2014 Discovery Channel FF video...

Just realized that this video was never shared here - just made the video public on YouTube:


Discovery Canada produced that - they were fun to work with.

Looking forward to a lot more fun (And video) of the next one...

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FF racers already

Well done Bob. We've managed to build an FF racer here in the Island off Yurp, but actually getting it on track has eluded us so far. One day...

Them's the rules

It seems that FF's aren't banned from racing in the UK, just that the ACU allow no articulation in the steering, so the rider probably either needs to have the full length of both legs astride the front wheel, or they need to be very handy with tiller style steering.

Anti-FF balderdash...

The FF killing ACU rule can be found in "Road Racing Standing Regulations 2022", section 15.6.7 regarding streamlining:

"The maximum height of the back of the rider’s seat is 150mm. This will be measured from the lowest point of the
rigid base of the seat to the uppermost part of the fairing behind the driver"

The ACU rule about direct handlebar mounting to the steering unit only applies to sidecars.

Catch 22

Quite right, back in the day, rule 22 required the rider to be 'clearly visible' from the rear and the side, without obscuring the front wheel. The 150mm rule came a bit later to allow seat humps.

This has prevented FF being raced since 1956. Do you think we'd have stuggled through the whole production process if we could have raced the bloody things?

Years of campiagning eventually got the FIM to agree to FFs in E-bike racing, althouth they dropped this allowance as soon as it became apparant that there wasn't a horde of rich people about to arrive with FFs. However, the Merkans are bit more liberal and allow Bob Horne to race his FF in a popular club series, and last time I looked the Merkan E-bike racing scene were up for anything they thought was basically safe.

Monoliner is a development prototype to 'prove' this layout for E-bike racing. It has an ICE so development can cointinue without the need to charge batteries. A developed E-version, on the same plaform. would make less than .2 CDa (Without radiator intakes), but with similar power and weight.

What is a fairing?

Excuse my misreading of the rules, however:

From Merriam Webster - Definition of fairing (Entry 2 of 2)
: a member or structure whose primary function is to produce a smooth outline and to reduce drag (as on an airplane)

Definition of seat (Entry 1 of 2)
1c: the particular part of something on which one rests in sitting

So if a head/backrest that was not contiguous with the seat and was primarily designed to increase drag and upset the outline was added, it couldn't possibly be described as a fairing, could it? F1 races have of course been won with similar attention to semantics.

Feel Free!

There's not much ambiguity in "Rider must be fully visible from the sides and rear" - and further detail includes 'transparent materials must not be used'.

Reality also intrudes. The FIM and ACU are not democratic, rules based organisations, answerable to their public or any of that shit. They're autocratic dictatorships dedicated to maintaining their control over a form of sport. It would be a category mistake to imagine that progress, technology, or any other issue that isn't about large sums of money, is seen as anything other than a threat to that position.

FF's and indeed recumbant HPVs, are exactly such a threat. The FIM/ACU will change any law, ignore any reasoned arguement (Such as the safety issue) in defence of their position. However, if threatened by sufficioent money they will rapidly come to an arrangement.

If you have the right sort of money (Lots, well done) the best approach is to build a meaningful group of FF racers (say 25 E-racers, for sale) and announce a race series, wtih prizes and massive publicity. A couple of Bernies should do it. The ACU and FIM will offer membership after the first race or two. Probably also worth considering bribes, this seems to work well in many sports.

If you don't have this sort of money you're not going racing in ACU or FIM events.

Of course you can build a demonstration racer and go to track days in the hope of stirring up some sort of revolution/sponsorship. Good luck with that. Bear in mind that people have been trying to get recumbant HPVs and FFs into official forms of racing for slightly less than a century, if it was easy it would have happened by now. It's Much easier to build racers than road vehicles. Getting them into races is the trick. Maybe you'll be the person that pulls it off...

In the meantime perhaps support the efforts of Rob Horne and Colin Russell in their campaigns, E-racing is the best chance that's come along for a while.

Other options? "Despair now, avoid disapointment later"