Tuesday, December 23, 2014

One King, One Kingdom

In one of my recent posts, I ventured to state that I had found the answer to a minor point of curiosity on my part dealing with the presence of two similar terms used in the Bible, those terms being "kingdom of heaven" and "kingdom of God". My answer, based on two verses in the Gospel of Matthew was that they are the same.  A reader was quick to point out to me that there is indeed a distinct difference between them in that the kingdom of heaven is a literal physical kingdom that the Jews will inherit while the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom that the Church will inherit. In this post I would like to attempt to imitate those of Berea and search the scripture to see if this is so.

As we look at the occurrences of the two terms, it becomes evident that if they are not two names describing the same kingdom, then at the very least both kingdoms share a number of striking similarities.

For instance, from Matthew 13:10-11 and Mark 4:10-11, we can see that truths about both the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God were revealed by Jesus in parables so that only those who were chosen to understand, would understand. In fact from these verses we also must conclude that the same parable of the soils can be used to reveal the same mystery regarding each kingdom.

Matthew 13:31-32 coupled with Mark 4:30-32 inform us that both the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are like a grain of mustard seed.

Mark 10:14 and Matthew 19:14 together inform us that both kingdoms are made of those who share the characteristics of little children.

From Matthew 11:11 and Luke 7:28 we may glean that he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the baptist, ...and that so is he that is least in the kingdom of God.

Now, the fact that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God share these four characteristics does not by itself prove that they are one in the same, but it should at the very least make one take it into consideration.

If one were to take the position that the kingdom of heaven is to be the inheritance of the Old testament Jews and the kingdom of God will be made up of New Testament saints, then one must consider that Jesus, as recorded in Mark 1:14-15, preached repentance and that the kingdom of God was "at hand." But John the baptist, in Matthew 3:2 preached "repent" for the kingdom of heaven is "at hand." This poses a bit more of a problem for the two kingdom view. It is easy to see a spiritual kingdom as being at hand (or "drawn near", as some translations put it), but how would one apply being "at hand" to a literal physical kingdom for the Jews. If anything concerning such a kingdom was at hand, it was its destruction by Titus in 70 A.D. The absence of anything resembling a Jewish kingdom for nearly 1900 years can hardly be something easily reconciled with "at hand." Was John mistaken or could both he and Jesus have been describing the same kingdom with different words?

Perhaps just as puzzling would be the conversation between Jesus and Niccodemus as recorded in John chapter 3. In verse 3 Jesus says "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Okay, if there are two kingdoms, that tells us that the spiritual kingdom occupied by the New Testament believers can only be seen by those who are born again. That is all well and good, but a few verses later Jesus expresses surprise saying "Art thou a master (teacher) of Israel, and knowest not these things?" Well, ...at least I guess you could read that as surprise. I personally don’t believe that Jesus was ever surprised; I see that statement as more of a chastisement. But either way, why should a teacher in Israel be expected to know about a new kingdom that was just coming into existence? Odd.

Another piece of scripture that does not quite seem to fit in with a two kingdom view can be found in Matthew 16:19 where Jesus announces that he will give the keys to the kingdom of heaven to the disciples. Now this verse has often been used (and too often abused) to assert power given to the church. But was Jesus real purpose to teach that the church will have power over the physical kingdom occupied by Old Testament saints?

In my original post on this subject, the scripture that I presented in support of my understanding of the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God being one in the same was Matthew 19:23-24. Here is what my argument consisted of: In verse 23 Jesus exclaims how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, and then in verse 24 he goes on to say "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Emphasis mine). I postulated that by using the term "again" Jesus made the terms interchangeable, else he would have used the world "also." Of course this argument rests on the reliability of the translation of the Greek word "palin" which it appears could in some cases be translated as "furthermore" instead of "again." However, I am not aware of any translation which uses any word except "again" in this verse. I am pretty sure the translators are smarter than I am and very likely got it right.

The objection I received to my use of this verse to support my case was that one should not build a doctrine on a single verse. I agree completely; thus the study that went into this post. I do have one more argument to offer though, and I believe it to be the strongest one, when taken in conjunction with what I have already presented here. That argument comes from Matthew 8:11 "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." Now consider Luke 13:28 which says: " There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out."

The fact that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are said to be in the kingdom of heaven and in the kingdom of God, taken alongside everything else I have presented here, leads me to the inevitable conclusion that those kingdoms are one in the same. One King, One Kingdom.

