Official results of the July 22, 2011: AMA Vintage Days Challenge, Ohio
9 AM Friday morning, July 22, 2011: Vetter Challengers will depart from the track
AMA Road Riding Manager Dave Hembroff will lead us on a 110 mile ride through the beautiful Ohio countryside. Who can do the ride on the minimum fuel - in dollars and cents?

We caught Dave here - left - waiting to depart Seattle on the BIG Iron Butt Rally, June 21, 2011. 11 days... 11,000 miles! He made it! I was there to see him arrive at 3:30 AM Friday morning, July 1 at Ontario, CA. Then he rode home to Ohio.

This guy is a serious rider.

My instructions to Dave will be to ride in "normal riding"... brisk acceleration... trying to hold posted speeds, even up hills if there are any hills. Dave says that posted speeds range from 35 mph to 70 mph. You might want to ask him for a mile or two at "Iron Butt speeds."

At the least, this will be a beautiful morning ride. At the best, you might make motorcycle history.

Everybody is invited. No special equipment is necessary. You don't have to be trying for an award. It will be fun to watch those who are there to win.

Come meet these intrepid pioneers.  You may simply ride along with us and see how it is done.  Maybe you will be ready to challenge us next year. 

You can join the ride even if you cannot carry the groceries... you just cannot be considered as a winner.

We encourage all kinds of bikes to come on the ride so we can get some idea of the actual mileage the various machines get in real riding. We do not expect many exotic streamliners at this first year of the Vetter Fuel Challenge. Streamliners take time to make. The 2011 Vetter Challenge at the AMA's Vintage Days will pave the way for more serious Challenges next year.

Sign up. Come ride. Have fun. Lets see what you can do. Make motorcycle history with us.


I saw you need regular motorcycles to compare against the fuel economy bikes at Mid Ohio. I would like to ride along with you on Friday morning with my 2007 BMW F650GS Dakar. I will be on my way to the BMW rally in PA so I will be carrying my camping gear, clothes, etc. In no way can it compete with fuel economy of the diesel or ninja 250, so please don’t include me as a competitor. But if all goes well and I can make it, I would like to help you with any data you can use.

Thank you,

Wonderful! See you Friday morning July 22.


Hi Craig, I’m working on the July 22nd date for the Challenge. I would like to run my T-Dub and test it for mileage. I know it runs out at 80mpg but not sure at 55mph sustained. I would just enjoy riding with YOU.

Take care, Ken

Thank you, Ken. I look forward to riding with you, too. What's a T- Dub?


Three kinds of Challengers at Vintage Days
Electric Bikes

For the first time at Vintage Days, see how electric machines perform on the road, driven as we actually ride.

Few people expect any electric motorcycle to be able to go 110 miles at 65 mph through the hilly countryside of Ohio. But how far can they go?

We want to know.

At the Vetter Challenge, we will find out. The farthest one travelled wins!


Meet your new Challengers:

Charly Perethian, Kraig Schultz, Charles Bugni

Vintage Bikes (1969 and older) Special for Vintage Days
Open Class
Brother Bruce and the first Vetter fairings, 1966
Me and the "Last" Vetter fairing, 2009
Dust off that old bike and enter the Vetter Challenge. Period correct accessories like the Vetter Series 1000 fairing above - will be allowed. Did we really get the mileage we remember?
The goal is simple: to live better on less energy. To me living better means riding a bike with the following qualities:

It needs to easily carry a useful load:

How many times have we heard that the old bikes got great mileage? My Brit buddies are sure their BSA singles from the 50s and 60s got 100 mpg. And who knows? Maybe they did. At the AMA Vintage Days Vetter Challenge we will learn the truth.

Four Bags of Groceries is a useful load

It needs to be easy and comfortable to use.

It needs to be the first choice in a garage.

Because we import 3 out of every 4 gallons of fuel used in our vehicles, we need to consume 1/4 of the fuel that we do now.

I told you it was simple.

Unfortunately, no manufacturer thinks like we think. We have to make our own.

Beating me in the Vetter Challenge is not that hard. Here is what you need to know:

It is horsepower that burns gas.

One horsepower consumes about 1/2 pound of gas an hour. (Like, one real horse consumes about 10 pounds of horse food a day) Two horsepower consumes twice the fuel and so on.

The trick is to use the least horsepower.

Streamlining allows the least horsepower to push you through the air.

The pages of this website teach you how to streamline. My Helix produces 17 hp. Since it will now go 82 mph, I figure it has too much horsepower.

You want to beat me? Use less horsepower and streamline better. Consume less fuel in dollars and cents.

But, you'd better be able to carry four bags of groceries. I can.

I rode this Bridgestone 90 everywhere.

Probably 65 miles an hour on freeways...

Wait... there weren't any freeways in 1964.

Well, I am sure I got 100 miles per gallon.

