63-2 Tiger Cub Motorcycle

FRS 106, Michael Littman – Spring 2018

Week 10 – Thurs. April 19th

Notes by Jake Sawtelle


·              Chapter 6/7 of Shop Class as Soulcraft due Thursday (April 26th)

·              No discussion Tuesday April 24thdue to guest speaker.



·              Noelle and Alex: Worked on collecting hardware for mounting the handlebars.

·              David and Alex K: Continued installing the clutch/transmission and the drive chain.

·              Brendan and Jake: Worked on finding hardware to install nacelle  

·              Julianne and Charlie: Installed valve covers and finished the top end.

·              Eric and Hannah: Worked on assembling the rear wheel and grinding the spokes to prevent puncturing the inner tube.

·              Emily and Jordan: Continued to sand the bondo on the fenders.

·              Ricky: Worked on the stater.

·              Connor and Grace: Nearly finished the bottom end. Helped Emily and Jordan.



Chapter 5 recap of Shop Class as Soulcraft.

·              Themes:

o    The responsibility to devote time to repair motorcycles. Must balance between a speedy and affordable repairs versus spending the time to learn about different problems and aspects of the bike.

·              Content:

o    Discusses the beginning of the author’s introduction into motorcycle repair.

o    Author received PhD in philosophy after finding an interest in ancient Greek philosophers. Attained employment at conservative Washington DC think tank, found it wasn’t satisfying and opened his own repair shop.

·              Motorcycle/Technical terms:

o    Café Racer: a lightweight, lightly powered motorcycle optimized for speed and handling rather than comfort and for quick rides over short distances.

o    Pneumatic Tools: is a type of power tool, driven by compressed air.

Presentation Assignments

by Alex K

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Bottom End (Grace + Connor)

Electrical (Ricky)

Frame (Noelle + Alex)

Top End (Charlie + Julienne)


Detailing (Jordan + Emily)

Fork (Brendan + Jake)

Clutch-Trans (Alex K. + David)

Wheels (Eric + Hannah)

Week 10 – Tues. April 17th

Notes by Jake Sawtelle


·              3 more weeks of class (Final presentations will be given during Reading Period)

·              Chapter 5 of Shop Class as Soulcraft due Thursday (April 19th)

·              Will read one chapter per class until book completion (No discussion Tuesday April 24thdue to guest speaker. Both chapters for next week will be discussed Thursday April 26th)



·              Ricky, Noelle, and Alex: Continued to work on mounting the battery box, will require fabrication to install due to modifications by previous owner.

·              David and Alex K: Assembled the clutch/transmission

·              Brendan and Jake: Worked on finding hardware to install nacelle  

·              Julianne and Charlie: Installed pushrods.

·              Eric and Hannah: Continued to true the wheel. Almost finally completed. Sanded the rear hub to attach the sprocket.

·              Emily and Jordan: Continued to sand and paint. Assisted by Glenn.

·              Connor and Grace: Fixed hydraulic lift on motorcycle stand. Worked with David and Alex K. on clutch and transmission.



Chapter 4 recap of Shop Class as Soulcraft.

·              Themes:

o    Different people are inherently better at different jobs.

o    Jobs also influence the worker.

o    Failure teaches humility.

·              Content:

o    Discusses the beginning of the author’s shop experience. Got an apprenticeship at a Porsche dealership as a teenager. Didn’t learn much about car repair due to a subpar mentor.

o    Father was a physicist and tried to impart wisdom using abstract advice that wasn’t easily received by the author.

o    Talks about trying to figure out someone else’s design (i.e. his VW Beetle, God’s design of the human body, etc.) is a humbling process.

·              Motorcycle/Technical terms:

o    Turbocharger: a turbine-driven forced induction device that increases an internal combustion engine’s efficiency and power output by forcing extra air into the combustion chamber.

o    “Matchporting”: matching up the exits of the intake manifold runners to the entrances of the head’s intake ports.

o    Swing Axle: is a simple type of independent (rear wheel) suspension allowing wheels to react to irregularities of road surfaces independently, and enable the vehicle to maintain a strong road holding.

o    Transaxle: an automotive mechanical component that combines the functionality of the transmission, axle, and differential into one integrated assembly.

Nitriding: a heat treating process that diffuses nitrogen into the surface of a metal to create a case-hardened surface.

10 April 2018

Notes by David McElroy

Recap of Last Lab

Connor + Grace

  • Put on the muffler, kickstand, need to keep working so it’s easier to assemble

Noelle + Alex

  • Found parts to assemble shocks, cleaned and attached them
  • Attached rod for brake pedal, spring for kickstand

Hannah + Eric

  • Loosening and tightening spokes, tuning the front wheel

Emily + Jordan

  • Asdf

Jake + Brandon

  • Put together different components of the fork
  • Work on stanchions

Charlie + Julianne

  • Putting top end onto bottom end
  • Now that covers for pushrods have arrived, can be completed

Alex K

  • Put the transmission in the engine !!
  • Gear shifting is working well


  • Cleaning wires up and putting coils in stator

Discussion of ZAMM

Chapter 25 (led by Jake)

  • Not many motorcycle references
  • Talked about technology
    • Some people find it very ugly, but it doesn’t have to be
    • If people put care into something, it has Quality, so it can be beautiful
  • Technology is not (inherently) an exploitation of nature, but a blending of human efforts with nature
  • Practical part of the book! Giving actual life advice
    • Peace of mind: in your daily life, in your community
  • Generally regarded as a good chapter by the class

