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Old 02-09-2012, 06:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Thoughts about landing wheel design

based upon your last post I have the following observations

Design to fail-safe. Using a powered down spring design risks wheels deploying during use with potentially dangerous outcome in the event of a mechanism failure. Here in UK it is mandatory for stand mechanism to be sprung into retracted position (probably same in US) for reasons of safety.

Design for simplicity. Involving air power requires additional components (and mass)plus delays in deployment over a mechanical system. Also the synergy of use a "shock absorber" is in response to what percieved need? Test a simple prototype first before building a complex version - you may not have a problem to overcome!

I've never been a fan of "landing wheels" for both aesthetic and practical reasons (well outlined by Ken Fry) but the best system I've seen is on "Streamlined Electric Motorcycle". On my own full-bodied motorcycle project I have chosen to bypass this requirement completely - you could look at how others have chosen to overcome stationary stability for ideas, the Monotracer route is not your only option.

This is a great project to undertake, and I wish you well with it, but I caution you against adding unnecessary complication
Pete

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:57 AM   #22 (permalink)
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If the CG is kept low enough, could you have spring-loaded 'bomb bay' doors to put your feet down, instead of mechanical outriggers?
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:45 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electictracer View Post
Ken, Iím very interested in your outriggers you mentioned. You said they were manually powered and fell with gravity? How, or did they, lock in place.
The outriggers were operated by two foot pedals, each about the size of a large car brake pedal. (Braking was by hand.) Springs held them retracted. When deployed, the outrigger wheels were about 36" apart at the ground contact points. Each outrigger was about 12" long, and the inboard mounting pivots points were about 18" apart. The pivots were angled so that as the outriggers were deployed, they swung downward and outward, eventually ending up at something like 45 degrees down from horizontal and perpendicular to the scooter's centerline.

Casters allowed the outer ends of the outriggers to move along the ground in an arc as they applied force to the ground. In the phase when one outrigger was moving to correct a lean, that outrigger might have moved about 4" forward to move down by about 1" or so. But the pedal, in this phase, was moving about 1" or 2." Overall, the outrigger tip moved through about 18", and the pedal moved through about 6". However, the linkage was arranged so that the really poor leverage (high foot force vs low outrigger force) was before ground (or near ground) contact. Much of the time, things worked well, but sometimes, an outrigger would be too far back to apply enough leverage, and the bike would fall over.

For parking, the outriggers were held out by a car handbrake lever and cable. In that case, they were always deployed equally, so the bike would lean with the pavement.

The three wheel idea was becoming more appealing for several reasons, so I didn't work on the outrigger design enough to decide if manual control would really be a good method for balancing the stationary (or near stationary) bike vertically with respect to gravity. Real legs certainly work well enough... but getting outriggers to tuck in neatly imposes some challenges. With a real leg, in a fraction of a second, you can have your foot well out from centerline to brace a falling bike, you can step around a pothole or bump in the road, etc.

Power operation would be an advantage, I think, to have both quick response and adequate force.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:47 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Fry View Post
The three wheel idea was becoming more appealing for several reasons,
For simplicity and practicality, enclosed two wheeled vehicles will want to retain the tried and true motorcycle method of holding up a stationary vehicle with your feet. Outriggers and gyros just become an over compilcated way of adding a third wheel. An enclosed two wheeler is always going to appeal to a motorcycle rider more than the general public or be more of a competition vehicle more so than a daily driver. For a real mass market vehicle of the future, even if it uses tandem seating for an ultra low frontal area, two wheels in the front will be much better and cheaper. And, then you can even add two wheel front drive and place the motors in front for better traction and balance of CG vs COP. I like Ken's Zing design a lot and it seems that many people are still trying take up where he has already abandoned. DIY Hypermilers on a $2000 budget should look no further than a variation of Vetter's streamliner.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:55 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango Charlie View Post
If the CG is kept low enough, could you have spring-loaded 'bomb bay' doors to put your feet down, instead of mechanical outriggers?
KISS: "Keep It Simple, Sam"
I think this could work in a bike in which you are seated fairly high up (typical chair height* or higher). In mine, I was seated at 6" above the ground, so my feet were way forward. It would be hard to get them back far enough to get them under my own CG, to be able to apply much stabilizing force. Also, there is a big advantage to having the stabilizing base wide -- wider than you would want the body to be for frontal area reasons.

* If you sit in a desk chair, with your feet in the normal position directly below your knees, you find that you can't push down much. So to get out of the chair, you swing your feet back under your CG.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:13 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
For simplicity and practicality, enclosed two wheeled vehicles will want to retain the tried and true motorcycle method of holding up a stationary vehicle with your feet.
Agreed.
Think about the number of times and duration of a "foot down" as a percentage of your journey duration - it warrants a simple and lightweight solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
enclosed two wheeler is always going to appeal to a motorcycle rider more than the general public
Let's see!
The general public may find enclosed two-wheelers quite acceptable when, and only when, they offer the same levels of comfort and safety as alternatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
I like Ken's Zing design a lot and it seems that many people are still trying take up where he has already abandoned.
That's their perogative.
Just because Ken judged this development route to be a cul-de-sac, should not preclude anyone else from having a go. Some, me included, are focussed upon the width of a vehicle, which provides some immunity from congestion, as a supplementary benefit to efficiency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
DIY Hypermilers on a $2000 budget should look no further than a variation of Vetter's streamliner.
Opinion (mostly wrong)
I'm a big fan of Craig's work but I would advise most people to view it as a starting point for their own endeavours. Craig's distinctive style is not for everyone, his direction (seen through the rules of his contests) is way off the mark, and his self-imposed boundaries add little to progress in this arena.

Summary - Electictracer, if you think you are on the right path - then you are!
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:28 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The thing I like about Vetter's simple bolt on streamliner is that it is a big step forward in fuel economy but easy enough for any average DIYer to actually start AND finish.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Ken's efforts are geared for retail sales so the product needs to be more idiot-proof than what would be acceptable to enthusiasts. One size doesn't fit all.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post
Agreed.
That's their perogative.
Just because Ken judged this development route to be a cul-de-sac, should not preclude anyone else from having a go. Some, me included, are focussed upon the width of a vehicle, which provides some immunity from congestion, as a supplementary benefit to efficiency.
I agree. And actually I judged my own route to be a cul-de sac... and even then only for my particular interests. I'd like to see people try all sorts of routes, and continue to develop all sorts of two-wheeled vehicles.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:45 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Summary - Electictracer, if you think you are on the right path - then you are!
Also agreed. As I have said about learning to fly: Even if I never actually flew anywhere after learning, I would have considered the time spent learning very well spent.

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