Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Plans, fun, and loose screws...

Most of the repair and modification work is done on the racer. All of the machine work is done. The new rear suspension is structurally finished. The current pile of parts, mostly unpainted, isn't photogenic, yet. The Dunlop GT501 tires I used to run were discontinued, so Pirellis have taken their place. If all goes well, the racer will get some track time for testing and raced this year! While better lap times are expected, it won't come close to breaking any lap records or getting on the podium.


I'm still confident that the next and better racer will get a lot closer to breaking lap records and getting on the podium. The next and better racer will share the same configuration and fundamental dimensions, but little else. A much lighter steel or aluminum ladder frame would be easy to make, but it still wouldn't be light enough. Exotic motorcycle frame design and construction methods really don't transfer to this configuration, but there sure seems to be a lot of potential with advanced aerospace methods. Exotic fabrications using aluminum honeycomb sound amazing, even if those are somewhat obsolete. What could be more intriguing than a motorcycle constructed with early supersonic jet era methods instead of barnstormer era biplane methods? 


Well, frame design can be described as a structural connect the dots puzzle. It is fun to imagine really exotic solutions, and even more fun to talk about. Concerns about material expense, tooling feasibility, repairability, maintenance access, skill requirements, and speed of fabrication all reduce the fun quite a bit. While the leap from bench vise to autoclave is a large one, if one can leap, there's no sense in taking baby steps. The solution that increases the probability of getting to the starting grid on time and finishing the race is the best one.


Having a screw loose has really interfered with getting any work done for a while now. That reduces the fun quite a bit as well. That screw, along with the rest of the hardware, is getting removed soon! Progress on the racer should happen a lot faster afterwards. Faster is always better. 


07 April update: Foot hardware has been removed. By the doctor, in case you were wondering.

See you at High Plains Raceway soon....