Chapter 26 (led by Julianne)

  • Motorcycle references
    • Compared motorcycles to cars — motorcycles are longer-lived
    • All the things that can go wrong when you buy a part — so make your own!
    • Elasticity of bolts — washers to add resistance, to hold things in place
  • Gumption
    • Someone who connects with Quality is filled with gumption, and umption in turn promotes Quality
    • Setbacks:
      • Out of Sequence Assembly: need to be very careful, take notes
      • Intermittency: importance of learning how to fix it yourself
    • Hangups:
      • Value traps: not being willing to reevaluate values; need to slow down and examine situation
      • Truth traps: subjective vs objective argument, yes/no is a false dichotomy; ask a better question
      • Muscle Traps: for example, inadequate tools, bad surroundings
  • Form & Function
    • Form ever follows function, don’t add decoration — there is elegance in a well-designed structure already
  • Also a well-regarded chapter

Chapter 27 (led by Professor Littman)

  • Back behind the glass door
  • Phaedrus is starting to wake up, starting come back

Chapter 28 (led by Professor Littman)

  • Shifting back and forth between perspective, between “Phaedrus” and “I”
  • His troubles as a student — between many different majors
  • His struggles with Quality
  • Struggles with the department
    • He wants to teach Quality
    • They want him to focus on writing, not philosophy, or they’ll kick him out
    • So he decides to make them kick him out
  • Mythos vs. Logos
    • Perhaps another form of the Romantic vs. Classical divide?

Model T!


  • Everyone got a chance to drive Princeton’s Model T, which everyone thought was really cool!

12 April 2018

Notes by David McElroy

Gathering of the Nortons

  • Gathering of interesting motorcycles
  • BMW with horizontal cylinders — very smooth
  • Older Tiger Cub — parts in different places, points in particular in very different place, shift the whole housing to adjust timing


  • Ricky, Noelle, and Alex: figuring out batteries and battery box, figuring out cover and other pieces to add to the battery assembly
  • David and Alex K: tried to put the cover on the case;
  • Brendan and Jake: putting things through the frame, putting fork tubes in, et, finished fixing the other motorcycle
  • Julianne and Charlie: assembling top end, practicing putting in the items — very finicky operation
  • Eric: Made progress on wheels, but they’re very difficult to deal with


Major theme: being the master of one’s own stuff

Chapter 4 for Tuesday, chapter 5 for Thursday About 50 pages

Chapter 29

  • The example of the welder — very skilled at doing something
  • Chapter content mostly about Aristotle and Plato — and Phaedrus’ thoughts about them
  • All philosophy is footnotes to Plato; Aristotle had a lot of interesting perspective but wasn’t a great leader
  • Difference between truth and good
    • Pursuit of truth and goodness are two different pursuits
  • In some senses, the narrator is an Aristotelian (breaking down the motorcycle into its very small parts
  • He starts to reject the Aristotelian, picks up more Quality stuff
    • Also integrates the Dao
  1. In the classroom, he has his breakdown
  • Phaedrus’ birth at the end, we follow the narrator, it is a birth, or rebirth
  • His professional relationships
  • Professor takes command of the classroom, saves Phaedrus (from public embarrassment)
  • Relationship with Chris
    • Chris is frustrated with his current dad, saying Phaedrus was “fun”
  • He’s starting to come back into his own self, but how much of the younger him was in there?
  • Strange narration — undeveloped
  • He and his wife get divorced, but not until after the novel
    • Nevertheless, strange dynamic, with Chris not having anywhere to go
  1. Chris learns of  family history of mental illness
  • There is a reckoning between the two characters
  1. They arrive in California
  • The narrator is becoming Phaedrus
  • We see Phaedrus’ special font used more and more

What did we think of this book?

  • Did we like it?  Yes, seems the class consensus
  • Most useful parts were in the beginning, some say
  • Philosophy background would be rewarding, others say
    • Comparing and contrasting it with typical analytic philosophy
    • But he covers a lot of breadth in terms of philosophy
  • We liked going to the end! Get a nice sense of finishing it, getting closure.

29 March 2018

notes by Alex K.

Readings assignments:

Tuesday 4/3: ZAMM chapters 19, 20, 21

Thursday 4/5 : ZAMM Chapters 22, 23, 24 

Tuesday 4/10: ZAMM 25, 26 (finish Zen)

Recap of last class:

 Noell: attached new seat to blue motorcycle with new bracket, now working on assembling swing-arm and frame, found grease nipple, tapped frame with 1/4 26 thread

Julienne: spray painted cylinder, working on frame

Alex: Making a new manifold for carburetor because the last one was mistaken

David: About to put engine back together so we gathered parts, just missing the pawl retaining ring which we’ll take from the other motor if John says so

Jake: Smoothed out fork assembly/frame attachment ball bearings. Removed excess paint from joints 

Brendan: Evaluated pieces from powder-coater, cleaned up fittings from fork tubes.

Connor: found missing engine case bolts, working together with clutch+transmission to reassemble engine

Eric: Worked on wheels with Bill, day 5 of wheel lacing but it’s slow going. Spokes are OK, the nipples will go pretty deep into the spokes so they might be ground down. 

