Vetter streamliner body kit

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by sendler, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. bandito2

    bandito2 Been here awhile

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    Well, as I kind of suspected, what Vetter will be selling is not really a complete kit. What we have available so far is the two halves of the nose. I sent off money for the set. I do wish he had something of the steering turret to sell though. That will be the trickiest part to fabricate on my own but will be doable with diligence. It would be nice if that part is ready for sale when I need it. The nose would have been tedious to do on my own, so I'm glad I won't have to go through that. Bunches of stuff to do on my Honda Reflex in preparation of mounting a fairing. But I pretty much have an idea of what I want to do there, so that should go rather quickly.

    I do have a completion goal. I intend to do like I did when building an ultralight aircraft and had the goal of having it done in time for an airshow. I made that goal in part by doing at least a little something to it every day that I could. (It was a mad rush near the end though) It seems a lot of little steps WILL get you where you want to go. And I want to go to the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in Ohio this coming July 19, 20, 21 riding a streamlined Reflex.

    Even after getting parts and supplies for the project, I figure it will still take several months to "get r' done" and I have a couple friends that will keep me motivated and moving on the project. (maybe I should remind them again to keep after me :ddog:thwak) But I will document the process even if it just comes in dribs and drabs. So get the popcorn ready.... the show is about to begin!
    #21
  2. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    interesting that Vetter just posted this today on ecomodders.
    .
    Vetter on the right shape
    <hr style="color:#ECEAE6" size="1"> Consider the following:
    Streamlining is only one shape: Round at the front, pointed at the rear
    The smallest frontal area that does the job will determine the overall streamlined shape
    Streamlining allows the least energy to push a person down the road

    The Vetter goal:
    Design for a person sitting upright and comfortable.
    Design for being able to travel 70mph in 30 mph winds
    Design to carry a useful load
    End up with a vehicle that is “not more trouble than it is worth”
    End up with a vehicle that is your “first choice”

    The “Last Vetter Fairing”
    When I began this project in 2009 I was aware that if I did my job well, this would be the last fairing I would ever need to design.

    Anybody trying to solve the same problem will arrive at the same shape that I have.

    This means that we will all look the same.

    What is the point to each person re-inventing parts to end up with the same shape?
    #22
  3. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    Mid Ohio is a BLAST!
    #23
  4. bikeridermark

    bikeridermark Long timer

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    I've got an extra Reflex I may experiment with. Right now, I'm thinking lower the seat, slant back the windshield, maybe narrow the handlebars.
    Next would be a tapered tail section. Side fairings would be more complicated, maybe something that hinges out to some degree to allow feet to get down, then the wind blows them closed once underway.
    I would see how much difference this makes before making gearing changes. Probably car tire and heavy rolloers first.
    #24
  5. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    Build a truncated tail for sure. MPG will improve and you will have a lockable trunk that can carry all your groceries or camping gear.
    #25
  6. bikeridermark

    bikeridermark Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    Yea, I started streamlining there, also! Gained 2mph average. Maybe complete bodysock next.
    #26
  7. Ricklesss

    Ricklesss Go soothingly on the grease mud...

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    Cool thread, glad I found it.
    I've always fantasized (half seriously) about building a streamliner with similar goals for one of my CT110's or CT90's of which we own several. Even with knobbies and lowish gearing, they get fairly astounding gas milage, albietly "slowly", but still, I like the machine quite a lot.
    With even a half assed attempt at streamlining one, it would have to get near 200mpg, I should think.
    Great thread..hope it keeps on keepin' on...
    RicklesssssS in Oregon
    #27
  8. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    I rode a Tour Easy before my knees finally gave out. But that Vetter thing looks downright dangerous. It would be awkward and clumsy around town, and who knows what kind of effect wind gusts or a passing 18 wheeler would have on it out on the road. Looks very top heavy and unstable.
    #28
  9. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    Vetter knows.He has ridden 1000's of miles on his. I rode behind Alan's streamliner at Ohio last year and it is uncanny how quiet and calm it is in truck wakes. Invisible to wind. The tail weighs 22 lbs. It's not top heavy.
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    It is too long for my garage though I would recommend truncating the tail to a Kamm a foot behind the rear wheel. Craig has had the rear section of his tail on and off and on again. He likes the ride better with it on.
    #29
  10. bandito2

    bandito2 Been here awhile

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    Think I've made enough progress on the Vetter fairing project for my 2007 Honda Reflex to make it worth posting. A lot of the progress has come in the last couple weeks since it has finally been warm enough (mostly) here in S.E. Michigan to be able to do composite work.

