Jay and Alvaro, Thanks! I'm pleased with the results of the new front end and hope to close the gap between my Ninja and Alan Smith's "vetterized" Ninja. We'll be riding together to the Ohio Vetter Challenge in a couple of weeks so I'll be able to compare FE on the ride there.
The 2012 will have the largest field yet with many more electric bikes and streamlined bikes competing. The current rules ( the 4 grocery bag capacity requirement) will make the competition closer than before and I hope to be among the top competitors. We'll see.
Alan Smith and I leave for the Ohio Vetter Challenge on Friday, 7/13/2012. I've got the front faring stiff enough and it should survive the ~5000 trip to Ohio and back. I'm still struggling with high coolant temps with the full aero package. I'll probably end up running with the headlighlight area uncovered to increase radiator airflow on the trip and reinstall the headlight cover while running the Challenge. Lots of desert to traverse in CA, NV, UT and WY. I still have to change my coolant, oil &filter and change the fork oil. My tires should last the trip.
We'll be meeting up with Red Yaris in Cheyenne WY, it will be cool riding this far with 3 streamlined bikes.
I just got home from the trip to Ohio for the Vetter Challenge. The trip was around 5200 miles. It was by far the longest motorcycle trip I had ever taken and on the smallest bike I'd ever taken on an overnight trip. I encountered cooling problems right off the back due to a lack of testing time with the new dustbin styled front end. We kept making changes on the road and finally with blocking around the radiator and more airscoops we got it under control. The weather was hot virtually everyday with some intense rainstorms. My temperature gauge malfunctioned and read pegged out for the last 3 days on the way to Ohio.
At the Challenge I had a great ride and 119mpg. It was good for second overall and the best performance of all the gasoline- powered bikes. An incredible day.
After working 7/22 to 7/24 in Georgetown KY , I began the long solo ride home. We took Hwy 80 for the most part on the way out so I decided to take Hwy 70 on the way back. I rode Hwy 50 from Utah to Fallon NV. This trip was a great experience that I will never forget. I'll write about it in more detail now that I'm home.
Hi, I hadn't posted in a while and wanted to let folks know whats up with me and my project. My dad died after a long battle with lung cancer. Fortunately I was able to drive out to Texas and visit with him before he slipped into a terminal coma. I've also been busy working a lot on my part time job with a safety training company which involves a lot of travel.
I haven't worked on my bike much since getting back from the Vetter Challenge in Ohio. I replaced the chain after it failed and have focused most of my efforts on improving the cooling airflow through the front end. I tested my new ducting today and it seemed to be cooling better though it wasn't a very hot day(~85*F.) Nonetheless, it seemed better to be working better.
I also refilled today and had a pretty good tankfill: 379.8 miles/3.41 gal.=111 mpg.
The Las Vegas to Barstow Vetter Challenge will be on November 18 so most of my efforts will be ensuring that the Ninja is roadworthy for the 500+ mile trip to Las Vegas and that my streamliner is running well and hopefully is competitive.
Hi all, I haven't posted in a while and thought I should report in.
After a disappointing performance in the 2012 Las Vegas to Barstow Vetter Challenge I knew I needed to improve my streamlined Ninja 250 to return to its previous good finishes ( 2nd overall, 1st gasoline -powered @ 2012 Mid Ohio Challenge, 3rd best @ 2012 Carmel Challenge) .
I decided to buy a Vetter fiberglass nosepiece as side by side testing with Alan Smith showed its superior performance . So I removed my Coroplast over sheetmetal framework nose and began by installing a plywood bulhead to mount the 2 fiberglass nose halves on. I cut the wheel slot, glassed the halves together and mounted the nose onto the bulkhead with 3 screws. I then made the framework to mount coroplast sides and the windscreen. I've been back on the road the past 2 weeks.
I still need to do some more finish work such as sealing the plywoood bulhead and adding ducting but I wanted to see how the new nose felt and performed. I started using it to run errands to ensure it was strongly attached and that the turning clearance was OK. Engine temps are good although the weather has been cool. The bike is quieter through the air and I'm able to hold top gear longer and at smaller throttle openings than before. For lots of pictures of the construction check out Craig Vetter's website at Craig Vetter, designer and inventor of the Windjammer fairing,Triumph Hurricane Motorcycle and fuel economy motorcycles
, its in Chapter 62
Alan just got back from Phoenix with his "new" ( 2004 model ) Ninja 250 and wanted to do a baseline test on our 100 mile test loop. So we decided to ride this morning. Alan's friend Ken joined us with his new Honda CF250. We enjoyed the ride through the backroads between Livermore and Patterson and had some excellente Mexican food for lunch. We rode back to our starting point gas station and refilled our bikes: Alan: 77 mpg, Ken 83 mpg, Vic 100 mpg. The weather was cool with some wind. A good start for this current version.
