The Excelsior Project, 38: Fixtures to Machine Heads
The heads showed up five days before the bike was to leave for the May 5 California show. There simply wasn't enough time. Plus I couldn't install the flywheels into the cases because of an unexpected main bearing problem. It was now a race just to get the bike assembled for the show, and in the last five days I slept an average of three hours a night. There was an energy of excitement and adrenaline, and despite the sleep deprivation, I never yawned once. My body ached all over, and the skin on three knuckles cracked from contact with oils, grease, solvents, hand cleaners, and over-use. My hands hurt like hell. My eye-sight also took a hit from the extended use and concentration. I knew I was pushing my body to the limit, but I never got sick ...
Legend of the Motorcycle, May 5 / 07. Basically complete, except for the linkages and fuel line. You can't tell the engine is empty, and that the heads are still from the mockup bike. It was well received, and a LOT of pictures were taken.
Back at the shop, I was disappointed I had missed my deadline, and my energy was at an all-time low from pushing so hard. It was easy to get distracted and work on other things. But, I knew if I was to sell Excelsiors and pay off the line of credit I had been living on for the past year, I would have to focus and finish the motor! So, I needed to finish the heads, which meant building many fixtures. This one holds the head to machine the exhaust port threads. I extend the shaft that's held in the lathe chuck, and put it in my wheel balancer to figure out the weight of the required counter-balancer.
Fixture and head are held in the lathe chuck, and you can see the counter-balancer. The flange on the head will get machined off for the thread. The flange will only be used on my race motor because I prefer the 2-stud system to hold on the header pipes.
This is the fixture for the intake thread. One fixture for the front head, one for the rear. Four threads, four fixtures.