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2013 Bud Ekins Memorial Tour, Atascadero, CA. Part 1

June 1, 2013

Sorry for my delay in writing.  May is a terribly busy month for riding old bikes here in AltaCalifornia, and I have a lot of photos to post in the next week or so.  Also, you can find some of this stuff on the new Occhio Lungo Instagram page, but I have no idea how to put up a link to that.  You’ll find it I suppose.


A few weekends ago, we had the annual Bud Ekins Memorial Tour in Atascadero, CA.  I don’t know how long this tour has been held, but I’ve been there for about 10 years and I think it was there for 10 or more before that.  Shown in this first photo is the man himself, Steven Wright.  Buy his books, you won’t be sorry.


Steve has hosted the tour, and provides us with a great 3 days of riding, eating, drinking and telling lies in the parking lot.   Here he is sitting while Buster works on his Yale.  1912 I think, with a belt drive, single cylinder motor and automatic inlet valve.  Buster has been working on this bike for the past few years and now has it set to climb up reasonable hills, as well as holding a very respectable speed on flat roads.  This isn’t easy to do with only one gear and only one spring setting for that inlet valve. 


Urban H. brought his Crocker, and it looked great when we pulled into Creston for lunch. 



The first night:  Bikes sleeping before the run to Peachy Canyon.



I really love Pope twins, and this one looked just great.  It hadn’t been on a tour in a decade, but ran great barring the noise from the new rear brake lining when it rubbed.  I have an old photo of Bud Ekins on a bike just like this one, but I forgot to ask if this is one of his old bikes.



OHV valves and sprung rear suspension.  Popes were well engineered for their day.P1030989 





Rider, photographer and motojournalist Clement Salvadori with 8 valve guy and Cannonball veteran Fred Lange.   Fred’s blue bike is looking good.P1030993


Buster adjusting the rear axle at the Mission San Miguel near Paso Robles.   It was hot again, pushing 100 degree, and the shade trees and cool grass were a welcome sight.    The lunch was delivered right on time, and then two girls who were having a picnic announced that it was one of their birthdays and they needed photos with the bikes and the guys…P1040012


Buster’s Yale and Indian the second night.P1040027


Steve Huntzinger’s 1915 Excelsior Twin.  Another Cannonball bike, this one goes just as well as it looks.P1040079 

Excelsiors were pretty flashy bikes.  Dove grey paint, blue pinstripes, red panels surround by gold stripes, which were surrounded by burgundy panels and more gold stripes.  Plus nickel plating on the cylinders and all the various cycle parts. 



A wonderful Prestolite tank on the bars carries the acetylene for the headlight.P1030996 

For fans of Excelsiors.  Click here to see many more photos of them from tours of the last several years.  I like these even more than I like Popes…  Smile Mine isn’t nearly as shiny as some of them though.  P1030997 


My 1913 Veloce, finally with paint on the petrol tank and gold leaf, etc.  No trouble on the route through beautiful Peachy Canyon, and out to Paso.  The fixed gearing was set a bit too high, and Steve paced me at 48mph at one stretch.  I’ve since lowered the ratio via the adjustable front pulley to do better on hills.





The Enots oiler was putting plenty of lubricant into the motor, which seemed to escape out the tappets just as much as it did out the exhaust pipe and the crank breather.  We’ll see if that settles down as the rings bed in a little and the compression stays up in the combustion chamber a bit better.P1040009

Part 2 will be published soon.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 1, 2013 5:48 pm

    Pete: I think your Veloce will be leaving less oil on the ground as you say, when the rings seat in better. The oil will probably collect on your pant leg and never reach the ground!
    Jim A., who knows a thing or two about oil exiting engines.

  2. June 1, 2013 9:43 pm

    Awesome. I’ve been pondering a Stutz Bearcat as inspiration for final finish on my 1913 Excelsior twin chain drive. I’m torn between all stock and all out racer or something in between. Hmmmm. Thanks, Paul V


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