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Old 03-16-2008, 02:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
Big Dave
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Steppes of Central Indiana
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The Red Baron - '00 Ford F-350 XLT
90 day: 27.99 mpg (US)

Impala Phase Zero - '96 Chevrolet Impala SS
90 day: 21.03 mpg (US)
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One suspects these did not revolutionize the auto biz for a reason.

These are very sexy-looking and their CdA is probably exemplary but from a vehicle dynamics standpoint they scream "Deathtrap!"

The fixed outrigger wheels make this thing a nightmare to corner. Unable to bank into the turn like a motorcycle and unable to resist upturning moment at the ends it is nothing but a top-heavy bike with training wheels. It would be very vulnerable to what bikers call a "high side" where the bike rolls on an axix 45 degrees or so from the nominal roll axis.

The idea is too good to give up on. If I had one I would modifiy it to have retractable outrigger wheels. At low speeds the landing gear would make it easy to handle. Somewhere between 5 MPH and 10 MPH the out rigger wheels retract and she becomes a long motorcycle. As such, I think the rake angle will need some work. There are electric retractable landing gear available for Gold Wings.

Another refinement I see an opportunity for: These vehicles use motorcycle suspension components. These things have to weigh over a half-ton curb weight at least. That is too much for even Gold Wing suspension components.

For service in the Midwest, it will need a good heater/defroster and effective ram-air ventilation.

The ones using Gold Wing drive trains are probably wildly over-geared.

2000 Ford F-350 SC 4x2 6 Speed Manual
4" Slam
3.08:1 gears and Gear Vendor Overdrive
Rubber Conveyor Belt Air Dam
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