When your goal is faster you'll find it's a goal that keeps moving and you'll push the
limits in all directions to try and reach it. This is one way I'm pushing the limits.
Roland Morrison Roland6250@hotmail.com
The speed bug bit me at a very early age. Being a male child of the sixties and an adolescent of the sixties and seventies names like Buddy Baker, Don Garlits and Evel Knievel are permanently etched on my brain. Of course having a mother and father who both road motorcycles in competition didn't help. For as long as I can remember I have tested just about everything I could ride or drive to see how fast it would go. At the age of 6 or 7 I can remember seeing my father adjust the high-speed jet on my mini bike to get it to run better, about 10 minutes later I was adjusting it to make it go faster. The first time I went over 100mph in a car was with my neighbor Dave who had become a second father to me. He had no problem with me helping him work on his modified 55 Chevy. I was around 14 years old and we had just finished installing new head gaskets in the motor of his 55 so we had to take it out for a test ride. Leaning over and seeing that wide swinging speedometer of the 55 pegged past 110mph did something to me that I can not explain. The first time I went over 100mph was while I was riding my father's 1974 Harley-Davidson® Sportster®. I had finally talked him it to letting me take it for a ride and what did I do? I headed straight for the newly finished route 55 in Southern New Jersey. I found a straight part, laid down on the gas tank, put my feet on the rear pegs and opened it up. Everything went fine until I hit about 115mph and the motor started to miss, spit and sputter. I shut the throttle down and coasted to a stop. All I could think of was how badly I was going to get it when I called for someone to come trailer me home. Then I notice the rear cylinder spark plug wire was hanging so I popped it back on, hit the starter and the motor fired up. After that I headed down the highway at a more respectable 70mph. I have since pegged the speedometer on several of my own vehicles but with the price of insurance and tickets it can be a very costly thing to do.
Ever since I started Streetluging I have been out for speed, so much so that on my first Streetluge run I carried a GPS. I soon learned that I wasn't the only one with the speed bug in the family when my daughter Jenna pointed out that she was able to reach the speed 30mph before me. Ok that's not very fast for a Streetluge but we live in the vertically challenged area of Southern New Jersey.
I've had a lot of success racing Streetluges and Classic Streetluges. I won every amateur race I entered and my first Pro Streetluge race. I won the GSI championships for Amateur Streetluge and Amateur Classic Streetluge in 2003. In 2004 I won the GSI championship for Pro Classic Streetuge and was first runner up for Pro Streetluge. With all that thou there has always been that need for speed that racing did not satisfy.
Back in 2004 on the ride home from the Madison County Gravity Fest race I started to seriously think of ways to mount an motor on a Streetluge. I had been thinking about it for a while but it really started to take form on the ride home, it's a long ride. Back in my skateboarding days I had mounted a small 2 cycle motor to the back of a skateboard with a very thick O ring drive then I used a flex shaft drive but the motor simply did not have the horsepower to move me more than about 25mph. With the largest wheel on the market today (101mm) the issue is RPMs. Using a 101mm wheel I would need just under 10,000rpms to achieve 100mph. Did I mention that was the goal?
No one had yet recorded a top speed equal to or over 100mph on a Streetluge. A few had been into the low 90s but hills with enough grade and distance for such a run are few and far between. Then there is the group that has added power to their Streetluges. Bill Copeland "The Rocket Man" holds the current record of 98.5mph. He achieved this by mounting 24 high-powered rocket motors to the back of his Streetluge and firing them. For his record setting run 15 where ignited as he headed down hill. http://www.fastlanerocketluge.com Bob Swartz is also working on achieving 100mph on a Streetluge but he went at it in a different way. Bob mounted a jet motor to the back of his Streetluge and has achieved a best of 89.5mph and 77.76mph on a ¼ mile drag strip. http://www.jetluge.net
For my attempt I simply wanted something that could be ridden with some type of speed control and still be affordable to me. That left me with few options especially given the RPMs needed to reach the 100mph goal. I also had concerns over running a skateboard wheel at just under 10,000rpms or should I say running the bearings at that speed. I felt confident that the wheels would hold up but when you apply a drive force to the wheels the bearings not only have to sustain the force of gravity place upon them but now you're placing the force of thrust on them also. That's a lot for these small bearing to handle and for this reason I decided to go with a pusher type setup by placing a single drive wheel at the rear of the Streetluge.
