Vetter Challenge 2016 - Mid-Ohio Gathering

(Back to Home)
(Printable Version)


Vetter Challenge 2016 - Mid-Ohio Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 10, 2016
Sunday, July 10, 2016 - Preliminary Results Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge VMD 2016

At 7:30am, the gas bikes top off their fuel. It's one of those clear Sunday mornings where you look at the sky and don't even bother looking at the weather map, because you know the weather is going to be great!

Preliminary Results of the event are as follow:

Click here for a PDF version of the results that is easier to read.
The 2016 Challengers

Fourteen motorcycles rode in the event.
6 bikes in the group were electric, 8 bikes were gasoline, 7 bikes in the group were fully or partially streamlined, 7 of the bikes demonstrated that they could carry 4 bags of groceries. 11 Bikes completed the ride with the group. Three electric bikes fell short on range and did not ride to the finish with the group. 3 electric bikes completed the course with the group and since all three were able to carry groceries, all three were eligible to "win".

The ride turned out to be 130-135 miles at an average speed of 39.0 mph with a maximum speed of 67 mph.

Which Won? A Gasoline or Electric Powered Bike?

Vic Valdes (on Left) and Kraig Schultz (on Right), the top Gasoline and Electric Finishers. This photo is at the finish point, where we lined up Kraig and Vics bike for a "Which Won?" victory photograph. The victor will come down to the price of the fuel used, and is too close to call without doing calculations and long discussions about what the fair price of electricity should be for a Vetter Challenge ride.

Challenger Rider: Vic Valdes, Ride Efficiency: 186 MPG

Vic Valdes of Livermore, California, with his Streamlined, 1999 Ninja 250

Click Here to watch a video of Vic talking about the bike

Challenge Rider: Kraig Schultz, Ride Efficiency: 91 Wh/Mile

Kraig Schultz of Grand Haven, Michigan, with his Streamlined, 2011, D-11 Schultz Engineering Electric Proto-type, grinning because he just passed the 4 bag grocery test.

Click Here to watch a video of Kraig talking about the bike.

Click Here to watch a video about Kraig's flipping seat.

Challenge Rider: Jacob Dennis, Ride Efficiency: 96 Wh/Mile

Jake Dennis of Blacksburg, Virginia, at the Finish Line with Virginia Tech's, Streamlined, 2014 Zero S

Click Here to watch a video of Jake talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Dr. Richard Goff, Ride Efficiency: 109 Wh/Mile

Rider: Richard Goff of Blacksburg, Virginia, with his streamlined 2012 Zero DS

Richard Goff, Groceries, no problem. Richard points out these grocery bags are shorter than Carol Vetter likes to use.

Click Here to watch a video of Richard talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Alan Smith, Ride Efficiency: 157 MPG

Rider: Alan Smith rode his streamlined 2005 Ninja 250 from California

Click Here to watch a video of Alan talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Scott Endler, Ride Efficiency: 144 MPG

Rider: Scott Endler who rode his 2011 Honda CBR250 in from Syracuse, NY

Rider: An interesting picture of Scott's tail during construction

Click Here to watch a video of Scott talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Nate Miller, Ride Efficiency: 101 MPG

Rider: Nate Miller who rode his CBR250 in from Wadsworth, OH

Click Here to watch a video of Nate talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Finnie Wagaman, Ride Efficiency: 93MPG

Rider: Finnie Wagaman who rode her streamlined, 2006 CF Moto Fashion (helix clone)  in from York, PA

Finnie demonstrating that carrying 4 bags of groceries is no problem.

Click Here to watch a video of Finnie talking about her bike.

Challenge Rider: Paul Wright, Ride Efficiency: 90 MPG

Rider: Paul Wright (from Taylor, MI) on CBR 250

Click Here to watch a video of Paul talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Terry Wildman, Ride Efficiency: 49 MPG

Rider: Terry Wildman of Christianburg, Virginia, rode his 2008 Harley Electraglide in from Virginia

Click Here to watch a video of Terry talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Eric Zeibarth, Ride Efficiency: 48 MPG

Rider: Eric Ziebarth rode his 2011 Yamaha FJR 1300 in from California

Right to left: Eric Zeiebarth, Scott Endler, Paul Wright, Nate Miller, Alan Smith, ZEV Electric x 2

Click Here to watch a video of Eric talking about the bike.

Challenge Rider: Darus Zehrbach, Sr., Ride Efficiency: Est. 95 Wh/Mile

Rider: ZEV Brought two of their Bikes to compete

Rider: Darus Zehrbach Sr. of Morgontown, West Virginia, on 2011 ZEV Model LRC Electric

Click Here to watch a video of Darus talking about the bike.

Rider: Bryan Strakal on 2016 ZEV Model LRC Electric

Challenge Rider: Ned Funnell, Ride Efficiency: Estimated 109 Wh/Mile

Ned Funnell of Shelbyville, Kentucky, with his electric, Native GPR. Ned's wife caught up with us at the park and museum so that Ned's baby could enjoy the day with daddy.

