FJ in Bristol Rush Hour

FJRushhour2021.mp4 from Ingrid Oesten on Vimeo.

Here's the 33 year-old Voyager preproduction prototype "FJ"gently slipping through evening rush hour traffic in the city of Bristol recently. Apart from the comfortable seat and the powerful heater, the low Centre of Gravity and the 'Hub Centre' front suspension and steering eliminate braking dive and provide light and precise steering. These qualities make dealing with traffic easy and undramatic in this heavy (290Kgs) vehicle.

The Voyagers were conceived as an 'all round' general purpose vehicle and several of them (There are six including FJ) have covered high mileages in a variety of roles. FJ has over 88,000 miles on the clock and at least one of the others has exceeded 100,000 miles. Urban use shown here, almost all in first and second gear clearly does not allow use of the full performance and other, lighter, lower capacity FFs, like the Tmax scooter conversion known as the "Comfortmax", with it's CVT transmission, makes an even easier town bike. It is however hampered by the stock telescopic fork front suspension and steering. The Voyagers represent the most compact and comprehensive FF design from the era of Petrol engines.

An electric powered version is the obvious next step.

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Ian's picture

Brissle streets

I see the roads haven't got any better in good ol' Brissle. Not so much traffic though.

When I was a kid in the 60's a lot of the buildings on Whiteladies Road, after Richer Sounds on the left as you were going, were still bomb sites from WWII. They had been cleared but there were a lot of empty plots.

An EV Voyager is so important. We need to see how much better an electric FF could be over the traditional, and unsuitable, motorised bicycle.


Having driven a few EVs now I'm really looking forward to an E-FF. FJ is pretty good on the open road but so much of riding it in town is engine management, making sure it's in 'real' neutral at stops, being in the right gear, getting it warmed up, and in any case it's really in the 'AC Cobra' bracket - twice as much machinery as you actually need to go that fast. EV's are currently expensive and have their own esoteric design and develpment problems - but no clutch, no gears, no accidentally stalling, quieter, smoother and, obviously, no emissions.

I'd kinda hoped that by now any of a long list of global manufactuers would be on this case but they didn't turn out to be up to it. So, back to the workshop...