes of the comment, I was pulling out the tool roll.  I had kicked the bike over about a dozen times without even sputter, so I started going through the standard troubleshooting procedure, checking for gas, air and spark.  Off came the air cleaner assembly, oil lines and More on Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Ride – A 1200 Mile Harley Panhead Adventure

Filed under Events, Panhead Jim's Blog by PanheadJim

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