Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions 45 Flatties Riding a VL

Riding a VL

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:41 pm

Posts: 199
Location: Cedar Springs Mi USA

I think the "single downtube" frame on the VL is the key to it's great handling....that and tall wheels, it's the same with the WL, and 18" wheels, only the VL has the power on tap.
Has anyone ever seen "Rosco" (the skinny guy with the long beard and patch jeans)? He rides that '33 VLD, as his daily rider, and has been featured in books, magazines, interviews in Sturgis and Daytona, that are seen on TV? He lives locally here in west Michigan. We did a motor rebuild for him a couple years ago, right before he took off riding it to Sturgis, and parts beyond. Well he came back with over 3800 miles on it, and joked about using like 4 gallons of oil, and claims his trip was so trouble free, he didn't even have to look at his spark plugs. Granted, he's been riding it a while. But I think the point is that when your VL is "dialed in" they are "good to go"!

Post Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:09 am

Posts: 188
Location: howell mi usa
We'll see most of you at Oley in a couple weeks with these VL's? I'd ride down but I don't have a hitch on my bike to haul my goodies.

Post Sat Apr 16, 2005 6:28 am

Posts: 1538
Gotta agree, it's about the Flatheads !!
Well said Mad Mac's


Post Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:28 am
Yes Mike I'll be at Oley. Is someone going to start a thread under Varia so we can coordinate getting together?

Post Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:29 am

Posts: 217
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the thoughtful replies - I think all of the input was valuable.

FWIW DC does have me correctly pegged as a relative newcomer, and I don't think I could maintain one as a daily rider at this stage, however this particular project bike has gotten me thinking about what's possible.

It was also interesting to move away from the tech for a bit and actually hear about what it's like to ride the things.

Thanks once again for all the input - it's great to see the passion on this board!



Post Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:09 am

Posts: 197
Location: Bucktown, PA
Carry a tire pump.
If you pump those 19's up real hard, the bike is real easy to push home.

Post Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:04 am

Posts: 783
Location: Victoria, Australia
Madmacs, I know we're no exactly on about flatties but here are a few remincences. When I was 16 I started work as an apprentice for Reagan Motors, a company that imported, serviced and sold Citroens Renaults and Peugeots, 203s, 403s and 404s. One customer owned an injected (mechanical) 404. I'd ridden in a variety of mates "big brothers rides", mainly hotted up Holdens, Customlines and Zephers. Most could manage a reasonable this was my yardstick. At that age my most vivid memory was cresting a hill on a short stretch of highway in the "Cusso" with the 292 Y block howling through its twin copper exhausts as it was shifted into 3rd at 90 mph,
the drivers bare foot literally pressing the pedal to the metal on the molded alloy "foot-shaped" gas pedal. One of the mechanics decided to take the injected Pug (1600cc if I recall correctly)for a test spin. Of course the apprentice (me) gets to go for a ride to...coz I'm not going to tell anyone. While I'm waiting for the acceleration the mechanics on about the smoothness. Felt more like a rotary in that it just kept going (and yes I've driven an NSU rotary when they were new...another part of the dealership.) In all truth the motors were advanced for their day...1968 but the suspension and handling is what they were all about...coil springs all round with macpherson struts up front, some of the best drum brakes around and even a torque tube. But the best Pug ride was the 403 station wagon that this guy had fitted a V8 into. Now that had a bit of mumbo. Ya just got to love that throbby idle and yes it accelerated something fierce...more like a launch than the typically restrained pug shift from the low first to second. The 404s were brand new then and I'd go down to the docks with the A grade mechanic and we would pick up the cars being unloaded and take them to the work shop to remove the protective layer of wax or whatever it was over the cars body. That year I assisted in setting up the stand for Peugeot in Melbourne Exhibition buildings for the motor show.

Post Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:03 pm

Posts: 1050
Location: Greenbackville, Virginia, USA
In 40+ yrs only had to push twice, outta gas-BSA Goldstar clubman rigged, Tri Bonneville-broken clutch cable. G


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