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Old 07-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #221 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis in Texas View Post
I suggest that you try one of these for the most accurate and simplest to install form of speed, tach and other functions intrumentation.
I was actually going to suggest the Vapor as well. I have one on my DRZ and it is phenomenal.

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Old 07-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #222 (permalink)
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Here's mine. I used the indicator lights from a Honda 650 rather than buying the Trail Tech ones. You can see the dash and my GPS and how compact the package is on my KLR.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #223 (permalink)
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Curtis. What was your motivation for replacing all your stock instrumentation with the vapor? It looks tempting, but not too sure what I would gain from it and don't want to lose my stock odo settings.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:12 PM   #224 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offalot View Post
Curtis. What was your motivation for replacing all your stock instrumentation with the vapor? It looks tempting, but not too sure what I would gain from it and don't want to lose my stock odo settings.

I ride a KLR and although I did put a bigger wattage generator on it, I wanted to put on some larger driving lights on it. So after converting all my bulbs to LED's I decided to go with the Vapor. The biggest advantage is it had a digital water temp gauge so I don't have to worry about overheating it. The old analog gauge in the stock gauges is a hand grenade gauge. It will get you close enough right up to the point the engine blows up without warning.

So the accuracy of the gauges was the biggest selling point. I found the stock speedo was always a few miles an hour faster than the GPS said I was going. Now they are both right on the money! So I can leave the GPS at hoime for riding around locally.

The Vapor also save me a lot more room on the bike for other stuff. It just has more features than the KLR Stock Gauges could ever hope for. And since I do a lot of cross country back woods riding it's nice to know exactly how far I've ridden.

Also it even though it takes up half the space of the stock gauge an has a built in clock that is lit up at night.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:19 PM   #225 (permalink)
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Update 014
SLOW, steady progress
Since the last update Iíve been itching to get back to testing, but Iíve put a few obstacles in my own way. I decided that the bike needed to be more complete for the high-speed testing to be meaningful. The net result of this decision is to force me to complete many more items than I had planned and so delay the whole project Ė anyway hereís some info on a couple of items.

Engine cooling Ė fitting the bellypan and front body section means that Iím now reliant on the engine cooling ducting working, and that in turn means finishing the cooling fan.



The fan is from a Kawasaki ZXR10 and seems plenty strong enough for the job, thereís a really strong suck into the entry duct. Iím using a manual switch on the steering bar and a thermocouple fitted to the barrel with a digital readout on the instrument panel, so its all manual at present.

Rear storage area - After fixing the panels to the frame, some of the final shape and proportion becomes apparent. Iíve chosen to work on the rear storage area first, simply because I had the rear panel and indicators to hand.



All the finished outer body panels will be red, as per the original Honda C90. Iíve relocated the original side panel badge with a new vinyl logo for that touch of originality. Iím working on a lid which will incorporate streamlining for the helmet and headrest before the full canopy version is made.

Next post MUST be the airfield testing!
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:02 AM   #226 (permalink)
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Visionary: I have bad news for you. Back when you began your project, I told you that I thought that the 9 hp or so that your CT put out would not be enough to go 70 mph, into a 30 mph headwind. At that time, it was looking to me like 16 hp would be needed. Well, I no longer think 16 is enough. In the past two years, I have worn out two 16 hp Helix engines running 70 mph, into headwinds and hills. Well, I do have the tendency to show off and go a little faster sometimes. At the same time, buddies with old 250 Ninjas riding along side me, have been able to go faster (when they wanted), burned the same amount fuel (or a tad bit less) and have not worn out anything. In fact, Alan Smith has criss-crossed the US twice, showing no adverse effects to his engine at all. Reluctantly, I now believe we need more horsepower. 24-28? There is more to factor in here than I thought. Stay tuned.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:13 PM   #227 (permalink)
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Hi Craig, thanks for your insight!
I follow your contests with great interest and I’ve been a long-time fan of your ethos on “doing more with less”. But what are you now suggesting? “doing more with a bit more than I originally thought”.

I agree with your points about the Ninjas but I draw some different conclusions from your Helix experience. Firstly, you have achieved 100mph (or 70mph into a 30mph headwind as you put it) with your stock 16hp Helix, surely that is proof that the goal is attainable.