I spent the rest of 2004 researching motors, clutches and working on a design. For my first proto-type I chose a small chainsaw motor because they will turn around 10,000rpms and they are inexpensive. I lucked into a small chainsaw cheep at a yard sale in the spring of 2005. I then spent most of 2005 working on a working proto-type. For this proto-type I had two goals, the first to prove that I could modify a chainsaw motor to drive a Streetluge and the second to prove that I could do so under control without having the pusher wheel go bouncing down the road. To achieve this I had to machine two custom gears to fit the chainsaw and drive wheel, build a custom frame and find a wheel. After putting everything together and after several bench tests with the motor running at high-speed I devised a mount for the back of the Streetluge and headed out for a spin. The proto-type worked very well in that everything stayed together and it ran down the road very smoothly but the top speed was just over 50mph. That speed bug was biting again. I also found out that the clutch assembly on a chainsaw is not well suited to drive the 200 pounds of body weight and Streetluge combined so back to the research.
Photo Type I
Small chainsaw motor with custom gears for clutch and wheel
Throttle cable and control mounted to the left handle
Pivot mounting so motor will lean but not support streetluge
The second proto-type was going to use another chainsaw motor but this one had to be much bigger so I chose a 70cc model but again the clutch was not well suited for what I wanted to put it through. I started researching chainsaw clutches and ran across a gentleman who had modified a racing kart clutch to fit a chainsaw he had mounted to a bicycle. This led me to the Yamaha KT100 kart-racing motor. These motors are a chopped down version of the same motors built for 1970s motorcycles. They where built for racing and run at speeds in excess of 15,000rpms plus there is a group of manufacturers who make racing clutches just for these motors. I made a call to Comet Cart Sales for some research/information and they where very helpful but I got the feeling they think I'm a little crazy. I also called Horstman Clutches who where also very helpful. That was all I needed I was hooked. I hunted down a motor and clutch on the Internet. The previous owner of the motor said it had been modified by Emmick what he did not say was the head had to badly cracked fins so I purchase a used head to replace it. The clutch was like new. With the research into kart motors and kart racing I also decided to use a racing style wheel and tire due to the fact that they are built to turn high RPMs and are readily available. With motor, wheel and tire in hand I started to work on a frame.
Yamaha KT-100 and stock kart racing wheel
I spent quite a bit on time on redesigning the custom frame because I was no longer going to be using a chainsaw motor. The first problem was weight and balance. The motor, wheel, fuel tank and exhaust all needed to be considered. On a chainsaw it all fits into on nice light package but with the Yamaha KT100 they are all external. Plus I had chosen a tire that required a 5 inch wide wheel and this through the balance off when the clutch sprocket and rear sprocket where aligned. Not to mention that the gear ration I need to run could not be achieved with off the shelf products. Balance was my main concern because I would only have one wheel in the back and it would have to be balanced from side to side. The only way to achieve this was to mount a jackshaft between the motor and rear wheel. This did two things, it allowed me to align the lateral axes with the center of the rear wheel and frame for balance and gave me a way to achieve the gear ratio I needed and then some. I decided to build the frame out of 1 inch steal tubing and flat stock of different sizes.
Bearing mounts and basic 1" square tubing frame started
motor mount tubes with cross bracing in place
By the end of January 2006 most of the work was complete and I began test running the motor. Everything went great. Not one failure and I was able to turn more that 18,000rpms with motor. With the tire I had chosen and the gear ration I decided on I would need 14,000rpms from the motor to reach 100mph. I ordered a fender for the rear tire and this changed the design a bit but I wanted to keep the road debris off or the motor and myself. When the fender arrived I had to alter it quite a bit to fit the arc of the tire but I was planning on powder-coating it anyway so it did not matter. The fender also became part of the exhaust support. I decided to mount the frame to the Streetluge by removing the rear truck and coming up from underneath this way I would not be modifying the Streetluge in a way the limited it's use in the future. It also gave me the ability to mount the frame to other things.
Test Run No RPMs Tire Size Normal
Test Run High RPMs Tire Size Expanded
Custom work included design and creation of the frame, altering a stock fender, making two fender supports and an exhaust support to mount to the fender. I used a stock gas tank from a lawnmower and I modified the exhaust header and pipe. The read axel (1 1/4inch cut down to size), axel bearings, modified motor mount and rear sprocket are all stock racing kart products. The bearing mounts are from a company in Florida. The jackshaft is 1 inch stock mounted in two pill block bearings. The jackshaft gears are over the counter gears purchased from a racing kart company. Because this is a proto-type most of the items I purchase used over the Internet to keep costs down.
