Introducing... The Juggernaut

Published in the October 2017 Issue August 2018 Feature Trevor Mason

Trials And Tribulations

Listening to Sam describe some of the twists and turns the project has taken was fascinating. One of his biggest headaches was a pump he had ordered that ended up being a counterclockwise-driven pump, when his motor was set up to turn clockwise. “It was trying to pull from the pressure side and send hydraulic pressure to the return side, so it was spinning backwards. That was a big letdown when I went to fire it up and test drive the bike for the first time. I went to give it throttle and make it move, and it wasn’t doing anything. I thought something was up, because it should have been doing something.”

Sam’s gotten things well in hand now, with only one obstacle yet remaining. He says, “The pump that drives it is a log splitter pump, and those are designed to pretty much only go one speed; it only has one set displacement. The bike has great top end, but it has zero low end. As you can see in the video, it’s very slow on acceleration. It’s very similar to a diesel locomotive pulling a bunch of train cars. It’ll do 80 mph, maybe even 90 at the top end, but it just takes forever to get there. It’s kind of like starting a truck out in fifth gear, riding the clutch out forever.”

Luckily, he has a friend who works for a forklift company and was able to get him a variable displacement pump that’ll actually allow him to accelerate properly. He’s currently getting it installed, but like everything else along the way, he has to make a lot of modifications to get it to fit, because it’s bigger than the old pump.

Put It To The Test

Once that’s done, though, everything should be all buttoned up and it’ll be done. Well, “done.” No project is ever truly complete. He has to figure out how to get the thing street legal, which is its own ball of wax. “I actually cut the neck off of a 1978 Triumph TR650 that had the VIN plate and that’s what I actually used as the pivot point for my handlebars. So I’ve got a VIN number that matches a 1978 Triumph, but I know if I registered it as such, and I ever got pulled over on it, a cop is going to be pretty sure it’s not a Triumph.”

The one thing he’d love to do, when everything is said and done, is take it out somewhere long and flat—like the Bonneville Salt Flats—and see how fast it will actually go. He says, “It should hopefully do about 90, if I could get it to a place where I could open it up.”

In the time since I first spoke with Sam, he’s actually gotten in touch with the lovable chuckleheads at the Diesel Brothers. Not only is he going to be featuring the bike on an episode of their show while at the big Sturgis motorcycle rally, but they’re also going to fulfill his dream and take the bike to the salt flats and really see how fast it can go. Keep an eye out for the mushroom cloud!

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