Hannah: Eric said it all

Grace: Connor said it all

Alex K: sanded down powder-coated parts of the frame to make electrical contact. Every piece of the motorcycle needs to be the same electrical potential because tail-lights and other electrical parts only have one lede.

Charlie: worked on painting the cylinder with Julienne, finished top-end, started working on frame + cleaning out parts on the frame.

Ricky: removed greasy fabric from lots of the wires, cleaned wires and electrical pieces.

Bill’s presentation feedback: people loved it; drawings on tension and compression are especially useful and relates to Poisson’s ratio (which concerns things having a fixed volume in tension or compression)

Discussion on this week’s reading

Chapter 16: discussion lead by Brendan

No motorcycle references

Grading system concept: having no grades. 

  • An interesting theoretical concept, especially in peoples’ responses. 
  • Reminded people of this class with how we don’t have exact grades. 
  • Not really practical reference because this is a fictional book and we don’t know how this would actually play out
  • Reality of wanting to get a degree vs. wanting to learn
  • “imitation is the real evil” before rhetoric teaching can begin – very true in things like writing seminar, where we’re trying to imitate while outsmarting.
  • Julienne disagrees: there are many disciplines, e.g. music, wherein you have to practice what is already written in order to develop creativity. So there is value to imitation. Prof. Littman agrees: picasso invented his own style after studying others. In Littman’s other course, you need to study others before you can be creative.

Defining rhetoric and dialectic:

Rhetoric is persuasive talk and writing, to convince others

Dialectic is a back and forth questioning for the search for truth

Chapter 17: discussion lead by Hannah

Concept of “quality”: 

  • Phaedrus’ definition is that it can’t be defined
  • It probably can be defined because it’s a real thing that we interact with
  • It’s easier to define quality in terms of what it isn’t than what it is
  • Important theme of the book that he grapples with 

The different elements of teaching writing, and why you need an outline:

An outline is usually a set of rules that you’re given without considering, similar to how the scientific method is something that is learned without necessarily learning its practical implications. But the reasons are there, and they are valid; they’re just often lost in the transmission.

Be careful about definitions, because definitions are a theory. When he was cross-examined, Prof. Littman was very careful in trying not to define things but to give examples.

Chapter 18: discussion lead by Eric


  • the study of quality, even though Phaedrus doesn’t want to define it
  • Conclusion is that quality can’t be defined. Implications?
  • questions if quality can’t be defined, then can you teach it? Points to example of when students were angry about his lack of an answer, they were upset because they thought that they were supposed to learn things that were already known.
  • When you remove quality from the world, what are you removing? In some sense, you lose some quality by taking away beauty from things, or taking away their individuality.
  • The consequence is that vulnerable populations suffer from a lack of basic opportunities without quality
    • Maybe not? baseline standard of living is constant without quality
  • Quality in terms of aesthetics, or quality in terms of function. (Important distinction!) Which one is sacrificed in a world without quality? 

Architect vs. Structural Artist: 

  • architecture is visually appealing, but doesn’t necessarily function well.
  • Structural artist has a visual appeal to it, but it really works.

Chris’ experience, based on the hike:

  • Chris should have swatted down his behavior a bit more as a gut reaction. Eric relates with a family member demonstrating similar behavior. 
  • Must’ve been really tough for the father
  • No matter what you do, your actions have outcomes that you can’t necessarily predict. 

Prof. Littman’s story about being a parent:

Sometimes it is important to stop bad behavior, but sometimes it’s important to not turn a bad situation into a worse one. 

Electricity Demonstration:

Solenoid with an iron pipe: powering the sole creates a magnetic field which magnetizes the iron bar and draws it into the solenoid. Pull is regardless of current.

Make and break circuit: coil of wire with lots of little wires in it. Also demonstrated step-up transformer by coils with different numbers of loops. 

(Diagram of transformers and make or break circuits attached below)

(Diagram of transformers and make or break circuits attached below)

27 March 2018

notes by Alex K.

Today’s agenda: Lecture with Bill Becker on Wheels

 Bill Becker biography: 

  • Retired architect, architecture undergraduate at Case Western and Masters from Penn
  • Retired as a motorcycle designer and builder
  • Favorite thing about motorcycles: amazing and functional pieces of design, where aesthetics and engineering work together flawlessly
  • Likes working with vintage machine and upgrading them to a higher standard than when they were new


Why can’t bicycles or motorcycles stand by themselves? “Because they’re too (two) tired!”

 Wheel from a French moped: has a hub and brake in the middle, essentially analogous to motorcycle wheel

 History of wheels:

  • The wheel is a form, as long as it is circular with a pivot it is consistent
  • Spokes: an innovation to make wheels lighter and springier
  • First motorcycle has two different wheels
    • front wheel: spoked, moves freely through space, only pressure is force of gravity
    • back wheel: solid wheel, applying pressure from drive chain onto the ground to move the bike

Three subjects: physics, engineering, and material science


  • Mass: defines how a matter in one object relates to matter in another object (on earth, define by weight: relation of mass of earth to mass of object)
  • Objects are subject to gravity and motion – inertia or acceleration
  • “weight is not a friend of the wheel”
    • on a railroad car, heavy wheels are OK
    • but on a racecourse/motorcycle, you want wheels to be light so that less work is required to accelerate them ––> spokes; thin rim; aluminum hub
  • Vectors: ways to describe the direction and magnitude of forces we are talking about

