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low&slow 05-31-2016 05:51 PM

Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges; Hollister CA 7/2/16, Mid-Ohio 7/10/16
It's competition time for us moto hypermilers but as always all motorcyclists are invited to join in the fun as we ride to push motorcycling performance into a new and different direction. The rides are fun and filled with great scenery and comradery.

The first 2 events of the 2016 season will be held at :

July 2 ,2016 as a part of the Hollister Rally events, meet at the Corbin Seat Factory, 2360 Technology Pkwy., Hollister CA 95023 with a full tank before the start at 11AM. The route will be around 100 miles.

July 9,2016, as a part of the AMA Vintage Days events, meet at the Comfort Inn Splash Harbor Motel , Lexington OH at 5 pm for the riders meeting and tech inspection.
July 10, 2016, meet at Splash Harbor motel at 7:30 AM for the Challenge start at * AM. The route will be around 160 miles.

Craig Vetter is still recovering from his collision with a deer but we hope to keep his dream alive promoting motorcycles that are efficient, relevant and fun. For more information on the Vetter Challenge go to Craig Vetter, designer and inventor of the Windjammer fairing,Triumph Hurricane Motorcycle Streamliners and fuel economy motorcycles

I had a good 2015 season with 2 second places overall ( 163 mpg and 152 mpg ) but I hope to return to the winner's circle in 2016. Competition will be tough against Alan Smith, Terry Hershner and Fred Hayes but it will be fun !
Wish me luck, I hope to see you at these rides.

rustygirl 06-01-2016 10:08 AM

Riding in from PA
Looking forward to seeing you in Ohio Low & Slow
I’m planning to be there again on my CF Moto Honda clone. Over the winter the body was lowered, Jan Vos gearing and a few other surprise features. Some for safety, some for fun. No way am I going to touch your numbers however.

Thank you Kraig Schultz for helping Craig Vetter organize Mid Ohio this year. And thank you Craig for starting all this.

Schultz Engineering - Custom Motorcycle Parts and Renewable Energy Products

sendler 06-16-2016 05:51 AM

Ohio Challenge tech meeting Saturday July, 9 at 5:00 and competition Sunday at 7:30 AM?

gregsfc 07-02-2016 07:09 AM

I came and rode in the 2014 AMA event in a mostly-stock 2014 Honda CTX700. I was hoping to do well and showcase what this bike could do compared to any other stock bike of any size class and hopefully my good result would challenge the theory that keeps being proclaimed at these events that streamlining (only in a specified way) and 20-28 horsepower-capable machines are the keys to winning the challenge and maximum mpg on a motorcycle. It should have already been noted that this assumption is not necessarily the only way to excel in PTW mpg, as Mr. Hayes has won many with a different body and 30-34 horsepower many times.

I was additionally motivated by the fact that a previous event in 2013 included another stock bike with the same engine as mine, but a different style version and a DCT automatic transmission with ABS brakes. I saw that at that event, that NC700X stock bike achieved 70 mpg, and I knew that I was regularly achieving 73-78 from tank to tank, mostly commuting around home and felt like I could come there, show what the modern Honda power train could do; show that it's not always necessarily about smallest possible displacement with the least necessary horsepower irrespective of the body, but that higher torque in the mid range, combined with being easy on the throttle, even with a heavier overall weight, can absolutely compete with the RPM screamers. I'm no physics-minded person, but it doesn't take a genius to consider that if you've got extra torque available at or about 3400 RPM at 60 mph (as long as the displacement isn't overkill), you're likely generating modest power to do equal work, equally efficiently as a machine that's working nearer to its capability.

The reason I feel it is important to illustrate this idea of another way to achieve economy is, with a bike like mine, with its 52 peak horsepower rated and 44+ peak foot pound torque, 90% of which is available from 3000-5700 RPM in a 500 pound curb weight package wet, if it can be shown that a lower revving machine with more torque and more usable power down low than the traditional, high revving mc machine, then this shows that the minimalist approach is not the only approach and that some riders may prefer the refinement aspects of these lower-revving machines. The problem is, until Honda came out with this engine from their automotive division, the only examples of torquey motorcycles were low tech and liter+ engines in very heavy packages and Fred's diesel. But I think that, maybe, everyone chalked Fred's success 100% to it being diesel and Fred's expertise.

But if I could find a way to show up at one of those events, do really well versus the other stock bikes and get that CTX700 bike highlighted, as was done in the 2013 Quail event and the NC700X @ only 70 mpg, maybe that would change the discussion about focusing on these smaller cc bikes as the only way to streamline and achieve 130+ mpg.

It took some saving and rescheduling, and some hardship, but I made it to the event. I stayed in a Motel 6 about 20 miles away from the meeting place to stay in budget. I worried a little about how E10 , possibly reformulated 87 gas may hurt my mpg versus back home. I debated about trying to come up with a bigger box to carry the groceries or just keep my 53-liter Dewalt tool box on there that always gives me everything I need in so far as luggage space, and I had to take along chain lube and lube the hard way for this long trip. In the end, I decided that I'm no carpenter and also in protest to the 4-bag grocery rule, I'd just ride the way I always ride accessory wise with a Madstad screen and my Dewalt box. I'd tuck when it made sense to tuck, and I felt I'd do very well. After all, the NC700X didn't carry the groceries and a fuss was made about it at the Quail event.