I am thankful for the "nudging" which I received to search the scriptures for a proper understanding, but I must add that much more than that, I rejoice that I will someday be able to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vintage Dual Carbs, Part 3

In part three of this treatise on dual carb Harleys, I would like to put the venerable Linkert under the proverbial microscope. First stop will be an unlikely source for an avowed Knucklehead fanatic such as myself, that being the ’48 to ’57 Panhead Service Manual. The last page of the carburetor section has a handy-dandy chart listing most (all?) of the carbs used from 1936 to 1957. Along with applications, throttle disc angles and even transfer port dimensions, we find venturi sizes listed. Hats off to those technical writers of yesteryear; if only their modern day counterpart would follow their lead.

For our purposes here though, the venturi sizes are indeed what is most useful. The first one we might note is the 3 bolt M-5/ M-55 of early 61" Knucklehead fame. They featured a venturi bore of 1-1/16". OK, so what, you might say. Well, let me put that in terms of modern carbs: 27mm (rounded off). That friends, is not a lot of area to get much air through. But as we go down the list, the venturi sizes do increase, but not much. While we do find the M-25/ M-75 with its whopping 1-5/16 venturi on 1940 Knuckles and as an option on ‘41-’48 models, most Knuckles left the factory with the 1-1/8" M-35. Finally, with the 74" Panheads a 1-5/16" venturi became the standard bearer for brass bodied Linkerts on Harleys, being the largest Linkert offered. Again let’s put those sizes into terminology which will make it easier to compare with modern carbs. The 1-1/8" venturi M-35 series carbs were only 28.6mm (again, rounded off). The big kid on the block M-74 comes in at a whopping 33.3mm (do I really need to point out that this figure too is rounded off?). As a point of reference, when Harley switched to Bendix carbs in the mid 1970s, they put a 36mm version on the XL models, which just happen to come in at very near the same cubic inch displacement as the 61" Knuckle, and a 38mm on 74" Shovelheads.

Super E on left, M35 Linkert on right

As a further point of reference, let’s mention a couple modern performance carbs. S and S (why does it bother me so much that blogger’s html will not allow the use of the ampersand?) designates their carbs by the diameter at the manifold surface rather than the venturi size. An S and S Super "E" carb which is called 1-7/8" is actually 40mm at the venturi, while the "G" model’s 2-1/8" bore is 44.7mm at the venturi. Right in between these two carbs is the flat slide Mikuni HSR42. Keep in mind though, none of these three performance carbs relies on a choke plate as a starting aid. All of the Linkert carbs employ such a plate, which further limits their air flow beyond what the already smaller venturi does. And the measured airflow through these carbs bears this out. An S and S "E" carb flows a whopping 73% more than an M74 despite the venturi bore being only 20% larger.

Knuckledragger Carbs
Right about now you may be thinking, "What about all those old pictures I’ve seen of vintage drag bikes with a pair of Linkerts fitted?" In fact, those paying close attention may even wonder why my own vintage drag bike, "The Knuckledragger" breathes through a pair of them. Speaking for my own situation, I had two reasons to use Linkerts. Nostalgia and pragmatism. The nostalgia portion is self evident. The pragmatic stems from the simple reason that the heads I had in my possession for the project were already set up with Linkert 4 bolt flanges. Had it been a more serious performance effort, I would have reworked the heads.  As it is, I still cut the choke assemblies off, added radius inlets and swapped to the somewhat larger 1-5/16" venturi's on the M35 carbs to maximize air flow.

Granddaddy Joe Smith still ran Linkerts on his Knuckle just before switching to a Shovelhead
The reason you see Linkert in old pictures of early drag bikes is also pretty straight forward, though maybe not so self evident. Many of the drag bikes you see outfitted with a pair of Linkert carbs were run on nitro methane fuel . "Nitro" as it is commonly called among racers, is quite different than gasoline in that it has oxygen in its chemical makeup. That means that rather than relying on airflow to get enough oxygen into the combustion chamber, with nitro a goodly portion of that oxygen is supplied by way of fuel flow. Remember back in part 3 when I wrote this? "The problem is very seldom getting enough gas into the engine for high performance, the challenge is in getting enough air in." Perhaps I should have more specifically used the word oxygen rather than air and fuel rather than gas, but I think you get the picture.

 That is not to say that the addition of nitro turns the Linkert into killer performance carb with no other changes. Nitro requires a much, much, much richer fuel to air ratio. For a given amount of airflow, nitro will need about 7-1/2 times as much fuel as the same engine running gasoline. This requires some substantial modifications to the fuel delivery system all the way from the petcock to the float system to the jets. The potential results however, are nothing short of awe inspiring. A switch from gasoline to nitro methane comes with a potential of just over double the horsepower. Do I need to mention that the bike and the rest of the motor needs to be strong enough to survive double the power?

