Building a Barracuda
barracuda2.gif (12953 bytes)Barracuda Fairing

The Coroplast streamliner...   

8/17/98 -
The fairing progressed fairly slowly at first. The hardest part was figuring out how to mount the nose-cone, and then getting it positioned so that my feet did not hit while cranking wildly, and so the nose did not drag while taking a corner fast (low bikes lean more)  This entailed a few trips around the block with the fairing temporarily mounted. One of the times around the block, I stopped to take a look under the fairing, to see what was scraping and a couple ladies ran out of the house hysterically. At the time I was on my hands and knees looking under the nosecone, and they thought I had fallen off. The one lady said she made her husband get off the phone so they could dial 911. I assured them I was fine...
I mounted the nosecone with a combination of aluminum tubing, 3/4" aluminum strap, hose clamps, pop rivets, and an epoxy/flox mixture. I decided to have a bent Coroplast lower body pan and since I didn't have a heat gun, thought I would try my propane torch. I just heated up the section I wanted to bend, and bent it. This wasn't such a great Idea, as the uneven heating created hot spots which made it lumpy. I'm in a hurry, so I used it anyway. I'll replace it in version 2.  The tail section went together a little better, and is constructed entirely from Coroplast and wire tires. It has an aluminum strap stiffener/mounting bracket.

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The object protruding into the pilot area is the remote steering assembly.

I added the canopy and top section, and now need to work on the sides.One of the hardest parts is figuring out how to get in and out of the thing. I think I will just have a big top with attached side panels that fastens to the rest of the fairing with Velcro. I'll hold the bike up with my arms when stopped, so I'll have to have some holes in the sides for my arms to stick through. I'm planning on covering the arm holes with Lycra. The whole thing is about 8.5 feet long now.

8/28/98 - Here it is right before the Wisconsin HPV races. I added a scoop in front of the windshield to get some air in my face. Testing showed it to be effective. The sides are done. I decided to have one arm hole to start and stop, with a small Coroplast door rather than Lycra. I was running out of time and it was easier.

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Isn't white boring? I'm painted the nose white, to reflect the sun, but it will definitely need a big stripe or something to break up the monotony.

9/3/98 - Post mortem on the 8/29 and 8/30 HPV races in Burlington Wisconsin:

Both of the road courses turned out to be very bumpy (massive expansion cracks) which turned out to be not only uncomfortable, but inconvenient, as the chain kept coming off. One of the times the chain popped off, it got sucked into the wheel, which caused a 20MPH crash. The fairing now has some nice tar marks on it, but I was unscathed. I need to fix that chain problem... As far as the fairing goes, well it was definitely a "Version 1.0" fairing. Ed Gin taped me into the fairing, which enabled me to cruise at about 32 MPH comfortably (OK, except for the terrible bumps in the track). After the crash, and subsequent removal of the tape, the speed dropped to 30MPH, after the next couple of chain drops, I dropped to 28MPH. It was not what I had hoped to do, but OK for "Version 1.0".  The race leaders, Giles Porier and Robert Wood Started the race at about 37MPH, and tapered off to about 32MPH at the end of the hour.

This fairing was promptly retired.

Click here to see Phase 2 - Barracuda fairing - Fiberglass version



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