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Anonymous

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Ben Purvis  says:

F1 designers re-invent the motorcycle

Two top British Formula 1 designers have created the Ecosse-Spirit ES1 - a radical new superbike which promises to offer 220mph performance. The new design goes back to the very first principles of motorcycle architecture – starting with a new riding position aimed at hugely improving aerodynamics, and then designing the rest of the bike to allow that riding position to work. Check...

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  • Posted 8 years ago (06 June 2007 12:38)

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snave

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 440

snave says:

Reinvent, my arse!

Still a bicycle with a rider stuck on top. Feet forward, with a semi-reclined riding position is the way of the future if aerodynamics, ergonomics and that elsusive `packaging` are issues that need to be addressed. Formula One drivers don't lean forward. Fighter pilots don't sit upright, and only gynaecologists and proctologists would regard the Ecosse riding position as suitable, or practical. A 200mph birthing chair... But not the future.

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Starman ZZR600

Joined:

Apr 07

Posts: 24

Pretty Bike?

I agree with Snave's comment, but it will be interesting to see how the final bike develops, as i think they are looking at the bike but not the rider Technology has to progress, but F1 as another field altogether and a modern bike is a different piece of kit. (Think i'll stick with the ZZR hehe).

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snave

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 440

snave says:

Innovative?

OK, so let's look more closely at the innovation: The handlebars are horizontal. Put your hand by your sides, relax, then lift to a riding position. Oops, nearly vertical, aren't they. That's one of the reasons for `arm pump` - the tendon and ligaments are stretched, then stressed. One or the other would be preferable. Next, position of the engine. Excellent for mass centralisation - apart form the fact that modern engines weight less than the riders that ride them. Outdated thinking again. Next, chain run and `narrowness`. INteresting concept - looks prone to all sorts of squat and lift side-effects. There is good bicycling reasons for keepiong the chain and sprocket run in a fairly level plane, close to the attitude of the bike. Just think about the torque effects. The back end will be compressing and unloading all the time with power application or reduction. No rear shock currently made can adapt its damping that fast. A nightmare to set up, and that's providing the top sprocket never comes into contact with the seat pan, or the riders arse will be gaining an extra crack. Next, so the front has been designed to lower aerodynamic drag? Since when was the sahpe of the exterior the major drag factor in current motorcycle design. It's not the wetted area that needs to be better controlled, it's the airflow underneath the fairing, though and around - and most importantly of all, away from the engine and chassis. Why is slipstreaming still so important in bike racing? Becasue no-one has yet acted to minimise the wake drag by designing the package to actually allow as much air as possible to pass straight through, unhindered. Simple as that, and nothing whatsoever to do with the front fairing. Big riders have more impact than the shape of the fairing. Rossi would be 20 klicks faster with an ass-reduction, judged by the on-bike shots. And that's not say it's a fat ass, just the wrong shape. Leather designers should attend to this issue, not bike designers. Ironically, none of this would be an issue if race bikes were designed as proven by Craig Vetter, Royce Creasey, Malcom Newell and the other Feet Forward designers more than 30 years ago. The information is out there and clear for all to see. If F1 wants to poke its nose into MGP, then let them use real aerodynamic processes, real design innovation and some real lateral thinking. Why can't a MGP rider sit in a carbo-fibre bathtub? Who say he has to straddle the frame? Who says he has to prostrate himclsef across the top of a howling engine? Million - billions - of dollars have been spent studying human phyisiology and ergonomics in military and civil aircraft. NOT A SINGLE ONE has concluded any advantage to having theuser head-down, arse-up, with has hands stretched out horiozontally in front of him. So why is it that someone can use two chains on a motorcycle and it be called `innovative`..? It's not innovative, it's boringly conventional. Now come on F1 boys, you can do so much better than that...

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Boult

Joined:

Mar 07

Posts: 3215

Boult says:

I thought

F1 had poked its nose into bikes - step forward ILMOR..OK, that was a sponsorship issue (but why?) Got to agree with Snave on the final drive layout - I'm no engineer but it does look like it would result in a LOT of squat under harsh accelaration. The important thing is it's got US talking about it and proffering our concerns and ideas - that's got to be good. DO like the idea of the engine being the chassis though - that road has got to be looked into.

