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Old 11-08-2012, 07:10 PM   #261 (permalink)
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all the tire testing I have read,a fatter tire is often your best choice,then why such a narrow tire on road bikes,weight and airflow.You can go 50 mph with 4hp,but getting to 100 mph takes 8 times the horsepower because of air induced drag.So you really need a slick body to pull it off, if it's even possible.But no matter the number's,your a winner,motorcycles are about as aerodynamic as a brick,granted their are a few like the Hayabusa that in a tuck with a lean rider can go like hell,but that's still leaning on the tank.Imagine going to work everyday leaning on your tank.I want my enclosed motorcycle with a drink holder,yeah I'm selfish,cruising to work or play.

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Old 11-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #262 (permalink)
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Update 015 - Bodywork Fabrication

So now the initial test phase is over I’m working on improving the engineering standard of some items and completing more of the outer bodywork. So I thought I’d share some step-by-step photos of how I do my prototype bodywork.
What I am making, in effect, are a series of “plugs” from which mould tooling will be fabricated. Importantly though it makes no sense to invest a lot of time and effort in a search for perfection at this stage, since testing will require many changes as I home in on the perfect aero shape. So what I need are simple stylish parts that are lightweight and will perform much the same as the final version. The method I have chosen for this work is described below, and is learned from practical experience (years of prototype bodywork design) rather than any books or formal training.

Firstly I specify my part – what its size and function are, and how it will be attached. For this example I am making a “rear section lid”, which will simply cover the luggage area behind the driver. It will be hinged at the front to allow access just like a car bootlid (or trunk) and it will have a tapering aero profile to minimise drag from the rear of the headrest/helmet area.
Image 1 – I have cut some shapes from existing polyurethane production bumpers. I have access to bodyshop scrap (most car repair bodyshops have a mountain of replaced bumpers from auto accidents) which allows me to cut pieces, that have the shapes I desire, out of the damaged panels. In this case I have used two black panels from an Audi front bumper, two white side edges from a BMW rear bumper, and a single black strip from the centre section of a Ford Fiesta front bumper.



I have held each item in reference to the other panels with thin metal strips screwed with self-tapping screws. There are obviously large areas that need filling, and this is where you need some imagination.



The next step involves flat sheets of thin (single layer 400gram CSM) fibreglass. I make my own sheets using a waxed flat surface and some black pigment in the resin. I keep some automotive window glass from doors and screens if I want to copy some very subtle curves. I make cardboard patterns before cutting the fibreglass, which can be done with tin-snips when still “green”.



The parts can be held in register with masking tape while the metal tabs are screwed into place. At this stage the outer finish is not critical and small gaps between parts does not matter – later stages in the process will rectify these issues, the key skill is keeping symmetry.


The final stages will be in my next post.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:52 AM   #263 (permalink)
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Fantastic job good sir! I have been lurking around this project for some time now, now Ive signed up and can thank you for your wonderful wonderful insight into building such a vehicle.

In the very far away future I would like to build an electric three wheeled vehicle similar to what you are doing.

Great job and keep it up!
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:51 PM   #264 (permalink)
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Vetter Streamliner Kit

Streamlining is easy to say but hard to do. Unless, of course, somebody makes a kit that makes streamlining easy. The Vetter Streamliner design makes it easy. Even better, it has proven to be good for 100 mpg in the tough Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges.

Should I make this as a kit? Is anybody interested?

Please take a look on the Vetter web page

I await your response.

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Old 12-01-2012, 04:10 AM   #265 (permalink)
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Hi Craig,
I welcome your thoughts about streamliner bodykits, and although I’m sure there’s a small market, I think there are some obstacles to overcome.
Firstly, the nature of the market. People like me, who have the skills, tooling, and time will want to develop their own designs and not be stuck with someone else’s vision. The vast majority of bikers do not connect with our aims, and see our efforts as misguided and a source of ridicule (you recently featured in a hurtful article in MCN the only weekly bikers paper here in the UK). So the market for a fairing kit will be limited to a diverse group of enthusiasts who want a “turn-key” solution.

