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Old 04-16-2013, 04:40 PM   #281 (permalink)
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Update 016
So its been quite some time since my last post, and I left the prototype rear hatch fabrication method half way through. My apologies to all who were following the blog, but I became a bit distracted with other aspects of the project.

I have been hard at work fabricating a vacuum forming machine for the full length clear canopy, procuring an engine management system to drive my EFI throttle body and injector, and working on some alterations to the front suspension which will improve the relevance of this prototype. I‘ll go into greater detail about these plans later, but first I feel I should complete this section about how I make my bodywork.

So continuing from update 015 (in post #262) the next step was to lay-up fibreglass on the inside of the panels that I had screwed together.


Once hardened, this made a single piece construction with a poor quality outer surface that required filling and shaping with polyester automotive body filler (I believe “bondo” is the US vernacular).


Then, after sanding, a coat of high-build primer (pictured) was flatted and painted.


The final shot shows the finished part on the bike. While far from perfect, this part was relatively simple to produce, cost next to nothing but my time, and looks OK. I can now go testing with wool tufts attached and get some idea of the aero performance behind the driver.


I’ll finish this update with an image of how I’m currently employing the same technique on other panels of the bike. This shot shows the forward side panel under construction, as I try to incorporate an air-vent from a scooter side panel into my body.


In my next post I’ll spend a bit more time talking about the body design and my planned testing.

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Old 04-16-2013, 05:31 PM   #282 (permalink)
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Compare & Contrast with new AN650FF project & Vetter Zero

New tail-top looks very good, but why have you made it so wide?
Am a bit puzzled by that.
Meanwhile, my friend Koen in Belgium has bought himself an old Suzuki Burgman 650 which he's planning to turn into a road-legal streamliner.
When both machines are finished, it would be very interesting to run your machine alongside his at the same but increasing speeds for a fixed distance and compare fuel consumption.
He also put a body on an electric moped recently too. See his 'Nest of Dragons' section on bikeweb.com here:
Nest of Dragons - The projects of Koen Van de Kerckhove | FF Web
Meanwhile, I've recently ridden the latest Zero electric motorcycles in Spain.
Not at all aerodynamic, so crying out for FFing, something which Craig Vetter is currently doing with the Zero which was recently ridden coast to coast across the USA. See Craig Vetter, designer and inventor of the Windjammer fairing,Triumph Hurricane Motorcycle and fuel economy motorcycles
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:17 PM   #283 (permalink)
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Repy to PaulBlez
Hi Paul, in answer to your question about the width of the vehicle at the rear, I’ll give you a brief insight into my design concept.

Starting with my seating position, which allows a far more reclined “feet forward” position than most alternatives. This due in principle to the “internal” nature of my monocoque as opposed to other modified motorcycle designs, which have to fit a rider’s body “around” or “on top of” a traditional engine and frame design. I therefore have a longer and lower structure to be enveloped by a smoother body design, than most conversions, which are unwilling to tackle the frame fabrication issue.

In the attached image below I have divided the area behind the bike into three sections.
Area A (above the beltline) in which I expect to be able to keep the airflow fully attached due to the low level of disturbance and the smooth boat-tail hump behind the drivers head.

Area B (the beltline) contains the storage area behind the drivers shoulders. My vehicle design was always intended to accommodate a small but practical storage area, in a compartment behind the driver, accessed from the rear, just like the trunk/hatch of a car. Unlike other motorcycle storage, the space is based around a briefcase or laptop computer, placed horizontally and thus requiring a wide and flat location. Fortunately the rear of this area is the perfect size for the statutory vehicle lighting and identity plate (using a European “letterbox” plate). So although drag from this area is inevitable, I do not have to compromise other areas to meet legal requirements. The storage capacity is quite large and could even cope with “four bags of groceries” provided laying flat was permissible.

Area C (below the beltline) in this area I expect a turbulent wake, although I will work to minimise the drag from this area. I expect the rapid change in cross-sectional area, from the seat-back to the rear wheel, to be too “quick” to keep flow attached. My one comfort, is that in comparision with most “feet first” designs, I have kept this area to a minimum.

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Old 06-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #284 (permalink)
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So I was browsing around the other threads on the forum and I came across this post from Frank (Aerodynamic baseline #9)

Quote:
Speaking of "enclosed cars", I've been meaning to comment for several months now that it appears our two resident home-built recumbent streamliner bikes have fallen off the map just when it looked like real progress was happening. What's up with that?

And it made me feel both guilty and proud

Assuming of course this blog is one of the offending ”two home built recumbent streamliners”, then the guilt comes from not providing enough information about progress and issues, for those following the build.
But the pride comes from “just when it looked like real progress was happening” which is a fine endorsement from one of the most grounded contributors on the forum.

So what’s up with that? Well, put simply, I feel reluctant to post trivial items. My hope is that each post I make will be of some value and will mark some important step in the process. From time to time it feels like I’m making no progress and the work ahead looks beyond my limited resources, but then I look at how far things have come and I realise that road testing this year is a realistic goal.

I can post more, but I think quality is more important than quantity.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:08 PM   #285 (permalink)
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^Good! Glad to know you are still plugging away at it.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:57 AM   #286 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post
Airfield Shakedown

OK so here is the short youtube video of the test



I'll post some comments and explanations soon
very nice,looks like it handles quite well.How about braking ?we often forget,until we have to make a hard stop from 60 and we can't do it.Like Kraig stated, my only concern is,ground clearance,which can upset the bike.Great job,I'm excited for you,family is so important.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #287 (permalink)
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With the bike's relatively long wheel base coupled with low ground clearance, are you concerned about 'high centering' during braking?
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:47 PM   #288 (permalink)
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Replies and some background info

Reply to godscountry
Thanks for your appreciation and to answer your points on braking I have a detailed response below

Reply to metromizer
I’m not familiar with the term “high-centering”, but if you can provide a link or technical explanation I will attempt to answer as best I can. The detail on brakes used during the test may answer your question though.

About the first test and brakes used
During the video test, the brakes were used only very gently, for two reasons. Firstly the road surface was in poor condition. It had been years since I had used the airfield facility ( I used to use it regularly for mapping and set-up work on racecars) and the asphalt sections have deteriorated significantly. The concrete sections are still sound but everything is now covered in small stones from the asphalt which acts like “marbles” and makes cornering particularly difficult. These don’t really show up on the video but were a significant factor in how I chose to drive the vehicle. Secondly, during that test only the rear brake was used.
The brakes are a “linked” system with a single foot operated pedal and individual front and rear hydraulic circuits. However due to time constraints during the preparation for the test I elected not to run the front brakes, (basically I had a bleeding issue that I could not overcome in time) and to drive cautiously to compensate.

I am currently scouting locations for my next test, which will include opportunities to test handling and braking to a far greater degree, and more side-by-side photography (with wool tufts) with improved camera platform stability. The vehicle is still not road legal so a suitable yet cheap venue must be found.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #289 (permalink)
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When the vehicle weight and ground clearance are determined the geometry of the stabilizer system can be designed.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:44 PM   #290 (permalink)
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"High centering" is usually a term used for semi trailers that are low or a car that has been lowered to the extreme. going over raised railroad tracks or speed bump, the center of the trailer or vehicle contacts the pavement and the wheels no longer make as good of contact with the pavement. When the tires loose contact with pavement they loose traction. If you are moving when this happens you loose some control of the vehicle.

I think he is concerned with front end compresing under hard braking and the bottom of the bike hitting the ground. Most regular bikes will do a stoppie or endo, lifting the rear wheel if the front tire doesn't lock up and slide first.

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