Curtiss V-8 motorcycle

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Curtiss V-8
Glenn Curtiss on his V-8 motorcycle, Ormond Beach, Florida 1907.jpg
Manufacturer Glenn Curtiss
Assembly 1906
Class Speed record challenger
Engine 269 cu in (4,410 cc), dual carburetor, 90° F-head V-8[1][2]
Bore / stroke 3.625 in × 3.25 in (92.1 mm × 82.6 mm)[1]
Top speed 136 mph (219 km/h)[2]
Power 40 hp (30 kW) @ 1,800 RPM[2][3]
Ignition type Battery ignition, jump-spark
Transmission Direct drive
Shaft and rear hub bevel
Frame type Steel tubing
Brakes Rear v brake[4]
Tires 26 in (660 mm)[5]
Wheelbase 64 in (1.6 m)
Dimensions L: 7 ft 10 in (2.4 m)[3]
W: 2 ft 3 in (0.7 m)[3]
H: 3 ft (0.9 m)[3]
Weight 275 lb (125 kg)[3] (wet)
Fuel capacity 2.5 US gal (9.5 l)[4]

The Curtiss V-8 motorcycle was a 269 cu in (4,410 cc) V8 engine-powered motorcycle designed and built by aviation and motorcycling pioneer Glenn Curtiss that set an unofficial land speed record of 136.36 miles per hour (219.45 km/h) on January 24, 1907.[6][7] The air-cooled F-head engine was developed for use in dirigibles.[8][9][10]

Engine[edit]

The forty horsepower engine was the two carburetor version of the Curtiss Model B-8 aircraft powerplant, one of thirteen engines listed in the May 1908 "Aerial and Cycle Motors" catalog.[1] The engine weighed 150 lb (68 kg) and was offered for US$1,200 but it did not sell, in spite of the engine's notoriety from the speed record.[1] An eight carburetor version of the Model B-8 was used in the experimental AEA Red Wing and White Wing airplanes that flew in 1908.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Curtiss remained "the fastest man in the world," the title the newspapers gave him for going faster than any vehicle, on land, sea or air, until 1911,[11] when his absolute record was broken by the 141.7 mph (228.0 km/h) Blitzen Benz automobile.[12] No motorcycle surpassed the record until 1930.[13][14] Curtiss's success at racing strengthened his reputation as a leading maker of high-performance motorcycles and engines.[15]

It has been suggested that the literary character Tom Swift was based on Curtiss.[12][16] Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle, the first of over 100 books in the Tom Swift series, was published shortly after the V-8 record setting run.

The record setting V-8 motorcycle is now in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.[17] The Air and Space museum lent it to the Guggenheim for the 1998 The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition in New York.[18][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e House, Kirk W. (2003), Hell-Rider to King of the Air: Glenn Curtiss' Life of Innovation, Warrendale, Pennyslvania: SAE International, pp. 57–60, ISBN 0-7680-0802-6, retrieved March 22, 2013 
  2. ^ a b c Paul Garson (June 25, 2004), 1907 Curtiss V-8 / Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: Glenn H. Curtiss, Motorcycle.com 
  3. ^ a b c d e Motorcycle, Curtiss V-8, Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum 
  4. ^ a b de Cet, Mirco (2002). The illustrated directory of motorcycles. MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7603-1417-3. 
  5. ^ Racing Outlook Good for Autos at Ormond, The New York Times, January 22, 1907 (dateline January 21)  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ House 2003, p. 41.
  7. ^ The Fastest and Most Powerful American Motor Bicycle (Internet Archive), Scientific American 96 (6), February 9, 1907: 128 
  8. ^ House 2003, p. 40.
  9. ^ a b Past Exhibitions | The Art of the Motorcycle (1868-1919 models), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2009 
  10. ^ Trafford L-M. Doherty, Glenn H. Curtiss - 100 Years Ago, Glenn H. Curtiss Museum 
  11. ^ Roseberry 1972, p. 57.
  12. ^ a b Garson, Paul (September 15, 2010), Top 10 Weirdest Custom Motorcycles; Dimensionally challenged motorcycle mavericks, Motorcycle.com 
  13. ^ Setright, L.J.K. (1979), The Guinness book of motorcycling facts and feats, Guinness Superlatives, ISBN 978-0-85112-200-7 
  14. ^ Hatfield, Jerry (2006), Standard Catalog of American Motorcycles 1898-1981, Krause Publications, p. 44, ISBN 978-0-87349-949-1 
  15. ^ Hatch 2007, p. 36.
  16. ^ Dizer, John T (1982). Tom Swift & Company. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-89950-024-9. 
  17. ^ "Curtiss V-8 Motorcycle." Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Collections. Retrieved: February 24, 2011.
  18. ^ Statnekov, Daniel K.; Guggenheim Museum Staff (2001) [1998], Krens, Thomas; Drutt, Matthew, eds., The Art of the Motorcycle, Harry N. Abrams, p. 107, ISBN 0810969122 

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]