Merkel tribute

Discussion in 'Board Trackers and Vintage Motorized Bicycles' started by Russell, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Russell

    Russell Well-Known Member

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    Not as fancy as some replicas but still a fun build. DSCN0793.JPG DSCN0777.JPG Pag07_07_mj3.jpg
     
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  2. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    WOW! Nice build Russell, what motor is that? I like it......Curt
     
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  3. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Nicely done!

    Rick C.
     
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  4. zing

    zing Member

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    Springtime and Love is in the air .flg.
     
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  5. MotoMagz

    MotoMagz Well-Known Member

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    Russell , you always build cool bikes! We need some more pictures.
     
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  6. Mr.B.

    Mr.B. Well-Known Member

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    Nice! I'm with Curt, please tell us about the engine!
    I know you've done some interesting antique tweaks in the past...
     
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  7. Velodrome

    Velodrome Well-Known Member

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    I love that its a "convertable" like my POPE. Looks fantastic! Need a build thread on this one because very little of what I see here looks off the shelf.
     
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  8. Russell

    Russell Well-Known Member

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    The engine is a 1930 model D, Gravely single wheel tractor engine (2.5 HP). It requires a separate oil tank. Cast iron cyl & head (heavy). Bosch magneto.
    Not much I can do for a build thread as I do not take many photos and no vids. however here are a few photos I have. This was a 26" frame but cut it down to 24" due to my short stature.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Gravely certainly not a light weight engine, but totally nails the vintage look. It's also been one of the most dependable utility motors ever made. Great choice for your Merkel!!

    Rick C.
     
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  10. dogcatcher

    dogcatcher Active Member

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    Somewhere I read that when Gravely made his first walk behind tractors he used a Harley Davidson engine. It was later he designed an manufactured his own engines. Probably based it on the HD engines. He was one of the few garden implement manufactures that also made their own engines.
     
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  11. Gbrebes

    Gbrebes Active Member

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    I love that gravely engine!

    I remember some talk on this forum a couple of years ago about making a gravely work on a bike, but I thought nobody ever pulled it off.

    Congratulations!!

    I love the vintage look and vertical cylinder.

    I looked for a 4 hp model locally, but I guess gravely did not sell a lot in California?

    Anyway, super awesome build, and now I know it can be done, so the hope is still alive.
     
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  12. RocketJ

    RocketJ Member

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    I love that engine! Do you happen to have any more magnetos? I need one for my project.
     
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  13. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    I've a friend who prizes the old Gravely and has rebuilt garden tools of all types powered by them in his collection, but none are ever for sale...sadly.

    Yours is the first Gravely I've seen on a bicycle frame, though one was mounted on a Simplex frame and that looked and sounded awesome. It also sold a couple of years back reportedly fetching more than $10,000. Though they are rated at low horsepower, the horses are Clydesdales not Shetlands...huge torque & pull a load at idle!

    Video may still be up on youtube.

    Rick C.
     
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  14. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    That's a really beautiful bike!!! MUCH RESPECT!! (^)

    That engine looks perfect in your frame!

    There's only one thing I would do different... I would paint 'Russell' on the tank (instead of Merkel)...
    to give yourself some much deserved credit. ;)
     
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  15. Russell

    Russell Well-Known Member

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    The mags for this are scarce, I am looking for a back-up. The capacitors in this model are known for failure due to age.
     
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  16. Russell

    Russell Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that because of the low RPM, to get 2-1/2 HP you need good torque. And you notice the great torque on hills.
     
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  17. Russell

    Russell Well-Known Member

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    Indian22 Thanks for the link

    That was a super build with a Gravely Model L, twice the Hp. of my older Model D.
     
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  18. RocketJ

    RocketJ Member

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    bummer. The bosch style magnetos are so useful. I wonder why they stopped producing them?
     
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  19. Russell

    Russell Well-Known Member

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    Well I know why they stopped making this one, We went to war against them! LOL It then became American Bosch
     
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  20. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Here is a link to Ricks Rides. I purchased the tri car's motor from him that he'd modified for me. He had found a treasure trove of Gravely Model L's and he talked about how to modify them. I last heard from him years ago and his health had deteriorated to the point that he was not able to do much.

    Steve.

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=37995
     
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