Right side power is transfered from the clutch to the jack shaft
Left side power is transfered from the jack shaft to the wheel
In mid February 2006 I finished the work and was waiting out the weather to give it a try. I ordered a much stronger clutch and was also waiting on it to arrive. On February 18 the weather finally gave me a chance so I took a ride. I only road up and down my street a few times but I was surprised at the acceleration. I thought with the gear ration I had decided on the take offs would be slow. I did notice a tendency to drift to the right. I checked the rear wheel to Streetluge alignment and it looked perfect so I attributed the drift to the arch in the country road.
The fender had to be sliced several times on each side and welded back together. My Lincoln 175 Plus MIG welder has paid for its self many, many, many times over. You don't realize the value of having a MIG welder until you have something broken or something to build.
This was done so the fender arc would matched the tire arc. So much for the Chrome but after the welds are feathers and the fender is powered coated it will look great.
March 12, 2006 I made my first real test runs late in the afternoon when there is no traffic on the road I had chosen. I started out with a mild run and reached 71.5mph but had a problem with steering. The Streetluge wanted to turn to the right so I went down the course with my feet hanging slightly to the left and my bodyweight on the left side of the pan. The second run was a bit faster with a top speed of 84.7mph and the same steering problem. The third run which was really my sixth because I had been riding the Streetluge back to the starting point was a lot faster. I opened the throttle up and about 2/3rd of the way down the course the motor started to miss so I shut it down. I also felt very uncomfortable with the steering issue on this run because any bump in the road caused a slight wobble, which is the last thing I wanted to happen at high speed. I did however reach a max speed of 94.5mph on the GPS. Later on that night I tried to start the motor and found it would only run at higher RPMs and did so roughly so I tore down the top end only to find the head and top of the piston had been damaged by something bounding around in the motor. Further inspection revealed that the wristpin bearing had come apart. Probably the result of too little oil in the pre-mixed gas.
I spend most of March 18th tearing down and mounting the backup motor. During the tear down I found that two of the jackshaft gears where missing set screw so they had to be replace and have Locktite applied to hold them in place. I also checked the alignment one more time only to find a 1/8 inch difference in the side to side comparisons. It took a while to make the 1/16-inch change but I did get it perfectly aligned. I then check the rear axel to front axel alignment. I had found my problem. The rear axel to front axel alignment was off my nearly ½ inch. I checked the second front axel and it was right on. Further investigation tuned up a bent king pin that needed to be replaced before I could get the rear axel to front axel alignment correct. The next day I mounted the tach/temp gauge to the Streetluge for more reference and I took a few more test runs up and down my road. The speeds where around 65mph and everything was fine. I also found that the RPMs to MPH where nearly right on for my calculations. If the clutch held and the motor had the power I would be reaching 102mph at 14,000rpms.
To capture an accurate speed-reading I wanted to use more than one method so I ordered a second GPS with the idea of mounting it in a way so I could read it when I am riding. The radar gun I received for Christmas was my second method and the last method I wanted to use was a speed trap. When it came to the speed trap my first approach was to build a speed trap using infrared beams, sensors and an electronic timer because most commercial units are setup for racing formats to tell time from start to finish at great distances and for lap times, which is more that I need not to mention the cost. In researching infrared eyes and timers I found a company producing a system perfectly suited for use as a speed trap. The company is Equine Electronics http://www.equineelectronics.com Their system uses infrared beams and sensors with a 1/1000 of a second accurate Robic stopwatch and the beams are hard wired to the stopwatch so there is no radio frequency (RF) or other electronics to effect the accuracy of the timing. The only obstacle was their infrared sensors had a 3 second delay after being broke. Set up at 30 feet apart I would break the first beam and start the stopwatch then break the second beam before the first had had time to reset. At 100mph the time to cover a 30-foot distance is just .204 seconds. When I called the manufacture they where very interested in what I was doing and took the time to modify one unit to act as the starter unit with the smallest delay possible. If this works I'm sure they will be producing a new system designed for speed trap use with a controllable delay.
