Did the Milwaukee Missile Crack a Hundred?

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Did the Milwaukee Missile Crack a Hundred?

Postby John R » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:15 pm

Most K riders have probably seen Bob Greene's road test in the August 1952 Cycle Magazine. If not, it could be worth getting it into the literature section alongside the '54 KH test.

The '52 test had a max of 100.5mph for a K with miles on and 98.9 for a fresh one. Is this believable? It's generally reckoned that you need at least 30bhp to make a ton on a motorcycle. Harley claimed "around 30hp" (i.e. that means 'less than') at 5200rpm. Now with 4.77 top gear ratio and 19"x3.25" tyres that gives 15.9mph/1000rpm. To reach 100mph the engine would have to turn at about 6200 - 1000 above its max power rpm.

Cycle also stated max speeds through the gears: 45, 60, 81(then 98.9mph in top). To hit these speeds you would have to max at over 7000rpm through the changes. What do you guys think, for an early K?

However, on the plus side the drag times/speeds for the 1/10 and 1/4 miles were 8.29/43.4mph and 16.86/53.3mph. Now that 53.3 just isn't plausible! Working on available information my best calculation is more like 83mph. That's more like it!

This can be compared with the '54 KH test: 8.41 (slower) for the tenth, 14.75 for the quarter mph, 95.23mph (slower) max. With KH gearing/tyres (16.8mph/1000rpm) this would need 5660rpm - plausible with 38hp at 5200. To top-out through the gears at 45, 65, 82mph as reported by Cycle would need about 6600rpm.

Perhaps tester Bob Schanz gave it away saying the '52 tests were done with stop watches and "Stop watch figures are sometimes flexible" and later that the '54 test was with "honest electronic timing".

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Re: Did the Milwaukee Missile Crack a Hundred?

Postby EKHKHK56 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:22 pm

I always figured the 100 mph mark was possible, but you would need a small professional rider, a fine tuned broken in machine, a tail wind and a downhill run. Plus an anxious guy with the stopwatch. Just kidding of course, but in the real world Brad Andres was achieving 126 mph on the Daytona beach/road course in 1956 with a 45" KR. For a 1919 Harry Ricardo cylinder head design engine that`s FAST. The H-D 45" basic design blueprint was relatively unchanged since 1929. Advances in performance naturally evolved. No fairing either, Brad just tucked down low as possible. Later Cal Rayborn put in the first 100 plus mph average at Daytona on asphalt with a 45" KR. Next year he lapped the field. That was 1969 I believe, against some stiff competition from around the world, including new Japenese screamers. These were great achievements for a FlatHead in my opinion. The basic 52K was probably about an 80-85 mph machine tops in my estimate. I will let you know when I get mine going! Ride safe and often, Erik
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Re: Did the Milwaukee Missile Crack a Hundred?

Postby Hammie13 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:28 am

Didn't Dick Allen flog a KHK to 159 mph back in the 70's? Not sure of the fuel or areo,but I remember reading that somewhere. Just Wondering.........
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Re: Did the Milwaukee Missile Crack a Hundred?

Postby EKHKHK56 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:34 am

I remember Yankee Engineuity had a 45" KR with a VW air injection pump for a `blower` that ran in the 140++MPH zone. I did a recent search and found Tatro Machine has a 45" 1959 KR normally aspirated that has the class record at 152.5 MPH as of 2012. It has one carburetor, and K cylinders I noticed from the exhaust pipes. I don`t know what all they did but that is an amazing top speed for the technology! Slow down, take it easy...Erik
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Re: Did the Milwaukee Missile Crack a Hundred?

Postby Hammie13 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:20 am

I'm building a lsr bike for El Mirage from a set of cases I bought that I learned post-buy had no #'s on them,and Mr. Tatro is one of the people I'm planning to talk to about
building it. I met him years ago on the lake bed,when he first started,he was still riding the K in stock form,headlight,speedo,and fenders still on!It was a nearly perfect original bike then. I may have to run stock 45 jugs,as no one seems to be selling KH lungs. I know T&O makes stroker pistons for the combination. I may also run stroker plates,hell,I'll most likely do both! Should be fun.
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