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Old 12-01-2011, 08:03 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Interim update

Thanks for your interest, sorry things have been a bit quiet lately, but I’ve been waiting to complete a big section before updating. I have been hard at work on the project, but not all about fabricating. I have been doing some more research on similar ideas, and have been looking at the legal aspects of finishing the project. This weekend the rolling frame/chassis should be down on the ground for the first time, and its getting close to the “swap-over” time. This is when take all the bits off the C90 that I need to get it ready for driving. At the moment the C90 is still complete, as I have used “mock-up” components to design and fabricate around.
I’ll probably try to do the “swap-over” during the Christmas holiday period because I can get about 10days without interruptions. But I’ve been looking at the legal position of the modifications, just to be on the safe side, and its not looking good.

One part of the build that I can update is the fabrication of the front section. When I started, I decided to make the frame/chassis in three sections. This was for ease of modification if I found something didn’t work, a lesson I’ve learned the hard way on another project.
The three sections bolt together at two “flanges” which are simple two dimensional faces which allows me to update only those sections which require re-working. In the picture below you can see the front fork assembly and steering head, and it attaches to the lower “drive” section which houses the motor and rear swing arm assembly.
This method adds some time to the fabrication but it also brings some benefits. In order to maintain torsional rigidity, the joint faces are over-engineered, and this makes for a very strong protective structure around the driver’s feet. Being “inside” this machine makes it inherently safe (I crashed my first prototype so I can testify to that) but the extra protection provided by this method is a welcome benefit





A bit more on cooling
Before I disassemble the C90 (before Christmas) I will undertake some cooling tests on the standard motor. I am buying a digital themocouple reader and sensor to try in the C90 in standard form. It seems to me that in order to quantify the effect on cooling by housing the motor in its new location, I should first have information about the running temperature of the original. I’ll post these figures up within a couple of weeks

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Old 12-02-2011, 10:25 AM   #122 (permalink)
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Can we have more info about the legal part ?

I thought UK was the "wildiest" country in Europe as far as making a vehicle road legal wath rather easy (formula 1 or motored bed springing to mind ...)
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:16 PM   #123 (permalink)
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Reply to Renault megane dci
I think that your perception of the UK as being a relatively “free” society when it comes to vehicle regulations, is correct. I have spent some time living in France and from my discussions with French friends, you have a government system which is more hostile to individuality. But we do have regulation here, just not so intrusive as other European states.
I will explain (simply and I hope accurately) our system, for regulation of vehicle construction.

When it comes to registering a “radically altered” it is judged on a points system. Points are awarded for original components and the importance of those components. This (below) cut from govt website.
Scoring components
The following values will be allocated to the major components used:
· chassis or body shell (body and chassis as one unit - monocoque ie direct replacement from the manufacturer) (original or new) = 5 points
· suspension = 2 points
· axles = 2 points
· transmission = 2 points
· steering assembly = 2 points
· engine = 1 point
Where there is evidence that two vehicles have been welded together to form one (ie 'cut and shut') a 'Q' mark will be allocated, IVA, ESVA, SVA or MSVA will be required.


In my case four vehicles have been welded together! As you can see, this list is not very applicable to a motorcycle, because it is designed around cars, which are the most popular modified vehicles. Project 100 C90 will get 3 points on this system and I need 8 or more to retain the original registration.
It will therefore require an MSVA (Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval) test, which is a more rigourous test of construction quality and compliance than the ordinary annual MOT test. It is also carried out at a ministry test station, rather than a local garage. I’m confident that the machine will pass this test, but its all the bureaucratic nonsense that I’d rather sidestep! I just want to stick a number plate on it and go for a ride!

BUT, Loopholes! I am not trying to “re-register” my vehicle. It has registration and will continue to have registration so long as it passes its annual MOT test and I do not sell it. All I need is a “friendly” MOT tester, who will check that it conforms with “construction and use” regulations and I,m OK.*
(* please note: the legal definition of OK, might actually mean fines and points on my license but I won’t go to prison. Mind you, we do have a habit of sending people to prison for less stupid things than this, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed)

Anyway that’s the summary, as I see it. Hope it helps
By the way, got the new frame on its wheels tonight – Milestone!!
Pictures tomorrow
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:59 PM   #124 (permalink)
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Update 010
So, its on the ground! This is the first time its come out of the workshop since it went in as a pile of pieces. The suspension ride heights need some attention, but its not at full weight yet and its close enough for now.
I’m particularly pleased that the rear suspension works well, as I designed the layout and fabricated all the links and pivots myself. I think it may be a “first” for a fully horizontal system, although I think Buell did something similar – even so its my idea and it works, so far!