March 26, 2006 I took a little ride in the Virginia countryside at 103mph. Jenna and I packed up and headed south to join Neil Orta (Dr. No) and Kim Trader for an attempt at 100mph. The weather was great but I didn't think my luck had made the trip with me. After a few practice runs building up speed I decided to open it up. I quickly learned that things are a bit different above 90mph. On one run that I thought was going to be my fastest run to date I had a small issue about 150 feet before the speed trap. The visor on my helmet flew up nearly ripping my helmet off and I found myself unable to see down the course. My first reaction was to lift my feet in an effort to lever myself to an upright position but stopped myself because I new if I did that the wind resistance would have flipped me off the Streetluge so I work myself up enough to see and air-break to a reasonable speed. Note for high-speed Streetluge runs, tape shied closed. On another run over 90mph I when to break hard by pulling up on the front of the Streetluge and hit a bump which launched the front of the Streetluge into the air. I had visions of Big Daddy Don Garlits and his famous end over end flips during drag racing. I dropped the front of the Streetluge and nailed the brakes but ended up running out of road and went for a ride in the grass. As I dragged the Streetluge out of the grass I felt it was time to give up for the day, that my luck was out to get me but it came over the radio that I was just .02 seconds from hitting 100mph on that run so I decided to give it another run. The next run did it and I reached 100.27mph. Neil and I where both thinking the same thing that 100.27mph would leave the door open to questions so I made another run and was able to reach 103.31mph. I also discovered that the tire grow that I had no way of calculating the effect of was very much having an effect. The highest RPMs recorded was just 12,800rpms which means at the current rate with a little bit more distance I could reach speeds in excess of 130mph. After all that and a motor swap I was able to record two high-speed runs through the speed trap the first at 100.27mph and the second at 103.31 so I reached my goal.
April 7, 2006 I received word today that my request to run my Powered Streetluge at this years World of Speed at the Bonneville Salt Flats has been approved. With this in mind I have started to work on a more stable and more powerful Streetluge. My goal now is to break the 125mph mark.
May 20, 2006 I purchased a Rogers Bros. boomed Streetluge and I'm going to modify it to have a detachable boom for transportation. The Rogers Bros. will be a lot more stable and give me better control over the Dreggs Streetluge. Dave & John produce what I and a lot of others believe to be the best Streetluges in the sport. I credit their design for helping me win the 2003 GSI Amateur Streetluge Championship and taking 2nd in the 2004 GSI Pro Streetluge Championship.
June 12, 2006 The Rogers Bros. went out to powder coating today. Progressive Powder Coating http://www.ppc-nj.com has agreed to sponsor me with free powder coating.
July 25, 2006 I've located an engine builder to modify my stock KT100 motor Doug Fleming of Fleming Motor Sports http://www.flemingmotorsports.com They will be modifying my engine for the maximum output at high RPMs.
August 30, 2006 The World of Speed event is just a few weeks away and I've started to rebuild areas that have become worn such as the clutch, chains and bearing. The last thing I want is a problem at Bonneville that I cannot repair with limited tools and resources.
September 6, 2006 The Powered Streetluge and equipment I'm going to need was shipped to Salt Lake City today and should arrive over the weekend or Monday at the latest so when I arrive on Tuesday it should be waiting for me.
September 20, 2006 The Salt Flats where a blast and the USFRA crew made me feel right at home! Neil was waiting for me and had already picked up the rental van by the time I got in. We picked up a tent and several things then headed west for the Salt Flats. The drive was interesting in that we had to drive through several valleys that where deserts by their own right.
We arrived late in the afternoon and put the Powered Streetluge together for tech inspection. Tech was interesting in that they had never seen a Powered Streetluge and going through the check sheet seem futile. Testing the brakes, steering and suspension where out because it has none so they concentrated on checking my safety gear instead.
After tech we went through registration and went to set up are pit area. We soon learned how hard the Salt Flats really are when we attempted to stake down the tent. The first three inches took a five pound hammer to drive the stakes into after that it was softer. With the pit area set up we took a walk around the pits then headed for the hotel.
Wendover is one of those interesting towns you have to visit to get the feel of. The whole town is just a few miles long but is resides on the Utah / Nevada border so there are two casinos built right on the Nevada border and then several more on the Nevada side. If it wasn't for the casinos I don't think Wendover would be more than a few truck stops and hotels. There is an old army airbase in Wendover that was interesting to visit. It's where they trained the bomber squadron that included the Enola Gay before going over seas. Its also been used for a few movies such as Con Air and Independence Day.
On Wendesday we headed out early for the Salt Flats and the drivers meeting. When we got there the pits where filling up fast with all sorts of vehicles including cars, motorcycles and streamline of all sorts. After the drivers meeting we had the chance to drive the course and return road. The Salt Flats are so expansive it feels like you could drive for days heading for the same point in the distance.
