Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Suicide Machine

A few years ago I bought some motorcycles from a man in Albuquerque's South Valley, a trio of Ward's Riversides (or Benelli's before they were imported), I still have two of them.
But while we were chatting about bikes he said he wanted to show me something, in one of his many sheds sat this beast.

Poor photo entirely the fault of the crappy camera phone

His story was that he had been trying to sell this motor and a prospective buyer told him it was worthless and could never be used so he might as well give up trying to sell it. So, to prove a point, my new acquaintance had used the frame of an Australian motorbike bolted to the motor, put a small gas tank where the seat would go, and would weave a rope into the fan on the side to pull start it. He would ride with his right foot resting on the shaft sticking out from the middle of the fan.
The motor was a cast iron, single cylinder of some high displacement, I believe he said it was named after a city, Chicago or Milwaukee perhaps, and had come from a tractor.
This is one of those too cool, wacky finds you always wish you had picked up when you had the chance, although I'm not sure he was interested in selling it anymore.

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