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Old 04-13-2011, 06:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Jan Vos riding the Vetter streamlined scooter





During a vacation with my wife in California I visited the Vetter family.

We did get a warm welcome and joined a number of days together. Ofcourse testing the streamliner was part of the program. Since I worked on my Burgman scooter and made gears for the Vetter Helix scooter a test ride was one of my interests. Getting started by sitting on the bike you notice how much space is available for the rider. No problem with long legs. The handlebar is wider than my Suzuki handlebar giving a good feeling during riding. Riding is with good comfort and little wind forces act on the rider.
The gearing of 17 on 35 teeth in the primairy reduction was installed.(std gearing is 14 on 37 teeth)
Acceleration was still more than sufficient. During max. throttle acceleration the engine made 5500 rpm.
From about 55 mph the acceleration feels like as if the bike is much more than 250 cc. This is absolutely caused by the good streamlining. Low amount of power is needed at 55 mph for the air resistance so more is left over for the acceleration. I have that feeling also on the Burgman scooter but not so outspoken as on the Helix. My explanation is that probably the streamline on the Helix is better than on the Burgman. Both front and tail of the Burgman can be improved.
A short test of the topspeed of the Helix showed an 81 MPH .
Some things I noticed during riding is that the small frontwheel diameter gives in more fast curves some uncertain feeling and the front suspension has limited stroke. This is probably by many scooters the case , certainly the Burgman has the same inperfection.
I am glad that I was giving the possibility to ride the Helix. To me it is very obvious that to perform well on FE in the contest you need to have two things.
A form of streamlining, this is particulary needed when headwind is being present.
A correct gearing to slow the engine down to reduce the fuel consumption.
I hope that a lot of Ecomodder enthousiasts join the Vetter contest, I will be following that closely.
By the way this is the decal that Craig Vetter designed for me to be used on vehicules with custom gears.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Awesome!

I was out there last year and thought of stopping in, but didn't.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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After reading this I will be going out to the garage to work on the aero modds on the GS 500. I am not sure If I have enough time to get the job done but I am motivated to try to get to the Vetter Challenge, and the Lacy Washington FE contest.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Redyaris. Most important ,do start with the lowest possible seat position on your bike, this make a low crossection area and reduces side wind forces when you have your streamline parts in place. Good luck or should I say good FE in the contests.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Janvos, Thanks for the ride report on Craigs bike. It lends an additional viewpoint and validation of the descriptions Craig has laid out about it. I especially like the points about lots of leg room, low seat height and front suspension and diameter comments.

Craig has done and now proved what efficiency minded motorcyclists thought was correct but didn't or couldn't put into practice. Sometimes it takes one who can-do to pull along the rest of us that want-to on a new path.

As part of Craigs efforts, excellent chronology of the events leading up to the current state of the art, and comments like yours, I'm making plans to make a version of my own. It will use as many commercially available, off the shelf parts as possible, and address the shortcomings mentioned above. I just hope life events don't relegate it to a never-again rideable frankenbike.

I also hope that projects like this will inspire others to complete creation of iterations of aerodynamic motorcycles. Just maybe the state of the art will finally be pushed forward from it's currently aerodynamically stagnant state.

Thanks again for the review!

-Garth
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Janvos; Thanks for the suggestion. I am in the part of the project where I am generating Ideas on how to make it better the next time, but must carry on with the present design so that I have a finished project to test. Lowering the seat will have to wait...At present I have 4 other motorcycle projects in variouse states of development, one older Ford AeroStar mini van project that will soon be at the top of the list, then back to the Yaris aero project development so that my whole fleet is in the 3.? L/100km Zone [60 > 70mpg]. It is astonishing how much the average vehicle can be improved by the most basic aerodynamics modificaations.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice review and comments about Craig's Helix mods. It's always nice to hear a second person's impressions and thoughts to verify the original design impressions. Excellent review. Many thanks for taking the time to post your comments. I've also been following the work your doing on the Burgman and I'm very impressed with your many talents. Keep up the great work.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention...Nice logo!! It looks really nice as well as professional.

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