Made It! MacArthur/Corbin Bike Sees the Summit of Mt. Washington, 40 years Later

IMG_1547

Sportin’ the CALB pack donated by Mike Corbin, and refitted with an actual speed controller from Alltrax, the 1974 Corbin XLP-1 made it all the way to the summit of Mt Washington again – a feat it hadn’t achieved in over 40 years.  Here’s the clip of it making the final climb into the summit parking lot:

#mtwashingtonautoroad #electricmotorcycle #summit #success

A post shared by @powerinflux on

 

…and a few shots from the base, and the climb (courtesy of Howie Wemyss):

IMG_1545

The original Alternative Energy Regatta had a turtle as the logo, which you can see in the photo above.  I learned why, soon enough.  The motor was a 2hp Baldor special order, and although it did actually pull the bike up the 12% grades, it was a tall order for it.  At the very first pitch out of the parking lot, it slowed down to about 15mph, but once there, it stayed there – didn’t go any slower and pulled like a beast.  Kind of a little beast, but it wasn’t giving up.

At about halfway up, I could feel it getting warm, since it was right under my thigh, so I took it easy on it and made several rest stops.  (After all, I’m riding a museum piece, right?) In spite of the fact I was worried I was probably pulling some decent amps, the 250A fuse never blew, and the pack, controller and wires stayed cool as cukes.  That huge rear drive sprocket?  It needed every tooth.

Here are some more photos:

DSC_8005

The dirt section, with Wildcat Mt. and Pinkham Notch in the background

The dirt section, with Wildcat Mt. and Pinkham Notch in the background

DSC_8028

The final approach, into the Observatory lot

The final approach, into the Observatory lot

We were goofing around trying to re-create Charlie’s suave pose from the 1974 postcard, but I don’t have the same amount of James Bond Cool Charlie did back then.  You’ll have to imagine that part.

Here’s Sue Humphries, Charlie’s lifelong partner, with the bike that, until today, she had never seen actually run.

Sue Humphries with Charlie's bike

Sue Humphries with Charlie’s bike

As is pretty evident, the weather was absolutely perfect, and we were only a few days off from Charlie’s ideal date of June 20 – the Summer Solstice.  It was well into the 60s on the summit, with only an occasional puff of wind.

While we were well prepared for carrying the bike down in the truck, it didn’t seem like the noble thing to do, to such a venerable machine.  The brakes seemed to be in good shape, and though the throttle assembly was integral with the front brake lever and I’d had to move it to put the Domino throttle on, I didn’t disconnect it, and could still use it.  We started the slow, steady descent, alternating front and rear braking to allow some cooling.  They got hot enough to burn fingers, but never faded or smelled.  The bike made it all the way down, on it’s own two wheels.

As Sue said, Charlie MacArthur will always be a part of this mountain.

IMG_3888_1

Advertisements

2 responses to “Made It! MacArthur/Corbin Bike Sees the Summit of Mt. Washington, 40 years Later

  1. Awesome Ted!!! Sorry I couldn’t make it. You’ve inspired me to pick up “Fossil to Flux” again abd reread it. I’m wondering if I can make a homemade controller / BMS out of a Raspberry Pi…? We’ll see!

Comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s