CHAPTER 4 - BUILDING COMMUNITY|
TTXGP July 24-26, 2009 AMA VINTAGE DAYS at MID OHIO RACE COURSE |
Comments about the weekend event by Kraig Schultz, founder of Schultz Engineering, LLC
The people who coordinated the ELECTRIC Isle of Man Motorcycle Race this year (TTXGP) and promoted in the USA by Travis Gintz, www.evfr.net made arrangements with the AMA to display and ride electric bikes at the 2009 Vintage Days gathering at the Mid-Ohio Race Course. Each day, the electric bikes got a chance to ride as many laps as they could in 15 minutes. The 1966 Norton Featherbed, dustbin faired bike from Virginia was nip and tuck with the Electric Motor Sports superbike reaching speeds of over 108mph during their track sessions.
People came from all over the United States to display, see and ride the bikes. And what an event! Vintage race bikes, a GIGANTIC swap meet (over 700 booths), camping, factory test rides, and riding bikes all over the place. It was awesome weekend with a glimpse of an electric vehicle future set in sea of vintage motorcyclists!
The TTXGP paddock area displayed nine electric motorcycles from the following groups (From left to right in the picture below):
Brian Richardson (http://www.bluegrassbookbank.org/bardblog)
Schultz Engineering (www.schultzengineering.us)
Electric motorsport (http://www.electricmotorsport.com)
Zero Motorcycles (http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/)
(Photo from www.craigvetter.com.)
Electric Motorsports was there with a strong presence. They brought two production bikes, and a souped up race bike for the track events. They had the fastest electric bike at the event, winning each race with shear power. The bike is in the center of the picture below and was built from a 1998 race bike. As usual, Todd Kollin and his crew were sharing their knowledge and expertise with the other builders. They spent time each day riding their electric GPR-S's around the paddocks and swap meet areas spreading the electric gospel. Todd's production bikes are assembled in the USA!
My favorite electric bike at the event was the 1966 Norton Featherbed conversion done by Brian Richardson. It soared around the track, gracefully swooping around corners like a circling hawk reaching speeds of over 100mph. It has a three-phase AC motor, 7KwHr 72volt LiIon battery and a 550 amp Curtis Controller. It also has the same Airtech fairing that I have on my bike, but because it is about 8 inches longer than my bike, and has windshield cut into the dustbin fairing, it is much more comfortable than my bike.
Brian has teamed up with with Rob Prins at the James Madison University engineering department to help develop their alternative fuel lab.
Here are pictures of me (Kraig Schultz) tucked in there on the Norton Dustbin and Schultz Engineering Dustbin for comparison.
An impressive competitor at the event, was the Lifan GS200 conversion using a super awesome HUB MOTOR from Enertrac. I was very impressed with Mark Gelbien's technical competance and won't be afraid to build a vehicle around this hub motor in the future. Rated at 10Kw output continuous and 30Kw peak, the bike reached speeds over 80mph on the track. I test rode the bike and at speeds over 5mph it was COMPLETELY silent. Under those speeds there was a minor growling noise due to motor cogging (which is normal and ok). I was very impressed by the ride height and road manners of the Lifan Bike as a donor for a commuter bike. I like being able to see and be seen, so it's tall height (including the ability to stand up almost fully erect on the foot pegs while riding) is an important feature. The Lifan Bike has a tall stance, a cushy suspension and plenty of power from the hub motor.
EnerTracs Bike was ridden by Jeremiah "Jay" Johnson (www.Be-Ev.com).
Zero Motorcycles (designed, engineered, and built in the USA) displayed and gave test rides of their production kick-ass dirt bike that weighed 150 pounds WITH the battery. The thing is scary powerful in Turbo mode and tame as a kitten in energy conservation mode. Here is a picture of Craig Vetter getting ready to test ride their super motrad version at the event with his son, Morgan at his side.
Here is a picture of me test riding the Zero - Yes, that is a huge EV grin. Very stable, awesome brakes.
Tony Helmholdt, from Grand Rapids, Michigan displayed and rode his home built, 60volt, lead acid bike. With a hand built fairing that looked like production (made of Sintra PVC Foam board) the 22 year old, Eagle Scout gives us hope for the future of our country! Tony rode (the only electric bike raced by a non-pro racer) in several of the track races and while his batteries gave out early, we can be sure we'll be seeing more from him in the future!
Here is a cool picture of Tony leading the pack of electric bikes out of the pace lap. (Photo from www.craigvetter.com.)
Craig Vetter (http://www.craigvetter.com/) invited me to attend this event to display my dustbin as part of his streamliner display. Our displays were about 70 yards apart and hopefully next year we can be side by side. The riding highlight for me, was riding my electric dustbin on the track for two laps in a Parade following Craig Vetter in his Big Yellow Streamliner. Because my bike is not setup for high speeds and because of my lack of riding experience, I reluctantly decided not to race my dustbin.
(Photo from www.craigvetter.com.)
(Photo from www.craigvetter.com.)
John Nygren of Human Power Vehicle fame (www.beamerbikes.com) from Minnetonka, Minnisota was there with two of his streamliners. The one below is Vespa style moped electric conversion, driven by an electric hub motor. Here is me test riding it. Pretty peppy, silent, and had the usual recumbent bicycle handling characteristics. The body is fiberglass and John has a mold for making more bodies.
Dan Whitfield and his son rode up from North Carolina in his enclosed gasoline powered streamliner (Ecco) to display it with Craig Vetters streamliners.
Driving Down to Ohio
It was a tight sqeeze, but since we had an invitation to drop our kids off with family in Cincinnati, we packed everything into the 1994 Plymouth mini van and headed off. With my wife and two boys, it made our gas mileage shoot through the roof! Carpooling is the fastest and easiest way to curb our oil consumption (and ironically, drive the price of gasoline down).
Travis Gintz brought a photographer to the event and accumulated over 900 pictures. You can see them all at http://www.evfr.net/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=32 .
Here are a few of my favorites from Travis' site (It all comes down to the people behind the machines).
Nice Picture of Brian Richardson's Dustbin on the Race Track
Cornering at Speed
Todd Kolin Test Riding the EnerTrac Bike
Mark Gelbien of EnerTrac and Todd Kolin of Electric Motorsports
Azhar Hussain and an Electric Motorsports Guru
Azhar Hussain on the Zero
Travis Gintz and Jeremy of TTXGP
Joshua Gelbien on the EnerTrac Bike
Is that the V is for Voltage guy (David Herron)?
You can listen as hard as you want and still not hear anything!- That's the Electric Motorsports speed bike
Todd Kolin and one of his Electric Motorsports bikes
Jeremiah "Jay" Johnson (www.Be-Ev.com). and Sadee of TTXGP
That's me (Kraig Schultz) with the EV grin on the Schultz Engineering dustbin
At the swap meet (it is worth going to AMA Vintage days just for the swap meet), we found a reproduction cafe racer style tailpiece from HotWingGlass.com. The HotWingGlass pieces are high quality and they have great prices.
See the Next Chapter to see how I used this piece to start building a full scale tail for the bike.
(Next Chapter - Building A Tail)
This webpage was written by Kraig D. Schultz. Copyright 2009-2010, Schultz Engineering, LLC|