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The Bucephalus Steam Bicycle
John Frampton

This machine was designed purely as a novelty for experimenting with and not as a serious mode of transport. The motor is of lightweight construction, and the steam generator is easily and quickly detatchable. This makes for easy foot pedalling when in use on roads.

John Frampton's steam bicycle
The Ultimate Dawes upgrade?

THE ENGINE

Bore:- 1.5"
Stroke:- 1.5"
Pump bore:- 5/16"
Pump stroke:- 5/16"
Valve gear:- Slide valve with Dodd's shifting eccentric.
Design speed:- 3000 R.P.M.
Transmission:- Chain drive via freewheel on front wheel, reduction ratio, 6 : 1
Lubrication:- Designed for splash lubrication using wet sump, cylinder lubrication, force feed via oil pump.

Ball bearings have been used on crankshaft and connecting rod, which is made of aluminum alloy for lightness, essential when high speeds are contemplated. Aluminum alloy is used elsewhere for lightness and corrosion resistance. The cylinder and valve chest are of cast iron, but a MKII version using even more light alloy is being contemplated.

STEAM GENERATOR.

Vertical fire tube design chosen for tolerance to water level and tilting.
Number of tubes:- 18 plus one central superheater flue.
Working Pressure:- 100 psi. moderately superheated.
Heating surface: 486 sq"
Grate area:- 19.6 sq"
Heating apparatus:- Oil firing using Stanley type vaporising burner.
This fits via a bayonet attatchment, to enable quick removal when tea making is required.
A whistle is deemed necessary on this vehicle.

ROLLING CHASSIS.

A Dawes ‘Kalahari’ model was chosen, as this has a number of useful tappings into which engine mountings etc. could be screwed. The absence of suspension was considered beneficial, and a light alloy frame was considered an advantage. Everywhere weight has been taken into consideration, and the Steam Generator, not an area to economiser on, weight can be quickly removed for foot power only.

PERFORMANCE:

It has not been possible to run this bicycle under its own power when these notes were prepared. However, it handles quite well even with the engine 'up front' the controls fall nicely to hand, the whistle is in fine voice the engine can even be ‘revved’ like a motorcycle, and it is capable of exceeding 30 M.P.H. even when not is steam.




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