I'm feeling a bit wordy and reflective today, so lets see how this goes....
Yesterday the day finally arrived where I could go and pick up my Knuckle motor from Baz.
There were a few small issues in getting the motor together, mainly around me using the aluminium heads. When I originally planned to buy the engine I consulted with Baz to see if he thought the Ali heads were a good option. He said that the cast iron heads can get pretty hot and hold the heat for a long time. This had only been an issue 1-2 times in all the years he had his original knuckle, and recalled a story of being lost in Belgium and having to pull in on the bike after getting lost and circulating in traffic for about an hour.
The Ali heads were available through Germany, so I ordered with cast iron heads, but then found out they were available in the states. with a deep breath my pockets were rinsed dry and I "invested" in a set of "raw" Ali heads. Herein lies the rub - I assumed this meant no rocker boxes, rocker arms etc, but it really did mean raw - the pressed insert for the seat was not cut into the head, and there were no tins etc (valves and guides must have been missing from the main box, so I was relieved when they were sent at a later point.
The time waiting had been spent waiting for the machining shop to be able to cut in the seats. needless to say Baz was on the case and ushered them along to get it all done.
His impressions of the motor are good - it looks just like an original motor and you'd be hard pushed to spot one - not like the S&S or delcron alternatives. Baz would have liked to have done more porting on the heads as they didn't seem as refined as the cast iron ones - however there wasn't significant meet there to protect the valves etc to do this. We'll run the engine and see how it goes.
I had to do the mandatory " her'es the engine in the passenger seat" photo - its almost an essential thing to do these days! haha!
For the moment there is it sitting in my office. I have sold the original springers from the project, so I cant put it safely in the frame yet. I have a set of skinny VL's coming from the states in a few weeks, lets see if I can last that long!
I do feel like I've achieved something by getting this motor, I know I haven't built it, but its been the culmination of 6-7 years of determination and obsession to get to this point. I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford one, but I feel like I have to say that I have paid for this motor through the buying and selling activities that I keep myself busy with outside of work.
I think most things are in people grasp if you go out and get it. 6 years after I initially wanted a Knuckle I've got to the point where I have one. Its not original - and frankly I don't care. I think it was the best option for me to have as a long serving bike that I wasn't worries about riding.
People outside (and maybe some inside) the world of bikes wont know or care much about it - some will scoff and say its not original, and some will probably think i'm a dick for having one. They are all probably right. I think people worry too much about what others think.
VIVA LA KNUCKLE REVOLUTIONE!