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56 KHK Project

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:07 am

Posts: 1646
I suppose that the KH got the swingarm before the panhead, because it was supposed to be a sport bike to compete with British bikes which already had them , and because it was a new frame for that engine anyway.. the pan already had the established rigid frame
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:41 pm

Posts: 587
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi all,

Actually, the story goes that the Pan swing arm should have come earlier, but the eng. dept. was too busy with K/KH/KL/XL introduction/prototyping/improvements, so it was somewhat delayed...

45Brit: ""compete with British bikes which already had them""

!!! In 1952, not all of them by a long way!!!

Patrick

Post Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:29 pm

Posts: 1646
true, I didn't realise the K model was introduced as early as 1952. I had thought it was a few years later, around the mid-50s when the British machines were all switching over.

BSA and Ariel would have had plungers at the time. Triumph would have had the 'wobble wheel', Matchless and AJS would have had the jam-pot swing-arm, Royal Enfield certainly had a swing-arm by then, the rest would have been rigid
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:39 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5774
Location: Ohio USA

The 52 K model was a dinasour though [no trap door]. You had to split the whole engine to get into the gear box. Maybe even the 53 model too. Is that correct Patrick ? Pa

Post Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:43 pm

Posts: 587
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi, Pa,

Yep, this "no trap door" business up to the mid 54 KH had me bugged for a long time... Sems they were so confident at the proto stage that they thought they did not need one...

It puzzles me even more when you realise early KR/KRTT did not have one either!!! Can you imagine the likes of Joe Leonard splitting their engines on the dirty rag thrown on the grass at a remote race cause they needed the C ratio rather than the D???

Touch wood, I never had any bother with the close C ratio box on my trapless 54 KHK for the last 22 years, but it beggars belief that it wasn't there at the start...

Some early K boxes did suffer failures... Looking back and reading old dealers accounts, you would think they all failed, but surely, this wasn't as dramatic, it could easily had ended up like the bloody singles and vertical OHV twins that REALLY put an end to Indian through warranty claims, now THAT was a bad design in all aspects, despite generous aesthetics!!!

Patrick

Post Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:48 pm

Posts: 55
Location: west coast
What gets me is that the motor company had the urge to do away with the "door" after only 50 years. That's true, '54 to '04, and now ----no door.
We don't need no stinking door ! :roll:

Post Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:31 am

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
Here is how she looks today. The oil tank, gas tank, and seat are just hung on the bike for grins. They wont be installed for a couple of weeks for real.
Image

Post Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:06 pm

Posts: 2685
Location: Los Angeles, CA
45Brit wrote:
I suppose that the KH got the swingarm before the panhead, because it was supposed to be a sport bike to compete with British bikes which already had them , and because it was a new frame for that engine anyway.. the pan already had the established rigid frame



Did ya ever pass something at a swap meet that you had kicked yourself in the ass for later? Years ago I looked at a British published motorcycle magazine. The editor had just come back from a visit to The MoCo. He had photos of different things they were prototyping. Shop job's in his terminology. There, big as life, was a photo of a prototype Panhead Duo Glide. This was in a 1948 magazine. Long before the K model was in development. Why did it take the MoCo another ten years to release the Duo Glide?

Post Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:40 pm

Posts: 377
Location: madison wisconsin usa
dave,

nice work! that is looking sharp!

chris,

did i ever kick myself after passing on something at a swap? about a 1000 times. alot like the time i passed on a complete WLA for 700 bucks.

john

Post Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:53 pm

Posts: 2685
Location: Los Angeles, CA
john HD wrote:

chris,

did i ever kick myself after passing on something at a swap? about a 1000 times. alot like the time i passed on a complete WLA for 700 bucks.

john



I found a complete running 1952 WLA for three grand. I wasn't into green so I passed it on to Bruce. It sits in his shop today.

Post Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:49 pm

Posts: 607
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA
1978 I passed on a 1948 WR for $300 at the Wausau Wisconsin swapmeet. Not long after that I found a 1940 WL in the basement of a house and had to stumble out of the way of what I now believe to have been an aught year Indian that I could have had for almost nothing. I paid $700 for the WL and it was too much.

Jerry

Post Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:32 pm

Posts: 763
Location: Pa. , USA
I'll give you $800 for it.
Vintage roadracing, Class C, AHRMA # 335

Post Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:25 am

Posts: 1050
Location: Greenbackville, Virginia, USA
In '76 i sold my BSA Goldstar (clubman bars, alloy tank, rearsets & megaphone) for $1000, and bought a '74 Triumph Bonneville for $800. I had gotten tired of dealing with the Goldie's clutch. :cry: G
P.S. That's a real pretty KHK

Post Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:24 pm

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
As of 4/12. I've had it on the road and it runs like a champ! Only a few details left to complete the job, such as kicker pedal, and a few small bits at the plater.
Image

Post Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:08 pm

Posts: 693
Location: somerset, oh usa
Come on and quit playin us.... We're all dying for a shot of the other side.
Beautiful!

Post Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:56 am

Posts: 1646
I do like that bike....
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:32 am

Posts: 923
Location: South Provence of FRANCE

really-really BEAU-TY-FUL !!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

i have 2 or 3 complete seats like this , in my stock ....
i know they are from OLD model sportster's but i don't exactly know what model ....
the seats are new .
somebody interressed ? ......... shoot me a PM !

Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:04 pm

Posts: 2685
Location: Los Angeles, CA
45Brit wrote:
I suppose that the KH got the swingarm before the panhead, because it was supposed to be a sport bike to compete with British bikes which already had them , and because it was a new frame for that engine anyway.. the pan already had the established rigid frame


I have seen photos of a 1948 H-D prototype Panhead with swing arm. Why did it take ten years to hit the streets?

Post Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:59 pm

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
The bike is almost done now. All that's left is to put the proper kicker pedal on. It has 250 miles and runs like a top.

Image

Post Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:11 pm

Posts: 763
Location: Pa. , USA
She's a beauty ! looks much cleaner with a solo, nice job !
Vintage roadracing, Class C, AHRMA # 335

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