Now it looks like this series will drag out into yet another post. God willing, I plan to wrap it up in a post encompassing my thoughts on what makes a viable street application for vintage style dual carbs.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving: What, When and How

this is the second half of the post started here...
We should give thanks for other Christians and churches.  1Thessalonians 1:2   We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

We should thank the LORD for deliverance from the world.  1Chronicles 16:35  And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.

We should give thanks for salvation and sanctification.  2Thessalonians 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

We should give thanks to the LORD that he has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the saints.  Colossians 1:12    Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  

We should give thanks to the LORD when it is not convenient.  Psalm 119:62   At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

We should give thanks to God when we pray.  Philippians 4:6   Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

We should give thanks to God continually.  Hebrews 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

We should give thanks the God at all times.  Ephesians 5:20   Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

We should give thanks to the LORD into eternity.  Psalm 30:12   To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

We should give thanks to God when we come together with other Christians to worship.  Psalm 35:18   I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

We should give thanks to the LORD when we are among non-Christians.  2Samuel 22:50 & echoed in Psalm 18:49   Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.

We should give thanks to God when we are with the younger generation.  Psalm 79:13   So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations. 
We should give thanks to the LORD by singing songs dedicated to him. Psalm 95:2   Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

We should give thanks to God by praising him and blessing his name.  Psalm 100:4   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

We should give thanks to God by joyfully declaring what he has done.  Psalm 107:22   And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

We should give thanks to the God by calling on his name.   Psalm 116:17   I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

We should give thanks to the LORD by doing everything in his name.  Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 

These are just some of the thing that scripture tells us about the thanks giving.  If I were to summarize, I would say that the biggest reasons why we should give thanks to God are who he is and what he has done.  The when and where are that we should give thanks to God wherever we are and constantly.  How we should give thanks to our Lord is by praising his name and living for him.  And what we should give thanks for are all things, but especially for salvation.  God provided a means by which sinners like you and me could be saved from both the bondage of sin and the penalty of our sin.
That salvation is found in the sinless life of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who paid the price for all of our sins, past present and future, on the cross at Calvary.  He suffered and died in our place, then rose again from the dead on the third day, that we might be declared righteous before God and live a life of thanksgiving to him.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving: Why?

One week from today is the day which our nation sets aside every year as a day of Thanksgiving.  For the Christian, this is a day set aside to give thanks to our great God and Savior, the creator and sustainer of heaven and earth.

The Bible has a lot to say about giving thanks.  I have selected a number of verses and grouped them into five categories.  Those categories are: Why we should give thanks, What we should give thanks for, When we should give thanks, Where we should give thanks, and How we should give thanks.  Today I would like to look at the WHY.

We should give thanks to God because of who he is.  First of all we should give thanks to him because he is holy.  Psalm 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness

We should give thanks to the LORD because he is sovereign over all things.  Revelation  11:17  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

We should give thanks to the LORD because it is a good thing to do and because he is the most High God.  Psalm 92:1   It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

We should give thanks to God because he is good and because of his great mercy.   Psalms 106, 107, 118, and 136 all begin with these same words which we also find in 1 Chronicles 16:34.  1Chronicles 16:34   O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever

We should give thanks because the great things he has done have revealed him to us. Psalm 75:1   Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

We should also give thanks to the LORD because his judgment is always right and just.  Psalm 119:62   At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

And not only should we give thanks because of Gods righteousness, we should give thanks because through his marvelous gift of salvation we may also be called righteous and be counted among them spoken of here in Psalm 140:13  Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

We should give thanks to God because he is the one who provides salvation.  Jonah 2:9   But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

We should give thanks to God because it leads to our being able to live in peace.  1Timothy 2: 1-2   I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;   For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

We should give thanks to God because it is his will that we do so.  1Thessalonians 5:18   In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We should give thanks to God because it magnifies him.  Psalm 69:30   I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

We should give thanks to LORD because it brings glory to him.  2Corinthians 4:15   For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

...a brief intermission...

This will be short.  No sooner did I mention that I did not recall ever seeing a pair of SU carbs used on a dual carb Knuckle than I received the pictures below from Glenn in Australia.  It seems that his friend Billy campaigns a Knuck with just such a setup.

The 79" Knuckle motor is reported to put 96 HP to the rear wheel on methanol.  Everything else about it is a secret.

What is there to say but WOW!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Vintage Dual Carbs, Part 2

Airflow.  That's what its all about, at least for the performance enthusiast.  More air (carrying the proper mix of fuel of course) = more power.  Even what is often the first modification, open exhaust, falls into this category as evidenced by the fact that a less restrictive exhaust will require richer jetting to go along with the increase in air intake.  Obviously the same goes for the air cleaner.  So what's next after that? 

