HISTORY OF THE BIKE
Dick Prime, The New England Flash, got started in motorcycle racing on a Harley-Davidson CRTT on the road racing circuit. It was a short period for him since the factory team had the financial backing a privateer couldnt consistently defeat. Because of some urging from a friend to attend a drag racing event as a spectator Dick got interested in motorcycle drag racing. After racing the CRTT bike in local amateur drag classes he was committed. He ran undefeated in class working his way up from D Stock to C to B and finally A. Dick then pulled his street Sportsters engine and built up a drag bike in Gas class. This lasted only a few months before he knew he had to be in the nitromethane powered Top Fuel class. He raced Top Fuel in the late 1960s and 1970s before retiring from the sport around 1978.
During his time on the track Dick ran three different fuel bikes as designs and times changed.
His first scratch built Fuel bike was based on a Dave Yetman built drag racing frame which other racers also used at the time. This machine used a special built Harley-Davidson Sportster engine, the leader of the pack back in the day. Dick was a privateer and did his own engineering and wrenching. He built the bike himself in a shed in his backyard. Even hogging out the engine cases using a hacksaw to create clearance for stroker rods. He ran this bike into the early 1970s while continually modifying it as he tried out new ideas to get the bike to run faster. His second bike was a Sandy Kosman built frame also using a single Sportster engine. His third and final Fuel bike was also a Sandy Kosman built frame, delivered to him at the 4th annual NHRA Motorcycle Championships, Beech Bend International Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1973, and was powered by two 114 Sportster engines.
We found Dick Primes first Top Fuel bike
the Yetman bike, in late 2005. Recognizing how important the pioneers of Top Fuel motorcycle drag racing were to the sport a costly restoration began. This piece of drag racing history is now being restored to the original specifications received from Dick Prime during multiple interviews using actual parts from Prime`s shop and many more period correct pieces. The research and restoration continues!
Preservation of history is important. It is our hope that the restoration of such a piece of the sports history will help fans understand where the sport came from before parts could be bought out of a catalog and information was freely shared. The sport back then was small but the pioneer racers involved were not. They helped promote the sport and technology. Several of these racers have passed on, some recently. Fans of the sport need to embrace these racers and understand the roots of the sport.
Our thanks go out to all of those that have helped this preservation effort to date. The short list includes:
Dick Prime Many thanks to Dick for building and racing this bike back in the day! Little did he know what it would mean to others some many years later. Thank you for all of your time and help with the restoration. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.
George Gale – Machinist extraordinaire. Thank you for your time and interest in this ongoing project.
Frank Camillieri – For building the frame all those years ago!
Jim Leineweber – Help with cam details and originally building the vintage cams many years ago
Bonnie Truett – Sharing information about drag bikes and flywheels
Dan Umstead – Sharing information about building nitro Ironheads
Greg Guarinello – Interest in a story about the restoration and professional photographer from back in the day. The Drag Bike community lost Greg in 2006. May he rest in peace.
Paul Jones – Source of the original set of Leineweber L6 cams
Frankie Toth – Ironhead drag bike fan and promoter.
Nitro Mikee – Source of the Chrysler Hemi race valves
Chris Calovini – Source of the modern electric starter rollers, Cycle Cat RMS 2
Mark Brown – Supplier of the Nitro and Methanol race fuels
Tim Ware – Photos and memories
Budget Friendly Pointer If You Are Planning to Buy a Road Bike
Buying bikes online or entering a bike shop can be intimidating, especially if it is your first time there, but do not despair, you don’t need to be a billionaire to buy a quality bike, you just need to know what to look for.
It is perfectly normal to walk into a bike store and be mesmerized by those electric yellow speed bikes or black and red road bikes; it is also perfectly normal to immediately forget about them once you see their prices. Sure, there are a lot of cool looking bikes, but at the end of the day, they will only make you look dope while riding them- that is the only thing that they’re good for, and the companies that are selling them knows that and they sell them based on the “cool” factor only. So if you’re looking for a legit road bike that is both self-reliant and affordable, here are some recommendations from Active Weekender.
Which Type of Bike Suits You?
Before going on an exploration trip to find the right bike for you, you need to know exactly what you want to do with your bike. Coming to terms with your decision will affect your budget. How much you are willing to spend on your future bike will solely depend on deciding on a certain type. If you’re a casual rider then aim for cursing bikes, since they are very affordable and come in an affordable quality material.
