I've been making some encouraging progress!
1. I moved the front wheel forward about 3". Not as easy as it sounds - took me the better part of two days to do it. Plenty of cutting, grinding and welding. The reason for the mod was to move my center of gravity back a bit - away from so much weight on the front wheel. According to the helpful advice I've been getting from Mark Stonich from Minneapolis, the twitchy overly sensitive steering at higher speeds is probably due to an exaggerated forward C of G.
Worked awesome. On my test ride today it felt equally as solid and stable as the M5, but with better slow speed handing and no crank interference. Very comfortable.
2. I invented a steering dampener to further dampen steering inputs. It's a spring that holds the steering tiller in a neutral position. It takes some effort to move the steering tiller right or left, but it improves stability so much, I can ride WHILE peddling without holding onto the steering bar (momentarily!) That's pretty good for a front wheel drive bike where each peddle stroke pulls on a turning wheel. I also rigged up a trim control where I can trim the neutral point of the steering control for a steady cross wind or something. Works pretty slick!
3. I met with Tanya from the Olympic Oval today. They have a 400 meter indoor running track that surrounds the Olympic speed skating rink that would make for a PERFECT watts testing facility for my HPV. She's checking into the possibility of me using it for a couple of hours once a week from 5:00 am to 7:00 am. It's a great controlled environment to do some speed testing - especially when I start to test some fairing designs.
4. I've started working on the design phase of the fairing. I have a unique idea for fairing construction that would save time, money and weight over the conventional carbon fiber technology. I won't say any more about it until I have the first prototype working.
5. I had my first crash today. The bike broke in half during my new wheel position test ride - I had only tack welded the frame mods and they obviously didn't hold.
Note the new forward front wheel position. Actually, after looking at this photo, I could also move the rear wheel forward 4 or 5 inches.
Note the spring steering dampener.
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