Low & Slow's Ninja 250 project

Discussion in 'Street and Performance Bikes' started by low&slow, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    I rode down to Carmel Thursday afternoon for a get-together at the Vetters' home with all the competitors. It was great to see my friends from previous competitions( Craig, Alan, Fred Hayes, Josh Chen) and to meet our own Redyaris in person. It was fun and all the bikes met the 4 paper grocery bag carrying requirement. Fred had to run with metal panniers on his 2 diesel bikes to meet the current Vetter Challenge rules.
    The next morning we topped off our tanks and reported to the starting point for the 2012 Quail Gathering. There were many fabulous bikes: Nortons, Triumphs, MV Agustas, Laverdas, Ducatis, Vincents, Brough Superiors and many other vintage and collectable motorcycles. The ride was beautiful thought the start was misty and the roads were wet and slippery. One rider had a get-off and fortunately was not badly hurt.
    After the first stop, my bike didn't start up immediately and Craig passed me while I was still trying to get it started and was technically disqualified for being passed by the designated follower ( Craig). I finally got it started about the middle of the pack and stayed with the fast pace of the group the rest of the ride. I was disappointed as I thought I had at least a small chance at winning or getting a high placement.
    The next stop was at the Talbot winery where we got a guided tour. Conditions on that leg were very windy but all the streamliners handled it very well. We proceeded the Laguna Seca racetrack where we rode 2 laps of this famous venue. Then on to the finish and lunch with all 6 Vetter Challengers reporting to the gas station for the official top-off. I didn't record the official results but I know Fred used less a gallon for the ~116 mile ride, Alan used about 1.1 gal, Josh- 1.24 gal, me- 1.25 gal., Craig-~ 1.4 gal and Ron /Redyaris- I can't remember. The ride was fun and the pace was fast; it was the fastest pace I've ridden the Ninja at with speeds up to 85 mph and lots of hard acceleration to keep up and prevent being passed by Craig. I ended up with a 93 mpg run, I wanted to break 100 mpg but I can see how hard it is to achieve this under these difficult conditions. Kudos for to all the Vetter Challengers for another great event.
    I rode home and had a pretty good run: 122.4 miles/.9 gallon= 136 mpg.
     
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Impressive!!!
     
  3. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Looks like you're getting the Ninja tuned in. I'll be interested the see the official results.
     
  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Good work , Vic. Scott Endler has a lot of catching up to do.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  5. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Thanks! The more I have have reflected on this Challenge, the better I'm feeling about it; though I got disqualified I still ran at the required pace and produced the second best gas-powered bike results. My bike is similar to what Alan Smith ran at the 2011 Carmel Vetter Challenge and I produced the same results. If I can upgrade my aero package with a good dustbin style front end I could improve further. For the relatively short time I've had the 250 Ninja , I'm doing pretty well with it.

    Edwin, Sendler has done some outstanding work with his Honda CBR250 and I'm hoping to meet him at this year's Ohio Vetter Challenge. He is averaging over 90 mpg and has had a best tankfill of over 130mpg. It would be interesting to see what he could do under Vetter Challenge conditions.
     
  6. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    I saw your log today earlier and I wanted to congratulate so here I am :)

    Great tanks, great numbers, especially under Vetter's crazy requirements!
     
  7. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Thanks Alvaro! I had a great time and performed well. Things are looking up.
     
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Low&Slow:

    When coming close to busting through the triple digit barrier under those conditions, that is excellent work!

    Wayne
     
  9. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne! I'm very pleased with my Carmel Vetter Challenge performance and looking forward to the 7/20 Mid-Ohio Vetter Challenge. I'll be riding my bike out from the SF Bay Area with fellow competitor Alan Smith. We plan to meet another Challenger, Ron Johnston in Cheyenne WY for the rest of the way to Ohio. It should be a blast.:D

    I worked on my bike the past couple of days fixing the rear brakes and installing a new front end. It is now " dustbin" styled. I made a frame out of sheet metal bands and Pvc slats that I bolted and riveted together. I covered the frame with coroplast, installed the turnsignals and reused my old coroplast windscreen. I took it for its first ride this morning. It seemed to pass through the air plenty well but was too flexible in strong winds in the area near the front wheel. I need to make it more rigid. I also need to test the effectiveness of a front cooling vent to ensure adequate coooling. Hopefully this will allow me to close the performance gap between me and some of the other Vetter Challengers.
    all th best , L&S
     
  10. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    I added some steel tubing over the front wheel and the front end is stiffer with much less wind deflection. I rode the bike about 30 miles today at speeds up to 75 mph and it seemed to work well with a noticeable decrease in aero drag; I'm able to hold top gear longer and able get to top gear with less acceleration. The only negative so far is that the temperature gauge is reading higher than before but still out of the red zone. More testing to follow.
     
