Over the Thanksgiving weekend at the folks the whole family got together.
My Father in Law wanted a project that everyone could get involved in and I suggested Pinewood derby racing. His first statement was "there are no hills to race those on around here" and then came "that might be too much work for everyone."
I explained that these are small blocks of wood that you carve out to look like cars and use gravity to race. He then asked if we would need to buy motors for them. I said no "they use gravity to move".
Anyhow after much explaining I got him interested. So we took a trip to Micheal's where I had seen the cars before. After much searching I finally asked for help and I got to the spot where they keep them. They Had everything but the cars. It wasn't looking so good. But then we called Pegasus and they had a bunch.
So we hop in the car and go score 3 complete kits, 2wedges and four blocks. And some accessories like paint and weights.
Friday the kids tear into the kits, these had everything to make a fancy car, but the kids discarded all that and just bolted on the weights and wheels and threw a paint job on them. During this time Pops and I were at the hardware store getting track material. By the time we got back the kids were mostly done and the adults were fully engrossed it their designs.
Pops and I hastily threw together the track as the kids were asking when can we race, again and again.
This past Memorial weekend I attended the Side Street Speed Challenge in Santa Rosa. I was on the fence about doing this but since Lito Reyes was coming up from LA I thought it would be opportunity to spend some time with one of our great RC-Moto comrades.
The biggest part of the speed challenge is keeping the tires on the wheels. This is true for all the classes as I found out from my conversations with many of the participants. For the motorcycles this can be a particularly challenging aspect of going fast because of the size and weight of the production tires. Lito has done many experiments with different glues and attachment schemes. And obviously he has had some success as he is the current record holder at 92+ miles an hour.
I have been racking my brain trying to find an elegant yet simple solution that didn't involve a lot of machine work or time. The obvious problem is how to keep the tire from ballooning in the center and not pulling the bead off of the wheel. My thought was to sink thin metal wire into the tire horizontal to it's circumference.(not elegant and prolly not simple) Then Patrick told me about an Idea he had, which was to cut grooves into a tire and put metal bands parallel to the circumference to of the tire. (HMMM)That's when the light went on in my head and I thought, wait I got some PMT Treaded tires that have two grooves in them already and I have some kevlar thread. (ding ding ding) I can make kevlar belted tires.
Well I have had my hands on this bike for a couple of months now and have driven the crap out of it. Obviously I completed the build. Too bad I don't have the dedication to blogging I have to driving. I started running the bike a couple of months ago. And I love this bike it is brilliant.
The bike is super light and efficient. I'm running a CC Sidewinder ESC and a Fiegao 3500kv motor with two HS-85mg servos powered by Turnigy 2.2 batteries. My runtime for practices is approximately 16-18 minutes. And it will complete a 10 min main with a voltage reading of 7.3V after the race. I didn't get to charge the battery after running the main. But after the first and second qualifier the battery required 1000 and 1100 mah to reach a peak voltage of 8.4v. I had some concern about the batts maintaining sufficient voltage for a 10 min main.
Driving the bike is a dream. It is incredibly stable at speed and under braking. The bike will turn in the tightest radius I have ever experienced while maintaining good speed. During the race at Artesia 2-28 the bike allowed me to make up a lot of ground on the infield. My competition had a lot of motor on me and could out accelerate me just about everywhere on the track. But had no where near the cornering speed I had.
I have to say a few words about the braking on this bike. The caliper is an ingenious design. It is made up of a housing with two steel pucks a cam and arm. It uses a true carbon fiber disk and hardened steel pads. This brake...Continue Reading
The first day of the build involved me disassembling a partially built bike and working on the suspension components. Not much excitement there as I am sure everyone here has built a many o shock in their day.
We disassembled the partial bike because all the chassis plates would be getting updated for new sliders.
The second day was spent building the headstock with it's crashback system. The headstock consists of two carbon plates, four aluminum mounts, two small aluminum plates, one aluminum upper stay, the urethane bumper, the steering stem and 15 fasteners. Needless to say I assembled it wrong at least twice before I got it correct. I had to assemble three of these. No mean feat which took most of the second and third day.
The fourth day was spent assembling the chassis rails and attaching the suspension components. The chassis rails are assembled one at a time. Body mounts, crash bars, front tank mount and rotary damper. Then the motor cage and swingarm pivot are assembled.
Then the moment when the chassis starts to look like something, the chassis rails are attached to the headstock, the motorcage is attached to the rails and the rear upper shock mount is installed. It is starting to look like something now
Well I got my grubby little paws on a V3, by this time it should probably renamed the V4 as I've seen it under go many changes in the last year or so.
For those that wonder, what is a V3? The V3 is a 5th scale electric RC-Bike designed and built by Patrick Alleven, a gifted bike and accessory designer and manufacturer.
The first question you will probably ask is, how does it drive? We'll get to that but first I want to talk about the assembly process. As part of the agreement to get my hands on this little gem I had to agree to assembling it myself.
No big deal, you say, I have assembled ton of models in my day. Well my thoughts exactly. But seriously this was not like assembling a kit with all the parts coming in little packages and referring to some assembly instructions. Oh no, this was more like building from scratch. You get two frame plates and bins of parts and miscellaneous hardware of which the only way I could discern between nuts and bolts was with the aid of magnifying glasses. Patrick once told me he prefers SAE hardware because it allows a much greater selection at that size. (1, 2 and 4) Truly micro fasteners. And though there bins of parts on hand there were still many parts that needed to be made. On more than several occasions I would say " I think we are ready to do this " and Patrick would respond with " Yes we still need to make those parts". So, to the machines we would go to make parts. Or Patrick would make parts while I futsed around and smoked. I did some minor machining but nothing to brag about.
