Making the tail

We were so busy getting Terry on the road, I did not have time to show you how we made his tail. The tail structure begins with the seat bulkhead. Because I don't have the bulkhead finished, we had to make Terry's tail structure of wood. We did not have time to bring it to a - point which would consume even less energy.

Fortunately, Alan Smith volunteered to spend the week helping out. Virginia Tech is building a Vetter Challenger and sent graduating engineering student, Justin Burr to California to help and learn. We are all grateful for his help.

Five days before he wanted to leave, Terry returned with another battery to put on. He wanted to install four more chargers, too. "It is just 160 pounds", he said "It will be OK"
To make the tail, we had to begin with the seat bulkhead. We sat Terry down and drew a line around him. Then we sat each other down and drew lines around all of us. I took an "average", drew the bulkhead shape and cut it out of 1/4"plywood.
From tuft testing, we learned that we needed to "square-off" the top to continue the shoulder shape. I am not happy about the way it looks but that is the way it must be. This will be a temporary tail to get Terry on the road as fast as possible. I reinforced the edges with 3/4" plywood. The floor would be solid plywood to carry the new battery.
Justin glues and screws the various wooden tail parts together. You could actually make a tail yourself like this if you wanted. Terry was concerned that the extra weight could make his motor run hot. Then he noticed that his feet felt colder with the streamlinined nose. I decided to direct that cold air to the motor.
First I made ducting of cardboard. Then I replaced the cardboard with aluminum and taped it all together. His motor should stay cool and his feet should stay warm. Here you can see one of two extra chargers Terry mounted. With the streamlining off, you can see the aluminum intake duct.
Andre Okazaki of Reproduction Decals made the classic Vetter lettering for me. Alan and I shape and fit lightweight foam fairings that will help the wind slip by. We have one day to go.
After two years of use, I have come to believe that my "milk-carton" paper covered with pressure sensitive vinyl is the most durable, lightest and least expensive covering material we can use. We carefully figured out the shape, took it off, laid it flat, covered it with the vinyl and put it back on using our Banana Tacks.
Terry wanted head home to Florida. We did not have time to finish bringing his tail to a point. I expect him back. We can finish it up later.

"If fuel ever becomes precious, we will want to be streamlined"

Craig Vetter, 2008

Fuel is precious in electric motorcycles

The genuine Vetter Challenge Streamliner Kit for the nose is now available

Master Index to the Last Vetter Fairing Story

Modified July 31, 2013

Posted June 2, 2013