Friday, September 14, 2012

V Twin Technology

Tomorrow morning I am posting a few pictures of the 2012 Bike Week arrivals but tonight I wanted to look back at the Barber Museum's collection and think about a few of the other options Harley riders could know about if they were as into motorcycles as I am. Making one brand a fetish, in any field of endeavor, shuts off so much knowledge.

In this country V-Twin generally means Harley Davidson and Japanese lookalikes but there are many other ways to slice the V-twin pie. Moto Guzzi puts the V the opposite way across the frame with the cylinders sticking out in the breeze like this Mark One LeMans 850.

Ducati stuck them in line like Harley but made the angle ninety degrees in an effort to cancel out vibration.

British Peer Lord Hesketh wanted t build a super bike for the era and had nearly 200 of these bulky V-twins built.

An employee bought the company and continued making them to order. I've never quite understood the drive to build boutique bikes not least because the effort always seems to fail in the not too distant end.

John Goodman who used to own Velocette bought Harley engines, modified a Norton frame and called the result a Goldman 1200. The engines weren't brilliant they say and neither was the frame but they looked good and spoke to some deep need in motorcyclists' souls.

They also assembled them in Tulsa Oklahoma for the US market but in the end... Off they went into oblivion.

And finally another mixed breed spawned by Goldman's idea. In this case the Norvin which combined a Vincent V-twin witna. Norton frame.

The more time lasses the bigger the legend of these strange motorcycles grows. And I get to see them at the Barber Museum from time to time.

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