Monday, March 19, 2012

Cleveland Motorcycle is Ready to Roll

by Willy Vinton
We only have one antique motorcycle in our collection (so far), a 1917 Cleveland lightweight motorcycle. Like a lot of old vehicles, it needed a little repair work to make it run safely and reliably.

Prior to starting any of our vehicles, we like to make sure they are sound so that we don't cause any damage. The Cleveland's two-stroke, single-cylinder engine turned over okay, but we didn't try to start it. Instead, we pulled off the cylinder to peek inside to see how it looked.

On first glance, the piston looked to be okay. After cleaning it up and taking a closer examination, however, we were surprised to find a problem that could have been disastrous for the engine.

You can see that the piston broke at one time and was then welded back together, filed off and reinstalled. If it had come apart while running it could have completely destroyed the engine. We also noticed that it had no locating pins to keep the rings in place, so they didn't rotate and have an end fall into a port. We have since had a new piston cast and machined. The wrist pin in this piston is stepped so that it will only go in one way, and is retained by the brass plug on the right side of the picture.    

The Cleveland is an interesting motorcycle, and you can read more about it here. Ours is repaired and back out on the floor, so if you visit this summer you may get to see it out running around the  Wedgewood Resort grounds.

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