4/23/12

Redliner Racer Intro: Lars Nielsen

I'm Lars Nielsen. I live in Copenhagen, Denmark.


This is my effort to conquer the Salt: my supercharged , 1941 INDIAN engined, 600cc , methanol fueled Saltcracker


This whole adventure started back in 2008 when, on-line, I ran into a group of people working on an INDIAN engined streamliner: the Dreamcatcher.


I've been working on old bikes ever since I got my first bike 34 years ago ( a TriBSA, Triumph Speed Twin engine in a BSA, A10, frame...still have it BTW) and I was taken by the sheer adventure of the such a marvelous endeavour and threw myself on a plane, hired a car and drove to the Bonneville Salt Flats to join the group and got the Salt Fever....BIG time.

Decided to come back with a bike of my own. I've build a few bikes in my time , like my 650cc pre-unit BSA ( still need final assembly after my second re-build )


..a somewhat modified 6 cylinder 1979 Honda CBX Supersport


and a somewhat slightly more modified 1977 Honda Goldwing


...sporting a hefty Magnacharger blower and a big'ish twin-barrel WEBER carb.

But I've never done anything like building a real racer. Being an old romantic fart I went for an INDIAN. Found an engine



...well sort off. It had a couple of rather distinct features, like this unusual pair of pistons


...and a friend sold me a home-brewed frame , sort of a mixture between two different INDIAN models, and I found a tiny supercharger from a late eighties Subaru Vivio mini-car and got started on the build. Here's the first mock-up


Fast forward to 2010, after working on it a gazillion hours, when finally the bike came together. Then it was just a small matter of cramming the darn thing into a box



...and fly it halfway across the globe


...unpack it


...put it on the Salt, get in line and set a record


Ha, ha....NO way. Marred by all sorts of self-inflicted idiocy, technical problems and lack of preparations, I only managed to get one good'ish run and blowing a hole in the head ( the bikes head...not mine ) in the process.

So doing the last few steps in reverse order, I got it back to Denmark and worked on it for another year. Must have done something right, as after some crucial fine-tuning on the dyno, I managed to get the output up from the engines original 13-14 HP to a staggering close to 40 HP on the rear-wheel ( using the biggest of my two crankshaft-to-blower pulleys ) Came back last year and to run at both 'Speedtrails by BUB' and during SCTA SpeedWeek but was again marred by numerous freak-troubles, but did manage to set a not-so-good record at SpeedWeek and a more satisfying record at BUB doing 98 mph.

I'll be back. I never got to run on the Salt with the big pulley, so there should be potential there to go faster, faster, faster. I'm addicted, and NOthing beats the people, the camaraderie, the helpfulness, the atmosphere, the sights and sounds of the mindblowingly brilliant machines on the Salt, and NOthing beats starting the engine...getting the GO...and set off running onto the big white open.


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