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Thread: Is there a "Weird Award" for engineers?

  1. #1
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    Is there a "Weird Award" for engineers?

    I know that a lot of those of us who work on our beemers have occasionally wondered what the engineers could have been thinking.
    I read somewhere that someone thought that all the engineers who worked on the German enigma crypto machine design found employment with BMW after the war.

    Well, while working on the reconditioning of my recently acquired '65 Allstate/Puch "twingle" 250, I think I found where those enigma engineers rejected by BMW found a job.

    Criminy dutch, Alice, it's like they designed the twingle engine and then, apparently believing that wasn't odd enough, decided to make it run backwards! This I discovered while setting the timing for the first time. I never saw a motorcycle engine that turned opposite to the bike's wheels, but this one does. I'm not counting engines that turn parallel to the bikes centerline. That makes sense of another sort.

    Furthermore, the designers apparently had access to a cheap supply of nuts and bolts in 9 and 11 mm sizes. Where one usually finds a 10mm hex head on other bikes, on the twingle there will be an eleven, and where you'd expect to find an 8mm there's a 9mm.

    The bike is built like a tank. It has a 7 plate clutch in an engine delivering 16.5 hp when new. Just a bit quirky, but that gives it character.

    Additionally, the way the rear hub is assembled I can't begin to describe. I bet it took me half an hour today to figure out how to get it apart so the bearings can be lubed. The only available repair manual doesn't help much, but that's not a big deal. I'm having a great time rescuing this old timer, and there's a guy in Milwaukee who specializes in Puchs. Can't ask for more.

    Should be back on the road in a couple months.

    Let the weirdness continue.
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel". '05 Yellow KLR 650
    '00 Red Suzuki Bandit 600
    '65 Allstate/Puch 250 twingle
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

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    Fun yes, pics needed!

  3. #3
    GlenFeld
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff488 View Post
    decided to make it run backwards!
    Running backward isn't that unusual - the Yamaha v-twin of the early 80's (XV750 & 920) ran backwards. The idea was to send the vibration to the back of the bike - which seemed to work as I encountered vibration failures of bodywork. It also is why it wasn't successful as an AMA flat-tracker as Kenny Roberts and Yamaha hoped - I thought the rotation had an effect on off corner traction. And just in the last couple of months I read an article about another MC motor that ran backwards - can't remember what though.

    Good luck on the project - I'm envious.

  4. #4
    Nutfarm
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    Early Yamaha two stroke twins ran backward as well.

    I worked on German cars for most of my life and some of their engineering came into question several times over the years.

    The brother in law that needed a job and was hired by VW to design air cleaners for VW busses.

    Audi's inboard disc brakes that required you to dissemble half the car to replace the disc.

    I've had many conversations over the years with service personal from verious auto and MC makers. It seems quick assembly is the main concern, service is secondary.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    OK, it was my first time seeing an engine turn backwards. They still seem to be going for the "quirky" award.
    Here's the first day on the lift. It's quite a bit barer now.
    First day Dec.4,2013.jpg
    Got the engine out here.
    photo 1.jpg

    The rear wheel and shocks are off now and the swing arm is next. After that the steering head and front wheel bearings get the business.
    Lots of cleaning yet to do. It has dirt there that was embedded when LBJ was president!
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel". '05 Yellow KLR 650
    '00 Red Suzuki Bandit 600
    '65 Allstate/Puch 250 twingle
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

  6. #6
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    At one time split cylinders weren't all that unusual. No one had any idea how to use expansion chambers or aimed ports to build an efficient two stroke. The primary methods for preventing the fuel charge from blowing out the exhaust were big deflector vanes on the top of the piston (with resulting low compression, piston weight and heat issues) or split cylinders where the wall between the cylinders served the same role as the deflector vane. The split cylinders ("Twingle' in Puch speak) may seem odd, but they allowed higher compression and flat topped pistons.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-single
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  7. #7
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    I don't care what everyone else in the world says, I think it's weird.
    OK, maybe just quirky.
    I like it.
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel". '05 Yellow KLR 650
    '00 Red Suzuki Bandit 600
    '65 Allstate/Puch 250 twingle
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

  8. #8
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    At one time split cylinders weren't all that unusual. No one had any idea how to use expansion chambers or aimed ports to build an efficient two stroke. The primary methods for preventing the fuel charge from blowing out the exhaust were big deflector vanes on the top of the piston (with resulting low compression, piston weight and heat issues) or split cylinders where the wall between the cylinders served the same role as the deflector vane. The split cylinders ("Twingle' in Puch speak) may seem odd, but they allowed higher compression and flat topped pistons.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-single
    The Wiki provides the explanation, this engine configuration is credited to an Italian.....

    However, the previously mentioned VW and Audi auto design features will always be considered "unique" and surely the product of the marketing department or some beret topped fashionista clad in a $100 black tee-shirt who works in the "Design" department which isn't in Engineering. You know, that "Design" department.......where they drink wine and lunch on crackers and Brie.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

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    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    "Giovanni Marcellino"

    That explains a lot.
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel". '05 Yellow KLR 650
    '00 Red Suzuki Bandit 600
    '65 Allstate/Puch 250 twingle
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

  10. #10
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff488 View Post
    "Giovanni Marcellino"

    That explains a lot.
    Italians like to be innovative. What can I say?
    My Motorrad
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  11. #11
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    Well, you have to give him credit. He was sent there to close the place and he came up with a design that saved the company. Not exactly the Augean stables, but pretty good for an Italian.
    Besides, without him I wouldn't have my project.
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel". '05 Yellow KLR 650
    '00 Red Suzuki Bandit 600
    '65 Allstate/Puch 250 twingle
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

  12. #12
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff488 View Post
    Well, you have to give him credit. He was sent there to close the place and he came up with a design that saved the company. Not exactly the Augean stables, but pretty good for an Italian.
    Besides, without him I wouldn't have my project.
    I suppose you could thank Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani too.
    My Motorrad
    BMWMOA 162849 | BMWRA 41335 | VROC 8109-R | VBA 19

  13. #13
    Arte Johns son
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47512 View Post
    Early Yamaha two stroke twins ran backward as well.

    I worked on German cars for most of my life and some of their engineering came into question several times over the years.

    The brother in law that needed a job and was hired by VW to design air cleaners for VW busses.

    Audi's inboard disc brakes that required you to dissemble half the car to replace the disc.

    I've had many conversations over the years with service personal from verious auto and MC makers. It seems quick assembly is the main concern, service is secondary.
    Inboard disc brakes were designed in an effort to reduce unsprung weight. Used on 100's of cars from Jag E-types to Olds Toronados. Nothing to do with quick assembly…

    Cheers!

    John

  14. #14
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arte Johns son View Post
    Used on 100's of cars from Jag E-types to Olds Toronados.
    Bad is still bad
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arte Johns son View Post
    Inboard disc brakes were designed in an effort to reduce unsprung weight. Used on 100's of cars from Jag E-types to Olds Toronados. Nothing to do with quick assembly?

    Cheers!

    John
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