My result: During the ride, I was amazed at how slowly the fuel gauge was dropping as compared to back home. A streamliner rider asked me how it was going. I replied conveying my amazement. This was going to far exceed my best ever; obviously attributed to the tucking, because I'd been on slower charity rides back home and had never exceeded 83 on a single tank, and that was on pure gasoline.

Back at the gas station, I filled up, did the math based on my trip meter, and I came up with nearly 97 mpg. This was going to blow the event leaders away. There would be a group of pictures and quotes, etc., etc. There was going to be lots of questions about how this was possible? The official results put my number even higher; almost 102, as the distance used was higher than my measurement

I talked to Craig, Fred, Allan and others. It was known by many how well I did. They seemed impressed. I crashed in Columbus, OH on the way home getting in to some loose pavement pebbles that were unseen near the shoulder of the interstate. I limped back in hurting more and more as I went. I sent emails to Craig and others telling about how I enjoyed meeting everyone and my big mishap back home. Craig replied and stated that they were going to post some things about my accomplishment.

Nothing ever happened. My results were posted indicating that I got a whopping 20 mpg above the next-highest stock bike and only about 1.5 short of Craig's streamlined Helix that's reportedly 16 horsepower versus my 52 horsepower vehicle.

Now it may seem as if I'm whining but I'm not. I'm suggesting that, going forward, these events should get back to more openness to promoting and/discussing technologies and techniques and less about what has already been shown over and over with these 250 cc streamlined machines. What Allan, Vic, and others are doing is truly amazing and should not be minimized and they are great guys doing great things, but there are other styles and ways of achieving amazing results, and if I had some mechanical skill and were financially able, and if I didn't think my spouse would kill me, I'd streamline and show that a streamlined bigger bike could absolutely compete with the big boys (figuratively speaking), although probably around the 500 cc range with the same engineering would likely maximize the higher torque theory of efficiency in a NA, automobile-style gas engine.

I healed and fixed the bike and then began riding again October 2014 only to crash a second time in November 2014, but this time in an unavoidable crash caused by a cager pulling right out in front of me and another cager. I fixed the same damage the second time and healed a little more slowly in this higher speed layover, but this time decided to sell and quit riding. But after one-and-half years with my amazing bike not selling, I'm riding again. New tires, adjusted for trip meter error, achieving more than 75 mpg so far. The only negatives of this bike is that there are competitors out there with more stopping power, which is suddenly more important to me now, and it drops mpg excessively in cold weather; down to mid sixties dead of winter.

Anyway, it's great being back, and I'll be keeping up again with mc eco maximizers with keen interest.

sendler 07-02-2016 09:18 AM

The CTX700 has a great fuel economy engine and is a very bold move by Honda to even bring to market. And unfortunately doesn't sell with gas at $2.50 / gallon all over the USA.
I have been saying for years that the Ninja 250 engine is actually not a very efficient engine design despite the streamliners consistantly getting over 150 mpgUS in competition versus your 100. Streamlining a motorcycle works. Your bike could probably get pretty close to that with full on streamlining. The Ninja engine was never intended to be fuel efficient. Those are price point performance bikes with a short stroke, 13,500 redline, and cams and intakes that are tuned for peak power at the top of the range. Honda has a much bigger comittment to fuel economy across a large range. Alan and Craig like the Kawasakis because there are literally 100,000's of good used examples all across the US that sell in the $1-2,000 range.
The CBR250R actually made quite a tip in the apple cart to challenge the Ninja when it came out in 2011 with fuel injection. My last 5 tanks are averaging well over 110 mpg on a fast highway commute. The CBR125R preceded that in '07 with a shorter stroke and fuel injection and could probably break 200 in a challenge if anyone ever showed up with one of those in full Vetter guise. The square stroke Honda 500's are also designed to be very fuel efficient yet powerful enough to carry two people cross country. Similar to your 700 in power and fuel economy with regular users on Fuelly. The Honda PCX150 is a brilliant machine with an AVERAGE real world user mean of close to 100 mpg on Fuelly with hundreds of accounts. No babying required. An engine design that has been updated three times in five years to squeeze out efficiency, bodywork updated after three years to incorporte led headlights, eco start-stop with an ACG starter/ generator, ect. Honda is very serious about this machine and it's place in personal transportation as humanity moves forward. But only a top speed of 64 mph.
Of course Honda has always been since day one about providing an affordable way for the common man to get where he is going with the different Postie bikes and monkey bikes that people in less developed nations use to survive.

gregsfc 07-03-2016 09:37 PM


Originally Posted by sendler (Post 517733)
Of course Honda has always been since day one about providing an affordable way for the common man to get where he is going with the different Postie bikes and monkey bikes that people in less developed nations use to survive.

