Thursday, May 13, 2010

Motorcycle Cop

Today's picture was taken in 1938, and shows a motorcycle policeman in Washington DC. I am not sure what make the motorcycle is in this picture.

15 comments:

  1. Another Harley with a sidecar (also called a sidehack or just plain hack). I read a book a few years ago that was a series of interviews with retired motorcycle cops. The stories were fascinating to me and a lot of these guys said the same thing. Despite the hardships (bad weather, muddy roads, no radios, etc.) they loved being paid to ride motorcycles.

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  2. Thanks for the info GeezerNYC.

    I'll bet you would have loved to have had that job.

    Great photo.
    R

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  3. What is that knob he is fiddling with?
    R

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  4. How was throttle handled on these bikes? I don't see a twist grip. Could the knob have something to do with that. There wasn't manual spark advance at this late a date was there?

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  6. Wow! I didn't even notice the gear shift lever on the tank. You can see the connecting rod down closer to the engine. And on the same side as the clutch? Did they have to reach across with the right hand to shift? Who would steer? I guess I thought this was always toe controlled. Interesting.

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  7. Maybe he is adjusting the temperature of his heated seat. ;)

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  8. Good work here on your blog, please keep it rolling!

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  9. This motorcycle has a tank shifter with a foot operated clutch on the left hand side. The throttle was a RH twist grip. The knob he is "fiddling with" operates the siren. I'm not sure about the siren info as I'm relying on my aging memory, a dicey proposition at best. I've been looking around in books and on the internet, but I can't find confirmation on the siren.

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  10. I sure don't see how that right hand grip could rotate and I don't see anything connected to it (a cable or the like).

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  11. Looks very modern to me.

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  12. Like I said earlier, thanks for the info GeezerNYC. You seem to really know your stuff.
    R

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  13. Nope, not a siren. I have a 1938 Harley police siren sitting on my mantel, it’s driven by pulling a chain to engage a roller on thr siren with the side of the tire. I polled several friends today, two being Harley dealer techs, and the consensus is that thumbwheel is for spark advance.
    I believe the throttle is on the left grip and the left foot clutch has a locking detent so you could put both feet down when stopped.

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  14. I used to own a Harley UL and the spark was on the left the throttle on the right. It's not as hard as you think to to hand shift, people do it all the time in cars. I currently own an 48 Indian Chief, their original config was throttle left hand so you could shoot your firearm with your right hand , shifter on the right, so you can't really shoot and shift. The Indian has a 3 speed so any speed over 30 you are already in 3rd. great pics and I have no idea what that thumbwell is, Radio? maybe

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  15. The right hand throttle cable is inside the handlebars. Same with the spark advance. They actually push the throttle and advance as opposed to pull.

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