    Here is the nose section as it arrived from Vetter.
    [​IMG]


    The naked 2007 Honda Reflex scooter that will be getting the fairing.
    For those that know the Reflex, note the rear tire for a Honda Silverwing mounted up front and a 155/80R12 car tire on the rear. Previously had a 145/70R12 car tire on the rear but it had 35,000 miles on it so it was time to change it. I have also installed a Polini racing gear set to the final drive that is a little taller ratio than the stock final gears. Initial test rides show lower RPMs at speed, but not as much of an improvement in MPG as hoped. Hopefully more improvement will show with the fairing installed. And I can still experiment with different rear tire sizes to help eke out the best MPG.
    [​IMG]


    Marking the inside of the nose where the bulkhead will mount as an aid to be able to position it in the same place when removing/replacing it during the construction process. Using plywood for the bulkheads may be heavier than doing aluminum framework like Craig Vetter did, but it seems to me to be quicker/easier/less expensive.
    [​IMG]


    The nose temporarily installed after cut-out was made to the bulkhead. The bike is suspended from the garage rafters with a couple ratchet straps because that is what I had available to do the job. I could still sit on the bike without worry, so it worked out fairly well.
    [​IMG]


    Traced out the front wheel cut-out. (seems to be a typical "money shot" for our fairing projects):thumbup:
    [​IMG]


    Laying out and cutting some carbon fiber fabric that I got for cheap off ebay once upon a time ago. Ditto for some fiberglass fabric too.
    [​IMG]


    The first 2 composite parts parts I ever made. The lower was the first and ended up with wrinkles when the mold expanded more than the lay-up in it from heating in the sun and part of it pulled away from the mold. (mistake from trying to speed the cure process) This problem was compounded when the mold shrank and compressed from temperature cooling down to 50 some-odd degrees at night in the garage. The second part was made inside my house with a constant 73 to 76 degrees maintained for the 3 days of curing. That made a huge difference in part quality. Fabric weave distorted also in places from trying to reposition it properly. (another thing I learned not to do) I also got some fine scratches in the home-made mold when I put the first piece in and out of the mold a couple times. Threads of fabric with hardened epoxy are sharp and hard as needles. The scratches are not real deep and not too bad really and mostly are only noticed if specifically looked for. Not sure to what degree scratches can be remedied. For now they are a permanent aspect of the mold, but I guess I'll live with it. This will be a non-issue with parts that are to be painted. In fact, parts that will be painted will need light sanding to roughen the existing nearly mirror smooth surface for better paint adhesion.

    The second piece turned out much better, but I still had some small air bubble "pitting" in a few places. (need to do more/better roller work to get ALL the bubbles out. And/or work out a vacuum bagging system to make parts.)
    [​IMG]


    The lower piece will be used on the bottom of the fairing, so a good portion of the flawed part will be cut away for the rear wheel, muffler, airbox etc. anyway. The sides will be easy to do using the glass of an old storm door to do flat panel composite work. Additional flat wrap parts for the front part of the fairing will be done similarly. I'll probably pop rivet the sides on along with some fiberglass layers to the inside and just cover the rivet heads and seam line with wide pin striping for the sake of simplicity. It still should look OK, but I might change my mind on that later.

    The mold will be able to make many more "half cone" rear fairing parts. The wide end of the finished part has some flexibility, so width and height of that end can be modified some just by pushing on it to narrow/heighten or widen/lower. Kind of like how the nose part can be squeezed or squashed to change its dimensions a little to suit the builder. The narrow end of the part is somewhat less flexible. Generally, the usable size of the part is: Wide end - 24" wide X 17" tall, Narrow end 1 1/4" Wide X 2 1/2" tall. Length of lower edge of part 71" I'll do a handful of these for my own use before I try to make serious efforts to sell them. Just the same, I'm putting this info out in case anyone is interested. I mean to experiment with parts that are only fiberglass along with some that include Kevlar layers. (Already did these first two parts in carbon fiber/fiberglass lay-ups)

    So this is where I am so far with my project. Next is to cut/trim/fit the large parts together, then comes a bunch of smaller stuff like: the belly pan and foot rests, doing the seat and seat-back/rear storage access, building up storage space interior and rear wheel well, finishing the nose of the fairing, foot wells, headlight install, windscreen and instrument panel, making permanent fairing mounts, adding the tail light/turn signals and other such tasks.

