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Old 08-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Inflatable luggange and other MC topics

Just thought I'd bring up a few things and see what comments I get.

1) Inflatable luggage. I was thinking of getting one of those cylindrical dry sacks and making it into more of a cone shape or bullet shape by gathering it inside. Then putting it on the bike so the pointy end is toward the rear. Then get some inflatable device like a child's air mattress and putting it inside and inflating it to give the dry sack the correct aerodynamic shape. I tried this with a saggy tail pack and it worked pretty well. The nice thing about using an inflatable is that if you need to pack something inside the bag you can just deflate the air mattress to make room. Has anyone tried anything like this yet?

2) I was reading about the Virago 250 and noticed something. This bike has a very "undersquare" engine, 49mm bore and 66mm stroke. This is rare in motorcycles these days but there are advantages, including good torque and good fuel efficiency. The other thing about this bike is that it is potentially low and narrow (I haven't seen one up close yet, but will definitely take a look). A v-twin is about the narrowest engine type. One fellow talked about moving the footpegs back and crouching forward (more sportbike style) but I am having a hard time imagining this. Maybe reclining makes more sense for reducing wind resistance?

Even if bikes are lousy in aerodynamics, there is definitely an advantage in reducing the cross-sectional area of the bike, and this one should be good at that.

3) Eliminate bike mirrors: look at Bugeyes mirrors (I can't post links until I have 5 posts but just google for these). I have these and I like them, although they do take a bit of getting used to and there is some danger having always to adjust them when riding. They do not work so well on my YZF600R because leaning that far forward means you end up looking at your shoulders in the mirror. A 250 Ninja might be OK though because the seating is more upright. They are cheap though, so there is no risk trying them out. Some might find trouble with cops; I figure one could argue they are equivalent both functionally and legally to standard mirrors. Anyway I've been using them for a while with no bike mirrors and haven't been stopped yet. BTW it is almost mandatory removing the bike mirror when using them because two sets of mirrors is somewhat confusing. I suppose you could even use this or the bicycle equivalent in a car...

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Old 11-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The Virago 250 is a great little bike. It was originally a 125 and was stroked to get 250. A stroker makes power at much lower revs which is exactly what you need for great gas mileage.

I got 80 MPG's and 80 MPH's out of one and I go 180 lbs! I had the stock windshield and leather saddle bags. The only thing I didn't like about it was the suspension. Most little bikes have no options to improve the suspension.

Generally singles get better gas mileage as the intake is straight in. If you got an injection system like is now offered for the Ninja 250 you might get even better mileage!

Not sure about the inflatable luggage. Most times the failing of aero mods is they are not stiff enough or perfectly smooth.

Mirrors are a drag! Literally as well as figuratively. Handlebars too. They stick out in the wind dragging your speed down. I'm not sure the Bugeyes mirrors are legal as the only mirrors on a vehicle...

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