The driving position is based on normal “sports car” dimensions, and although it has come out about 50mm higher than I would have liked, its remarkably like my BMW. The completed roof height should be below shoulder level (I’m 5’10”) and there’s room to lower the chassis further. The fabrication stand (under seat) is 150mm which was my original design height, but comparison with a friend’s 350Z shows that I could easily go down to 100mm without clearance issues.

The steering (image below) uses a “remote” steering head (actually a modified BMX bicycle frame) and push rod system. The link rod is tubular steel and uses rod-end bearings and links to a plate with alternative mounting holes, so I can adjust the mechanical advantage to change steering “feel”.


I’ve chosen a different handlebar design to mimic the ergonomics of a steering wheel, allowing the driver to rest his arm weight. Its very comfortable. The controls will be –
single brake (linked system): left foot operated,
throttle: right foot operated
gear selection: hand operated (either)
clutch: none (see Honda C90 std controls)

While taking photos I also took this one to demonstrate the lean angle.



Its not fully over (you can see the 150mm fab stand supporting it) but it leans a long way before touching the ground. This will be great fun to be inside sweeping through bends at speed. It’ll go far better than the std C90.

Anyway, there it is before I’ve taken a single part off the C90 – tell me what you think!
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:11 PM   #125 (permalink)
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Visionary, two things that would scare me are the apparent weak point where the frame has the least strength just below the handlebars, and the mount for the handlebars itself which would act like a spear if you hit something hard with the front end. I guess a good 5 point harness would be best for driver protection, but it seems like the front end would fold back into the driver in a severe front end impact.

Just a thought, maybe additional bracing in that area?

Otherwise I like the whole design.

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Mech
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Perhaps if you're planning on ingress/egress on one side only, you can run a brace tween seatback and steering head on one side that doesn't ruin accessibility yet would help prevent the above scenario. If you are set on keeping the BMX part, perhaps a broad sheet could be affixed such that impacting it would be more like hitting a wall than a spear.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:24 PM   #127 (permalink)
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First let me say that I love the way it's coming along. I also agree with Old MECH that the protrusion into the cockpit of the BMX steering frame is way to dangerous. I would opt for an extended "chopper type" handlebar instead.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:31 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Replies to Mech, Frank & Quasimoto

Thanks guys, do I deduce approval with reservations?
I think your observations are all valid, but I should explain things a little further. I failed to communicate all the features of the design, in my rush to show off the photos.

Firstly, the seat belt issue. The finished item will feature a full harness (only four point though), the steel plate behind the seatback is not only a bulkhead between the driver and luggage compartments, but the mounting point for the shoulder belts and the roll hoop.
The “weak point” in the frame. The frame lacks all the triangulation that it will have before I use it, and its strength is already comparable with an average scooter. But in addition it will feature “side impact bars” which will link the front frame section to the rear. This will complete the enclosing “cell” and carry loads around the occupant. I’ll post an image mid-week to explain further.

The remote steering head section looks a bit more dangerous than it really is. I’m sure you guys have all seen a normal steering column assembly with no crash pad around it – now they really do look like spears. This looks bad because it has none of the traditional enclosures at this stage. The handlebars will have an absorbent pad similar to a car’s steering wheel, and it could even feature an airbag.

I crashed my first prototype at 30 mph straight into an earth bank. That had a harness and it restrained me perfectly, walked away without a scratch, and that was not half as strong as this version is now. Trust me on this – this will be the safest motorcycle in the world!

Thanks again.
Pete
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:49 AM   #129 (permalink)
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I crashed my first prototype at 30 mph straight into an earth bank.
On purpose ???
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:43 AM   #130 (permalink)
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You have built this in a very clever and imaginative way, Pete.

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