Aswould expect all the bikers are hella cool.
A lot of people have come up and ask about the the FPM. And seem to like it. The Brits John Veal and Allen Watkins say it "looks like a proper bike".
Look out for the new TT, it is an amazing bike. I hope it makes it to preduction.
The new ARX is a good looking bike also and those guys are going fast with it.
Like I said in a previous post, this is RC bike Heaven.
They like to drink beer here and I'm finding myself to much obliging when I'm offered another beer.
I will keep trying to give write something every day.
They have a concession stand at the track and you can buy a 20oz beer for 1.30 euros.
And it feels like the beer has a higher alcohol content to me.
Patrick arrived yesterday in the afternoon and we had dinner with Hugo last night.
It is 5:30am here and we cannot sleep, too wound up thinking about the bikes. We want to get to track early to get some stuff done.
I had a good practice session, getting around the track raeal smooth then had a big tumble coming onto the back straight. Now I seem to have some esc trouble. Can't really explain it just no power. I did run the FPM yesterday but the clutch just won't let go so the motor pushes the bike into the turn and it won't slow down. The bike is running very well and it handles great, I just can't slow it down enough. Which means I can't really get on the gas. It does sound wicked cool down the back straight.
I have been taking...Continue Reading
Lets start with the track, It is a one of a kind track built in the hosts backyard, they have big backyard. The track is surrounded by trees with a large drivers stand. And is a European style track a little tight and small for the cars but absolutely perfect for the bikes, with grass around the whole track. The grass was a new experience for me sometimes I could get through the grass and other times it would stop me dead.
It was a first class event and they did treat us like kings like they said they would. They had soda and water for sale the whole weekend and a five dollar lunch everyday and on saturday night they had a tritip steak and potato dinner.
We got a lot of track time the hosts set aside time during everyday for the bikes to practice and after five o'clock we had the track to our selves.
I made one setup change to the bike prior to this race , I went to a dual side swingarm by KP designs. This worked out well, I was able to finally get the chain and rear wheel perfectly aligned. The Thunder Tiger single sided design is poor to say the least.
There were only three participants unfortunately for this event, but we did put on a good race I think. The racers were Eric Poholsky, Lito Reyes and myself. During practice I got my lap times down to the 27s which is not very fast on that track I later found out. In the first qualifier Eric ran away from us and took the TQ spot with a 24 second lap time. During the qualifiers Lito and I were fighting for the...Continue Reading
Well lets see if I can remember all that went down. That second race day wasn't as formal as the first, more of a fun day. And a fun day it was.
I did some changes to bike that should be noted. First I replaced my body work and got rid of the rubber doll. Got a real lexan rider from MP and painted that to match the body. The second thing I did was upgrade my steering to a Formby Models setup, which uses a long rod with dual springs for the steering and seperate damper with lightweight oil. And third and most importantly I installed a new set of wheels with treaded PMT 100s.
I took it out for some tests and noticed how the lightweight lexan rider made the bike turn and change directions with such ease. The steering changes were most noticeable at high speeds. A little less headshake than before. The tires did what they were supposed to do. Grip and lordy do they grip. Once the tires get warm I've got to watch how much I squeeze the trigger. If I grap too much with the bike going slow she'll just flip over backwards.
So I got there early to help set up the track and get everything ready for the day. I started out with one of my NIMH packs a 4200mah batt. Right from the time I put it down for the first practice the bike was great. I had good drivability and the traction was nearly perfect. It was a nearly flawless practice run. I was stoked.
The first qualifier went just as well. I put my MaxAmps lipo in for this. I was nowhere near the fastest bike out there but...Continue Reading
The first race was at the RAMS Club in Santa Clara at Mission College. A great place to run the fifth scale bikes. Ive been practicing a lot with my track dots by myself and a couple of times at NorCal Hobbies a big tenth scale track in Union City. I probably get out and once or twice a week and setup an eight or nine turn course.
Ok back to the first race, In the practice and first qualifier I was not getting any where with it. I couldn't get the bike back up if it fell down and I kept falling in the infield it was killing me. The night before I had swapped out my rear tire for a fresh but very hard rear tire. A bad choice but a learning experience. For the second qualifier I put longer guide bars in and that helped a lot. And then between the mains I put the stock shock back on the bike to lower the rear end. This was crucial in making the bike handle well with the almost nonexistant grip in the back. This allowed me to finish second though I probably wouldn't have finished second if the other guy didn't have mechanical difficulties. He was a bit faster than me. But i got consistent if not fast laps. I even got a trophy from the NATC guys.
My conclusion is that you can't practice too much. I sometimes wish I lived in Great Britain, those guys got a great racing program over there.
Thought I would start a blog to keep track of my Bike racing.
I got a McLarney chasis for x-mas and spent a small fortune building it up.
The starting specs are as follows;
FM1E Steering Stem and Swingarm,
Tornado USD Fork and Revo Shock w/70wt Oil, Red Spring,
NF Front Brake on left side
CNR Cyclone wheels and GRP tires, Soft up Front and Med out back,
Boca Bearings, Green Econo seal,
Mamba Max Esc and 7700KV motor,
Maxamps 7.4V 6000 Mah LiPo Battery,
TT Steering damper setup,
Hitec Hs475HB Brake servo and Hitec HS 625MG Steering servo,
Spektrum DX3 Radio and standard recievers,
To be continued:
As of December 2009 the McLarney has been retired!
May 2010 the McLarney was pressed into service for the ISC speed Challenge