Usually cruising and training bikes don’t cost much, unless they come with extra components. Stray away from expensive brand bikes, and mountain bikes if you are only looking for a casual ride. Mountain bikes are usually expensive, so the only thing that will be budget-friendly in this case is to find affordable mountain bike materials like carbon fiber. Brand bikes tend to be more specialized and you don’t really need that if you’re looking for a smooth cruise.
If you’re essentially looking for a smooth ride then look for materials like aluminum-frame road bikes, since they are the most affordable material out of titanium, carbon fiber and steel, they also come with a carbon fiber front fork that take in any kind of vibration so that you can enjoy a smooth ride around the town.
Now you need to understand that your budget-friendly bike absolutely depends on what you’re looking for in a bike, so if you’re looking for longevity, lightness, and durability then go for titanium-frame road bike, but the only set back is that it is a little costly. If you’re looking for strong, light material then head for a carbon-fiber-road bike, and if you’re looking for a bike to enjoy slow rides then aim for steel-frame road bikes, steel bikes are known to be beautiful anyway, so enjoy the ride on your pretty bike!
Buying a bike is supposed to be fun, so just familiarize yourself with your needs, style, and enjoy the ride on your brand new bike! You’ll be much better equipped now that you have the basic knowledge of what matters on you.
Benefits of Biking to Work
Our grandparents and their grandparents have witnessed the massive development in transportation means. In 1769, mankind witnessed the invention of the first steam-powered automobile by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot. And only after 48 years, we adopted a new transportation tool – a bicycle.
After some time bicycles lost their popularity and were considered as children’s transportation mean. Kids love cycling because it’s fun, they spend their energy, they move around, they are active and feel great after a short cycling session. We basically pointed out all the benefits to biking, but there’s more to say.
- It’s more fun!
Biking is simply a fun activity. It’s correlated with childhood memories and games. You could still have fun while biking as an adult. You get to observe the streets you pass by, hear the daily sounds, encounter animals and birds, and integrate with nature.
Children love observing their surroundings. To have more fun you need to keep your inner child and find happiness in the simplest things.
- It’s practically a workout
Biking to work is good for your physical health. First of all, you are saving money on your gym membership. Secondly, you are getting in shape.
Even if biking is a simple cardio and leg workout, and doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll build your ideal body, it’s still a healthy way of transportation.
Biking burns a lot of calories and prepares your heart for other cardio exercises in the future. You can, of course, start jogging to burn calories and fat, but biking is better for your joints too. By biking every day to work, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness, lower the blood pressure and boost energy. You will be able to build a stronger muscle tissue and improve coordination.
Isn’t it dreamy? To have a practical and beneficial transport all in one.
- You get to save your money on transportation
Buy a bicycle once and stop worrying about your transportation costs. Leave the worrying to personal car drivers. The gas price keeps rising, and driver’s wallets keep thinning. On average, people spend half of their salaries on gas money.
The public transport users are also in a bad image when it comes to saving money. Yes, it’s better to travel by public transport, but you still need to pay money for the services and keep up with other people too.
Of course, there’s carpooling, but it’s for another cause. You could still look up carpooling benefits and see how you’d like to share the cost of transportation.
- You get to save your money on repairs
The average cost of maintaining a car in a good condition is between 9000 – 10 000 US dollar a year. And it differs from men to men. Bike owners only spend 300 – 500 US dollars a year to maintain their bike’s good condition. Not to mention the huge difference between a car and bike repair costs.
- Enjoy the outdoors & get to know your community
When you are biking to and from work you find opportunities to enjoy the commute more by seeing the changing of the seasons or finding pop community events happening. These unplanned perks can help you actually look forward to commuting each day.
- Losing weights and becoming fitter
We already mentioned that biking to work is good for your fitness activities. But what about those people who want to lose weight and get in shape? Most people don’t have time to visit the gym daily or at least three times a week.
Biking to work every day is a great substitute for an hour on a treadmill. Biking will help you lose some weight and become fitter.
- Avoiding traffic jams
What’s more pleasing to hear than this? While cars and buses stay in the traffic jams on busy hours, you can safely drive on bike lanes and go home in time. Car drivers will envy you for such flexibility.
What else is there to tell you that will help you decide to try biking to work? You’ll be able to experience all the benefits and advantages of biking while going to work.
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