Alan Smith's CRF230 High mileage project

Beginning Feb 5, 2010

Feb 2, 2010: There is a perfectly good Honda CRF 230L inside tht plywood taco
Hi Craig,
Here is my update of my CRF230L streamliner project:

The recent very heavy rain has slowed my progress on my streamliner project, my garage flooded. Last weekend I made some good progress, see attached photo. I have the mounting brackets completed and the sides of my streamliner roughed out. If the weather is good this weekend I’ll get started shaping the foam for the nose. The streamlined trunk will be built afterward.

From your results of riding with and without a tail I plan to leave the rear of my streamliner cut off with an 8-inch width, the front will be approximately 24-inches wide. I can build an extended tail at a later date.

My new sprockets for my CRF230L have not arrived yet. I’ll have to go to another source.

Last night I saw Loran Guy (the organizer for the Quail Motorcycle Gathering) at an American Sport Bike Night (ASBN) motorcycle meeting. I talked to Loran about my concerns of sending a picture of my unfinished streamliner on the entry form. Loran said not to worry.

Feb 2, 2010: An update on my gas mileage runs:

3328 miles- 92.12 MPG ( Two trips to work)

3470 miles- 94.5 MPG (Play ride with other motorcyclists: Redwood Rd., Grizzly Peak Rd., Bear Creek Rd., Morgan Territory Rd. etc. Speeds ranged from 35-65 MPH.)

Craig's favorite quote is: "Streamlining is easy to say but hard to do"
March 8, 2010, Alan writes: Last Friday and Saturday was finally warm enough to fiberglass the nose of my streamliner. I had forgotten how long it takes to lay up one layer of fiberglass cloth at a time. So Friday and Saturday was a marathon to get it done before I lost the warm weather. Sunday was cold again.

The next warm weekend I will bond the nose to the sides of my streamliner. Then I can start to make the trunk, hand shields, openings for the feet, etc.

Right now my streamliner is not a thing of beauty, blunt in the front and tapered rear. I wonder if a slick paint job would make it look better. I need to find an industrial artist. I guess I will have to worry about that later, first get it running.

See attached photos of my progress.


Craig again: " I was taught in design school to not count on paint to fix things"
Mar 15, 2010, Alan says: With the weather getting warmer I’m making good progress on my streamliner. The later sunset will also help. Now that my streamliner is taking shape I see the short comings that others had of getting in and out of it. I might have to fall back on other designs like Matt Guzzetta‘s streamliner, open in the middle. If I go that route I might have a door that bridges the gap.

I’m hoping to get a larger counter shaft sprocket later this week. I should have gotten it weeks ago. I’ve had the order canceled a couple of time because it was not a standard order. The people at the parts counter just don’t understand when you try to get something out of the ordinary. A smaller rear sprocket will be a challenge because the rear wheel hub is too large to fit a smaller sprocket than stock. I have a fix for it when I get to it.
"Strange activity in the yard"

March 30, 2010: Hi Craig,

Big changes in my progress, I’ve decided to separate the front and rear sections of my streamliner. It will ease my efforts to get in and out of my streamliner. Now I can concentrate on the front for now. With the cold arctic storms passing through this week I will concentrate on new mounting brackets for the streamliner shell.

The hand shields on the streamliner shell look a little bulky but it will give me plenty of room for the handle bars. I can always cut them down at a later date. See attached photo for my latest progress on the front section of my streamliner.

My 15-tooth counter shaft sprocket should arrive in a couple of weeks. It is on back order.

I lost some valuable time last weekend helping at one of the booths at the Motorcycle Extravaganza, Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. It was a nice break from my streamliner work.

The neighbors are starting to notice strange activity in my yard.


April 20, 2010, Alan reports in: Here is an up-date on my streamliner’s progress.

Things have changed a lot since the photo on your web site, dated and titled “Feb 2, 2010: There is a perfectly good Honda CRF 230L inside the plywood taco”. I have taken away and added a lot of material to the plywood taco to get where I am now, see attached photos.

For the tail section being abruptly cut off, I’m relying on the “Kamm Effect” to keep my gas mileage up. I can always extend the tail at a later date.

My new 15-tooth countershaft sprocket should arrive tomorrow.

Since the photos were taken last night I have trimmed the tail section some. The trunk might be too tall and may need additional trimming. There are some additional molded parts that I want to make but it might have to wait until after the Quail Event. I still have to dig all of the white molding foam from the nose.

See attached photos. A lot of long weekday nights and two more weekends left before the Quail Event.

And again today, April 21, 2010: For me this weekend is crunch time to finish my streamliner for the Quail Event. On my streamliner the rear section is done but needs sanding and primed. The trunk needs some more work but is basically done, needs to be primed. The front needs to be finished, sanded, primed, etc. The good news it is almost there.

Depending on development time my streamliner might only be a static display at the Quail Event. I might not have the time to properly road test it. I would prefer to ride my streamliner to the Quail Event. The current cold weather is slowing me down. This weekend is another 3-day weekend for me to get things done.

I have recruited some of my neighbors as test subjects to see how they fit in my streamliner. I’ve gotten some good suggestions from them. It helps get a different perspective of how everything fits.

My 15-tooth counter shaft sprocket finally arrived but no time to test it without the streamliner shell. To gear my streamliner any higher will require changes in the rear sprocket. I’ve already hit resistance for a custom rear steel sprocket.


May 8, 2010: Alan Smith at the Gathering of Streamliners at the Quail

May 10, 2010: Alan reports: For my fuel economy on the trip home had mixed riding conditions. The first 18-miles were done running around between your home and the Quail Lodge. I encountered strong cross winds to Gilroy then the wind became strong a head wind. My speed ranged from 50-70 Miles-Per-Hour. My speed was determined by my engine temperature. My gas mileage dropped to 103.368 MPG.

So I reached my goal, well actually your goal, of 100-Miles-Per- Gallon on my trip to Carmel and back.112.5 MPG riding to Carmel: 112.5 miles/ 1.0 gallon of gas on all highway roads 103.3 MPG riding home: 138.1 miles/1.336 gallons of gas on mixed back roads and highway

I would say that there is more room for improvement. I need to install a windshield, belly pan, etc. Right now I need to address the overheating problem, it just needs more air to flow across the cylinder.

Craig responds: Well I see we have a serious challenger here. We're going to have to have a little contest...
Posted Feb 5, 2010

Updated May 10, 2010