 Material science

  • Athletes look for certain things in different classes, e.g.
    • Wrestlers want a high strength to weight ratio
    • Gymnasts want flexibility, strength, and small mass
    • Basketball players want strength, flexibility, and height
  • Materials of a motorcycle also look for different qualities for different needs:
    • Aluminum: strong, flexible, low weight, corrosion resistant, machinable, malleable, inexpensive; it can be cast into unusual shapes (like in engine case)
    • Cast iron: strong, porous (can absorb oil), reduces friction, dissipates heat well but brittle
    • Steel: can be hard, soft, corrosion resistant (hardened steel: ball bearings; woodrift keys) (softened steel: fender, needs to be bent into shape)
    • Rubber: flexible, not very compressible but high tensile strength, corrosion-resistant, lightweight
    • More: polyester, brass, chromium, asbestos, plastic, air
    • Material scientists will select from these to do different jobs in the wheel


  • Terms:
    • Deadload – the weight of the thing itself, i.e. motorcycle with fluids in it
    • Liveload – weight of it with a rider on it
    • Static loading: object is stationary, just applying gravitation forces
    • Dynamic loading: object is moving through space, loading due to contours of the road, turning, impact, acceleration/deceleration
  • Forces acting on a materials: 
    • Compression – some materials (e.g. brick) are very good in compression, others (e.g. rubber/sand) are very compressible
    • Tension – another structural force that is just “pulling” on things – aluminum, steel are good; glass is bad
    • Bending – just a combination of compression and tension
    • Shear – forces are opposed off-axis to create a “tearing” effect
  • Thomas Young: physician, material scientist
    • relationship between stress and strain
    • Force on an object in compression: expect straining (i.e. getting fatter/shorter)
    • Force on an object in tension: expect stretching
  • Young’s models:
    • Increasing strain increases stress, up to plastic deformation
    • Linear relationship btw. stress and strain during elastic deformation
    • concave-down parabolic relationship between stress and strain during plastic deformation
    • Fractures at the end of plastic deformation phase


  • Patterns of four spokes at a time (36 spokes in total on most bikes; 40 on British)
  • Spokes evenly spaced around the rim
  • On a motorcycle wheel, spokes are not arranged to intersect the axis of the wheel because of a differential between forces on the hub and forces on the wheel
  • Spokes are off-angle to make a rigid geometry by translating forces between hub and rim
  • Triangulation both in the plane of the wheel and laterally (i.e. coming out of the plane of the wheel)
  • Spokes are in pairs of four to resist opposing and proposing rotation; out of plane bending

 Loading of the wheel and tension of the spokes:

  • Spokes are great in tension and bad in compression because of their slender shape and size + how they are connected to the rim
  • Static loading of gravity of the rider – top spokes are doing the work to hold the hub up
  • Impact loading – all the spokes that are opposite to the point of impact go into tension
  • Acceleration – half of the spokes (the ones that point in the direction of acceleration along the hub) go into tension
  • Turning – rigidity out of the plane of the wheel go into tension

 Nowadays, many wheels are cast instead of spoked because of the cost of labour; 88 parts in our spoked wheel but only 1 in a cast wheel. There is some debate as to which is more aerodynamic.

 The size of a spoke is determined by its material strength, trying to be maximally aerodynamic while still supporting the weight of the bike. Bicycle spokes are very thin because they are lightweight and very little torque is transmitted by the rider.

 This singular spoke brought to demo can hold about 800 lbs! All the spokes in tension at any moment can hold up to 8,000lbs.

8 March 2018

notes by Brendan

Reading for next week (EXAM WEEK):

Tuesday:  Shopclass as Soul Craft – Chapter 2

Thursday:  Shopclass as Soul Craft – Chapter 3


What we did last class:

  •         Julianne:   worked on cutting valves for cylinder head.   Measured distances for holes for bolts.

o    Used lathe to make 45 degree angles

o    Used steel blue to see what material was removed

o    Exhaust is the smaller valve.   Intake is larger to take in more air.

  •         Noelle:   cleaned carburetor.   Took it apart and put back together.   Started putting it back onto red motorcycle.
  •         Charlie:   cut valves.   Working on finding x and y coordinates of all the holes in the engine cover.

o    Mapping holes:   put engine cover on bed of mill.   Found drill bits that fit holes.   One hole is origin and you mark the subsequent holes off that.   Put x-y coordinates into CREO and take that to the “laser” cutter.

  •         Connor:   cleaned bottom end of engine.   Disassembled and collected parts.   Painted it and let it dry.   Cleaned it out with air hose to get rid of sand.
  •         Emily:   worked on fenders by polishing them with dye grinder.   Changed to sand blasting the rust off.   Filled the extra holes on fender with bond-o.
  •         Hannah:   Problems locating part.   Setting things up to get chromed.   Putting rear wheel together today.   Cleaned sprocket threads.
  •         Eric:   Rethread old hub so they weren’t sandblasted.   Assembling rear hub.
  •         David:   waiting for new parts to come in for transmission.   Took demo transmission apart and put it back together a couple times.   Works well now.
  •         Jake:   figured out speedometer gear box ratio for our bike.   Cleaned polished parts.   Tried diagnosing vibration of red bikes front forks
  •         Alex:   taking pictures.   Noelle mentioned everything else
  •         Grace:   cleaned inventoried other parts of motor
  •         Jordan:   Got parts ready for chroming.   Disassembling
  •         Sarah:   Looked at videos to learn more about disassembly.
  •         Alex:   demo transmission.   Re orient washers.
  •         Ricky:   nothing more to add, sarah covered it all..


