Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Top row Big Twin, Center WL, Bottom WR

About a week ago, I received an anxiously awaited package via my friendly local UPS driver. It was the return shipment of three sets of Flathead cams which I had sent off to Mr. Jim Leineweber for regrinding. I believe its a little unusual for a small shop like mine to be dealing with three Flathead engines at the same time (though to be honest, the Big Twin of the bunch is now officially on hold due to the owner putting his new found Knuck engine in line ahead of his Flattie)

The Big Twin cams have been ground to .420" lift and +10 degrees over the stock duration. The WR (racing model) cams have been re-ground to stock specs, and the WL cams to .360" lift and +10 degrees duration. Note that the WR cams take a flat tappet, which is unusual for a Harley, which accounts for their likewise unusual lobe shape.

The WL is for a trike and will be getting stroker flywheels as well as porting to give it a little extra power for a decent cruising speed. I'll try to post a little about that project as it progresses.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Psalm 91 - Comfort for Christians

all of the quotations are from the 1599 Geneva Bible

Psalm 91 is one of the most uplifting of the psalms. Unlike so many of the others which tell of the apostasy of Israel, and God's judgment of it, this psalm is filled with strength and encouragement.

The psalm begins with "Who so dwelleth in the secret of the most High, shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say unto the Lord, O my hope, and my fortress: he is my God, in him will I trust."

Here we have the claim that the Christian has God as his protector. I think it is important to note a couple of words that are applied to the Christian here. Dwell and Abide. The NIV uses the word rest in place of abide. All three of these words give the same sense of a continual presence in close proximity to the Almighty.

This is not a bad description of a Christian. Not definition, but description. One who spends the majority of their time in close proximity to the Lord. Just as one who only visits your home town for one hour a week could not be said to dwell in your home town, one who only visits the Lord one hour a week on Sunday morning cannot claim to be abiding in him. If a person does not spend the majority of their time dwelling or abiding with the Lord, then they do not fit the Biblical description of a Christian. As such, this psalm does not have much in the way of application for that person.

Now, just to be clear, a person can certainly spend the majority of their time dwelling with and abiding in a false god ....but that would be a whole different subject.

Verse 3 "Surely He will deliver thee from the snare of the hunter, and from the noisome pestilence."

In the New testament, in both 1st Timothy and 2nd Timothy Paul uses the phrase "the snare of the devil."

I think it is pretty easy to put 2+2 together and identify the hunter who the psalm tells us is setting snares for you.

Pestilence is defined as a plague; a disease that is contagious or infectious and is epidemic and fatal. A second meaning is corruption or moral disease destructive to happiness. But for those who, as verse 2 tells us, have cried out to the Lord, placing their trust in him as their fortress, we have the sure promise of deliverance from both the hunter and the pestilence!

Verse 4 begins "He will cover thee under his wings, and thou shalt be sure under his feathers:" That makes us out to be pretty weak and defenseless. Of course that is the plain truth of the matter, we are weak and defenseless, but the verse ends with this "his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." I don't know about you, but as a man, I like this analogy a lot better. Going to war with God's truth as your shield! But as manly as that may make one feel, it is important to remember that in God's sight we are just as little baby birds protected under their father's wings.

Verses 5&6 "Thou shalt not be afraid of the fear of the night: nor of the arrow that flieth by day: Nor of the pestilence that walketh in the darkness: nor of the plague that destroyeth at noon day."

The person who is dwelling in the Lord has no longer has reason to be afraid of the fear of the night, or as some translations put it, the terror of the night. Most of us, as we grew up, got over the fear of the monster in the closet ....or in the attic...or under the bed. But there is still that fear of the unknown. The arrow which is coming at you in the daylight, is something you can see coming, and you know it is aimed at you to do you in. But sometimes just the fear that there may be an arrow coming at you that you cannot even see ....that may be more terrifying than the one you know is coming.

Obviously, these have spiritual application. I think for many, the fear of death may be the primary application. Maybe as far as you know, you are healthy. But that terror in the darkness, is that some disease you don't even know you have will suddenly kill you. Or the plague that destroys at noon day is that disease that you know you have and you know its only a matter of time until it gets you.

But if God is your fortress and your hope, then you will not be afraid. Notice that the Lord does not promise us that we will not fall victim to the arrows or the plagues, because we will. As 1 Corinthians 15:26 tells us, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." We are not there yet. But we need not be afraid!

Verses 7,8&9 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come near thee. Doubtless with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. For thou hast said, The Lord is mine hope: thou hast set the most High for thy refuge."

This is a reference to judgment. It brings to mind the first Passover as described in the book of Exodus. Thousands of Egyptians perished while the children of Israel who had the mark made by the sacrificial lamb's blood on their door post were spared. The same will be true in the future when the wicked are rewarded for their deeds on judgment day, but those whose hope is in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, will be spared.

Continuing with verse 10: "There shall none evil come unto thee, neither shall any plague come near thy tabernacle. For he shall give his Angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee in their hands, that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone."