I was told that they would not be running the short course until Thursday but they where ready to go so out to the starting line we went. My first run was not what I expected, half way down the course I could tell I was maxed out on RPMs and reached back to try to adjust the high-speed jet while I was still running. Neil met me on the return but I decided to adjust the high-speed jet and run it to the timing shack. At the timing shack I made another adjustment and ran it back to the starting line. It was running much stronger so I got in line to make another run. My first run was only 63mph. My second again peaked the RPMs well before the speed trap but I did achieve 105mph. My third run slipped to 102mph so I decided to consult one of the kart racers that had showed up and change the gears that night. After much debate we changed the gearing from 5.5:1 to 5:1 that night along with the wheels and bearings.
We started out a little later Thursday after having a buffet breakfast at one of the casinos. The pit where even busier due to a group of classic motorcycles coming in to test their bikes before heading to Salt Lake City and the Miller Motorsports Park for a classic motorcycle race. This made the starting line grow as well as the wait. My first run of the day was 97mph and proved that the gear ration change was in the wrong direction so we went back to the pit and changed from 5:1 to 5.83:1. On my second run for the day I spent so much time looking at my feet and legs trying to improve my aerodynamics that I started heading off course. After straightening up I started adjusting my aerodynamics again and when I looked up I was again heading off course so I made another adjustment for the center of the one-mile course markers. This was my final run and was 103mph so we headed back to the pits do drop off the Powered Streetluge then headed over to the long course to watch some of the long distance runs. The weather put a damper on things several times Thursday and the reports where not good for Friday so I decided to wait and see before purchasing another card for another five runs.
Friday morning started with a few clouds and a lot of sunshine. It had rained a little during the night but the cars and parking lot was dry so we headed out for another buffet breakfast and on to the Salt Flats. On the drive out from the highway we noticed that the low areas along the road where flooded but when we got to the end of the road it was the whole Salt Flats that where flooded. During the night the storm had dropped several inches of rain on the Salt Flats, which ended the event so we headed out to the pits to pick up the tent and tarp. Many of the crews had already left and the ride across the Salt Flats with several inches of water turned into a picture op for everyone. The pits where much shallower than the south end of the Salt Flats with about a half inch of water. We gathered our ten and headed back to town to do some sight seeing.
Saturday it was much colder so we packed up early and headed back to Salt Lake City and the Miller Motor Sports park to catch the classic motorcycle races.
Even thou we where rained out Friday and Saturday the trip was a blast and I am already making plans to return next year with a more powerful motor and try to push my record well beyond 105mph. As for Bonneville and the Salt Flats, if you are a motor head and you ever have the opportunity to go you have to make the trip. It's like no other racing event I've every attended and the vehicles are extraordinary. The USFRA crew was great and made us feel right at home, thank everyone. They deserve a lot of credit for the World of Speed event that they put on. It offers an experiance for many that others don't and it is now forever in my book as a must attend event and hopefully one I will attend many more times in my lifetime.
Photo Type II
October 15, 2006 With the Salt Flats still strong in my memory I have begun working on the my plans for a new Powered Streetluge (prototype III) with the goal of reaching 150mph. I want to continue with the rear mounted power pod design and a Streetluge that can be detached and raced. I have been looking into using a Yamaha YZ 250cc motor. These motors are no longer air-cooled and it would require an onboard radiator cooling system as well as clutch and shifting controls. Other options are motors such as the Rotax snowmobile and ultralite motors. These motors are air cooled but come in multiple cylinder configurations. Any option is going to require more RPMs and or more horsepower which means more weight so I will probable have to build a new Streetluge.
November 8, 2006 Ok I'm back in the designing phase having decided on a motor. I will have to design a complete new frame and Streetluge. The motor / rear wheel drive frame will be built out of 1" OD round DOM tubing for strength and the Streetluge will be built out of 1.5" OD round DOM tubing to handle the added weight of a larger motor. I am also going to add some width to the Streetluge but stick with the Rogers Bros. Basic design.
November 13, 2006 The motor is sitting it the middle of my building table and is going to need some work. One cylinder has low compressing so I will have to tear it down and correct the problem. I am also trying to decide on whether or not to use sections of the motorcycle frame and if so what sections to use. I'm going to invite a couple of friends over to get their input. Mike Crispo and Ronnie William both have a long history of engineering on many different levels including racing. Both have designed and constructed in a number of race vehicles in different racing arenas. I've always said you name the race and the three of us can build a vehicle for it.