Book discussion:   Chapter 11: Kant and Hume, Chapter 12: Eastern vs. Western, Chapter 13: Church of Reason

  •         Motorcycle references:   adjusting carburetor at high elevation.   Brake shoes:   sit on top of wheel and clamp wheel to create resistance.
  •         Concept:   Apriori motorcycle

Chapter 14:

  •         Motorcycle references:

o    Technical reference:   sheet metal sculptor is suspicious until he realizes the narrator does a lot of welding.

o    The BBQ instructions to build a BBQ rotisserie.   Narrator talks about set of instructions in Japanese and requires a “peace of mind” to be assembled.

o      View instructions as a guide but not if it doesn’t work you can’t do it.   Instruction manuals are boring because it says “do this” but not “why”

o    Look at instructions as art.

  •         Content:

o    Introduction to the DuIuse’s.

o    Distinction between classical and romantic.

o    Narrator meeting Duiuse as himself and not Phaedrus less tension than expected.

Chapter 15:

  •         Motorcycle references:

o    The Chain adjuster link

  •         Content:

o    Phaedus interacts with Chris and the narrator’s wife in memories.

  •   Outpouring of memory when narrator visits his old office.   First time the narrator acknowledges the beginning of his craziness
  •   Chris remembers when the narrator was Phaedrus and they were looking through the streets for the narrator.

o    Narrator meets a woman that has a respect for him although she knows he was deemed crazy by the institution.

o    Sarah was narrator’s coworkers that talked about teaching quality to his students.

  •   Instead of teaching rules, teach deep concepts over correct spelling and grammar.
  •   Rejection of Prescriptive Rhetoric

o    Assignment to students:   350 word essay about what is quality and thought.

  •   Made his students nervous.

Other stuff:

Domed piston is now in.

Piston has an orientation and this one seems ambidextrous.

Cross polarizers in class.

Brewster’s angle ~60 degrees.   No reflected beam.   Can’t make measurement without interfering with what you’re looking at.

“Philosophy looks for black cat in dark room.   Science is looking for black cat in dark room with a flash light.”

Professor Martinelli’s slides are now posted

Today:   Bore the barrel.

Grind valves.

6 March 2018

notes by Brendan

Today we started in the shop and finished our class with a visit from Professor Gideon Rosen to discuss our ZAMM reading.

This discussion was focused on themes within the chapters of ZAMM but not necessarily direct relation to the narrator and Phaedrus.

-What is philosophy?

–           The love of wisdom.   The attempt to say how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together.   Aims to give a comprehensive picture of the world at a fundamental level.   The description of philosophy sounds like the description of physics.

-Hume and Kant.

–              When you look at the world you see a constantly changing barrage of colored shapes.   The melting ice cube at first you see a cubical solid and over time you see a change of shape.   What starts off as cold is no longer cold.   From moment to moment there is nothing constant about the melting ice cube, but something has remained the same.   It has just changed form.   Appearances are constantly changing but there is a single persistent constant.

o    How do you know?

o    Where do you get the idea that there might be something consistent despite the changing?

  •   Modern day philosophers are reacting against Descartes idea.   Descartes says things are innate ideas from god.   You can reason without experience based on these innate ideas.   Example:   Geometry.   Because god wouldn’t lie you’re accessing this knowledge that was given to you by a benevolent god.
  •   Even if you originally learned about the Pythagorean theorem from your 6thgrade teacher, when it comes to math you can run through the proof yourself.   Teacher is a short cut according to Descartes.

–              With Hume and Kant god plays no role.

o    Hume is a radical empiricist.   Thinks all ideas come from experience.   No innate idea.   Hume is confused about where we get the idea of the thing that remains constant.   He says we have no such idea.   You can say the water was there at the beginning and at the end but you’re just “feigning or pretending” that there was something there.   Verbal fiction.

o    Kant thinks its obvious you do not just see an array of colored shapes unless you’re “tripping.”   You see things undergoing change.   Kant says there’s a raw matter of experience.   The mind imposes structure on it.   The mind constructs a world of persisting things that interact with physical laws.   The world we experience is constituted by the mind.   Kant’s Copernican revolution.

Think of your idea of what a motorcycle is.   You conjure up a fuzzy picture of a motorcycle from a certain angle.   But it’d be a mystery to match up a motorcycle from head on as opposed to sideways.   Thoughts aren’t a stream of pictures.   Concepts are not pictures, more like descriptions.   Not matching experience with a picture, but if it satisfies some description.   It would even be abstract.

-Eastern vs Western Philosophy

–           There is eastern thought.   Chinese word for philosophy had to be invented when translating western philosophy.   Not from the basis of authority.   Indian philosophy is more similar to western philosophy than Chinese or Japanese for cultural reasons.

–           Eastern and romantic link is from western romanticism from rational strands.   People took for granted the aim of philosophy.   They disagreed about what the fundamental bits of philosophy were

-Electrons trajectory.

