The Search for Fuel Economy

Pages from a Designers' Notebook

July 24-27, 2008

Chap. 14: Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Vintage Days
Vintage Days at the Motorhead Cafe: The streamliner was mobbed
Over the weekend, I rode from Champaign Illinois to Columbus, Lexington, Indianapolis and home. 1200 miles in all. It is the most comfortable two wheeler I have ever ridden because of the great wind protection and great seat. This thing is a people magnet. Wherever I stopped, crowds would gather. I would explain that I was trying to get 100 mpg at 70 miles per hour, with four bags of groceries. The universal response was:

"This is what we all want"

So far, I really don't see much of an improvement in mileage because the streamlining is incomplete. The German Zeppelin makers must have felt the same frustrations. They too had to wait until everything was complete to see what they had.

Mid Ohio provided a rare opportunity to compare the different eras of my design career
My Rickman Racer of 1975 was designed to go fast around a track. My Triumph Hurricane of 1973 was designed to help save Triumph. My Streamliner is designed to do more with less fuel. The world changes. We must change with it. This was never so apparent than seeing these machines together in the same place.

These eras were fun. Today, we need to be serious about burning less fuel. It is still fun.

I gave PowerPoint shows and people took pictures
Carol and I will be in England and Europe the next few weeks, August 15-24. We have been invited to Beezumph 17 along with America's Trans-Atlantic Match Team. We have made many friends there.

Beezumph 17

What a great honor to be in the presence of these heroes of racing from both sides of the Atlantic. Think about the talent we will be able to tap into to try to solve our problems of motorcycle design. Do you think Rob North can offer anything? How about Dick Mann ?

In the mean time, I will not be able to work on my fuel economy project machine for a few weeks. The first thing I plan to do is play around with a couple of 20 pound lead weights, mounted up front to see if it does anything to keep it from blowing around between semi trucks in awful side winds. I know... all bikes can be affected. But, wouldn't it be nice to come up with solutions?

Master Index to the Last Vetter Fairing Story

This page updated Aug 7, 2008