Steam engines would seem to be a bit impractical as motorcycle powerplants go but they look so cool you just have to try. This particular steamcycle is being restored by Jim Anderson of CAMA, the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association. It was built in the early ’70s by Arthur “Bud” Hubbard of Monroe, CT following a design from The Model Engineer and Electrician in an article published in 1918. The writer never actually built the bike but Bud thought it looked pretty interesting so he figured he would give it a try.
The steam engine itself is a two cylinder, 6 cubic inch single acting engine using a direct chain drive. The engine is mounted in a 1956 Maico frame. Jim says it’s supposed to run for about 2 hours on one water fillup and uses about 1 gallon per hour of gasoline, though he hasn’t actually had it running yet according to the website, a few details remain to be repaired.
Bikes like this may be impractical but if you like old machinery, you just have to smile. I like it a lot.