Next, I need to finish off the front end and then remake my tailsection. Still lots to do before the Carmel Vetter Challenge in May but I'm looking forward to it.
A brief recap of current events with the Ninja streamliner:
I fininshed second behind Alan Smith in the Earth Day Fuel Economy Challenge we hosted. He got 95 mpg and I got 89 mpg.
I did not compete in the @013 Carmel Vetter Challenge but Alan had a great run with 144.6 mpg.
I went on a ride with some friends all on liter+ bikes and had a problem.
The bike stalled out and was producing no power near the end of a ride in the Cal/Neva Sierras. I had to trailer it home and feared major damage. Once home I tore into it and found that the problem was clogged carbs and got the bike running well again. During the trailer ride home my tailsection bodywork was damaged and needed significant repair.
I was asked to display my streamliner at a local car and bike show so I hustled this past weekend to get the bodywork back together. I strengthened the front bulkhead as it was flexing a bit. I laminated more plywood onto the bulkhead and added 4 more steel tubing braces to it. I also added more frame members to the tail section and reskinned it with some new doorskin ( thin plywood veneer ). I just finished in time to ride to the show in Fremont. The crowd loved it.
The bike is running well and I hope to do a bit of testing and tweak a few things before I get ready to head out to Lexington Ohio for the next round of the Vetter Challenge on 7/19/2013. I'll be trailering the streamliner this year rather than riding as I did last year. I hope to see some of you there at the AMA Vintage Days .
Tomorrow morning I'll roll my streamliner onto my trailer and head for the AMA Vintage Days at the Mid Ohio racetrack for the next Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge on the morning of July 19. . I was 2nd overall and best gasoline-powered bike last year with 119 mpg, hopefullty I'll do as well this year. Wish me luck!
I'll be heading East on I-80 and will be stopping in Salt Lake City on Sunday to drop off some aero parts for JeffM. I should in the Columbus OH area on Wed. or early Thurs. I'll be at the AMA Vintage Days event until Sunday morning, then I depart for Georgetown KY and a couple of days work there. If you are going to the AMA Vintage Days or are in the OH/KY area send me a PM if you want ot meet. I met Sendler, and Bschloop there jast year and had a blast. Its always great to meet my on-line friends in person.
It was another great event with lots of enthusiastic participants. We rode the beautiful backroads between Bellville and Pinkerington and stopped at the AMA Museum to look at the fabulous exhibits. We got hit by a short rainstorm and just finished the ride as a torrential downpour started.
Here are the unofficial results:
1. Fred Hayes-162.7 mpg
2. John Hickey- 144.5 mpg
3. Alan Smith- 132.5 mpg
4. Vic Valdes- 130.7 mpg
5. Dale Van De Ven 112.8 mpg ( 1st Alternative Fuel)
6. Craig Vetter 80.6 mpg
7. Scott Endler 74.7 mpg
8. J. Dennis 71.9 mpg
9. J. Burr 66.2 mpg
10. D. Siegel 53.3 mpg
11. T. Wildman 43.87 mpg
12. G. Hale 39.6 mpg
13. B. Ischachen 35.8 mpg
14. Dr. Rcihard Goff 75 miles ( 1st Electric )
Congratulations to Fred, Dale and Dr. Goff and to all the competitiors for another great performance. Fred's 162.7 mpg run is the best ever for a Vetter Challenge.
Some observations: Fred Hayes and his diesel bikes continue to dominate the Vetter Challenges. He works very hard to constantly improvement and it shows.
John Hickey and his HyperRocket 250ccNinja- powered 3-wheeler was a pleasant suprise; it looked and performed great. It's awesome to see what the new Hyper Rocket can do!
Ninja 250s were dominant for the gasoline-powered motorcyles capturing 2nd,3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th places.
The electric bikes are getting much more competitive; they are going farther and will soon be able to complete the courses and contend for the overall win. Terry Hershner planned to attend but suffered a mechanical failures in colorado as he rode to Mid-Ohio.
Check Craig's website for pictures and more detailed information when he makes his latest post.