Bigger carbs, bigger valves, and porting are all the radar screen for those in search of horsepower, and that's not a new development. If I am not mistaken both Chet Herbert in the late '40s and George Smith Sr. in the '50s ran Riley carbs on their famous dual carb Knuckle drag bikes.  The Riley carbs were originally a racing part for Model A Ford engines.  I can only speculate at this late date that the reason for their existence was for increased air flow. 

 So perhaps this is the appropriate point to mention a few fallacies.  One is that when running one carb one each head (aka individual runner), you need to use smaller carbs than when using one carb to supply both heads.  Think about this for a moment.  On a V twin engine, both intake valves are NOT open at the same time.  Ignoring for a moment any tuned length/ram effect, that means a carb that is too small to be a performance carb with a conventional intake manifold will also be too small to be a performance carb when used on a one carb per cylinder set up.  As a matter of fact it seems that the experts, i.e. anyone I regard as smarter than me (a long list to be sure), suggest that on a individual runner set up, the carb actually needs to be larger than for conventional set up due to the lack of a "plenum effect".  If I follow the reasoning correctly, it is because a plenum will actually help to dampen the large fluctuations in pressure in the intake tract from the valve opening and closing.  This effect would be smaller on a two cylinder than 4, 6 and 8 cylinder engines, but present none the less.

On the other extreme I have had someone with a dual carb set of heads, upon hearing my opinion that the carbs were too small, state that, "Yeah, but hopefully I can jet them up enough to work."  Well, sure you can jet them "up" to work.  All that takes is the right jet to maintain the correct fuel/air ratio.  The problem is very seldom getting enough gas into the engine for  high performance, the challenge is in getting enough air in.  That's what makes a carb too small for a performance application; lack of air flow, not lack of fuel flow.  But more on that later.

So, what was the hot set up for dual carbs "back in the day?"  Well, I suppose that would depend a lot on your exact definition of "back in the day."  Forty years ago (back in the mid '70s) a large round slide Mikuni was a common performance upgrade to replace the aging Linkert, as were SU carbs adapted from British automobile applications.  The Mikuni was a natural for dual carbs, though the popularity of said dual carb builds was on the wane primarily due to the more flow friendly intake tract of Shovelheads and Sportsters. I can't say I remember ever seeing a dual carb Harley with SU carbs, though the constant velocity design would seem to be nearly ideal for the job.

Going back a little further in time, it seems that Italian made Dellorto carbs may have been one of the most popular for use on dual carb heads.  Their SSI series slide type carbs were available in sizes up to 42mm making them a good choice.

highly modified Knuckle from the mid '60s sporting Dellorto carbs

Ron's vintage Knuck also features early Dellortos - more on this bike here

"Famous" Doug Gall used a pair of later Dellorto carbs

Now, cool as the Riley and Dellorto carbs may be, due to their scarcity one will probably not find many of them being used on modern "period correct" builds.  What you will generally find is Linkerts.  Yes, they seem to be constantly rising in cost, but compared to a Riley carb they are still dirt cheap. 

pair of modified Linkerts on The Knuckledragger

So, how does the Linkert stack up as a performance carb, you ask?  We'll look into that in part 3.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Kingdom

There has been a question that had been on my mind for a number of years now.  I cannot say that the question has been bothering me, since that would infer more prominence for the question than it actually held, but it has often led to my pondering it.  The question is simply this: "Is there a difference between the Biblical terms kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven?"  I have often wondered if I was missing some nuance of scriptural truth in treating them as one. 

If one would venture to do an Internet search on this question, you would get both yes and no answers (Spoiler Alert: Someone on the Internet is wrong!)  In fact some would be so bold as to proclaim that without a proper understanding of the difference between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, it is impossible to form a correct understanding of Ecclesiology (study of the church), Eschatology (study of end times), Anthropology (study of humankind), or Arachnology (study of spiders – Okay I just threw that one in to see if you were still paying attention).

But, in preparing to preach an upcoming sermon (Oct 12 at ValleyView Church if interested- you're all invited) I stumbled upon this passage which I do believe answers the question.

In Matthew 19: 23 Jesus exclaims how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, and then in verse 24 he goes on to say “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Emphasis mine).  If Jesus differentiates between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, would he not have used the term “also I say unto you” rather than “again I say unto you”?   The word “again” would infer that Jesus was speaking of the same rich man entering the same kingdom.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vintage Dual Carbs, Part 1

Undoubtedly one of the most popular topics on this blog is that of dual carbs.  As I have mentioned before, I tend to be a sucker for exotic carburation myself.  Judging by feedback, both via email and in the comments section, I am not alone. 