  11. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    After doing some more business travel, I got the chance recently to resume work on my bike. During testing I found that the fairing around the front wheel was too flexible so I added more stiffening elements to framework. I refueled yesterday for my first full tank with the dustbin styled front end and got 104 mpg. I've also found that the bike moves through the air with noticely less throttle and that I can use top gear more with much less downshifting. I still need to ensure that I have sufficient cooling air flow and to enclose the opening around the headlight. I also need more roadtesting to ensure that the dustbin front end is durable enough for the long trip to Ohio.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Looking good, L&S!! :thumbs_up:
     
  13. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Thanks Sean!
    I'm pleased with the results of the new front end and hope to close the gap between my Ninja and Alan Smith's "vetterized" Ninja. We'll be riding together to the Ohio Vetter Challenge in a couple of weeks so I'll be able to compare FE on the ride there.
    The 2012 Vetter Challenge will have the largest field yet with many more electric bikes and streamlined bikes competing. The current rules ( the 4 grocery bag capacity requirement) will make the competition closer than before and I hope to be among the top competitors. We'll see.
     
  14. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Alan Smith and I leave for the Ohio Vetter challenge on Friday, 7/13/2012. I've got the front faring stiff enough and it should survive the ~5000 trip to Ohio and back. I'm still struggling with high coolant temps with the full aero package. I'll probably end up running with the headlighlight area uncovered to increase radiator airflow on the trip and reinstall the headlight cover while running the Challenge. Lots of desert to traverse in CA, NV, UT and WY. I still have to change my coolant, oil &filter and change the fork oil. My tires should last the trip.
    We'll be meeting up with Red Yaris in Cheyenne WY, it will be cool riding this far with 3 streamlined bikes.:D
     
  15. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Best of luck to you!!
     
  16. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    So we'll see a couple of tanks from you. Good luck!
     
  17. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    WOW DOUBLE WOW!
    It has been a few months since I stopped by-
    You were in the high 70's back then-104mpg now!!!
    And the 250 has a really exotic look.
    If you had all the $$ in the world maybe you could construct a carbon fiber laid on shell
    have a high tech CF look!!
    Maybe once you get the basic shape "right" you could use your fairings as a mold for some fancy CF!!
    See how easily I spend other folk's $$$.

    Don't suppose there is any way to close in the top-make it a flip top fully enclosed no problem with rain type "bike"
    The windscreen looks a bit scary-pointed at your throat like that?? No easy way to sit back semi recumbent-have it completely enclose you?

    In any case-great work-104 mpg from a bike that will probably still do 0-60 in 5 seconds-120 mph!!
    Charlie
     
  18. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Thanks Charlie, Things are definitely looking up. My best current tankfill is up to 136 mpg. I completed my final preparations for my trip to Ohio and my last tankfill was 108.9 mpg. I hope to do well in the Ohio Vetter Challenge and it will be great making the trip there with 2 other streamlined motorcycles. It should be an interesting trip.
    all the best, L&S
     
  19. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    I just got home from the trip to Ohio for the Vetter Challenge. The trip was around 5200 miles. It was by far the longest motorcycle trip I had ever taken and on the smallest bike I'd ever taken on an overnight trip. I encountered cooling problems right off the back due to a lack of testing time with the new dustbin styled front end. We kept making changes on the road and finally with blocking around the radiator and more airscoops we got it under control. The weather was hot virtually everyday with some intense rainstorms. My temperature gauge malfunctioned and read pegged out for the last 3 days on the way to Ohio.
    At the Challenge I had a great ride and 119mpg. It was good for second overall and the best performance of all the gasoline- powered bikes. An incredible day.
    After working 7/22 to 7/24 in Georgetown KY , I began the long solo ride home. We took Hwy 80 for the most part on the way out so I decided to take Hwy 70 on the way back. I rode Hwy 50 from Utah to Fallon NV. This trip was a great experience that I will never forget. I'll write about it in more detail now that I'm home.
     
  20. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Wow! What a result!

    Congratulations -- I know you've worked long and hard to get to this point. :D:thumbs_up:
     

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