Steam-Powered Motorcycle

What happens in a crash that splits the boiler open?

     Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 31, 2020
     Category: Death | Inventions | 1930s | Motorcycles

A pressurized boiler for a steam engine is usually pretty well constructed. Rail engines were in common use for years with minimum problems. Your main concern in a crash using a vehicle with only two wheels that would split a boiler would be surviving the forces of the initial second of impact.

The danger factor is mainly a matter of perspective.
Posted by KDP on 08/31/20 at 11:39 AM
A blow hard enough to rupture the boiler would first render you into high-grade mush.

Part of the consideration in designing those casks which carry nuclear waste on railcars is any force sufficient to breach them will first break it free of its moorings and send it flying away. iirc (which isn't guaranteed), and the info available to the public is accurate (which definitely isn't guaranteed), one of them can survive being tossed up to 1/8th mile and landing on hard ground while the railcar on which it was sitting is totally destroyed.

Back in the 1930s, engineering didn't usually take such things into consideration, but the surrounding frame, linkages, etc. would probably have served as an ersatz crumple zone, so being hit by a truck would send the boiler bouncing across the landscape.
Posted by Phideaux on 08/31/20 at 05:18 PM
As a bike and fan of strange machines, I have seen many weird engines stuffed into two-wheeled frames. From diesels to rockets. But never a steam engine. All I can assume is this one rusted away in a garage during WW2.
Posted by eddi on 08/31/20 at 10:56 PM
A thermodynamic absurdity. The Society of Mech. Engineers should have sent in a swat team.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 09/04/20 at 10:43 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.