Monday, August 4, 2008

The Very Advanced Racer Project

Over the last year, I've been buying, measuring, and otherwise staring at a growing pile of components, tooling, and materials required to make a motorcycle. I'm past the bulk of the "Enter your credit card number" phase. Now it is in the "Turn lots of little parts into one big part" phase. What it is going to be:
  • A track bike. And if it performs as well as I expect and the organizers don't object, a racer. There are NO plans for operating it on the street or for making a street version.
  • Powered by an EX500 engine. It is a fairly compact, reliable, common, and cheap twin. It also had to be eligible for a "maker & budget friendly" racing class, which pretty much means twins or singles. A Supermono was considered first, but the good engines cost more and produce less power than the light twins.
  • A proof of concept bike using many of the ideas seen below. My mental test rider loves it. The theory promises large performance gains. The low power experimental bikes performed very well. But lap times and race results at the track with a real motorcycle will tell me if it really works. And after that happens, the opportunities for racing and further development with even higher performance engines will present themselves.
  • Very cheap. The budget for this entire project is less than a set of high end racing forks. If it weren't for the miracle of loose credit back in mid-2007, this project would still be in the hot air phase. There are no sponsors for this project - yet.
  • Done entirely by: Me. That includes the design, machining, welding, and composite work. Nobody else's fingerprints are on it.