–           Kant built his philosophy off the idea of innate ideas.   Quickly was proven false.

–           Empirical measurement based on result.   Polarized sunglasses at 45 degrees experiment shows how measurement changes the environment.

-Socrates and universities as churches

–           Church that is now a bar considered sacrilegious.   Equated to university threatened to losing accreditation.  The rebuttal being  i t’s not about accreditation, its about the search for truth.

–           Saying what a university is.   You could be describing what all universities have in common or you could be saying what you think a university should be.

–           What is worth preserving in universities?

o    Creation of new knowledge and education for leadership.

–                                                 Mission should be to produce more educated people.

Assignment for Thursday 8 March 2018:

Read chapters 14 and 15 of ZAMM.

Other things of note:

20 Chrome parts were taken to the plater.

1 March 2018

Notes by Eric


  •       29 parts went to the powder coater
  •       Professor Littman will bring the parts to the chromer in Philadelphia
  •       What everyone did:

o    Sarah: Washed parts on Tuesday

o    Hannah: made nut to cover threads on the front hub, began to assemble back hub

o    Noelle: Gathered frame parts, found missing parts, there is one pin that is missing, the carburetor worked on the ’58 motorcycle

o    Eric: assembled rear hub

o    Charlie: Cleaned and sanded parts; going to clean out the valves today

o    Connor: continued cleaning the bottom engine and reassembled the engine using old covers

o    Jake: Need to determine if the speedometer gearbox is working

o    Brendan: getting stuff ready to go to the powder coater; tack welded the lower nacelle, welded two pieces of medal together

o    Alex: dismantled the carburetor, which was not working well

o    David: went over the small parts of the clutch and transmission; ordered missing parts

o    Alex K.: helped bottom end team sand blast engine case; putting together demo transmission

o    Jordan: cleaned parts for wheel group, polished exhaust; professor Littman got some useful tools

o    Grace: worked with Connor to clean bottom engine and tape it up

o    Julianne: exhaust valve had stuff on the inside that needed to be chiseled out

o    Ricky: sandblasted battery casing; started taking horn apart

  •       Review of Professor Martinelli:

o    Two strokes vs. four strokes; fins; carburation (lowering pressure—Bernoulli’s equation); thermodynamic relationships

o    One student’s reaction: our motorcycle had not been designed with the principles in mind, especially with respect to form

  •      Tuesday’s reading: next three chapters in Zen—11, 12, 13; we will go directly to the shop, then we will transition from 3-4—meet directly in the shop on Tuesday!
  •       Reading discussion:


o    Starts off more intellectually than Zen; values shop class

o    In terms of motorcycles, he enjoys their simplicity

o    Alex thinks that his approach is self-indulgent—how the job is self-gratifying. He has the Marxist, worker attitude

o    Mentions dipstick, carpenter’s level

o     CHAPTER 1

o    P. 24 motorcycle reference—solvents used to clean different parts of the motorcycle; the author’s wife can use different; ignition backfire p. 35 “often this sense making entails not so much problem solving as problem solving” are good questions better than good answers?

o    White collar jobs vs. blue collar jobs (more meaningful?).  he believes in learning by doing

o    Economic pressure—can’t outsource the trades

o    Washing machine reference: a washing machine exists to serve you, but when it is broken you have to ask what it needs—a change of perspective.

o    He likes objective measures—how do you know when you are doing a good job? He HATES management consultants!

o    We must get outside of out head and looking for something; we are all problem solvers.  If you notice dripping oil, it might be nice

o    Page 32: “my purpose of this book is to elaborate the potential for human flourishing in the manual trades—their rich cogitative challenges and psychic nourishment—rather than stake out policy positions or make factual claims about the economy”

o    Blinder (outsourced) vs. MIT economist (rule based)

22 February 2018

Notes by Noelle Goudy

Assignment for Tuesday: Think of questions for Professor Martinelli

Assignment for Thursday: Introduction and chapter 1 of Shop Class as Soulcraft



  • Get stuff to be powder-coated or chromed together
    • We might be missing frame parts
    • Make sure we have anything that will be painted ready to be powder-coated
    • Example: battery box
  • Next Tuesday: Professor Martinelli
    • Come up with a set of questions for him
    • Week four scribe: take notes next week


  • Ricky: Found a taillight at the bunker and got that working; checked the spark plug on the red motorcycle
  • Noelle: With Alex, assembled carburetor; flooded the carburetor and it leaked; lathed out the top plate because it was warped; reattached it and it no longer leaked
  • Eric: Determined which front and back hub to use; began plugging it up for powder coating
  • David: With Alex, found that half of a split-ring washer is missing (but there was one at the bunker)
  • Connor: With Grace, cleaned the engine plates and put them back together; going to sandblast it today
  • Charlie: Tried to disassemble the headlight; put it in a new chromed case
  • Brendan: Cleaned the light; organized parts for powder coating
  • Alex: Worked with Charlie
  • Grace: Worked with Connor
  • Jordan: With Emily, put together the jacks for the wheels
  • Julianne: With Charlie and Ricky, went to the bunker; finished cleaning top end parts
  • Sarah: With Ricky, attached the light and tested it; watch the dem for the spark plug
  • Jake: Searched on ebay
  • Hannah was out

Tiger Cub Engine Calculations Reading:

  • Octane is C8H18
  • Air is 20% O2
  • Nitrogen goes in and out of engine
    • While it is a spectator, it still starts to react to form NOx
    • A problem with engines
  • Sulfur present – emissions
  • Carbon dioxide and water vapor are also products
  • Energy release is 44,400 J per gram octane
  • Air to fuel ratio is about 15:1 by weight
    • 14.7:1 grams in industry
  • What limits the amount of power output is the amount of oxygen
    • Could make the engine larger
    • Compress the air
      • Super/turbocharging
    • Use pure oxygen or
      • Nitrous oxide
      • Nitromethane
  • ⅕ liter -> .257 g of air and  .0171 g fuel yields 759 J
  • 37,950 Watts out of the engine (100% efficiency)
  • 50.9 horsepower (if the engine was fully efficient)
  • Engine has about 20% efficiency in actuality


  • Two cylinders (pipettes) with a platinum wire
    • They are bubbling with the top open
  • When the top is closed, the bubbles cannot escape
    • The gas inside the left cylinder is going down more quickly than the right
      • This cylinder holds the hydrogen (H2O -> two moles hydrogen for only one mole oxygen)
  • When the hydrogen got to the bottom, a spark was lit and the ping pong ball moved upwards about a foot and a half
    • The product is water
    • The pressure increases because of heat (PV=nRT)
      • Thus, the ball is launched
  • On the second launch, the ball went up about three feet
  • On the third launch, the ball went up about two and a half feet

Brake dynamometer:

  • A device that allows you to figure out the torque and power of a motor
  • A rope is wrapped around the shaft of the motor (called a rope brake)
    • This motor is an electric motor
  • The ropes are pulled tighter and the differences of the tensions in the ropes will allow you to find the torque as a function of speed for this motor at a certain voltage
    • The speed of the motor will also be recorded
  • As the rope is pulled tighter, the engine slows down
  • For an electric motor, torque vs speed is linear
    • The torque is greatest at stall
  • Power = Force (Torque) * Velocity
  • To get a power vs speed graph, multiply the two axes together and graph with respect to speed
    • The graph is a parabola (opening downwards)
    • The greatest power to the motor will be at the center of the parabola, which is half of the possible velocity
  • Homan force vs velocity is called the Hill Curve
    • Concave and with a downward slope
  • The power vs velocity graph for a human on a bike also has a peak, where it will be easiest to get up a hill
  • Efficiency of an electric motor would be the power curve divided by the force (torque) curve
    • Graphed with respect to velocity, it is a straight line with a positive slope
    • The most efficient is using the least amount of energy

Questions for Professor Martinelli:

  • Where does air flow play a role in our motorcycle?
    • Carberation
    • Cooling
    • Windage in the engine
    • Exhaust
  • Aerodynamic drag
    • Streamlining shapes
    • On the wheels
  • Fluid in the engine
    • Lubrication

27 February 2018

Notes by Eric: Professor Littman was not here today.  In his absence, we were joined by a guest: Professor Luigi Martinelli

  •       Broad overview of the role of fluid mechanics, and more generally whatever happens when you try to move against air or water
  •       Whenever you are doing mundane tasks, you are dealing with fluid flows.  Either they are opposing your motion or helping you.

o    Two regimes—organized (laminar) and chaotic (turbulent)

  •       Chaotic flow will offer more resistance to the motorcycle
  •       Cost of turbulent flow vs. closing the wake is a tradeoff constantly considered.
  •       Distance between back of ride and wake seeks to be minimized.
  •       Some helmets are designed to minimize the gap between the rider and the air flow
  •       Often propulsion requires a working fluid

o    The flow rate—the amount of fluid that can go in or out—is determined by the shape of the valve.

o    The sizing of the fin is determined by the property of the flow of the engine head; therefore, the extent of the fin design of an air cool engine

  •       Sometimes the two combine

o    In a sail boat, the systems are integrated—balance, steering, and other properties of the sail

o    Other, seemingly more complex systems, such as a rocket, are actually simpler.

  •       Two vs. four stroke.  Two-stroke—as you draw in fresh mixture, you exhaust from the previous combustion; the two-stroke exhaust may let out unburned fuel.  If you solve the environmental problem, you would have a lighter engine because you do not need a valve. In a four-stroke engine, one stroke pulls in and compresses fuel then ignites it (power stroke), then the next stroke pushes out the exhaust.

o    The Tiger Cub has two valves to have a desirable mass flow rate.  The cam controls how quickly the valves open and close

  •       Engine cooling—require heat exchange between the engine and the outside air
  •       Overview of aerodynamic forces on ground vehicles


  •       Venturi effect: for an incompressible flow, a reduction of area causes an increase in local flow velocity and a consequent decrease in pressure.

o    Always have high velocity, low pressure

  •       The carburetor then fulfills 3 primary functions:

o    Control engine power by adjusting the air intake flow

o    Meter the fuel flow in the air flow aspirated maintaining the ratio air/fuel to optimal values throughout the engine operating range

o    Homogenize the mixture of air and fuel to enable the subsequent combustion

  •       It is possible to obtain optimal thickness, spacing of the fins by mathematical computations
  •       There are two approaches to improving design: evolutionary and computational

