Alan Smith met at my home in Livermore CA on Thursday morning and we started our ride to the event on our streamliners. We rode down California?s autobahn; US Hwy 5 maintaining 70 to 80 mph speeds. Conditions were good and we made good time to Barstow where we spent the night.
The next morning we left for Las Vegas and encountered strong winds. Alan?s streamlined Ninja 250 with its new Vetter tailsection handled well in the winds with minimal corrections while my Yamaha Vision 550 was forced to slow down and countersteer strongly to stay in my lane during the ride on Hwy 15 to Vegas.
After settling in at our hotel we met Beater911 who was in Las Vegas from WA for some training for his job. We showed him our bikes and discussed our hypermiling efforts.
Beater911 drove us to the Red Rock Casino where the American Motorcycle Association was having a convention and motorcycle concourse. Alan was going to display his streamliner on Saturday with Craig Vetter?s Honda Helix streamliner, Fred Hayes diesel streamliner and diesel Streetfighter. The vintage, racing and specialty motorcycles were awesome. The event staff asked us to move Alan?s bike to the display area before 10 PM rather than early Saturday morning as we had initially planned. We returned to our hotel and returned with Alan riding his bike to the Red Rock loading dock. We then rolled the 10? long bike into a 9?x 6? elevator and took it to the convention floor. We rolled it down a long hotel kitchen corridor and the cooks and waiters were intrigued by the streamliner passing through their work area. We placed the bike in its designated spot and then the three of us went out for dinner and a tour of the Fremont Street experience.
Saturday we returned to the motorcycle concourse event, answered questions about streamlining and motorcycle hypermiling, and visited with other motorcycle presenters.
The AMA Hall of Fame inductees then did an autograph signing and we had the privilege of meeting motorcycling legends such as Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey, and Bubba Shobert, Bob Hannah, Malcolm Smith, Craig Vetter, Cook Nielsen and too many other legends to list. It was great! The day flew by and we helped Alan get his bike back to our hotel. We then got together with the Vetters, the Hayes and the Chens for dinner, socializing and some discussion about our fuel economy run on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning we topped off our tanks and met at the Red Rock Casino for the start of our fuel economy run to Barstow. The ride was almost all freeway miles under cold and windy conditions. We rode up several 4000?+ passes on the climb up to Barstow. The conditions were the hardest to date of all the Vetter Challenges. We all were able to maintain a 65 mph to 80 mph Pace to Barstow. My bike was the only one to be significantly effected by the strong winds. Beater911 joined us and took photos and video of the ride, and then returned to Vegas for his flight home to WA. He did a great job helping to support our competition and the motorcycle hypermiling cause. Hopefully he will start work soon on streamlining his motorcycles.
We cruised into Barstow and assembled for lunch. After lunch we topped off out tanks and found: 1. Fred Hayes, HDT streamliner , 138.2 mpg, 2. Alan Smith, Kawasaki 250 streamliner , 95.9 mpg, 3. Josh Chen, HDT Streetfighter, 95.3 mpg, 4. Craig Vetter, Honda Helix streamliner, 92.9 mpg , 5. Vic Valdes ( Low&Slow) , Yamaha Vision streamliner, 61.9 mpg
Compared to the 2001 Quail Run, my bike improved from ~56 mpg to 62 mpg on a faster, uphill ride with cold and windy conditions. I?m pleased I was able to significantly improve the efficiency of my bike but the performance gap between me and my friends indicate that my bike is too large, and produces too much power to compete with 250s and the diesel bikes. I need to get a smaller bike and streamline it to start getting competitive. I will probably do a little more work on my Vision to achieve a 70 mpg tank fill but I plan on looking for a new Vetter Challenge bike.
After the event debrief Alan and I started our ride back home. We encountered rain, strong winds and temperatures as low as 37*F. We stopped in Bakersfield and had dinner with Craig. We left on Monday morning for the ride home to the SF Bay Area, encountering lots of fog between Bakersfield and Fresno. Needless to say, it was a great trip with hypermiling, motorcycling and friends.
I hope you all enjoyed this report and that you and your families have a great Thanksgiving holiday.