I had been busy since getting back from the Mid-Ohio Vetter Challenge and hadn't ridden the streamlliner much since the competition. This week I worked on a couple of refinements: a new bellypan and I raised the windscreen so that the passing air wouldn't hit my shoulders. I finally hit reserve today after more than 400 miles on this tankfill. I completed my errands and refueled: 437.3 miles/3.79 gal. of fuel for a result of 115mpg.
The weather has been hot here and the engine temperature got past halfway after a 50mile ride. I may need to open up the air inlet in the nose for long uphill runs in hot weather . The next competition is Las Vegas next month but it probably won't be super hot then. Alan Smith and I are planning to do a some testing with our streamliners later this month and we hope to produce some good results.
Alan Smith and I went for a ride on our usual fuel econonmy testing route . Alan rode his non-streamlined Ninja 250 that he has raised the gearing to 15/33 and used a small aero-trunk that he made. Alan has had the valve timing changed for more low-end torque. I rode my streamliner on which I had added a new bellypan and raised the back of the windscreen. My gearing is also 15/33. The weather was perfect; warm to hot with gentle winds. We rode to Tesla RD, to Corral Hollow Rd to Tracy then crossed over to Hwy 33 to Patterson. We stopped there for some lunch and had some great burritos. We reversed our route back to the gas station and refilled. Alan went the 106.7 miles on .893 gallon for 119.48 mpg. I went the 106.7 miles on .728 gallon for 146.6 mpg. This was a new personal best for me. It was also a best for Alan on this bike. A very good day all in all.
We will be riding in the Las Vegas Vetter Challenge on 10/17 so this is very promising for a good run there.
Since the Las Vegas Vetter Challenge was cancelled due to Craig Vetter’s issues with recovering from his recent hip surgery , Alan and I decided to ride out on our streamliners and visit him at home in Carmel. We also decided to have an unofficial Challenge of our own by comparing our fuel economy for the 240 mile+ round trip. We met at the Cycle Gear parking lot in Pleasanton and headed for Carmel in the brutal commute traffic between Pleasanton and San Jose. We moved through the traffic with some frequent lane sharing and then rode for a while on the 680 HOV lane. The weather was a bit cool at the start but warmed up to the 70s by the time we reached Carmel. Once we broke through the traffic congestion it was a nice ride to the beautiful Monterey coastline.
It was great to see Craig doing so well after his major surgery. He had been in constant pain previously and now the surgery had relieved it for the first time in many years. He has to avoid putting too much load on his newly repaired hip for the first 6 weeks after his surgery so he has to spend most of his time in bed or sitting. However we did get a hall pass to take him to lunch. Terry Hershner of cross-country electric motorcycle record-breaking fame and Craig’s son Zak joined us. We talked about lots of things: the rapid progress with electric motorcycles, some new aerodynamic refinements proposed by our new friend Tom Finch and Terry’s upcoming attempt to recapture his electric motorcycle coast to coast record. We enjoyed a great lunch and then reported back to Craig’s shop to do some work on Terry’s new long tail.
Initially the plan was to just apply some vinyl wrap to the treated paper skin of the tail extension but we ended up removing the skin, adding some frame members and re-skinning the tail. Alan and I had to head back home before the job was completed.
Traffic was bad in spots but we made steady progress back home. I stopped at the gas station to refuel and found that I had used 2.32 gallons to go the 246.9 miles for 106.42 mpg. I still have to see what Alan got. It was a great day all in all.