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Craig Vetter's Streamlined Helix "Freedom Machine"

Craig Vetter here in Carmel, California, USA. My goal in this “Freedom Machine” is to build a one-person vehicle that sitting upright and comfortable will go 70 mph, into a 20 mph headwind, while carrying 4 bags of groceries, and get 100 mpg. Oh yes… of all the vehicles at my disposal, I want it to be my first choice.
This is not my first FF machine. In 1980-81, I built this Streamliner around a Kawasaki 250 single:

This machine was good for 108 mpg in my fuel economy contest of 1982. But, then, the speed limit in the US was 55 mph. Today, we ride faster. Today, I want to know what is possible the way I ride now.
I began with a used Helix from EBAY, changing only the bodywork to reach my goals. No engine mods. No drive train mods. No wheel changes. Only streamlining.

Big Sur bridge, California, USA
You will note that the skin is kind of rough. This is because it is made up of thin, yellow plastic sheet-stock which does not form into compound curves very well. This is fine for now because I change it all the time. I have many problems to solve before I do final tooling. As I solve each problem, the shape changes. Making my prototype in this manner saves a lot of time, money and itching. To make changes, I cut this stuff with scissors and attach it with little plastic “Christmas Tree” push in fasteners. Much of this machine is made of plastic foam and inflated panels. All very lightweight, durable and inexpensive. Rather than to try to explain all here, let me point you to for a chapter by chapter account of this project.
I maintain this web page to show you how easy it is to build something like this. This thing is screwed together with a million little 8-32 screws and self locking nuts. A band saw and drill press are my most exotic tools.
Will I actually achieve my goals? Well, this is my first choice in vehicles and I really can carry 6 bags of groceries. However, until all the holes are smoothed over, I do not expect much in the way of fuel consumption improvements. Stay tuned. I am happy to answer questions and respond to your comments.

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