Click Here to watch a video of Ned talking about the bike.

Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 8AM Leaving Splash Harbor

For the first time ever, an electric motorcycle was selected to lead a VMD Vetter Challenge! On Friday, Kraig, Alan and Vic rode the course together and selected a route that would meet the requirements of the ride including portions of the ride at 65mph. Kraig Schultz was "vetted" by Alan Smith and Vic Valdes and approved to lead the ride.

Fourteen motorcycles left Splash Harbor, 6 bikes in the group were electric, 7 bikes in the group were fully or partially streamlined.

Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 9:00am-10:30am Breakfast and Fellowship at Centerburg Memorial Park

We experienced perfect weather for a beautiful Sunday morning ride. We lined the bikes up in the parking lot at Centerburg Memorial Park. The first leg was 29.6 miles and was completed in 40 minutes with an average speed of 44 mph and max speed of 67mph. Don't scoff at an average speed of 44 mph until you've measured your own average speed with a GPS when traveling on mixed highway and rural roads - this is a fast pace.

Continental Breakfast (fruit, OJ, water, granola bars, yogurt, cereal) in the shade.

Kraig and Nick Schultz video-taped interviews with each rider. To view the interviews, you will eventually be able to click here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 11:30am-1:00pm Lunch and Fellowship at AMA Museum

More perfect weather for the ride to the AMA Museum. The second leg of 32.4 miles was completed in 53 minutes with an average speed of 36.7 mph and max speed of 67.1mph. There were posted speed limits down to 35mph on this leg.

We lined the bikes up for a group photo before sending the electric bikes to the AMA office building to charge.

After touring the museum we headed to the board room for pizza and hear video and audio interviews with Craig Vetter.

Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 1:00pm-2pm Ride Centerburg Park for Pit Stop

A third leg of 37.2 miles, was completed in 63 minutes with an average speed of 35.4 mph and max speed of 67.2mph. The tail of the group got separated and rode an extra five miles during this leg. We rejoined just before reaching Centerburg Memorial park for a 10 minute rest stop. Richard Goff caught a quick 10 minute charge, Kraig Schultz swapped out his extra battery pack.

Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 2:00pm-3pm Ride to Speedway Gas Station next to Splash Harbor and Collect Data from Riders

A forth leg of 29 miles was completed in 40 minutes with an average speed of 43.5 mph and max speed of 67.2mph.

For the first time in the history of the Mid-Ohio Vetter Fuel economy challenges, electric motorcycles had completed the challenge WITH the group and WITH the ability to carry groceries. Three electric bikes finished with the group (one is hidden behind the Electraglide). So, we began the ride with 14 bikes, and ended with 11. Three of the six electric bikes had failed to keep up with the group.

We had a group meeting to discuss things to improve for future Vetter Challenges. Ideas include:

1. Paint Arrows on the road to help designate turning points so that it's easier to keep the group together.

2. Lead and tail person need 2 way radio headsets to talk to each other so we can keep the group together.

3. Go south of the Museum into Amish Country for the next ride (twistier, more hills)? Nate Miller lives one hour north and may be able to help find future routes.

4. Simpler route with less turns, less intersections, less stop lights, to separate the group?

5. Find more charging locations

The 2016, Mid-Ohio Vintage Motorcycle Days, Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge was a success. Look at those beautiful cotton-ball clouds! It was a sunny, clear, warm, nearly windless, wonderful day to ride in the Ohio countryside. We had no accidents and only one break-down.

(Official Craig Vetter Website)
About Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges:

History: From 1980-1985, Craig Vetter (the inventor of the "Wind Jammer" motorcycle fairing), hosted an annual fuel economy competition in California.  Participants in the competition were able to get up to 470 miles per gallon at the then national speed limit of 55mph.  Craig Vetter Website

Beginning in 2011, spurred by rising gasoline prices, Craig Vetter once again began coordinating rides.  A small group of people who are working on improving fuel economy for motorcycles gather from all over the country to participate in the Vetter Fuel Economy Rides.  We have met at Mid-Ohio Vintage Motorcycle Days each year since 2011 to showcase what we have learned and to participate in a Fuel Economy Demonstration Ride.  The rides are free and open to the public.  The rides are conducted to raise public awareness, foster innovation and to share ideas with a goal of publicizing motorcycle designs that are highly efficient and practical for everyday riding.

Here's a picture I took of Craig Vetter sitting in front of his original streamliner from the 1980's while he told me the story about how it started out the "only proper color for a streamliner (silver)" and got painted blue after being broken in two in a crash.

Craig is recovering from a hitting a deer while riding his streamliner on August 14, 2015. To stay focused on his recovery, he did not attend the 2016 Vintage Motorcycle Days event. We volunteered to help keep the Vetter Challenge Rides going while he recovers.

Inventing a better tomorrow today... Copyright 2016, Schultz Engineering, LLC, written by Kraig Schultz