Will Team Agni Streamline For TT Zero?


TTXGP Streamlining - Craig Vetter Visual Translation

TTXGP Streamlining - Craig Vetter Visual Translation

Team Agni won last year’s TTXGP at Isle Of Man by choosing an outstanding rider and using a philosophy of minimalist engineering, energy management and decades of knowledge of electric vehicle racing. Rob Barber rode the Cedric Lynch designed X01 to a convincing victory over more powerful machines. The same “big money” teams will be back in 2010 for the renamed TT Zero at Isle Of Man, only this year they have 1.5 years of electric motorcycle experience instead of 6 months. We already know MotoCzysz will have an incredibly powerful and more reliable electric drive system and has eliminated all but 2 wires in the e1pc, decreasing possibilities for failure. How Will Team Agni defend their title against the Czysz machine and other teams shooting for 600 cc performance?

The answer is most likely: streamlining.  A recent MCN article by Guy Procter may have let that cat out of the bag. When asked if Team Agni will beat the 100 mph average and claim the prize for that accomplishment, Agni boss Arvind Rabadia mentions (between taunts of other electric race teams):

I’m confident – though the changes to the streamlining rules have made it harder.

Combine that statement with the fact that electric vehicle guru and Agni X5 motor designer Cedric Lynch drives a feet forward streamliner around the UK on a daily basis and all signs point to streamlining. It’s no secret that batteries are heavy and have relatively low energy density compared to gasoline. Team Agni averaged 85 mph last year. It is probably safe to assume they have better batteries, improved controller functionality and an improved motor this year. This, combined with a wind cheating, high-coverage fairing could be enough to give Agni the extra 15 mph average speed they need and still have enough power to lap the Mountain Circuit.

You may wonder what “changes to streamlining” Rabadia is referring to in the earlier quote. TTXGP’s streamling rules were written by motorcycle fairing legend and master of fuel economy Craig Vetter. TTXGP’s rules followed Vetter’s prescription of up to 400 mm of fairing behind the rear wheel, where TT Zero limits it to 200 mm. Also, the fairing behind the rider can not extend more than 150 mm above the seat pan for TT Zero where it can be as high as the rider’s helmeted head at race speed for TTXGP.

Below is a picture to help understand the impact of the TT Zero rules to Craig Vetter’s streamlining recommendations. In the picture I photo-chopped Vetter’s image of the streamlined TTXGP bike (top of page) to accommodate FIM / TT Zero rules. I am eyeballing it and this is my interpretation so please take it with a grain of salt and leave a comment if you think I’m wrong.

Also, if you feel the TTXGP rules should change, be sure to have a look at the TTXGP Rules Wiki. Anyone can alter the rules there and they will be used for the 2011 season.

Thanks to Harry At eMotoRules for helping me put 2 and 2 together.

TT Zero Streamlining - Altered Visual Translation Per TT Zero Rules

TT Zero Streamlining - Altered Visual Translation Per TT Zero Rules

Source: MCN Photo: Craig Vetter

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14 Responses

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  1. Written by Christian
    on March 5, 2010 at 5:46 am
    Permalink

    Streamling is just dangerous!

    A small wind and you are going of the track or you will loose the front wheel.

    You can feel a big difference between a small and a large front fender…

  2. Written by Christian
    on March 5, 2010 at 5:46 am
    Permalink

    Streamlining… ;-)

  3. Written by ROHORN
    on March 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm
    Permalink

    The ONLY people against streamlining are those who are stuck in the past. The current racebike design paradigm is grossly inefficient – more power (i.e, more $) is not the answer, unless you can’t think.

    There is too much FUD regarding electric motorcycle racing – promoting FUD about streamlining in this sport is very immature.

    Just as cars had to outgrow the “horseless carriage” phase, electric racing has to outgrow the “gasless motorbike” phase.

  4. Written by Craig Vetter
    on March 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm
    Permalink

    I have been doing this for a long time now and am thrilled that finally we are going to see real streamlining on the track. After putting thousands of miles on my streamlined Helix, I reluctantly conclude that the sides in the middle, on either side of the rider, need to be left open. Maybe it is as simple as acting as a vent to let the sidewinds pass thru.

    This is the way the rules are written, too. How much of an opening? The rules say that as a minimum, the rider must be visible. But it can be a bigger opening. If sidewinds are a problem, I suggest that you simply open that side gap a little more.

    My next work will be in determining the rear edge treatment of the nose and the front treatment of the tail. We will want to trick the air into thinking that the sides are one smooth, continuous surface while actually letting sidewinds blow thru.

  5. Written by Mike Vickers
    on March 8, 2010 at 5:13 am
    Permalink

    Er, excuse me?
    Dustbin streamlining IS the past
    Check it out!
    Gilera 1957 Senior
    Not to mention the Guzzi V8 and
    other Italian efforts

  6. Written by Doug Panting
    on March 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    Permalink

    Craig,

    It’s really nice to see you post here. I visit your website often.

