Following my previous comments about insuring an FF I've been corresponding with Jordan Maddix of Adrian Flux Insurance (Bikesure)
Thankfully, the problem isn't FFs, or my personal habits. It's the thorny subject of 'modification'. Once, if you didn't modify your English motorcycle it wouldn't work. Now it's more like the German model, where 'modifications' largely amount to fitting parts from an 'after-market' supplier. Harley's and their legion of after-market parts are an example.
Here's a feature on Rob Hornes race FF from 'kneeslider' a race magazine that seems unaware that FFs are banned in ACU/FIM motorcycle racing - but not by the MRA. Lots of positive comments, some by familiar English FF proponents. That's the way to do it!
One wonders how long American journo's will go on calling them "Recumbant motorcycles" instead of "FFs"... Maybe they get paid by the letter.
I know everyone with a real interest in FFs, especially all the designers and constructors will be fascinated by these pics of Robs earlier creations, so here they are.
Here's a link to the national organisation of insurance brokers. No great intelligence available on the phone regarding the problems of insuring 'unusual' or 'specialist' vehicles, but it's an avenue to expore for anyone having trouble getting routine insurance for their FF.
Rob Horne continues his new career as the world's only FF racer, here's his report
Pictures to follow in due course.
Good to see someone making FF waves!
Insuring an FF
I've discovered a problem that may threaten not only the future of FF development in England but also the use of FFs currently in use here. It's insurance.
You might expect insurance companies to welcome safer two wheelers especially as FFs have been around as production vehicles since the Quasar. There may not be huge numbers, add Ecomobiles, Monotracers, and Voyagers to the twenty Quasars, throw in the various one-offs and the number of FFs in England is probably still short of fifty vehicles.
Obviously it's pot luck how long an picture stays in the 'latest image' slot. Sometimes days, sometimes a few hours. No problem. But when one gets replaced after afer a few hours by the Previous image, you have to wonder what's going on. Honad, not liking it up them? Human agency surely involved.
I think we should be told, preferably by the human in question.
Ian K mentioned a vid of an eco ride with me pontificating, it's here: https://vimeo.com/76674545
It's a bit candid as I didn't know Colin was filming and it's not edited! I would certainly have edited out a few swear words, and also I would definitely have cut the bit where i do a wheels- down right turn without paying attention to the gear indicator, so I am recorded for posterity taking off in second gear rather than first. Embarrassing.
Anyway several minutes of looning about in Lincolnshire mostly steering with one hand while I use the left hand to talk with.
I've added some new links on the FFilms page. I'm sure I've seen a film of Andy pontificating in his Ecomobile so if anyone knows where that is, it could be put on the list. Could do with some more so get filming yourselves in action on your FFs..... Oh. :-(
Anyhow - this is a short clip of what a V is like when splitting traffic, I don't think I broke any laws too much in that.
Here's a press release from Arthur Kowitz. He's set up a race series for zero-emmission bikes in the USA that's a decisive step back to motor racing as we know it. Unlike the FIM/Azhar Hussien corporate lovefest, this is for real prototype racers. FFs? sure. Streamliners, bodywork? Definitely. The FIM, Who? The rules are very liberal, with a few oddities generated mainly by motorised bicycle people who apparantly race with controls that stick out and catch on things (like other peoples streamlined bodywork). Sounds very dodgy, but nothing that can't be worked round.
I have finally got back to working on the Aerobike but testing did not go well-
I had been waiting for some reasonably strong winds and we got them today in my area, so with my neighbour following, I headed down the road to evaluate the side wind behavour of the bike.
Going south with the wind blowing mostly from the tail and side the bike felt fine, pushed around a little bit but no worries about staying in my lane or losing control, so all seemed good.
Germany, Poland and Czech Republic by F650 GS
To many of my age, the memory of the Iron Curtain is fresh; although it is now 24 years since the wall came down and there are many for whom it is as much history as WW2 is to me. The Moto13 Euro-trip was to remind us of both hot and cold past conflicts, in a small way, to our party – Varaderos and my 650 (800) GS. But first, the Ring:
One Ring to rule them all
Last September I had a shake-down run to Monty's place in York, across to Kirby Lonsdale and home. Apart from learning a few things about chain maintenance, that trip reinforced the need to sort the rear end. To make space for the lowered seat, the rear wheel had been moved back. This was done by adding bolt-on swingarm extensions. Extending the swing arm messes with the suspension, so it felt a bit soggy at the back. The effective spring rate changes with a square rule, meaning that the response time to any bump was loooooong.
No sooner has the excitememt caused by the relaxation of the FIMs streamlining rules - and their confirmation that this permits FFs - died way, than Azhar Hussein announces that it's all changed again. According to Azhar, only the World Championship Series, consisting of a few rounds scattered across the world with none in England, will allow what he calls 'prototypes'.
Charles Hennekam, technical co-ordinator and Motorcycle Homologations Officer for the FIM, confirms in an email that it "Is possible to enter FF designs" in the new FIM formula that replaces E-GP.
He goes on to note the "Daunting" challenge of incorporating E-power into race motorcycles without factory support, something that all entrants will have to deal with.
Proving that time changes everything, the FIM have issued rules for their new E-power bike race series that don't actually ban FFs!
I have a problem i need to fix. My workshop "Nest of Dragons" is 150 km from my home. The road is notorious for its trafficjams. I hate paying all that fuel. So ...i need a electric motorbike that can do about 200 km at topspeed, because the roads are all mostly highways.
New problem: no electric motorbikes do that at this time.
My solution: buying a electric motorbike, adding more batteries (in exchange for loosing the passenger), adding fairings to have it more streamlined.
Here's some news to warm your heart!
TTXGP (AKA E-GP) is joining up with the FIM to form a 'unified' series. Other people just call it 'selling out' although I doubt the FIM paid anyone.
Question is, Will the FIM continue to apply the E-GP rules that permit FFs? Really, you only have to ask the question!
Although the FIM lifted the E-GP rules more or less complete (breaching my copyright)when they started 'TT zero', apparantly allowing FFs, they also left in their old rule about max. seat hump height (seat backs in English) of 150mm, outlawing FFs as defined.
With the t-max project slowing down and the prospect of another summer coming and going without an FF to ride – and that summer being in the south of France, I decided it was time to build something – anything (with a low COG and seat-back) – to get me on the road.
When we left Ireland and the truck came to take our stuff to France, I had been planning to sell the GPZ that I had been riding while the T-Max was off the road being FFed, but at the last minute there was room for it, so to France it came.
My name is Roger Dunkley, I live in Wellington, New Zealend and I have been building my enclosed motorcycle for about 3 years now. I have recently tested it at the closest racetrack, this was the first time I have been able to really test it out and I was very happy with the results, rewaching 174 km/h about half way down the main straight with no instability and getting to about 45 degrees of lean round the corners.