Steve Copeland's Velociraptor

Steve "Cope" Copeland's Velociraptor Speedbike

Steve started work on this new speedbike in the fall of 2003. He built a test mule for the chassis to test the prone position and fine tune the steering. He needs to finish in time for this year's World Human Powered Speed Championships in the middle of September!

Steve says: 
"A quote in the movie Jurrasic Park gave me the idea for the name. It went something like....
Dr. Grant says: "Is the Raptor fast?" Muldoun replies: "Cheetah Speed"
Since it was the Cheetah that got me to design one then I felt the Velociraptor was the right name. Plus my oldest son used to think he was a Raptor. He would walk around with his hands like claws and his and jump."
"To show you how much the design has changed, here is a rendering of the 1992 design that I made in 1998 when my CAD program could process reflections. Can you see the major mistake that I would not pick up on until 3 years ago? The steering. The wheel would never pivot the way I had originally designed it."

Some of these images can be clicked on for a higher resolution image.

CAD images of the Velociraptor concept. 
August 2004
This is the version of the bike that will go in the streamliner. Steve built a carbon fiber box beam for the center of the bike that he will  lay on to pilot the bike. 

In this picture, Steve works on the foam sections to create the fairing.

Steve built a gearing system for the bike that will allow him to pedal at speeds in excess of 100MPH. He's taking some extra chain rings along to adjust that top speed up or down as needed.
Steve designed the bike with just one gear to make the drivetrain super efficient.  
Steve went through a couple iterations of the front end geometry and steering. This latest version works well. Also shown in this picture is the landing gear.
Here's the nearly completed plug for the fairing. Note the piles of foam chunks and foam dust. I can smell the foam just looking at it.
Steve takes the prone racer for a test drive in the Lowes parking lot. After tweaking the gearing he was able to start and pedal off in the 100 MPH gear without problems.
Here's the foam plug covered in drywall compound to smooth out the imperfections. It's almost ready for the fiberglass.
The plug is covered in a couple layers of fiberglass.
Steve tests out the riding position while resting on the landing gear. He says the bike is ready to go!
Here's the first half of the body after being pulled from the mold. It's still a bit floppy, but Steve will be adding some ribs soon.
Steve says: 

"The bike is 10 feet long from front to back and it weighs 43 pounds, I am riding on a set of 700C tires. Speedometer is a Sigma Sport. The bike is shaped off of the Bell X-1 experimental airplane. The main tube is 20" in diameter." 

In this picture, the top half of the fairing gets test fitted to the chassis. It looks very long and narrow. Will Steve fit?

"I have decided to postpone running the Velociraptor this year. I have already begun to fix the problems that I had to ignore because of money and time. So I am confident that I will have an even more powerful bike next year. Most of my problems are with the shell right now. My method of attaching works but not very well plus my fiberglassing leaves a lot to be desired. However it was a learning experience and my family is still behind me to build a faster and safer bike." 

Here is a final picture of the 2004 Velociraptor. 

"The holes in the sides are where I originally tried to mount the bike with a top and bottom half then I decided a side to side would be better. I fit in this shell very well. A small bubble for my helmet and another for my thighs would have to be made and that would have hurt my frontal area. I also want to stretch the frame out more. When I had the original problem with attaching the carbon fiber I lost about 10 inches of length to my center beam. This put my legs in too tight of a pedal position and my knees too close to the ground. Look in the picture and you can see that their is plenty of room to stretch the back tire towards the rear of the shell. With the corrections I want to do to the frame I think I can make the head and thigh bubbles even smaller. I also plan on hard mounting rings to the frame. Then these rings will serve as attachment points for the shell."


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