In this section we find a portion of scripture which is quoted in the New Testament. But unless you are familiar with the text, you may not guess who quotes it. In Matthew 4, we find the description of Jesus going into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After Jesus had fasted forty days, the devil presented 3 propositions to him. The second one is described in verses 5-7

"Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him on a pinnacle of the Temple. And said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written, that he will give his Angels charge over thee, and with their hands they shall lift thee up, lest at any time thou shouldest dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

We, also would be wise to heed that warning not to tempt the Lord our God.

Back to Psalm 91, verse 13: "Thou shalt walk upon the lion and asp: the young lion, and the dragon shalt thou tread under feet."

It is interesting that in the New Testament, the devil is referred to as a roaring lion, as found in 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, and watch: for your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" In the book of Revelation, the devil is identified as "the dragon" (Rev 20:2). Also in Revelation, the devil is referred to as "that old serpent" (Rev 20:2), and whether your text uses the word asp as found here in the Geneva Bible, or adder as found in the English Standard Version, or cobra as found in the NIV, they are all clearly speaking of a snake.

Don't you find it marvelous how the Bible all fits together so well? Here we are looking at a text right here in the middle of the Bible in the book of Psalms, and we find another text that ties in perfectly and helps explain it in the very last book. So now how can we help but at least mention how they both fit perfectly with a text in the very first book of the Bible?

Genesis 3: 14&15. You all know the story of the Garden of Eden. God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of one certain tree. Satan enticed Eve into eating of it, and Adam joined her.

"Then the Lord God said to the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will also put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. He shall break thine head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

I think it is safe to say that most scholars agree that this is God's promise of a coming Messiah. Christ is the seed of the woman, and as it says, his heel was bruised at the cross by Satan. Jesus suffered a cruel death on the cross paying for our sins, and yet in that very same act in which his heel was bruised, Christ crushed the head of the serpent. It was in that act of redemption that the power of sin was broken.

Back to Psalm 91. By verse 14 it becomes evident that the psalm has switched from being written in the third person to quoting the Lord. In fact, the NIV adds the phrase "says the Lord" which isn't found in the other translations that I looked at.

Verses 14-15 "Because he hath loved me, therefore will I deliver him: I will exalt him because he hath known my Name. He shall call upon me, and I will hear him: I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and glorify him."

In many ways, these last few verses, bring us back to beginning of the psalm. God promises that he will hear us when we call on him, but we call upon him because we are abiding in his shadow, because he is our hope and our fortress. He promises to be with us in trouble and to deliver us because he is our God and we have put our trust in him.

All of these great blessings and promises can be ours if only we would see ourselves as the wretched sinners that we are, and put our faith in Jesus Christ and his payment for our sins as the only means of reconciliation with God.

The psalm ends with this line: "With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation."

In closing here is the footnote on this last verse as found in the 1599 Geneva Bible. "For he is contented with that life that God giveth: for by death the shortness of this life is recompensed with immortality."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dave's LSR Knuckle

Here is a link that I have been meaning to put up here for some time now. A while back I had a conversation with Dave Iverson of Iverson Originals about his LSR (Land Speed Racing) Knucklehead. Of course I took so long to get to it, that I have already forgotten some of the details, so best to let Dave's web site speak for itself.

I borrowed this pic from Dave's site just to whet your appetite!

I think you will agree that Dave and his crew have done the Knucklehead world proud with their outstanding accomplishments using a small displacement single carb motor.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Abraham and Isaac

Proverbs 18:22 tells us that: "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." This was brought home again to me recently. For a while now I have felt something lacking in my monthly preaching stint at our local retirement home. My wife was able to attend the service in July, and was quick to critique me. "It was too long and too deep. You need to preach on Bible stories that they are familiar with. You lost most of them in the first two minutes." Obviously she was right (and she loves to hear me say that). Many of those who attend the service seem to be slowly slipping back to a child like intellect. The following was my first attempt at following my wife's advice, and from what I could tell, it was a big improvement.

Genesis 22: 1-18

Most of us have known this story since we were youngsters attending Sunday School. It is the story of how God tested Abraham.

I have an old friend that I once tried to witness to. His stated reason for not being a Christian, had to do with this story. He said that any God who would ask a father to kill his own son was evil, and he wanted nothing to do with such a being.

We can find several good answers to this charge right here in this story, but I believe the best is this. Way back in Genesis 17, God makes it clear that it would be through Isaac that Abraham would be a father of many nations. Abraham had to have had that promise of God in mind as he set out to follow the instructions to make this sacrifice. If Isaac did not live long enough to take a wife and have children, it would make God a liar. We don't know what Abraham expected to happen, but we do know that he trusted God's word.

Another thing I would like to point out is that this act of obedience on Abraham's part was not what made him acceptable to God. As it says in Genesis 15:6 and in thee separate books of the NT, Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness. (Gal. 3:6, Rom. 4:3, James 2:23) This was long before Abraham had a son, and in fact it was his belief in God's promise that he would have a son, which was counted for righteousness. That is what made Abraham acceptable to God; faith in God's word was counted in place of Abraham's own righteousness.