Which brings up a very good point. We will be riding on many roads posted at 65 mph. Some with hills. You will want to be sure you can keep up. If you fall behind, you can still enjoy the ride. You just cannot be considered a winner.
The Vintage Bike Winner will be the Challenger that consumes the least fuel - in dollars and cents.

Check out the compete Official rules.

Vintage bikes will not be required to carry groceries.

How do I sign up for the Vetter Challenge?

Send me an E mail with your name, E mail, cel, etc. Tell me what will you be riding and what class:

Vintage (1969 and prior)

Electric (The one that goes the farthest, wins as long as it can carry the groceries)

Open ( Anything else. To be declared a winner, it must be able to carry groceries)

Read the Rules.

To save time Friday morning, buy your AMA tickets in advance on line. Your ticket to Vintage Days is your ticket to the Vetter Challenge.

8 AM: Meet us at the "False Grid". Watch for the banner above. We will have a Riders Meeting, pass out Official Vetter Challenge decals and lapel pins and check for grocery carrying capacity.

Challenge Decals and Vetter Pins
Special Challenge Shirts

If you pre-ordered your new Vetter Challenge Shirts, you may pick them up this morning.

Don't worry. We will bring extras if you didn't pre-order.

Pre-order shirt page

9 AM: We will do a departure lap of the Mid Ohio track and head off to fame and glory.

Some hints:

Most 125cc machines will probably not be able to stay with the pack. Unless, of course you are riding a 125 CBR which we cannot get in the US. I hope some Canadian brings one. It just might win.

The greatest potential for consuming the least fuel seems to be some kind of 250. The Ninja is looking really good. A big wheeled 250 Kymco or Aprilia Sport City scooter, streamlined and geared up might do very well. Scooters can be more easily streamlined.

I cannot imagine any motorcycle over 650 cc getting particularly good mileage. But who knows? We read a lot of claims. Maybe you can do it. This is where we will learn the truth.

The Vetter Challenge will be a 110 mile, three hour tour of the nearby Ohio countryside, mapped out by and led by the AMA's Dave Hembroff. We will have a brief pit stop mid way.

Upon return, we will all fill up at the same gas station. Give me your receipts and you are done. Go enjoy Vintage Days. I will announce the winners and present the awards at my Seminar at 3 PM Saturday.

The Vetter Fuel Challenge event may be the only place in the world where you can participate in the development of future motorcycle design.

Come make motorcycle history with us.

Vetter Seminars at Vintage Days 2011

Friday, July 22, 2:30 - 4 PM

"Secrets of Fuel Economy"

Streamlining and the right power

Saturday, July 23, 3 - 4:30 PM

"Racing for the right Reasons"

History of the Vetter Fuel Economy Contests 1980-present

Awards for winners of 2011 Challenge

Flash! Charly Perethian of Parabellum Fairings, great fuel economy pioneer of the 80s will make a special appearance at these seminars to tell his story and answer your questions.

Official results of the July 22, 2011: AMA Vintage Days Challenge, Ohio

Official results of the May 13, 2011: Quail Challenge Carmel, California

Streamlined Vetter Challengers will have a prominant place reserved for their machines at the AMA's Vintage Days Hall of Fame Tent.
Official Rules for the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge

Your comments:

May 31, 2011: Ted writes: I’m glad to read the Quail fuel economy results, especially since my choice of engines I originally emailed you about some 2 years ago are on top. I regret I don’t have enough free time to develop a machine for myself.

A few thoughts:
1) The solution must be one anyone can purchase or build.

My answer: "As much as I like the words "anyone can purchase or build", there seem to be few people these days that seem to be able to build anything or care to build. Americans just seem to want to buy... not make. They seem to be happy to wait for somebody else to make it for them. This is why I selected Treven for the Quail Innovation Award. It is my hope that this will encourage others to make their own motorcycle.

This will be slow ramp-up. For those of us that do care, it takes time."

2) Include the weight of groceries also. The total weight on bike being equal to average rider weight plus average weight of 4 bags groceries.

My answer: "I could come up with a weight. We could check for grocery carrying capacity, remove them and add some bricks.

But that is not right either. I don't want to carry groceries on the 110 mile ride. I want to be able to carry the groceries.

On the ride, I would expect that carrying space to be used to hold rain suits, cameras, etc... not groceries.

Make sense?"

The real winner is Alan Smith on the Ninja 250 and honorable mention to Treven Baker. They are accomplishing the results with items anyone in the world can buy at an affordable price.

My answer: "It would seem that others are noticing the 250 Ninja. It looks like more will be there..."

The only person that can obtain the Diesel Fred Hayes has is Fred Hayes it seems. Treven has fabricated bike parts but has not had to fabricate a complete engine like Fred. Yes, I am bitter about Fred’s diesel engine not being available to the public at an affordable price. Many on forums claim it to be vaporware, and it will never be available to the public. I hope this is not the case. It holds lots of promise. I would like to see what Treven’s bike will do if it gets some streamlining.

My answer: "We all would."

This page posted Jan 29, 2011

Updated Aug. 6, 2011