I am considering buying a second hand Ecomobile or MonoTracer (and will be visiting Roger Riedener at Peraves HQ next month)and would love to find out what the ownership experience is like. I have quite a long list of questions so a phone conversation might make sense? My no. is 01588 640550.
Following my previous comments about insuring an FF I've been corresponding with Jordan Maddix of Adrian Flux Insurance (Bikesure)
Thankfully, the problem isn't FFs, or my personal habits. It's the thorny subject of 'modification'. Once, if you didn't modify your English motorcycle it wouldn't work. Now it's more like the German model, where 'modifications' largely amount to fitting parts from an 'after-market' supplier. Harley's and their legion of after-market parts are an example.
Here's a feature on Rob Hornes race FF from 'kneeslider' a race magazine that seems unaware that FFs are banned in ACU/FIM motorcycle racing - but not by the MRA. Lots of positive comments, some by familiar English FF proponents. That's the way to do it!
One wonders how long American journo's will go on calling them "Recumbant motorcycles" instead of "FFs"... Maybe they get paid by the letter.
I know everyone with a real interest in FFs, especially all the designers and constructors will be fascinated by these pics of Robs earlier creations, so here they are.
Here's a link to the national organisation of insurance brokers. No great intelligence available on the phone regarding the problems of insuring 'unusual' or 'specialist' vehicles, but it's an avenue to expore for anyone having trouble getting routine insurance for their FF.
Rob Horne continues his new career as the world's only FF racer, here's his report
Pictures to follow in due course.
Good to see someone making FF waves!
Insuring an FF
I've discovered a problem that may threaten not only the future of FF development in England but also the use of FFs currently in use here. It's insurance.
You might expect insurance companies to welcome safer two wheelers especially as FFs have been around as production vehicles since the Quasar. There may not be huge numbers, add Ecomobiles, Monotracers, and Voyagers to the twenty Quasars, throw in the various one-offs and the number of FFs in England is probably still short of fifty vehicles.
Obviously it's pot luck how long an picture stays in the 'latest image' slot. Sometimes days, sometimes a few hours. No problem. But when one gets replaced after afer a few hours by the Previous image, you have to wonder what's going on. Honad, not liking it up them? Human agency surely involved.
I think we should be told, preferably by the human in question.
Ian K mentioned a vid of an eco ride with me pontificating, it's here: https://vimeo.com/76674545
It's a bit candid as I didn't know Colin was filming and it's not edited! I would certainly have edited out a few swear words, and also I would definitely have cut the bit where i do a wheels- down right turn without paying attention to the gear indicator, so I am recorded for posterity taking off in second gear rather than first. Embarrassing.
Anyway several minutes of looning about in Lincolnshire mostly steering with one hand while I use the left hand to talk with.
I've added some new links on the FFilms page. I'm sure I've seen a film of Andy pontificating in his Ecomobile so if anyone knows where that is, it could be put on the list. Could do with some more so get filming yourselves in action on your FFs..... Oh. :-(
Anyhow - this is a short clip of what a V is like when splitting traffic, I don't think I broke any laws too much in that.
Here's a press release from Arthur Kowitz. He's set up a race series for zero-emmission bikes in the USA that's a decisive step back to motor racing as we know it. Unlike the FIM/Azhar Hussien corporate lovefest, this is for real prototype racers. FFs? sure. Streamliners, bodywork? Definitely. The FIM, Who? The rules are very liberal, with a few oddities generated mainly by motorised bicycle people who apparantly race with controls that stick out and catch on things (like other peoples streamlined bodywork). Sounds very dodgy, but nothing that can't be worked round.
I have finally got back to working on the Aerobike but testing did not go well-
I had been waiting for some reasonably strong winds and we got them today in my area, so with my neighbour following, I headed down the road to evaluate the side wind behavour of the bike.
Going south with the wind blowing mostly from the tail and side the bike felt fine, pushed around a little bit but no worries about staying in my lane or losing control, so all seemed good.
In the course of building Monoliner Colin Russell encountered the "Niche Vehicle Network", a branch of the Technology Support Board. This is a British State body tasked with promoting "Disruptive, low Carbon vehicle technology" that will reduce energy use and provide opportunities for British innovation and industry. Promotion, with money - around £1.4billion.
It's not a car, let alone an electric car (looking forward to BMW new E-car appearing on this site any moment) but here's some footage of the 2010 Cmax on it's recent visit to Bristol. This was a major editing job - 75% of the original footage showed it stopped at traffic lights, Bristol Councils "Stop all Traffic" policy starting to "work" here. Visitors to Grat. Rd. may also note the new route needed, but it's the second left turn, not the first. The Genius responsible is one Mark Bradshaw, if he ever gets to be minister of transport you'll need a skateboard.
Germany, Poland and Czech Republic by F650 GS
To many of my age, the memory of the Iron Curtain is fresh; although it is now 24 years since the wall came down and there are many for whom it is as much history as WW2 is to me. The Moto13 Euro-trip was to remind us of both hot and cold past conflicts, in a small way, to our party – Varaderos and my 650 (800) GS. But first, the Ring:
One Ring to rule them all
Last September I had a shake-down run to Monty's place in York, across to Kirby Lonsdale and home. Apart from learning a few things about chain maintenance, that trip reinforced the need to sort the rear end. To make space for the lowered seat, the rear wheel had been moved back. This was done by adding bolt-on swingarm extensions. Extending the swing arm messes with the suspension, so it felt a bit soggy at the back. The effective spring rate changes with a square rule, meaning that the response time to any bump was loooooong.
Are you building a full-on FF racer? Why not? everybody else seems to be!
No sooner has the excitememt caused by the relaxation of the FIMs streamlining rules - and their confirmation that this permits FFs - died way, than Azhar Hussein announces that it's all changed again. According to Azhar, only the World Championship Series, consisting of a few rounds scattered across the world with none in England, will allow what he calls 'prototypes'.
Charles Hennekam, technical co-ordinator and Motorcycle Homologations Officer for the FIM, confirms in an email that it "Is possible to enter FF designs" in the new FIM formula that replaces E-GP.
He goes on to note the "Daunting" challenge of incorporating E-power into race motorcycles without factory support, something that all entrants will have to deal with.
Proving that time changes everything, the FIM have issued rules for their new E-power bike race series that don't actually ban FFs!