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Demise of the Knucklehead

April 22, 2019

 

Harley Davidson introduced it's Knucklehead engine in 1936 continuing production until just after the end of World War 2 in 1947.

 

The Knucklehead name is derived from the engine design in line with Harley Davidson's tradition of Flatheads, Ironheads, Shovelheads and Panheads, all being descriptive of the evolving style of the respective engines. 

 

The internal combustion engine has progressed significantly since the Knucklehead, the design of which would be considered agricultural these days, it being a relic of a time when steam trains were still in use and computers were the size of a large piano.

Image: Pinterest

Being of the post-war Boomer generation has been a stroke of good fortune. It's been more than growing up with the best music of all time, it's been witnessing some amazing technological advances in half a human lifespan.

 

We've seen Sputnik blink its way across a night sky and watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon only 12 years later. Voyager 1 has left the heliosphere after 41 years and passed into inter-stellar space. Pluto has been tranformed from a fuzzy collection of a dozen pixels into crystal clear images of a heart-shaped glacier that’s bigger than Texas, mountains as high as the NZ alps and red snow. Almost 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered and a blackhole has been photographed for the first time.

 

Near real time multi-media communications to any other inhabitant of the planet who is equipped with a small, cheap handheld device is readily available to most for negligible cost. The iPhone 6 performs instructions 120,000,000 times faster than the best Apollo era, car-sized computers that cost $millions.

 

Scientists have cloned sheep and 3D-printed a rabbit's heart.

 

Anyone can stroll down a street in a foreign country in a virtual world captured from space, for easy access from your lounge chair, courtesy of GoogleEarth. For free.

 

Scientists, engineers and geeks have expanded the human realm into places that were scarcely imaginable in 1947.

 

Then we have this - the representative of a government of a 1st world country in 2019:

 

 

 

"Australia is a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people's ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise." Donald Horne 1964

 

Such an observation could be considered kind in light of the hooligans who now infect the government benches 55 years later. This is a 'government' of such willful ignorance, incompetence, delusion and self-serving perfidy that 'third rate' would be a promotion in their ranking.

 

A clear demonstration of the ethics, hypocrisy, regressive idiocy and sheer bastardry of this coagulation of Luddites and saboteurs has been their hysterical reaction to the momentum behind the introduction of electric vehicles.

 

The histrionics displayed by Smirkin' Scott Morrison, backed up by his helmet-haired harpie Michaelia Carcrash in response to the Labor announcement of a target of 50% for electric vehicles  (EVs) in new car sales by 2030 vividly demonstrated the mendacity, hypocrisy and blatant deceit of a political party so desperate to cllng to power that no lie is too outrageous, no deception is too blatant.  EVs are coming whether they, or we, like it or not.

 

I cannot imagine me ever buying an electically propelled motorcycle. The sound, the smell and the feel of a petrol-engined bike are indispensible parts of their appeal to me. That does not mean however that I cannot accept that the end of the internal combustion engine as an automotive force is in sight. I accept that it is. 

 

In the same way that automobiles and motorcycles displaced the horse and buggy EVs will displace petrol and diesel powered vehicles. Electric motors are far more energy efficient than petrol or diesel engines, far less complex and hence easier and cheaper to maintain. No more gearboxes, differentials, cooling or air intake systems, valves, camshafts, crankshafts. No more oil changes, no more airfilters. Braking systems will be under far less stress - turning the power off to an electric motor provides its own retardant force, generating otherwise lost energy back to the vehicle's batteries. And no more driving around with 10s of litres of heavy and highly combustible liquid just behind little Tarquin sitting in the back seat.

 

Battery technology is improving at exponential rates. Look at your Smartphone then look at the first mobile phones. 

Recharging points will roll-out just as petrol stations did, but at a much faster rate and at far more locations. No more driving to a servo - top up at home, at parking stations, at the kerbside and many other places not yet thought of.

 

There are significant secondary benefits - environmental, social, security and economic.  

 

Australia produces some its own crude oil but around 75 per cent of local production is exported and refined overseas and we spend $14.5 billion per year on imported, refined petroluem. 

 

We do not have the internationally mandated 90-day stockpile, but between 19 to 24 days.

 

The ongoing closure of Australia’s refineries means we are on track to be 100% reliant on imported petroleum by 2030.

 

In short what we have is a claque of incompetent, dig it up and ship it out, corrupted charlatans claiming to be the go-to-guys for economic management and national security while at the same time they actively undermine both. Facts and figures, evidence and statistics are anathema to a conclave of grifters and flat-earthers who are infested with religious zealots in thrall to the perveyors of medieval dogma while they scorn and undermine science and scientists.

 

Hand-in-glove with their denigration of EVs and what was their very own policy up until it became politically expedient to bag it has been their treatment of two other technologies that are crititical to Australia's environmental, social, security and economic wellbeing - clean energy and the NBN.

 

EVs, clean energy and a 21st century communications network.

 

What would true leaders, thinkers and innovators do with such opportunities? What would clever people do? How would they exploit such technologies for the betterment of our country? Well, the Lying Nasty Party has done exactly the opposite.

 

Their behaviour has not been driven just by negligence, not solely because of ignorance but primarliy due to their allegience and deference to the magnates of a dying newsprint empire and the fossil fuel industries and to their unhinged belief in their right to rule;  their internecine malignance over-riding any notion of  cooperation or multilateral development of ideas and innovation. 

 

They have run interference, they have sabotaged, they have lied and they have cheated. We have had the innate nastiness of a self-confessed technical illiterate actively seeking to destroy the NBN and clean energy, we have seen the denigration of the CSIRO and the BoM, and now we have witnessed the most inane tirade of twisted, tortured humbug  yet, using another game-changing technology simply to try to wedge their opponents.

 

This goes beyond an outrage - it borders on the criminal. They actively seek to hold our country back for their own short-term self-interests.  They are antagonistic to facts that challenge their antiquated dogma, they are incompetent and they are corrupt.

 

King Canute was demonstrating that he couldn't hold back the tide. Our god-bothering coprolites will try to stop the technological tide but they will be by-passed by the private enterprises they profess to hold so dear, by the clever and innovative amongst us and, if rationality holds up in the electorate, by a significant majority of our fellow ciitizens come election day. They don't lead, they have to be led.

 

Harley-Davidson's Knucklehead is a relic of the past. These people are not so much knuckleheads as knuckledraggers. We need this dated freak show to be consigned to a museum of dusty, historical curiosities. We need them gone. They need to be told - "on ya bike!"

 

 

 

Hypocrisy Writ Large

 

How an ethical, clever politician shreds the two-faced troglodytes:

 

The Knuckledraggers angle:Peta Credlin Admitting The Last Seven Years Of Politics Is Based On Total Crap

 

 

References

 

The Converation. Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe

 

Parliament Of Australia. Australia's energy consumption, production, imports and exports

 

I love this reference. Lying Nasty Party accidental Senator Jim Moylan helps the argument against his own party: 

The ABC. Fact check: Does Australia have 3 weeks of petrol in reserve?

 

 

 

 

 

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