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the fact that the Factory (as in Harley Davidson Factory) dipped their foot in the waters of land speed racing, placing legendary racer Joe Petrali on board a specially modified dual carb Knucklehead, during the spring of 1937 at Daytona Beach.  The result was a new one mile speed record of 136.183 mph; a record which would stand for 11 years.  The heads on that bike were modified in the conventional manor of one carb on each head.

This is a pic I snapped at the 2008 Cincinnati Dealer Expo.  I assume that it is a replica of Petrali's mount since the original color is normally portrayed as blue.

Less common are Panheads modified in like manor.  Though it seems that George Smith modified a number of them in days long gone by.

This is a shot of the George Smith dual carb Pan heads on a bike Teach did a few years back.

Though modifying the heads for dual carbs was a popular performance trick of the day, it was not the only way to achieve dual carbs.  One of the alternatives that I suspect to be a very early example of a dual carb manifold is shown below.  It was a mass produced aluminum casting made to fit the early "small port" Knuckle heads and featured a 3-bolt Linkert pattern.  IMHO it suffers from a couple of design flaws, but certainly was nicely done and the (unknown to me) originator was on the right track.

Vintage dual carb manifold for early, small port Knuckle heads.
My critique of this manifold stems from a couple points.  One is that the aluminum material of the manifold would be unlikely to hold up well to the sealing system of the day, that is "plumber nuts" with brass seals.  If you have perused a well worn OEM steel manifold, you have no doubt noticed how badly deformed the surface that the brass seal rides on becomes from use.  I suspect the relatively softer cast aluminum would fare much worse. 
My other issue has to do with airflow (not surprising since I deal with airflow for a good bit of my livelihood).  The mere fact that this manifold is an aluminum casting limits the airflow in this particular case.  Since the "spigots" of the manifold need to be the same O.D. as an OEM steel manifold in order for the  plumber nuts and seals to fit, it follows that the I.D. must be smaller that stock in order to provide some strength.  My educated guess is that an aluminum manifold nipple that shares the steel manifold's .075" wall thickness would probably not hold up to even the first tightening of the plumber nut.  On a similar note, and of even more concern on this particular manifold, is the runner diameter.  Ideally, the cross sectional area of the manifold runners would remain constant.  In the case of this particular manifold, the entrance of the port is nearly round at the carb mounting surface, as it is at the exit where it feeds into the head.  In between these two points, the runner takes an elliptical shape, maintaining a constant height, but  suffering from a severe narrowing in width.  The third picture above shows this, and yes...  it is as bad as it looks. The major reason for this was to keep individual runners, in other words keeping each cylinder's intake tract isolated from the other.  More on this later.
Now, given the tortuous path that a Knuckle or Pan present to the air/fuel mixture as it finds its way from the carburetor to the combustion chamber, it would not surprise me to learn that this manifold provided a performance increase despite it's inherent flaws.  Recently it appears that someone has undertaken the task of reproducing these vintage performance manifolds, since I often see un-finished versions for sale on eBay.  One notable change on these new ones is a flange the shape of the 4 bolt Linkert.  Few details are given and one cannot tell from the pictures whether any other improvements have been made.  If anyone has real world experience with this style manifold, either the original or new, I would be happy to hear about it.

Another early example of the quest for dual carbs is the "Seeley" manifold, something which I have written about previously here.

 The Seeley manifold was basically a re-imagining of the stock Linkert manifold, putting one carb on each side of the engine.  An obvious minor drawback to this type of dual carb manifold is leg clearance on the spark plug side, particularly if the relatively "long" Linkert is used.  In fairness though, the customary modification to Knuck heads for dual carbs suffers from the same issue.  As a side note, I am certainly no historian of the Seeley manifolds, but I have seen pictures of an aluminum version very similar to the steel one pictured above.  And that brings up a question; was the steel one an early prototype or was it possibly a home made copy?  The aluminum version is stamped with the Seeley name, the steel is seemingly unmarked.  One thing I would note is that the aluminum version suffers from the same drawback as the dual 3 bolt manifold mentioned earlier with its thicker walls on the spigots.

Over the years there have surely been many variations on these three basic dual carb designs, and probably a few that I missed as well.  The fact is, I have built a number of variations myself.  During the 1980's and '90s I modified a number of Knuckle heads for dual carbs as part of my quest for drag strip performance.   The fact that even then I was three generations removed from the latest technology in Harley head design would seem to reveal something about "where my head was at" (as they used to say). I wanted performance, but was not willing to entirely give up the "cool factor" (as they also used to say) to get it.  I would venture a guess that the same could be said for many today who  are drawn to the concept of dual carbs on vintage motors.

