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-   -   Ninja 250 EV conversion: solar recharged & "Vetter style" streamlining (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/ninja-250-ev-conversion-solar-recharged-vetter-style-5386.html)

MetroMPG 10-03-2008 09:50 PM

Ninja 250 EV conversion: solar recharged & "Vetter style" streamlining
 
Via ABG this is a pretty interesting project: AltCar 2008: Prometheus' solar-powered electric motorcycle - AutoblogGreen

http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.au...motorcycle.jpg

Jim Corning is owner of an Arizona PV solar installation business, and apparently as a hobby decided to appropriate his wife's Ninja 250 and transform it into the lithium powered machine you see above. The bike project was practice for a yet-to-be built car conversion.

He uses it as a promotional tool for the business, and points out that he can power the bike for about 50 miles a day from the panels you see behind it.

Top speed is 70 mph with a range of 40-50 miles in a mix of hwy/city.

He built the fairing because he ruined a set of batteries by drawing too much current from them at highway speeds in the bike's original form and realized he needed to make it more efficient. He knows all about Craig Vetter, obviously! With the fairing, the top speed went up by 10 mph, and the current went down at lower speeds compared to the original bodywork.

There's an audio interview with the builder and a photo gallery on ABG..

Crono 10-17-2008 07:57 AM

I'd love to do something like this with my scooter...

beatr911 10-17-2008 09:49 AM

I sure hope that his work and Craig Vetters work seeps into the styling that is common in the industry. There is plenty of work to do and significant benefit for aerodynamically slippery motorcycles.

This guy has a really great technical start and it looks like an eye for good design as well. A rare and valuable combination.

One thing I don't understand though is how the front wheel will steer while the suspension is compressed.

MetroMPG 10-18-2008 03:58 PM

I wrote to the builder , asking about the front suspension/fairing clearance question.

He writes:

Quote:

The front fender/fairing is attacehd so that it turns with the forks but does not move up and down with suspension movement. So - it's tall enough to accomodate full upward travel of the front wheel. The clearances between the fairing parts should not change with suspension movement. That being said, it's all a bit of a work-in-progress, and I'm keeping an eye out for skid marks inside the fairing!

mattW 10-18-2008 11:49 PM

I'd also be curious about how the rear fairing affects the centre of gravity i.e. how the added weight up high affects the handling.

Otto 02-11-2009 11:05 PM

I'd be curious how he fabricated that fairing--if it was a sculpted male plug followed by female mold of fiberglass, or what.

He's off to a good start. Fine tuning would include mirrors within the envelope of the windscreen, flush turn signals, coverage for the rider's legs, etc..

Center of gravity would not be a problem if he does not load up the trunk with heavy stuff.

alohaspirit 02-25-2009 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 67979)
I wrote to the builder , asking about the front suspension/fairing clearance question.

He writes:

The front fender/fairing is attacehd so that it turns with the forks but does not move up and down with suspension movement. So - it's tall enough to accomodate full upward travel of the front wheel. The clearances between the fairing parts should not change with suspension movement. That being said, it's all a bit of a work-in-progress, and I'm keeping an eye out for skid marks inside the fairing!



very cool of the guy to write back

I would think the front shocks would be inside of the housing
as there is visually no room for up/down travel

hamsterpower 04-03-2009 08:06 AM

I wonder how those aeromods handle in cross winds. traditional motorcycles can be tricky to begin with when there are cross wind conditions. Even a bicycle with wheel disks is often difficult to steer.

Christ 04-30-2009 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alohaspirit (Post 89648)
very cool of the guy to write back

I would think the front shocks would be inside of the housing
as there is visually no room for up/down travel

The actual mouting location for the fairing is probably the upper part of the shock fork. The mobile part, which pushes inside the mounted part (of the shock) usually doesn't start until about the top of the tire. As long as the structure was mounted to the non-compressible part of the shock, the wheel could bound into and out of the aero-structure, while the structure could maintain lateral movement.

max_frontal_area 06-28-2009 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hamsterpower (Post 95536)
I wonder how those aeromods handle in cross winds. traditional motorcycles can be tricky to begin with when there are cross wind conditions. Even a bicycle with wheel disks is often difficult to steer.

yup! for outdoor bicycles hour or 24 hour attempts with front wheel disks they utilize varying cross sections of dishes to dissipate sidewinds evenly - still not an exact science and takes a master cyclist with brasso to make it work.

NOW, look at the centre of pressure and how far aft it is! fUN FuN fuN
to prove that concept just pilot a tandem with an unsteady rider in the back!

tigerbyte 10-23-2009 08:56 PM

Hey this guy is in my home town. i cant believe i haven't seen this thing around

Looks like he has since updated the faring.

http://prometheussolar.com/images/ph...torcycle_2.jpg
http://prometheussolar.com/Motorcycle.aspx

alohaspirit 10-23-2009 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tigerbyte (Post 135564)
Hey this guy is in my home town. i cant believe i haven't seen this thing around

Looks like he has since updated the faring.

http://prometheussolar.com/images/ph...torcycle_2.jpg


who knew spies were so aero ;)

http://www.gomonews.com/wp-content/u...mbs-775529.jpg

alvaro84 07-26-2010 03:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beatr911 (Post 67779)
This guy has a really great technical start and it looks like an eye for good design as well. A rare and valuable combination.

Well said. I really like this fairing and especially the fact that apparently you're not in a cage in some helpless position (it must be scary to drive a recumbent streamliner) but can ride it like a normal motorcycle. You even have your legs at hand in case you stop. I'm aware that it deteriorates drag coefficient (like a really big, open window on a car), but looks safer.
Now, this is the streamliner I'd gladly try.
We only need a better battery pack at the same weight at most, to get a really usable range (like 300 or more miles) :thumbup:

Grant-53 08-03-2010 10:56 PM

I have had some experiences with bicycles and fairings. I now mount the nose piece to the frame rather than the handle bars so that the side pressure does not affect the steering. My latest bike uses a 20" mag wheel in the front with a shallow angled frame. A faired front wheel needs fin area behind the steering axis for stability much the same as the whole bike needs the center of pressure behind the center of mass to head into the wind.

cosmic_kid 08-04-2010 06:17 PM

How would a person get started making a fairing that beautiful? I've never done any auto-body work or metal fabrication so I'd be starting from scratch.

Grant-53 08-20-2010 12:00 AM

Start at the local library and look for books on composite materials and fiberglass construction. There are books on building racecars, boats, and aircraft that have good techniques. Making a fiberglass mold is a lot of work unless you plan to make more than one. If you are good at calculus or sheet metal development drawing, you can do things with honeycomb or sheets of material bonded to foam insulation. My book on composite materials is by Keith Noakes.

Grant-53 08-20-2010 12:09 AM

The WISIL website has anecdotes of racers who have crashed their streamlined recumbents. The consensus is that the skins protected them from abrasion
(road rash). A good fairing design and a lap belt can go a long way to protecting a rider on two wheels from injury in a traffic accident while enjoying that sense of freedom we love so much.


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