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Pillead

Joined:

Mar 03

Posts: 3

Pillead says:

Interesting ideas

Some interesting ideas in there but the power train is too technical chain to shaft to chain, a lot of power will be lost and wear rates will be high due to increased slop because of the extra drive components. Snave: there are many good reasons why riders sit on the bikes and not feet first, one of the main ones is handling. feet first riding requires either extreme rake angles and huge forks similar to chopped Harleys or long linkages to a hub center system. both systems add large ammounts of weight and remove one of a bikes primary assets which is direct steering that gives you the ability to feel the road below. Feet first also extends the length of the bike which in turn creates more handling issues. You state that "Million - billions - of dollars have been spent studying human phyisiology and ergonomics in military and civil aircraft. NOT A SINGLE ONE has concluded any advantage to having theuser head-down, arse-up, with has hands stretched out horiozontally in front of him." correct, BUT THAT'S AIRCRAFT, aircraft design is TOTALLY different to bike design, do you honestly believe that after having spent billions of pounds on research to make bikes better and faster that the idea of feet first hasnt been seriously looked at? there are a lot of people a lot smarter than you that have spent a lot of time looking at feet first and concluded "no it's not a good idea".

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Tony Foale

Joined:

Jun 07

Posts: 1

Tony Foale says:

Squat and anti-squat

Previous comments regarding excessive squat are unfounded and appear to be based on an inadequate understanding of the rear suspension layout. Just as with any other bike the squat/anti-squat characteristics can be fine tuned by the designers, by appropriate placement of the swingarm pivot and gear box sprocket axis.

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crazyeddy

Joined:

Sep 06

Posts: 6

crazyeddy says:

squat

The same applies in car suspension, it doesn't make as much difference however i think the F1 designers would have taken this into account. i would presume since the majority if the fuel tank is under the seat the centre of gravity is much lower, therefore less squat, therefore less anti squat required. also im not sure this is the final design, it could just be a model to get an idea of the weight and aerodynamics, and to get some public interest.

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crazyeddy

Joined:

Sep 06

Posts: 6

crazyeddy says:

MotoCzysz

i just thought. wouldn't it be great if these guys hooked up with the motoczysz guys! think how small the frontal area would be with that engine. also i should imagine a double wishbone type suspension would have more potential for controled sideways flex and damping than conventional forks.

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ages_of_man

Joined:

Jun 07

Posts: 1

ages_of_man says:

Missing the Point?

I think some of the contributors are missing the point and knocking a great idea without understanding some of the essential concepts. Some of the comments would definitely earn the speaker the badge of 'whinging POM' if uttered round here. One of the key areas the ES1 design addresses is reducing air resistence. 2 things influence air rsistence: 1. Frontal area - reduced in this design by lowering and compacting the rider shape. I've had the opportunity to actually sit on a mockup of the ES1 design and this HAS been achieved (using a 'kneeler chair' approach and redesigning the rear geometry). At the same time the riding position is really comfortable. That really awkward, cramped feel when you try and tank hug, to get your head down low, is totally absent. 2. Improving the drag co-efficient. As the article explains the most efficent shape is a tear drop - FAT end forward. Now even Rossi's shoulders are wider than that 'Doctors' bum of his. So 'feet first' solutions - Yes they can work in aircraft and cars - because you have lots of vehicle to work with behind the drivers' shoulders, where you can put the 'taper'. Unless Snave is suggesting we all ride around on 5 meter long bikes this is a touch hard to achieve with a bike. Bottom line is that the spirit design has been subjected to extensive aerodynamic modelling that proves it will be awesomely quick in a straight line (even if it does lose a percent or 2 because it runs tandom chains!). As for flexing, etc, if anyone has any doubts as to the rigidity and strength of modern F1 designs - take a look at the replay of Kubica's crash last week and then bear in mind that this same technology will be used in the ES1. My chief gripe is that I can't afford to buy one!

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