Of course motivations will vary from one man to the next, and where you fall in the spectrum of desire for "the look" verses "performance" will have a lot to do with how you approach a dual carb conversion.  If the look is more important to you than the performance, then any of the designs listed above will fit the bill nicely and I say go for it.  If, on the other hand, you lean more toward the performance end, then there are a few other things to consider.  One of the biggest of these is air flow.  Face it, even in the vintage world, today's motors tend to be larger than yesterday's, and a larger motor wants more air.  In the early days an 80" Knuckle was a big motor, and possibly the most common size used for drag racing.  In the years since, 84 and 86 inch engines have become common for street builds.  What I am suggesting is that what may have been a performance upgrade on a 61 inch motor could very well be a restriction on a 96 incher.

Airflow and how it relates to these vintage style dual carb modifications will be the subject of a soon (hopefully) upcoming post.


Monday, September 8, 2014


As is so often the case, I have been trying to find time to write fresh post for this blog.  I have the topic and the desire, but always so many other "projects" that steal away my time.  Sooooo, ...rather than taking the time that I would like to right now, I am going to post a link to a cool little video about someone I am proud to call a friend; Kevin Baas, or "Teach" as he is oft called.

Teach stopped by last week so we could discuss an idea for a really cool engine modification I have in mind for the current Kennedy High School Chopper Class vintage dragbike project.   While here Teach mentioned that he had a link to this new video on his blog, Vintage Bike Addiction.  The video does a pretty fair job of helping you to get to know the man and his priorities. So, without further introduction, here is

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Power of a Song, part 2

continued from here...

Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs can be a great blessing, but have you ever heard of using singing to win a battle?

Back during the reign of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah approximately 900 years before the birth of Christ, that exact thing happened. And here is the story as we find in 2nd Chronicles chapter 20. The nations of Ammon and Moab along with the people of Mt. Seir decided to invade Judah. When Jehoshaphat learned of the impending attack, we read his reaction in verse 3.

And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

That was the right reaction. The Bible goes on to tell us this in verses 4-9:

And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

The people went on to ask this in verse 12:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

This seems to be one of the few times that we find the children of Israel trusting in Jehovah to protect them from enemies, as they ought, rather than seeking help from other nations. And of course they were rewarded for putting their faith in God to deliver them..

We find this in verses 20-24:

And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.

Did you catch what they were singing? "Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever." I can’t help but wonder if they were not singing Psalm 136 which ends every one of its 26 verses with that same phrase: for his mercy endureth for ever.

So, what should we take away from this little bit of history?   ...Keep a song in your heart and everything will be all right? ... Singing can deliver us from our enemies?

I believe the real lesson to be learned here is found back in verse 12. The people said to God "we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee."

That should be how we approach Jehovah when we consider our greatest enemy; and our greatest enemy is our own sinful nature. Each one of us has been racking up a mountain of sin debt since we were little children. We have no might against this sinfulness, any more than Israel had any might against those invading armies. Israel did not know what to do and neither do we know what we can do to pay this sin debt and make things right between us and a holy God.   But like the Israelites, our eyes need to be on the Lord. He is the only one who can deliver us from this formidable enemy; this great mountain of sin. Just as Jehoshaphat and his people went forth to battle singing Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever, we too should put our trust in the great mercy God has shown us in sending his own Son to suffer and die on the cross in payment of our sins.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Power of a Song

Singing is one of the ways that we worship God, but it is even more than that. The book of Ephesians tells us that singing is one of the ways to be Spirit filled, or at least evidence that we are.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord   Ephesians 5: 18-19

But the practice of singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs is even more than evidence of being Spirit filled. It is also a teaching tool. Colossians 3 tells us this:

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  Colossians. 3:16

How often do we stop to consider that? Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs are a way of letting Christ’s word dwell in us. But when we sing to the Lord, we are also teaching each other and admonishing one another (admonishing: to advise, warn, to caution). That should make us consider what we are singing to be sure that the right things are being taught.

to be continued...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jane and Lee's Big Adventure