In God's eyes, our own righteousness, our own right acts; our own good deeds are as filthy rags as the prophet Isaiah tell us. The obedience displayed here by Abraham, was just a proof of his love for God, just as all of our good works after salvation are only a proof of our love for God.

Clearly this incident in Abraham's life is a picture of the sacrifice for sin which Christ made. I think that the location of this event is very significant. In 2nd Chronicles we find that the temple was built by Solomon in mount Moriah, which puts mount Moriah at Jerusalem. Note that in this account of Abraham's testing, he is instructed to go to Moriah, to a specific one of the mountains there. I believe that the mount to which God directed Abraham, was the very same one where Christ was crucified.

When we think of this story of Abraham and Isaac, we should not just look at it as a testimony of Abraham's obedience. Since it is a picture of Christ's death on the cross, this story should also serve as a reminder of the inconceivable love God has shown for his children.

As we consider Abraham's situation wherein he was to offer his son as a sacrifice, it is difficult to comprehend, and yet this is much the same situation that God the Father faced. His only son suffered and died to pay the price for our sins. That is amazing love.

The Bible says that Abraham believed God and it was counted for righteousness. John 3: 16 says, "For God so loveth the world, that he hath given his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." If you believe that, then God will count your belief for righteousness.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cheap Shop Tool

The material I have for posts is beginning to stack up. I have been too busy in the shop to post very often, despite very few interruptions as I worked through Sturgis week. I have several short items that I hope will get me back on track, and keep you the reader interested.

This may only be useful if you are "in the business" or do a lot of your own work, but if you have access to a lathe, it is a no-brainer.

The "Old School" method of squaring a piston ring in the cylinder bore for checking end gap usually involves putting the ring into the bore, and then using one of the pistons to push it down evenly. There are only two problems with that method (that I can see). First, since the top of the piston is smaller than the skirt, it is easy to have the piston cocked a little, which will throw of the end gap measurement. The other problem, is that if your piston has a dome, then there is also the chance that the dome will not square up the ring properly.

Of course, if you happen to have some junk flat top pistons laying around your shop gathering dust (and what motorcycle shop doesn't?) your project is nearly done. Simply select a piston from the next standard bore size larger than the one you need a squaring tool for, chuck it up in your lathe, and turn the top two ring lands down to just under standard bore size. De burr, wash, and you're done. By machining down the top two ring lands, when you push the ring into the bore with your new tool, the third ring land will stop on the head gasket surface leaving your ring about 1/2" into the bore, and perfectly squared up!

883 piston cut for use on 45" Flathead

For example, I used an 883 Evo piston cut to just under 2 3/4" for use on 45 Flathead motors. I made a 3 7/16" tool for Knuckles/Pans/Shovels from a stock 80" Evo piston, a 3 1/2" Evo tool from a 3 5/8" S&S piston, and a 3 5/8" tool from a stock 88" Twin Cam piston. In the near future, a 95" Twin Cam piston will provide the raw material for a 3 3/4" Twin Cam 88" tool, a 4" S&S piston for a 3 7/8" Twin cam, and a 4 1/8" S&S piston for a 4" .

The best part is that all it should cost you is a minimal investment of time!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Drag Racing - a Family Sport

Perhaps it is genetic. After a couple of years absence from the annual "soapbox" race as part of our local Shakopee Derby Days celebration, my grandson Max came out of retirement for this year's event. Max, seen here in the far lane, seems to have perfected a type of "body english" which seemed to aid his mid track acceleration.

The hard right turn Max executed at the end of the race was also reminiscent of numerous passes from my own drag racing career when it was questionable whether I would finish in the same lane I started in.

One thing that caught my attention is the huge increase in payouts compared to back when I raced. Max walked off with $15 cash as well as certificates for two free Dairy Queen treats. Awe... maybe its just that he's not drag racing motorcycles; it seems that racing on four wheels has always payed better than on two....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1985 Revisited

(Maybe, just maybe I finally figured out how to post a video right here on my very own blog)

The above is from some home movies from 1985. It was originally shot with an 8mm camera know, the kind you set up a screen and projector to play. Yeah, I know; the dark ages.

We took our little Shovelhead drag bike out to Farmington North Carolina for the HDRA (predecessor to the AHRDA) National Finals. The good looking kid in the camouflage T-shirt is Bobby McGranahan, my racing partner and owner of the engine. The fat guy on the fast bike is me; the engine builder and owner of the chassis. Bobby was the pilot, but he always encouraged me to take the bike down the strip during test and tune to keep me enthused. His charity back fired on him though, as the following year I built a dual carb Knuckle motor to go in this same chassis, and went racing on my own. Bobby passed away several years ago, and we all still miss him.

If I am not mistaken, the gentleman in the red T-shirt adding H2O to the water box is Red Roberts, the founder of the HDRA.

BTW, the bike in the right lane did not break. It was not uncommon for our bike to win by that kind of margin.