External aerodynamics

  •       Even with seemingly benign topics, it is hard to optimize,
  •       Hybrid between electric bike and moped is most efficient
  •       The speed at which the oil moves around is quite low; our motorcycle has a dry sump reduces the complexity of the system; if we had a
  •       Land speed records

20 February 2018

February 20, 2018

Notes by Noelle Goudy

Assignment due Thursday, February 22:

This week:

  • Starting to study the science part of the book

  • Seeing how fast the motorcycle can run

  • Looking at data sheets and octane ratings

  • Thursday: learning about combustion

  • Next week: learning about aerodynamics and drag on Tuesday


  • Emily: With Jordan, cleaned up and polished the engine covers using a sandblaster, sandpaper, and a die grinder

    • A die grinder uses compressed air to make a fan blow with very high speed (and low torque) – great for polishing

  • Noelle: With Alex, disassembled the Amal carburetor and found and labeled all parts for it

  • David: Cleaned the pieces of the transmission with Alex

  • Jake: Made a tool to compress the shocks; took the shocks apart and cleaned them

  • Brendan: Had to bore a hole to take apart the shocks; sandblasted them

  • Connor: General disassembly; removed oil pump; missing ball bearing for the oil pump

    • Note to quartermasters: make sure to order new ball bearing

  • Eric: With Hannah, sandblasted different parts of the wheel; going to assemble motorcycle stands today in shop

  • Alex: With Noelle, worked on disassembling the carburetor and cataloged parts; began to clean the carburetor

  • Alex: Finishing disassembling bottom half of engine; took of main sprocket

  • Grace: Worked with Connor and Alex to disassemble the engine; will check to make sure everything is working; will go through the gasket packet to figure out if replacements are needed

  • Jordan: Worked on polishing with the polishing wheel and by hand

  • Sarah: With Ricky tested connections with a voltmeter and with a light; today, will generate sparks with old motorcycle

  • Julianne: Continued to clean top end parts; need a piston and rings

  • Ricky: With Sarah, checked electrical connections

  • Charlie: Sandblasted the two top end pieces

  • Hannah is not here

Discussion of Chapters 9 and 10:

  • Chapter 9:

    • Motorcycle References

      • Engine misfire:

        • Spark fires but no fuel is ignited

        • Misfire can cause a bang or backfire

        • Happens if the unexploded gas goes into the exhaust line

    • Content

      • Scientific Method

        • Helpful to diagnose complicated problems

        • Ends up driving Phaedrus crazy

        • Six elements:

          • Statement of problem

          • Hypotheses

          • Experiments for each hypothesis

          • Predicted results of the experiment

          • Observed results

          • Conclusions

        • Hypotheses sometimes sound dumb but are important because assumptions shouldn’t be made

        • 132: Experiment only fails if it cannot provide data either way

      • Inductive vs. Deductive reasoning

        • Inductive: making a hypothesis out of data

        • Deductive reasoning: inferring what is happening based on observations

      • Underlying Form

      • Classic vs. Romantic approach

  • Chapter 10:

    • Content

      • Characterizing Phaedrus: how did he lose his mind? Comparing Phaedrus and Einstein

        • Both study science for the stake of science – to learn – pursuit of knowledge

        • Page 111: The difference between experience and nature

          • Does nature provide the data?

        • Phaedrus is more interested in inquiry

          • The philosopher’s approach

          • Where knowledge comes from

        • Phaedrus thinks that there are infinite hypotheses and thus thinks that they can never be solved

        • Exponential growth of data and information but not of knowledge

Top Speed of the Motorcycle: 62 mph

  • K’Nex model of a Model T engine: Four stroke cycle

    • 2:1 gear ratio

    • Crack turns the connecting rod, which makes the pistons move up and down

    • The spark plug goes off when the piston is at the top

    • As the piston move up, the exhaust is blown out

    • Intake valve opens when the piston is at the bottom: air and fuel mixture enters

    • RPM: revolutions per minute of the crank

    • What is the maximum RPM of our motorcycle?

  • “Triumph-10001.pdf” – workshop instruction manual

    • We have the T20 model

    • Technical data is located at the bottom of the manual:

      • 63 mm bore (diameter of piston)

      • 64 mm stroke

      • Power output: 10 (brake) horsepower at 6000 RPM

        • 6000 rpm = 100 revolutions per second

      • Gear ratios

        • Engine sprocket: 19 (teeth)

        • Clutch sprocket: 48 (teeth)

        • Gearbox sprocket: 17 (teeth)

        • Rear wheel sprocket: 46 (teeth)

    • Clutch is going at 2375 RPM

      • Crack to clutch: 19/46 * 6000 = 2375 RPM

    • Rear wheel is going at 877 RPM (in the fourth gear)

      • Clutch to rear wheel in top gear: 17/46 * 2375 = 877 RPM = 14.6 revolutions per second

      • 14.6 revolutions per second * 6.28 ft = 91.7 feet per second

      • 91.7/66 = 1.04 * 60 mph = 62 mph

    • 48/19 * 46/17 = 6.84 (which was given as the top gear ratio)

      • Ratio of how fast the crank is turning to how fast the wheel is turning

      • Gear ratios increase as the gear goes down

  • Tiger Cub Bible

    • Page 173: Gearboxes for all of the Tiger Cub motorcycles

      • Standard, wide, close, extra-close, and ultra-close gearboxes

        • We have the standard model