The Search for Fuel Economy

Pages from a Designers' Notebook

July 24-27, 2008

Chap. 14: Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Vintage Days
Vintage Days at the Motorhead Cafe: The streamliner was mobbed
Over the weekend, I rode from Champaign Illinois to Columbus, Lexington, Indianapolis and home. 1200 miles in all. It is the most comfortable two wheeler I have ever ridden because of the great wind protection and great seat. This thing is a people magnet. Wherever I stopped, crowds would gather. I would explain that I was trying to get 100 mpg at 70 miles per hour, with four bags of groceries. The universal response was:

"This is what we all want"

So far, I really don't see much of an improvement in mileage because the streamlining is incomplete. The German Zeppelin makers must have felt the same frustrations. They too had to wait until everything was complete to see what they had.

Mid Ohio provided a rare opportunity to compare the different eras of my design career
My Rickman Racer of 1975 was designed to go fast around a track. My Triumph Hurricane of 1973 was designed to help save Triumph. My Streamliner is designed to do more with less fuel. The world changes. We must change with it. This was never so apparent than seeing these machines together in the same place.

These eras were fun. Today, we need to be serious about burning less fuel. It is still fun.

I gave PowerPoint shows and people took pictures
Carol and I will be in England and Europe the next few weeks, August 15-24. We have been invited to Beezumph 17 along with America's Trans-Atlantic Match Team. We have made many friends there.

Beezumph 17

What a great honor to be in the presence of these heroes of racing from both sides of the Atlantic. Think about the talent we will be able to tap into to try to solve our problems of motorcycle design. Do you think Rob North can offer anything? How about Dick Mann ?

In the mean time, I will not be able to work on my fuel economy project machine for a few weeks. The first thing I plan to do is play around with a couple of 20 pound lead weights, mounted up front to see if it does anything to keep it from blowing around between semi trucks in awful side winds. I know... all bikes can be affected. But, wouldn't it be nice to come up with solutions?

This page updated Aug 7, 2008
Chap. 3: Road Testing the Long Tail Mar 28, 08
Chap. 1: Streamlining Saves Fuel Feb 20, 08
Chap.2: CAD Streamlined Body Mar 8, 08
Chap. 4: Planking with Foam Apl. 5, 09
Chap. 5: More Wind Testing Apl. 7, 08
Chap. 6: The Final Shape Apl. 17, 08
Chap. 7: Decisions about Details May 10, 08
Page 8: Making the Center Bulkhead June 1, 08
Chap. 9: Rear Bulkhead and Truck bed June 8, 08
Chap. 10: Finish Rear and go for ride June 17, 08

If you have not yet watched my DVD, How they Got 470 mpg it is time to get it for the basic foundation for what we are doing here

Chap. 11: Finish the Tail June 29, 08
Chap. 12: Heading for Ohio, July 13-23, 08
Introduction to Fuel Economy
Chap. 13: Riding in the Midwest July 24, 08
Chap. 14: Vintage Days Ohio, July 25-7, 08
Chap. 15: Summary to date Aug 12, 08
Chap. 16: Adding Weight to the Front Sep. 1, 08
Chap. 17: Truth and Motorcycle Design Sep 4, 08
Chap. 18: Where should the weight be? Sep 25, 08
Chapter 19: Finishing the Streamlining Oct 14, 08
Chapter 20: Streamlining the Handlebars Nov 4, 08
Chapter 21: Unexpected Problems Nov 11, 08
Chapter 23: Getting my feet in and out Dec 19, 08
Chapter 22: Streamlining is working Nov 25, 08
Chapter 24: Streamlining is beginning to work! Jan 1, 09
Chapter 25: Tuft Testing Mar 2, 2009
Chapter 26: Starting Over April 9, 09
Chapter 27: More Ideas for Starting over April 20, 09
Chapter 28: Show time! Aug 1, 2009
Chapter 29: Getting the big parts right Dec 10, 2009
Chapter 30: First evaluation from an outsider Dec 20, 2009
Chapter 31: Visit with Allert Jacobs Dec 24, 2009
Chapter 32: Prius Headlights Jan 18, 2010
Chapter 33: New Gears Feb 17, 2010
Chapter 34: New Mileage Records April 25, 2010
Chapter 35: The Quail Gathering of Motorcycles May 9, 2010
Chapter 36: End of the line with the Helix June 19, 2010
Chapter 37: Vetter Challenge Oct. 9, 2010
Chapter 38: John Keogh helps out Dec 8, 2010
Chapter 39: Working with Keogh Dec 17, 2010
Chapter 40 and up (Work continuing in 2011)
Designing the Last Vetter Fairing

Chapters 1 thru 39 (2007-2010)

Chapters: 40 thru 51 (2011)

Chapters: 52 thru 61 (2012)

Chapters 62 thru 68 (2013)

Chapters 69-up (2014)