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The second Field Steam Bike owned by Henk van der Wal

The engine and boiler cover set in frame to check for clearance

The following description was by the original builder

This successful design of the 1930’s could form the basis of an up-to-date steam motor-cycle with smooth silent performance.

By A. W. Field.

My steam motor-cycle, completed some years ago, was wonderfully easy to ride. It seemed to float along from 1 m.p.h. to flying pace, all without noise, revving up, gear changing, etc., or clouds of exhaust fumes. It was about the same weight as similar sized i.e. bikes, but cost slightly less to run, owing to the fuel being paraffin and relative lack of maintenance.

The best running results were obtained with an early cut-off and a high superheat—steam temperature about 800 deg.F.—with enough pressure for quick acceleration and reserve of power for hills. The machine looked very neat and powerful, and it was! During trials it was soon found the transmission chains, sprockets, etc., as used on the petrol (gasoline) “heavies”—1,000 cc.—were not strong enough to withstand the high torque of the steam engine, when high steam pressure was used. Studs and chain links were continually being broken. A chain about 1 in. pitch and at least ½ in. width is required!

The tank was wide and shallow, containing water in the forward half and paraffin in the rear portion. Water capacity was about 3 ¼ gallons, paraffin 2 ¼ gals. The water filler cap was large to facilitate cleaning and an overflow pipe was fitted in the front of the tank. Two pressure gauges, near the front of the tank, registered steam and fuel pressure.

The monotube steam generator consisted of rectangular grids of tube, somewhat similar to the Serpollet design, contained in an asbestos-lined steel casing sheathed in polished aluminium. It looked very neat. The back of the case was detachable with the steam generation coils attached thereto. Placed forward of the engine under the tank, it formed usefully warmed leg guards. The main exhaust gas exit was at the rear of the case, with two narrow slots at the sides, all exits being directed downwards.

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