Your problem is that you have not been able to it without exacting a penalty on your Helix, which has suffered reliability issues. I’m sure that only you can know the full circumstances surrounding the mechanical failures, but as an observer I would like to make a few points.

The benefit of a low aero drag body, is that it lowers the power requirement to meet the speed target, so your Helix (or my C90) will be under the same stresses at 100mph as they were at their original top speeds (assuming that gearing alteration has kept engine speed in the same envelope).
My C90 would run all day at 50mph, which with current gearing equates to 75-80mph, and is well within the design parameters. Providing there is no failure of cooling and lubrication systems, mechanical wear will be at a reasonable rate (we must accept some). I accept that higher rpm necessary to meet the Vmax target will reduce engine life, but I’m not going to ride “flat-out” all the time.

You have mentioned that your last motor had a head-gasket failure. The normal failure mode is due to either, raised cylinder pressure, cooling system failure, or degradation of structural components (castings) due to metallurgical issues. I believe you ran a “stock” motor so you can exclude the first possibility, but what about the others? Could you have just been unlucky?

Without conceding that the Helix motor was the wrong choice, I do agree that the 250Ninja is a better choice, but maybe not as good as Sendler’s Honda 250. But, my main reason (for feeling so) is in the transmission type and wheel diameter. I always thought you were fighting a loosing battle by starting with a scooter platform.

However, I think we both agree on the “horizontal” engine style being best for a comfortable reclined riding style with aero efficiency – what a shame nobody makes one (yet)!
You may be interested to know that I have already started on a 250cc “horizontal” liquid cooled, single cylinder motor mated to a six-speed manual gearbox that fits within my frame design. It’s not part of this project, but should be ready within a year of meeting my current goals, which I remain confident about reaching.
Regards
Pete
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #228 (permalink)
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Pete: A 250cc “horizontal” liquid cooled, single cylinder motor mated to a six-speed manual gearbox that fits within my frame design. Great! I think there is something special about the 125-175cc-engine size. The 125-175 bore and stroke combination is optimum for the scale of flame travel. Unfortunately, a single 125 does not have the power. Until recently, I would have said that a 250 made of two 125s had too much power. Not any more. Two of them, Ninja style look like the best way to do things.

I have always liked the scooter configuration. Now I need it. I broke my hip in 1976 racing my RD350 at road Atlanta and it is catching up to me. Hard to throw my leg over the seat anymore.

I am probably not going to make a new bike. My time will be better spent finishing the tooling to provide kits for my streamliner.

I do hope you can squeeze your new motor into your creation. You have so much work in it.

Craig
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:47 AM   #229 (permalink)
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Great work Pete, glad to see things are still moving forward. Dealing with tons of minor obstacles in order to make the smallest step forward seems to be the name of the game when it comes to these kinds of complicated fabrications.

I agree with you that two different engines with similar peak HP will have different ware and durability characteristics depending on the design. It could be that CVís Helix engine just canít handle near peak output for extended periods of time. A drag racer can run his engine for seconds at near peak power before needing a re-build while a farmer on his tractor can pull a plow at 80% all day long. Hopefully you have a tractor and not a top-fuel dragster on your handsÖ.

That being said, 9 HP is not much. You will be more slippery then the open style fairings and hopefully that will give you the advantage.
Keep up the good work
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:28 AM   #230 (permalink)
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Helix engine carries a very small amount of oil which is more likely to make it very hot.

Helix engine suffer from a design flaw as the inlet rubber is under a lot of stress and usually breaks leading to running very lean.

Helix engine is said to be 21 hp (at least in Europe) maybe californian version were set already on the lean side ?

I had a Helix for 8 month and replaced it with a 250 GN for various reason, on the same ride to work I have an average 10% lower fuel consumption and I am 20 miles faster in the twisties since the (lame) handling is so much better than the Helix.

I think 9 hp is probably too much on the low side bearing in mind streamlining is a trade off between top speed (it helps) and low speed (it hurts with its weight) unless you have 12 speeds in the gearbox ...

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