When we saw this Parilla at the Barber Museum, I kinda wanted to hug it. It’s just so darned cute!
Back in the time of dinosaurs when music actually played on MTV (the 80’s) Tom Petty had a video for the song You Got Lucky. During the first minute and a half or so of the Mad Max-y video, 3 dirty ruffians come skidding in on a sidecar rig. The Parilla reminds me of that sidecar rig mixed with Guido the forklift from Cars.
Random. I know.
The museum placard reads:
1956 Parilla Corsa
Engine: Air-cooled, single cylinder four stroke
Ignition: Battery and coil
Power Rating: 26 b.h.p. @ 7,200 r.p.m.
Bore x Stroke: 68 x 68mm
Valves: Single overhead cam, bevel and shaft drive
Fuel System: Single De, Orto G.P. carburetor
Transmission: Four speed
Suspension: Front telescopic forks, rear twin shock
Brakes: Front and rear drum
Weight: 234 lbs.
Top Speed: 110 m.p.h.
Parilla made a limited number of motors with overhead camshafts. Available in four versions, the Tourist and Sports were street legal machines, with the Compitizione and Corsa stripped racing models, the Corsa featuring magnesium engine cases and brakes. This machine has a full “dustbin” fairing that would result in higher speeds due to better air penetration. These fairings were eventually banned in the late 1950’s, reason being that they made the bike unstable in strong side winds, and also contributed to the front brake fading.
Until I visited the Barber Motorsports Museum, the only rotary engined motorcycle that I’d ever seen or heard was the Suzuki RE-5 owned by my friend Quacka. There’s a good reason for that. There were never many production models made using a rotary mill.
Like the RE-5, the Hercules was apparently a victim of it’s own innovation – the rotary power plant was prone to heat issues. It never saw favor in the marketplace and the model died off.
The German-made Hercules W2000:
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The Barber Motorsports Museum is the most amazing place. It is like a Church of Motorcycling History. Be sure to check out more blog posts from our visit there
Barber Motorsports Museum Board Track Racing Display:
Imagine running full speed at 75mph and a 45° angle with nothing but your feet as brakes…
Great board track racing video from Daytona, Florida in the 1920’s. The intro title is a little long but stick with it. It just serves as further proof that motorcycle riders have always been adrenaline junkies.
The Tesi with it’s hub-steering has become one of those motorcycles that is the stuff of legend. Seeing the unusual Bimota in the wild is a bit like seeing a UFO. Sure some people say they’ve seen them but I’m usually a little skeptical and never imagined seeing one myself. That was until we visited Barber Motorsports Museum where they have not 1 but 2 different Tesi models on display; a 1991 Tesi and a 2008 Tesi 3D.
“While featuring the original Hub-Steering developed by Bimota, the Tesi 3D Concept boasts several new developments and refinements: The front and rear swing utilize a trellis structure similar to the rear swing of our DB5 and DB6 series’ models. Also the front suspension has been radically redesigned and now uses a pull-rod mechanism with the hydraulic suspension located low beside the engine. Carbon body-parts and cowling, forged alloy wheels, and radial disc brakes are further features of the new TESI 3D. “
Such radical visual styling elicits a love it or hate it response in people. Where do you stand?
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What started from two cousins, Everett and Clinton Cushman building farming machinery and two-cycle boat engines in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1901 developed into one of the most well known commercial and industrial vehicle companies. Used in factories, the military, airports and even on the links, Cushman vehicles are everywhere. Golf cart, anyone?
From the mid 1930s through the late 1960’s, the Cushman company also produced some of the most charming 2 and 3-wheeled motor scooters with model names like the Eagle, Model 53 Airborne and the Pacemaker.
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