Agree with all you've stated and wish I were wired in a way that I'd tinker with my CTX700 and could have come to the AMA event with my bike streamlined, because, evidentially 100 mpg in a stock 670 cc bike with 47 hp at the wheel and tucking did not seem to get anyone that makes commentary about these events to even pause and question the assumptions they've made about maximizing mpg on PTWs. The narrative always seems to be one should show up with limited hp and a specific body shape and that little else matters. I really like what Fred did with his bike where the body was streamlined differently, requiring that he tuck during the events (not the Vetter prescription) and then he'd have 30-35 horsepower available (also not prescribed), but yet he'd most-often win.

I think that if I had chosen Honda's 250 available at the time of my purchase, instead of the CTX700; I'd Likely be averaging above 90 in my commutes and I wonder how the newer 300 or the previous 250 would do in a challenge versus a Kawasaki. I'd put my money on a Honda, but I guess we'll never know. I don't regret my choice in the CTX, as I love the mid-range power of the CTX, and the comfort level. My last tank came in at 79. It does really well during the hot summer months, but really drops when I start facing cool mornings. Fred Hayes told me it was because Honda must have designed it to run too lean, and he said he was surprised that they designed it that way.

sendler 07-03-2016 10:19 PM


Originally Posted by gregsfc (Post 517808)
but really drops when I start facing cool mornings.

All vehicle's fuel efficiencies drop in cold weather. The air is denser, causing more drag. And, there is more waste of the heat energy of the fuel due to having to heat up the incoming air more and still spitting it out the tail pipe hot. And there is also a switch over to winter fuel at some point in the season which has a different blend that contains less energy per gallon than summer gas.
All of these modern fuel injected Hondas have an O2 sensor. They will adapt to form the correct mixture at any reasonable temp or altitude.

Grant-53 07-04-2016 01:42 AM

Every machine benefits from streamlining from bicycles to tractor trailer rigs. The reduction in drag allows gearing changes that in turn let us focus on peak torque rpm. Neither modification is difficult or expensive.

gregsfc 07-04-2016 06:45 AM

My intent was not to minimize the effect of streamlining. I absolutely agree. I do not think it is easy though for those who are not mechanically inclined, and even harder is for some mc owners to make two or three trips per year to places far away from his or her home to compete in these rides. There is no way, for instance, I could make room for these events in my budget or calendar, and even if I could, the spouse would throw a fit. Especially since my one and only trip far away from home on a bike resulted in me getting injured on my bike.

However, I'm sure that their are many owners of efficient mc's and scooters, e.g. Honda's 150, 250, 300, 500, and 650. BMW's 650 that go on rally and rides and do modifications that could get involved in streamlining and hypermiling. The biggest problem and a point of frustration is that hardly anyone has interest in this endeavor, and so we can't know what some of these power trains can do.

My main point is that if one were to take an mc that does not have a typical high revving engine where torque and horsepower move linearly through an extremely long range, like some of Honda's new power trains, and streamline it, even as it is higher capable hp than what is continually suggested at these events, then I feel like these newer engines could compete with the Kawasaki 250s pretty well.

It all comes back to the lack of interests in mc mpg and I'm not just referring to the prospect of comparing more streamlined bikes. These events should have fuel economical bikes and scooters and their riders show up with many brands, styles and displacements of stock bikes; fuel up, line up and go, and the results should be published and discussed and high achievers touted. I was sort of disappointed at the lack of media coverage, the few participates of both streamlined bikes and stock back at the 2014 event. Comparing stock bikes can give good indications of how they'd compare streamlined and so manufacturers' engineering should be a big part of what these events are all about. I was also sort of disappointed that it seemed a little like a good old boys ride with everyone else just kind of there. For instance, I feel like my achievement of beating the number two stock bike by 20 mpg, and the fact that I was near Craig's result should have been highlighted or at least mentioned instead of just listed among the group that was just there.

I do realize that streamlining takes load off all engines and allows for all powered bikes to run at highway speeds at less than peak power, saving fuel, but what I'm suggesting is that maybe an engine that has much higher capable torque much lower on the tachometer can feasibly compete with the prescribed 21-28 horsepower mc's in both set ups: stock and streamlined, and since so few folks streamline, it'd be nice if these events had more stock competitiveness, and maybe some of them do, but if they do, it's not being communicated in the publishing of the results.

Anyway, I'm through with my rant. Hope someone tells us soon what happened at the 2016 ride, and I do appreciate that some people do what they do to make these events happen. I just wish it was a little more participated and better covered, but this is the world we live in.

jkv357 07-04-2016 09:30 AM

I do think a bigger engine running at a lower RPM can do pretty well, but there are a few mechanical factors that will hold it back. The numbers are good, but the potential is much more limited. I have a SV 650, and I've seen over 60 mpg in normal back-road riding - which is pretty good IMO.

A small engine running near its peak torque and close to WOT has significant advantages in efficiency over the larger engine running low RPMs and small throttle openings. That's fine for some things like mileage competitions, but in the real world it doesn't leave much for passing or accelerating.

For the competition, a streamlined 125-250cc single would most likely be the most efficient, but your CTX can do pretty well and still be a very useful all-around street bike.

I would like to see more stock bikes run in the competition, just to see what they can do compared to more purpose-build streamliners. I am impressed with what people can do with their small homebuilt streamliners though.

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