Secondly, the type of kit. Your own machine, based on the Helix, is IMO a technically better solution, with a low seat height and feet forward style than the traditional motorcycle layout. I think the proportions of your machine suit the common nose-piece better than Alan’s ninja, but no-one is going to start a project by finding an obsolete base vehicle. The kit would need to fit many bikes to make economic sense and the difference between upright traditional bikes and feet forward machines makes a “one size fits all” solution unlikely.

I think if you did a kit for an existing, large selling bike it could work. You would need to base it on a Burgman or similar machine, just as Jan Vos is doing. Then you only have the transmission problems to overcome.

Personally, I don’t think the right base vehicle exists at the moment. Big manufacturers see only motorcycles OR scooters, and nothing in between (except Honda maybe) and we need a feet forward style machine with full size wheels and a manual transmission with chain drive – until it arrives my friend, you will just have to accept that you are “ahead of the curve
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #266 (permalink)
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More from Vetter on Streamliner Kit

Morning Pete: I love intelligent dialogue and appreciate your inventiveness. Thank you.
Let me respond to your key observations:


The shape. Speaking as a designer, it has always frustrated me to realize that only one shape will go thru the air while consuming the least energy*. The shape is out of our control. In the end, we should all arrive at the same shape, no matter how diverse we would like to be. Where is the opportunity for variance? The paint job, I guess. I am resigned to this. Do I have it with my streamliner? Only time will tell. I sure wish we were not separated by the ocean. It would be great fun to compete with you and Jan Vos.

The Type of Kit: The shape I have developed really is "one size fits all." The same Vetter Kit parts are on my Ninja and Helix. The parts are configured so that they will fit any 2 wheeler and be shipped economically. Shipping, I learned in my Windjammer days is so important.

The Right bike:
It does not exist. So frustrating. Your conclusions match mine. We'll have to make it ourselves.

Finally...after 4 years of riding in Vetter Conditions, I reluctantly conclude that the Honda Helix does not have enough power to do the job.

Craig

*In Vetter Conditions... 70 mph, into a 30 mph wind, sitting up and comfortable, carrying a useful load like 4 bags of groceries) being our first choice in the garage.

Last... what hurtful article in MCN?
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:25 AM   #267 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvetter View Post
I reluctantly conclude that the Honda Helix does not have enough power to do the job.
I think you should consider sending your Helix out to a good dyno shop to have the engine and drive train freshened up one more time. A new jug, piston, head, and valves, drive belt, variator, rear pulleys, and a dyno tune would get you right back in the game for a surprisingly low parts cost as there is a ton of aftermarket availability for scooters. I would also expect you could increase power and economy beyond what you ever got out of it in the past. You are very happy with the Helix step through design and it is now 100% streamline complete. And looks great for promotions! You don't have the time to start over with another bike right now. Why not spend a few bucks to rebuild the Helix one more time?
.
I have started a new thread for your upcoming kit here.
.
Vetter streamliner body kit
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:30 PM   #268 (permalink)
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Mister Vetter I have always been curious as to why you [or any of the other fuel economy contestants never fully faired their bikes? Leaving the frame in two parts as opposed to what Visionary is doing with the single streamlined shape.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #269 (permalink)
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Why not totally enclosed sides?

Good question. I had my Honda Helix totally enclosed once back in 2009. The wind blew me around too much. It could be very scary at times.

Start at Chapter29

The Ninja 250 is different. It doesn't seem to be affected so much in side winds so it looks like the Ninjas can have the sides covered over. Alan will be slowly adding sides onto his Ninja. He really wants to beat those Diesels.

I think the issue is the little Helix wheels and trail.

Craig
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:00 PM   #270 (permalink)
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Homers Hybrid - '08 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

moms car - '97 honda accord lx
90 day: 34.93 mpg (US)

Adventure - '98 Mazda Protege
90 day: 33.11 mpg (US)

The Silver Civic - '02 Honda Civic
90 day: 36.15 mpg (US)
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I have read every single page on your website good sir, you are the reason for me ecomodding my bike

Thanks for that by the way.

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