Recently the wife and I took a weekend off to go to a drag race. The drag race in question (The Meltdown Drags) is an annual event which seeks to take the spectators and participants back to a mid '60s drag strip experience. Now, attending was kind of a "spur of the moment" thing.  When I brought it up a scant week in advance, I received absolutely zero resistance to the idea from Jane.  In fact, as I have mentioned to more than one person, Jane's sense of adventure is certainly alive and well - more so than my own in fact.  Since The Knuckledragger was built to be period correct for 1955, it would fit right in at the Meltdown Drags.  But in the spirit of the event, Jane insisted that we go the extra mile (or 385 miles to be precise) and put the bike on our open trailer and tow it behind our '46 Studebaker pickup.   I must admit I had reservations about taking such an antique rig from our home in Minnesota all the way to Illinois, but as is so often the case my wife was right and all went well.  So, a 770 mile round trip in a 1946 Studebaker (powered by a Studebaker flathead six I might add) towing a 1947 Knucklehead drag bike on a trailer built out of a 1941 Studebaker Champion frame, and somehow neither Jane nor I managed to snap a picture of it... go figure?
[EDIT- After mentioning here that we did not take a picture of the rig, Jay and Irish teamed up to get one to me.  Thanks guys.]
And here it is.
Wheelstands by straight axle gassers was the order of the day.  Very fun to watch.

The crew from the A/h Garage was on hand and made us feel welcome from the get go.

First start up of the Knuckledragger in over 2 years
This invention by Demaar of the A/h Garage, a dolly for the front wheel & towed by a three wheeler, was ingenious and very handy.  Since we were pitted all the way down by the time slip booth, the guys were kind enough to tow the Knuckledragger to tech and to the staging lanes
Jay from "Fear No Evo Drag Racing" along with Dash (?) and Motorman from "A/h Garage" in the staging lanes.  Big inch Pan versus even bigger inch Harmon. 
Another shot taken in the staging lanes.
Chris, also of the A/h Garage, on an Iron Head Sportster
Roller starting at the head of the staging lanes.  The Byron Dragway staff was very gracious in letting us set up the electric rollers near the front of the staging lanes so bikes would not have to idle excessively.
Jay and Deemar pushing me from the rollers to the burn out area - saves on the clutch don't ya know.

A little action shot.  In fact very little action.

Just a very small portion of the spectators.  Word was they had record crowds.

Did I mention that wheelstands were the order of the day?

Before anyone asks, I will come clean and admit I made a far less than spectacular pass on the Knuckledragger.  Shifting problems continue to haunt me.  I may have sorted them out in time for a last pass, but to my chagrin the batteries for the roller starter were too weak to fire the motor.  I should have paid attention to the CCA rating of the second battery (which was on loan to me).  Turns out it was only half of what normally supplies the second 12 volts for the 24 volt system.  Oh well...

A big thanks both to Jay and to all the guys from the A/h Garage who made us feel at home and helped us out at every turn.  Also a big thanks to the Meltdown Drags Association and to Byron Dragways for making this awesome event happen.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

If Yer Gonna Melt Down, Here's the Place

The weather prognosticators say it will be a perfect weekend. There are over 500 entries, a few of which are vintage bikes.  Billed as the World's Largest Vintage Drag Meet, this looks to be the closest thing to a step back into the '60s as a gear head is likely to find!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Better Country

The 4th of July
The fourth of July. It is the day that most of us, as American citizens, celebrate the founding of this nation called the United States.  Many Christians celebrate it in part because of the Christian roots of this country.  In fact, if I may be so bold, I would suggest that some Christians take patriotism a bit too far.  They read scripture, particularly prophetic passages, and find the United States front and center.  

You know, during the 15 years that I have been Christian, I have read at least a small portion of scripture nearly every day. In doing that I have read the Bible through from cover to cover enough times that I have lost count.   In all that reading, I cannot recall a single instance where the Bible talks specifically about the United States of America.  Now, that is not to say that we can’t find anything in the Bible which applies to our nation. In fact 2 Timothy 3:16 says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

If there is anything that this nation is in need of right now, I think we could argue that it is reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness! That is not to say that there ever was a time when our nation did not have this need, only that taken as a whole it seems that the United States is in the midst of abandoning all pretense of reliance upon the teaching of the Bible.

Many of our forefathers came to the new world seeking the freedom to worship God according to their understanding of the dictates of the Bible, rather than the dictates of the unholy alliances of churches and states. Later, when in the course of human events it became necessary for this people to dissolve the political bands which had connected them with England, they were careful to seek the guidance of Jehovah, the one true God. In making that declaration, they prefaced it with these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Noble ideas, and possibly the first government which was not a theocracy to ever acknowledge that rights come from the creator rather than from kings or governments. In fact, one of the battle cries from the Revolutionary War is said to have been: No king but King Jesus!

