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Thread: Rikuo Engine Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Leeds, Alabama
    Posts
    124

    Default Rikuo Engine Build

    Good Evening Everyone,

    Hope everybody is having a good week so far. Tomorrow is FRIDAY!

    Some of you know that I am restoring a rare 1958 Rikuo RT 750. Its really rare. We believe only two or three ever made it to the States. That being said I thought it would be nice if I shared with you some pictures of the inside of a Rikuo engine. Over the last few days, I have been building the bottom-end of the Rikuo. I know almost all of you have never seen the inside of one of these rare engines. So here tiz:

















    Before I tore the bike down for the restoration, I fired her up to hear the engine. Sounds just like any Flat Head Harley... As I was pulling the engine down, I was very happy to see very little wear, and made notice to the quality of the internal components. Very nicely done! The crank spins happily on roller bearings, with helical cut gears that drive the oil pump, as well as four individual camshafts. The ignition system is powered by a battery, which is re-supplied by the engine mounted gear driven generator. A very interesting machine to be sure. Hope you guys enjoy the pictures!

    Take care
    Last edited by denismccarthy; 02-02-2012 at 06:38 PM.
    J.Denis McCarthy Come visit The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
    www.barbermuseum.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks for the pics, I'll be following this with great interest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Do Harley parts interchange?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
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    1,284

    Default

    Dear Denis and John, I have a Rikuo parts book from the 1950s which still uses the Harley part numbers from 1932 when Rikuo bought the license to make the bikes. I have several customers from Japan buying VL parts which I believe are going into Rikuo big twins. I am not very familiar with the Harley small twins, but Denis' pictures show a motor which looks like many Harley parts are still interchangeable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Leeds, Alabama
    Posts
    124

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    Hey Steve

    I would be very interested in exploring the idea of interchangeability between the two manufactures. I have pretty much everything I need for the engine, but I do need some items for the chassis. Could you direct me to any of your contacts in Japan? We have one or two but haven't had much luck buying anything from them. The most important item is the exhaust system. I believe its completely different than the Harley version. Someone at some point replaced the system on my Rikuo with a 1200cc version. The header pipes are dinged up too... Please let me know if think you can help.

    Thanks!!
    J.Denis McCarthy Come visit The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
    www.barbermuseum.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,284

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    Dear Denis, my Japanese customers seem to speak only part numbers, and if they are buying from me then I guess the parts are not available over there. On the exhaust, the Rikuo parts book shows the front pipe and all clips with the Harley part numbers, with just the rocket ship muffler having a 1951 part number. I'll try to get the manual, and a grubby Owners Handbook, digitised for the AMCA Virtual Library, but this could take a while.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Leeds, Alabama
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Hey Steve

    Just looked at your post... Any help would be great!! Engine is done and sitting happily in the frame this afternoon. I'll post up some new pictures. Regarding the exhaust, are you thinking that a Harley header and muffler will be correct for this model? I haven't found any information that the Rikuo exhaust is the same as any Harley-Davidson exhaust. Maybe I missed something? If its true that there is a Harley exhaust that matches the Rikuo, then that will completely change my parts search!! Our Team is heading up to Millwauke tomorrow, so I will broach this subject with their Archives people. Really looking forward to it!!

    Thanks Steve, keep in touch!
    J.Denis McCarthy Come visit The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
    www.barbermuseum.org

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Leeds, Alabama
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Good Evening Everyone!

    I hope everyone is doing fine and your week is going fine. Its almost Friday! I've had all sorts of fun this week with my beloved Rikuo. I'm DONE with my engine!! Its sitting happily in the frame. I took the time this afternoon to takes some pictures for you. I'm working away to get the gearbox together. I've got the drive and driven assemblies together and in their case, and all things are spinning in the proper way. The cuts on the gears all look nice and sharp, so I'm in good shape there. I had a chance to do further research this week as well, and have come to an interesting conclusion. This may be the only Rikuo RT-750 in the United States. I believe that Troyce Walls of Florida has a 1957 1200cc version, but I have yet to find anyone with a 1958 RT-750. Wooof! So I had a chance to take a few pictures this afternoon.











    And here is a picture of the gearbox...........



    I'm really happy about the way this bike is coming together. She's looking sharp!

    Hope you guys like this pics! If you have any new Rikuo intel please send it my way!!

    Have a great Evening.

    Denis
    Last edited by denismccarthy; 02-16-2012 at 05:44 PM.
    J.Denis McCarthy Come visit The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
    www.barbermuseum.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    High in the B.C. Rockies....
    Posts
    5,353

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    You are doing a really nice job Denis! Not to sidetrack your thread (too much anyway), here's a shot of a Rikuo engine that I saw at the Deeley Museum in Vancouver, B.C. last spring.

    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Leeds, Alabama
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Wow!

    Hey Cory

    So.... is that a ummm... what is that? (I know its a engine you sorry frackin knuckle heads!!) Its completely different to what I have.. Do you know what model, year, production that you had a chance to find out about? It seems to me that Rikuo of all things equals rare. There is not sadly much left... Really interesting picture bro. Thank you.

    Dns
    J.Denis McCarthy Come visit The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
    www.barbermuseum.org

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