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low&slow 11-05-2012 06:30 PM

November 18, 2012, Vetter Challenge, Las Vegas to Barstow Run
The second annual Las Vegas to Barstow Vetter Challenge will start at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas at 8 AM on November 18, 2012. We will be riding a different route this year ( @ 215 miles) through the scenic desert backgrounds led by Paul Golde (a Kawasaki rep)on a new Ninja 300. As always we welcome more Vetter Challenge competitors as well as other motorcyclists interested in seeing how their rides stack up against the best motorcycle hypermilers on the road. This year's field includes Fred Hayes, Alan Smith, Craig Vetter, Ron Johnson, Treven Baker and yours truly( Vic Valdes). The event will be filmed for possible development into a documentary about our efforts. It will be a blast and we would love to have you join us and make history as Craig says. For more information about the event, route, Vetter Challenge rules, etc. please go to Craig's website at

If you want to join in the fun please let me know on this forum or send me a PM. I'll be in Vegas by Friday afternoon.
Stay safe, Vic

redyaris 11-07-2012 03:21 PM

This will be an interesting ride, as it will be a very good test of real world fuel consumption. I like the 215 mile distance as the margine of error is less significant.

visionary 11-07-2012 05:10 PM

Hi Vic – it’s great to get another update from you on the Vetter Challenge saga. I look forward to your posts, to satisfy my insatiable desire for news, on the trials, tribulations and most importantly results.
The change of format that you describe has positive and negative aspects, as I see it. I’m a great fan of Craig’s work in organising these important events but I fear some changes are not for the better.
The change of route in particular, has two drawbacks. Firstly, by altering the route type and length there can be no comparison with last year’s results. So competitors cannot gauge improvements they have made, and we observers loose our frame of reference.
But more importantly, the choice of route will undermine the validity of the contest. After all, Craig’s contests are about improving fuel efficiency through aerodynamic improvement, so the route should be a test of just that. The more stop/start, and the lower average speed will penalise aero bodywork (since it has mass and requires energy to accelerated). The lower speeds (off interstate) will reduce the fuel saving advantage that bodywork brings and thus the advantage of a streamliner will be negated.
On a positive note, the filming of the event should greatly improve the promotion of future events and raise the profile of Vetter Challenges. I hope Craig posts a brief summary on Youtube for all his fans to follow.

redyaris 11-07-2012 07:06 PM

I for one believe that the way that the Vetter challenge is conducted is valid. The standards are everybody rides together on the same day and under the same conditions, in the same way that a merathon run or a triathalone is run. The conditions vary from event to event and who ever wins on the day is the winner even if the time is 10% to 20% longer or the course changes from year to year.
As you suggest there are better ways to isolate aerodynamic performance than the Vetter Challenge. But I don't believe that is what we are after. It is what can the "package" you bring to the event on the day on the course, do compaired to the others.

sendler 11-13-2012 08:09 AM

There is very little traction for fuel economy events and this is one of the best as it requires the vehicles to be capable of highway useable top speeds and run with traffic on real roads. Craig Vetter is volunteering a lot of effort into this movement. I hope the momentum will continue to build.

greenjoe 11-13-2012 08:54 PM

Well said Sendler. Seeing that most of us are so far apart by distance, maybe "we" should attempt to host our own local FE contest/rides in our area to promote interest & knowledge. Most bikers I know are always up for a hundred mile or so ride for anything. Just a thought that's been on my mind for awhile now. Good Luck to all at the Vegas Run!

sendler 11-13-2012 10:30 PM

The Green Grand Prix in Watkins Glen in April was cool and will hopefully become even more bike friendly. I have heard that Americade has a fuel economy challenge every year in June. Saratoga springs used to have one that someone in a double battery Insight with a MIMO has been close to 100 mpgUS a few times. It is a growing sport but there is still no official national sanctioning from the like of SCCA. If we could get them interested we would gain 1000's of small car enthusiasts.

JeffM 11-19-2012 02:29 PM

Vic, looking forward to read your report of the event.


beatr911 11-20-2012 10:27 AM

Personally, I liked the route on the interstate. This is why.

I drove a car along on the last event to take pictures. What was really suprising was the amount of attention this group of aerodynamic motorcycles drew. Smart phones were clicking away left and right as they passed (at 80+), people were speeding ahead, stopping to get out to take pictures. I-15 is a boring drive and there isn't much to do or look at. Seeing these unusual motorcycles became an unexpected event for those that came upon the group.
***The more these bikes get attention, the greater the possibility that thier strangeness will decrease in the eyes of the general public.***

I like that the speeds were high as mentioned before.

Those that make this drive (many) can easily compare thier mileage with what the challengers achieve. Kind of apples to apples.

When I lived in the area 14 years ago 66 was really a rough, poorly maintained road. Not alot of fun if your suspension was not cushy soft. Hopefully it is better now.

In Craigs defense, taking 66 is probably safer than the 15 due to the lane speed differential. Travelling at 70-75 puts one solidly in the right lane with most other traffic going 75-85.

I, too am eagerly awaiting the reports!

low&slow 11-20-2012 01:05 PM

Here are the results for the 2012 Las Vegas to Bartow Vetter Challenge:

Fred Hayes 125.92 mpg Hayes Diesel streamliner
Treven Baker 104.01 Baker Diesel
Alan Smith 97.96 Ninja 250 streamliner
Joshua Chnen 89.09 Hayes Bio-diesel , winner Alternative fuel
Craig Vetter 80.50 Honda Helix streamliner
Ron Elder 78.37 Honda Insight car
Ron Johnston 72.90 Honda VT500 streamliner
Paul Golde 53.35 Kawasaki Ninja 300
Walt Fulton 48.56 BMW 1400cc
Nancy ? 47.35 Kawasaki ZX1000
Croft Long 43.47 Kawasaki KLR650

DNF: Vic Valdes 60.12 Ninja 250 streamliner

The weather was cool with some windy spots at the start and the finish. The final charge up I-40 was especially hard with a steep grade, high speeds and a headwind. This was the toughest conditions of the 3 Vetter Challenges this year.

As usual the Hayes diesels reigned supreme but many other competitors turned into some excellent results. Of special note were the performance of Treven Baker's homebuilt diesel and Ron Elder's Insight car.

My bike encountered a fuel starvation problem on the final charge up the I-40 grade about 2 miles from the finish. I switched to the reserve petcock position but the bike wouldn't accelerate above 45 mph max so I moved to the shoulder and took the first exit with a gas station. After refueling , the bike resumed normal running and I rode to the final meeting place. During the ride to Las Vegas my bike produced relatively poor fuel economy ( 55mpg, 60 mpg, 83 mpg). On the ride home I had a similar stalling episode but was able to resume normal acceleration without refueling. Very disappointing , I'll need to resolve this problem.

Despite my personal issues, this was another great event Kudos to Craig and Carol Vetter for their outstanding efforts in organizing this wonderful event. It was awesome and we had a lot of fun! :thumbup:
I hope you all enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving.

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