Today however, there are many in our country who would like to say that this nation was never a Christian nation, but if one takes the time to look at the writings of those we call the founding fathers of the United States, one would be hard pressed to deny that the majority of them believed they were founding a nation based on Christian principles and reliant upon God. For many people, this is one of the reasons for their sense of patriotism. The phrase "for God and Country" resonates because of their love for God, and out of that love for God flows a love for the country which holds freedom of religion as one of its pillars. The very first amendment in the Bill of Rights of the constitution begins like this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Today, over 200 years later, this nation arguably still enjoys more religious freedom than any other country on earth.

All of this is good reason to celebrate the founding of this nation and to feel a sense of patriotism. On the other side of this coin, however, things don’t look so rosy. If you spend any time reading the Old Testament, particularly the books of Chronicles and Kings, one thing that becomes crystal clear is how God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, were constantly in a cycle of backsliding, apostasy, and then finally a short lived revival. It played out over and over with the people falling into idolatry, often worshipping Jehovah alongside their false idols, and sometimes abandoning Jehovah altogether. If that happened in the nation which God chose for himself, why would we be surprised when it happens in our nation, no matter how good the intentions at its founding?

In fact, because of what they see taking place in our country today, many Christians have adopted this passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14 as God’s promise to them:

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

While I applaud the sentiment and highly recommend that we all do exactly those things: humble ourselves, pray, seek Jehovah’s face, and turn from our wicked ways, I am not sure of the long term results. That promise was made to Solomon when he was king of Israel but after the many repetitions of backsliding, apostasy and then revival, there finally came a time when no revival came. Judgment came upon the nation of Israel and it was scattered and remained that way for nearly 2000 years.

But we have a better promise than the one given to Solomon. We can find it in Philippians 3:20  "For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:"

You might say we hold a dual citizenship, like the apostle Paul who was not only a Jew, but also a citizen of Rome. As Christians, we may be thankful to be American citizens and for all the blessings God has blessed us with here in the United States, but our far more important eternal citizenship is found in heaven and our far more important allegiance is to Jehovah.

So let’s just quickly look at a couple of our fellow citizens of heaven:

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."  Hebrews 11: 8-16

In this section of scripture we not only have our nation put into perspective as merely a place of pilgrimage until we go to that better heavenly city, we also see how to obtain citizenship there. Unlike American citizenship, you are not born with it.  You can't receive it by passing a test and swearing and oath.  It is a citizenship which comes by faith. And this faith is not a insignificant thing for only citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem will be allowed in. If you have not already done so, won’t you put your faith in Jesus Christ, trusting that he has paid the penalty for your sins on the cross of Calvary? Won’t you turn from your sins and to Jesus? Won’t you make sure of your citizenship in heaven?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Viking Meet 2014

I just spend last Friday and Saturday in my booth at the Viking Chapter of the AMCA's (Antique Motorcycle Club of America) National meet in St. Paul.  Except to mention the fact that word had it all the swap meet spaces were sold (good news!) I won't bore you with a lot of details.  Instead I will share some pics with limited commentary.

Who doesn't love a Knuckle bobber?
1942 Sunbeams had a nice shape to their air cleaner
And by 1956 it looks like it could have inspired our friends in Viola

1970 Harley Sprint Flat Tracker
When I was younger most of us biker types considered Sprints to be a joke.  Well, when considering this one, the joke would have been on us.  One of three built to this spec, it will tach up to 14,000 RPM putting out 72 HP with a top speed of 137 MPH from 350cc.  Local racing legend Billy Hofmeister rode it to three consecutive indoor flat track championships.

This Indian inline 4 cylinder is nothing short of a masterpiece.  Note the air intake of the carb.

 1939 BSA M20 is a 500cc Flathead Thumper

Its easy to see the family resemblance between the '39 and this 1953 Gold Star
Note the crossed rifles cast into cylinder: BSA = Birmingham Small Arms

1953 BSA Gold Star

Yes, it looks German, but how many of you recognized this as a 1954 Honda Dream?

1960 Triumph Tiger Cub may be small, but the aesthetic appeal of the engine is large

Billy Hofmeister's vintage Flat Track bike

The last picture for this post deserves an extra footnote.  It is a 1975 XR750 rolling chassis which was once campaigned by AMA National Champion Gary Scott.  Later Billy Hofmeister rode it to a Canadian National Flat Track Championship.  The bike is still owned by Billy, though these days it is used for vintage racing powered by a 1969 XLCH motor.  The Sportster motor is no slouch either with porting work from some guy who won a couple National Championships in drag racing.
One last note: this is a very small percentage of the bikes on display at the meet.  To see more, make it a point to come to St. Paul next year for the event.