Alan builds another Ninja Streamliner
Updated Augus 6, 2014
|Two identical Ninja 250s:
One with Vetter streamlining... one the way Kawasaki made it
|The streamlined Ninja gets around 100 mpg
The stock Ninja gets around 50 mpg
Proven in side-by-side riding in Vetter Challenges
Streamlining doubles the mileage
Alan thinks he can do even better
|"How can this be?" you might ask. The stock Ninja looks so small.
It looks small because there is no person sitting on it.
The streamlined Ninja looks big because the streamlining covers the bike and a rider.
To begin with, Alan will be sitting 10" lower
The standard Ninja seat is about 30" high. This is fine for around town when you are going slow like 35-40 mph. Cruising on the highway at 70-75mph, it would be better to be able to sit lower. Besides being more comfortable, the frontal area is reduced.
Boring a smaller hole thru the air consumes less fuel.
Fuel Economy pioneer, Kraig Schultz has invented a two position "Flip-Seat" seat. Alan is putting it on his new Ninja.
|Stock seat height for around town|
|10 inches lower for the highways|
|Alan is doing everything possible to lower his frontal area, to be streamlined while at the same time, enhance rider comfort. If its not comfortable, we won't use it.
A picture worth studying
|Alan extended the swing arm 5". This gave him room him to sit 10" lower. But he had to remove the airbox.* Duplicate controls on his front-mounted foot rests allow him to shift and brake from the footpegs or forward controls.
*Redesigning the airbox may become his biggest problem.
|Vetter Streamliner kit|
|The Last Vetter Fairing can be modified to fit any motorcycle.
Follow along as we show how to put it on Alan's radically modified Ninja.
The goal: To be the most comfortable bike possible and to consume the lest fuel.
We want to live better on less energy.
Step by Step instructions on how to streamline a motorcycle
|Step 1: Make a mounting plate on the "plane of the rotation" of the handlebars.|
|Everything begins with this plane of rotation
Because he will sit so much lower, Alan needed to move the bars back and down. This 3/8" aluminum plate makes it easy.
The handlebars and Turret Top will mount to this plate
The rest of the nose is keyed to this plate
|Step 2: Mount the Turret onto the plate.|
|Clamp the Turret to the plate. You want to be able to shift it forward or backwards for fine tuning.|
|Step 3: Prop the Streamlining parts into position.|
|Several inches must be removed from the mating edges on Alan's radical new streamliner .Sitting lower reduces makes the two nose pieces overlap.
The Turret Top (in white) rotates.
The Nose (black) is fixed to the frame.
|Step 4: Trim the nose parts to fit.|
|Normally, little or no trimming is necessary but since Alan is making a radically reduced frontal area streamliner, he needs to radically trim the edges. Trimming both parts the same means they will they will fit together nicer.|
|This is easy work. Just take your time. You really cannot ruin fiberglass because you can always 'glass it back together.|
|When the nose parts "look right" it is time to cut out the hourglass shape for the front wheel.|
|Step 5: Fiberglass the top and bottom together|
|By now you have seen how we assembled the nose on my Helix, Alan's first Ninja and Terry's Zero. Each one is slightly different because of seating height and rider seating position but the technique is the same.|
|Finishing the nose is a matter of grinding down the high spots and adding fiberglass to the low spots until it looks smooth. The worst part is itchy arms from the fiberglass. Alan wears rubber arm-length gloves. Note the front wheel is back on. When you make the cut out according the the way we have learned above, the wheel turns perfectly - the first time - in an opening not too big or too small.|
|Step 6: Tidy up the turret|
|Alan's second streamliner is very radical. Sitting 10" lower means almost everything must be relocated. With his bars pulled back so far, cables, wiring and hydraulic lines must be extended. None of this is difficult. Just plan on it taking extra time.
Alan is very aware that the air box must duplicate the volume and flow of the stock Ninja. He is also aware that the new airbox is between his legs and needs to be rounded and soft in case of a crash.
|June 2014: t was time for Alan to do his summer riding. His new Ninja was not done so he left on his existing Streamlined Ninja 250. He crossed America twice... often riding alongside much bigger bikes. Read his experiences.|
Posted Feb 7, 2014
Updated August 6, 2014