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Fairing first thoughts
Submitted by reikiman on Sun, 03/09/2008 - 17:35
Today I studied the Fairing and the Lectra and am looking at ways to attach the Fairing to the bike. To remind y'all -- Along with my Lectra came a "full" fairing whose design was derived from a motorcycle which achieved 470 miles/gallon efficiency in a contest in the mid 1980's. The fairing is sold by Craig Vetter.. the idea is one way to achieve long(er) range is to increase the aerodynamic efficiency, and that link takes you to a page that shows approximately what I have and what I'm trying to do.
What I have in my back yard is a bubble made of ABS plastic. It is approx 80" from end-end, 45" at the highest point, it's black, etc. There's no obvious way to mount it on the bike, but it is in a very aerodynamic shape and I really want this to work.
The first question is.. how to mount a fairing on a motorcycle. Craig sent me a nice drawing and I also found some other resources about bicycle and motorcycle fairings. It seems the velomobile crowd have tried a lot of ways to achieve this same sort of goal. Here's a few links
The idea for mounting the fairing to the frame is .. you use pipe components, modifying them for the purpose. A T-joint provides a nice base. You cut in half the main part of the T and strap that to the frame using hose clams. Then into the remaining part of the T you insert a pipe and cut that pipe to the length necessary to connect with the fairing. You attach the fairing to this pipe via a mount of some kind. And make sure to have enough of these to hold the fairing in place. The above links show some recumbent bicycles with cloroplast fairings ...
At Orchard Supply I found the following kinds of pipes: a) Galvanized Steel, b) ABS Plastic, and c) another kind of plastic. The ABS plastic seemed the strongest but the narrowest pipe is 2" diameter and is larger than needed for this project. The Galvanized steel is stronger than the ABS plastic, but it's also pretty heavy. There was some narrower plastic and copper pipes but these seemed to be real flexible, and it seems to me the fairing should be held by rigid tubes.
The diagram below is an attempt to show the rear portion of the fairing. I am planning to split the fairing in two halves, and I'll sit in the middle. For the rear I plan to buy a motorcycle trunk and mount that on the back half of the seat, then mount the fairing such that it covers the wheel and meets with the trunk to form a smooth seam. The grey rectangle represents the fairing and it's see-through only so you can see the underlying parts. The actual shape is not rectangular but I couldn't figure out how to get Illustrator to deform the rectangle right. The wheel is also not bright red but it gives you an idea of the size. The motor is mounted on the swingarm just in front of the wheel. The components are drawn to scale FWIW.
I'm thinking to do the rear half of the fairing first. The front half of the fairing needs to surround the front fork and front wheel and looks to be a more complicated job to get mounted.