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Old 10-03-2008, 09:50 PM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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Ninja 250 EV conversion: solar recharged & "Vetter style" streamlining

Via ABG this is a pretty interesting project: AltCar 2008: Prometheus' solar-powered electric motorcycle - AutoblogGreen



Jim Corning is owner of an Arizona PV solar installation business, and apparently as a hobby decided to appropriate his wife's Ninja 250 and transform it into the lithium powered machine you see above. The bike project was practice for a yet-to-be built car conversion.

He uses it as a promotional tool for the business, and points out that he can power the bike for about 50 miles a day from the panels you see behind it.

Top speed is 70 mph with a range of 40-50 miles in a mix of hwy/city.

He built the fairing because he ruined a set of batteries by drawing too much current from them at highway speeds in the bike's original form and realized he needed to make it more efficient. He knows all about Craig Vetter, obviously! With the fairing, the top speed went up by 10 mph, and the current went down at lower speeds compared to the original bodywork.

There's an audio interview with the builder and a photo gallery on ABG..

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Old 10-17-2008, 07:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd love to do something like this with my scooter...
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I sure hope that his work and Craig Vetters work seeps into the styling that is common in the industry. There is plenty of work to do and significant benefit for aerodynamically slippery motorcycles.

This guy has a really great technical start and it looks like an eye for good design as well. A rare and valuable combination.

One thing I don't understand though is how the front wheel will steer while the suspension is compressed.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wrote to the builder , asking about the front suspension/fairing clearance question.

He writes:

Quote:
The front fender/fairing is attacehd so that it turns with the forks but does not move up and down with suspension movement. So - it's tall enough to accomodate full upward travel of the front wheel. The clearances between the fairing parts should not change with suspension movement. That being said, it's all a bit of a work-in-progress, and I'm keeping an eye out for skid marks inside the fairing!
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd also be curious about how the rear fairing affects the centre of gravity i.e. how the added weight up high affects the handling.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd be curious how he fabricated that fairing--if it was a sculpted male plug followed by female mold of fiberglass, or what.

He's off to a good start. Fine tuning would include mirrors within the envelope of the windscreen, flush turn signals, coverage for the rider's legs, etc..

Center of gravity would not be a problem if he does not load up the trunk with heavy stuff.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I wrote to the builder , asking about the front suspension/fairing clearance question.

He writes:

The front fender/fairing is attacehd so that it turns with the forks but does not move up and down with suspension movement. So - it's tall enough to accomodate full upward travel of the front wheel. The clearances between the fairing parts should not change with suspension movement. That being said, it's all a bit of a work-in-progress, and I'm keeping an eye out for skid marks inside the fairing!


very cool of the guy to write back

I would think the front shocks would be inside of the housing
as there is visually no room for up/down travel
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I wonder how those aeromods handle in cross winds. traditional motorcycles can be tricky to begin with when there are cross wind conditions. Even a bicycle with wheel disks is often difficult to steer.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohaspirit View Post
very cool of the guy to write back

I would think the front shocks would be inside of the housing
as there is visually no room for up/down travel
The actual mouting location for the fairing is probably the upper part of the shock fork. The mobile part, which pushes inside the mounted part (of the shock) usually doesn't start until about the top of the tire. As long as the structure was mounted to the non-compressible part of the shock, the wheel could bound into and out of the aero-structure, while the structure could maintain lateral movement.
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamsterpower View Post
I wonder how those aeromods handle in cross winds. traditional motorcycles can be tricky to begin with when there are cross wind conditions. Even a bicycle with wheel disks is often difficult to steer.
yup! for outdoor bicycles hour or 24 hour attempts with front wheel disks they utilize varying cross sections of dishes to dissipate sidewinds evenly - still not an exact science and takes a master cyclist with brasso to make it work.

NOW, look at the centre of pressure and how far aft it is! fUN FuN fuN
to prove that concept just pilot a tandem with an unsteady rider in the back!


Last edited by max_frontal_area; 07-14-2009 at 03:10 AM.. Reason: omission
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