    When I get more done I'll update with more notes and pics.
    #30
  11. sloperut

    sloperut Adventurer

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    I rode with Alan (the silver Ninja 250 stream-liner) on the I-80, through Utah, in gusting 35mph crosswinds, during a downpour, complete with simi-trucks, and he wasn't getting blown around any more than I was on a stock 2005 250. Craig's design is sound.

    I imagine one would have to get used to the long tail sticking out in the back. However, Alan seemed to be able to ride around town without issue.

    Jeff
    #31
  12. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    Looks great so far. I am going to try to find a car tire for my PCX when the rear gets replaced The stock tire is getting pretty flat already at 3,000 miles.
    .
    #32
  13. vader1701

    vader1701 Adventurer

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    I am friend of Bandito's_2 and this project is awesome, the LenaweeTrekker and I were over to his house and helped him make the form the form for these pieces that he has made, it was cool being part of history that someday might be bigger than it is already. We had a blast over there, lots of brainstorming and some cool video potential stuff went on. I am going to pay Bandito_2 a visit and lend a hand if needed and also get some more video, this is too good a project for it to go to long without some video posting on YouTube. Still wish we had a nice shop to do this work at, man my wife would have fits with me, heck I would be there every day....
    #33
  14. Coachgeo

    Coachgeo Diesel Adventurer

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    hmmm.... look at the body work of the Elio

    [​IMG]

    eliomotors.com
    #34
  15. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    They should have kept the roof line with less slope all the way to the back to eliminate the faux trunk flat spot.
    #35
  16. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    I finally finished my Vetter style aero tail last June and have 11,000 miles on it now. My fuel economy was already very high with the Honda CBR250R but has now been running slightly better at 101 mpgUS at 65 mph during the warm months. Having the large trunk is nice for shopping and going back and forth to work. The rear area sloping down behind the tire is included so I have about 100 liters which is just enough, along with a large tank bag, to hold all of my stuff for camping. The CBR250R is a dart through the wind on the highway if you slide back on the seat and lean down on a big tank bag to tuck in. The 3.1 gallon tank and incredible fuel efficiency lets me plan on 250 mile legs between fuel stops during cross country trips. Top speed with the trunk is little changed from the 96 mph I was getting before with the +1/ -2 gearing.
    .
    The big question that always comes up with a tail mod is "How is the wind". Keep in mind that while you are cruising down the road at 60 mph, a 30 mph side wind gust is combined with the 60 mph head wind to appear as a vector coming from 30 degrees off of the nose of the bike. A side wind is only a side wind when the bike is parked. My bike with the truncated tail isn't any problem but the guys with full length tails learn to park facing into the wind. Just look for the sea gulls in the lot to see which way they like to stand. I rode in the 40 mph wind gusts of the remnants of the recent "Witch Storm" and the side wind performance of the CBR250R with it's low, truncated tail is almost unchanged from the stock bike. The wind was primarily from the West so directly perpendicular to the 30 mile highway leg of my commute. My Honda with the tail still has the same amount of self correcting into side winds where the side force works through the trail in the front end geometry to automatically lean into the wind. The added surface area doesn't really seem to have increased the force from the wind when at highway speed since the vector of the apparent wind is still coming from no more than a 30 degree angle off the nose of the bike. If anything the added mass of the tail has slowed the polar inertia of the roll performance making the bike move less in the shorter duration transient gusts so it is less active under the rider. Like the heavier bike that it now is. Having all of that handy storage on a motorcycle makes it infinitely more useful.
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    When Craig Vetter first saw my tail I had the top flipped open where it acts like a table while you are loading. He immediatley said "Now that is how bikes should come, right from the factory". Very useful.
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    [​IMG]
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    #36
  17. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    Cool!
    What provisions are there for removing the rear wheel?
    Does the tail have to come off, or does it tilt up?
    #37
  18. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    The tail is easily removed with 6 bolts and a trailer electrical plug.
    #38
    k-moe likes this.
  19. Gryphus1

    Gryphus1 I'd rather be riding

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    I'm wondering how the wheelies are with that thing! :D
    #39
  20. sendler

    sendler Been here awhile

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    Never ride wheelies on the street. Gives us all a bad name.
    #40