    Did you ever think about the short wheelbase of the Freedom Machine vs it’s longer body length?

    I think we need get the wheels as close to each end as possible, so that cross winds have less leverage on the wheel contact points. I think that would help stability, plus the longer wheelbase would also help.

    I hope you build an electric Freedom Machine someday.

    If I didn’t have a day job and house renovations, I would build a dustbin fairing for my electric scooter right now.

    This is the design I like the best…slick, small, good tail and the rider can move around and lean.

    http://www.vf750fd.com/Joep_Kortekaas/ubiali.jpg

  7. Written by Chris Kingsland
    on June 10, 2010 at 6:35 am
    Permalink

    Surely this type of “dustbin fairing” does not meet current ACU race, and thus TT regulations?, They were outlawed unsafe years ago! Or do Zero machines not have to comply with ACU regs?

  8. [...] behind them. Streamlining guru Craig Vetter lessens the drag this negative pressure causes with a wing-like tail section that directs air flow on each side of the bike gradually back together after the front of the bike [...]

  9. Written by Andyj
    on August 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm
    Permalink

    With electric motors consuming the power as required for any given speed. Slipstreaming is vitally important for greater velocity or making the batteries work over more miles to save weight in turn.

    People who say dustbin fairings were dangerous are partially correct because the bikes speed was becoming greater than the ability of the handling, brakes and tyres. Not to mention the materials and construction of the things gave no leeway to safety.

    Gustav Baumm had the right idea with the crosswind issue. Plenty of ground clearance then make the underside rounded like an inverted wing to pass side draughts of air underneath to pin the bike downwards. Also the top must not create lift so it is fairly flat. The fairing front to back is like a wing with a negative camber to the ground so it will not lift at speed. His economy runs of well over 200 mpg and speed runs of 211 mph with 40hp sound good to me. Ideal for electric!
    His only failing I guess was the excess of length to the nose and tail against the wheelbase.

    Craig Vetter. Another man for respect. Uses his fairing in a split design to act as a turbulator and de-pressuriser to minimise the side wind issue. Makes the bike much more usable too.

    I wish the electric TT for 2010 will be an even bigger eye opener for the public. Can’t wait for the results.

  10. Written by mike moylan
    on December 11, 2010 at 4:43 am
    Permalink

    Hi all,
    Side winds are not a problem if the area behind the center of gravity is greater than the area of body work in front of the center of gravity. Just like the dart or arrow the fins at the back are greater than the area of the head. The old dusbin fairing s were concrentrated at the nose leading to fatal accidents on the track by the maching being blown nose first off course. If a greater ares is put benind the rideer the same wind will drive the bike in to the wind and cancle the effect out
    regards
    Mike

  11. Written by thomas lewis
    on April 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm
    Permalink

    I think any and all should be allowed in respect to the streamlining.The technology used will help us in the quest for ever more effienct vehicles.Let the teams learn though mistakes.Rules suppress technolgy is some cases,this is one.One day we may have whats been proven,a super high milage,vehicle that sniffs gas or a electric that is not only fast but capable of running long distances for hours on end.

  12. Written by Sam
    on June 11, 2011 at 10:29 am
    Permalink

    Fully faired motorcycles are dangerous are they?

    Really people, look around you. The issues have been completely sorted.

    Here is an electric two seater fully enclosed motorbike made for the road.

    http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/teams/xtracer

    The fuel versions, (+150mph) have been in production since the 80′s. No problems.

  13. Written by John Kane
    on March 30, 2012 at 6:11 am
    Permalink

    Dear All

    It’s about time people started to have a modern take on streamlining. The banning of full dustbin fairings in the 1950′s on GP motorcycles was a short-sighted and retrograde step, as was the banning of multi-cylinder machines like the Guzzi V-8 and the small Honda sixes.

    Guzzi overcame most of the problems of dustbin fairings in the 1950′s, as they had their own wind tunnel and the cross-sections of their fairings were a different shape to anyone else’s. Their V-8 had a top speed of 180 mph (in 1957) and didn’t seem to meet the problems everyone else had at the time, due to superior engineering and design.

    The prophets of doom and engineering Luddites need to get a grip and drag themselves into the 21st century. Streamlining has been around for a very long time and great design engineers like Howard Hughes and Colin Chapman knew how to make it work. We also have the advantage of computer modeling, which they didn’t have.

    Good luck to the forward thinkers. We need more of them.

    John
    (Amateur engineer and restorer)

  14. Written by thomas lewis
    on June 24, 2013 at 10:47 am
    Permalink

    Peraves tested the Monotracer with a large blower,from what I read and saw,it turned toward the wind.A round nose,extended wheelbase and lot’s of surface behind the cg makes it very safe.Trust me,if it wasn’t you would hear about it,it’s a non issue.Aerodynamics are a huge advantage,to achieve the best fuel consumption,range[electric]comfort,noise level,performance of a vehicle,it must have a low drag number,period.

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