November 16, 2006 Mike and Ronnie stopped by last night and we went over a number of things from weight to balance to frame design. From this I have decided to scrap the use of any of the motorcycle frame other than a small section of the swing arm legs. This will give me the ability to control all mounting locations and lower the motor to a ride height of 1.5".
November 27, 2006 Well the rear frame is complete and I was able to achieve all my goals. It is light, short and the motor has a ride height of 1.5". I how have to gather a lot of parts. In order to balance the rear wheel and motor I had to move the wheel ¾" to the left and this will require a ¾" spacer for the rear sprocket. If I can't find one I'll have to making it. I also need a longer axel and axel spacers which I'll have to make. I've been trying to move forward with construction on the new Streetluge. I had to order a ratcheting tubing bender from JD2 along with dies. I don't consider this to be a cost effective way of getting the job done but I've spent the last month trying to locate a company with a CNC tubing bender that would bend me a few tubes. Every one I contacted declined due to tubing size or quantity. One company was more than willing to bend a couple of tubes but then wanted a contract for at least $30,000.00 a year for more bending service. I plan on using the bender in the future to construct different types of Streeluges so the expense will be spread out of other projects.
December 7, 2006 Mike came over last night and we spent several hours bending tubing. We started out with the book version of calculating bends, gains and angels but found that we could not find the end of the bend with pin point accuracy so I drew a pattern and used a piece of tubing that we bent as a test 45°. This gave us the ability to mark the beginning of each bend on the pattern and then mark the tubing after each bend. I also created a mount for a 360° gauge so it could be mounted on the end of the tubing to keep it feeding in at the correct angle as it was flipped 180°. After bending two 7' long tube we ended up with two close to perfect matching frame rails. I was so impressed that I will be creating a patterns for the rest.
December 10, 2006I made both frame plates today and welded the Streetluge together. I may not be able to TIG weld aluminum very well but when it comes to steel it's a whole different matter. Besides the MIG welder I also own a Lincoln 250amp TIG welder. Take my Lincoln welders out of my shop and I'd be reduced to working in my garden. That is until I brake a garden tool. I've decided to go with ¾" OD round DOM tubing for the handles. I'll need to order the tubing and die so I can complete the construction part of the Streetluge but I now have a frame to begin work on the mounting needed to connect the Streetluge to the rear power unit. I still need to pick up some aluminum for the seat pan and make a detachable boom for the Streetluge frame.
December 12, 2006 I am going to need a tachometer and possible a speedometer for running the salt flats. With proto type II I felt comfortable running with just a tach because I did not feel I could reach the 130mph mark on the salt flats. With proto type III I am going to need the tach and or speedometer to test on the dyno and where ever I can locate a test facility. I found an inexpensive matching pair of tachometer and speedometer on the Internet that will work for now.
December 15, 2006 I located a full rear fender today but it is going to need work before it can be mounted. I am going to try an incorporate it into the structure so it fills the need for mounting other items such as a chain guard.
December 21, 2006 I've started on the new mounting system for attaching the motor to the Streetluge. This is more complex than proto-type II because I want full adjustability on this one. I found out just how critical this is when I was on the Salt Flats. This slightest degree of change caused the Powered Streetluge to steer to the right or left.
December 23, 2006 The basic mount is complete and proto type III moved from the construction table to the floor for the first time today. Like most custom construction you can only account for so many factors and I now have to modify the angle of the mount because with the full weigh of the motor the Streetluge seat pan with me standing on it is just 1" off the floor. I want to maintain the 1 ½" clearance for the full length of the pan so as not create a positive pressure area at the rear of the seat pan.
January 2, 2007 I'm currently waiting on a petcock bung for the custom aluminum fuel tank and I've got to get to work on creating the clutch, shifter and throttle controls if I'm going to meet my goal.
January 16, 2007 The fuel tank and oil tank pieces are made but now I need to have them tig welded together. I'm not the best at tig welding aluminum so I'll enlist Danny Dutra of Dutra Sheet Metal. I prefer a professional so the tanks don't leak.
January 22, 2007 Most of the work on the shifter has been completed. I still have to order the tubing that I'm going to use for a control arm. I practically bent the shifter arm in to a U to get it to fit but it works.
February 16, 2007 I started working on the brake control. I've have to design a control that will work with a stock rear master cylinder. It has to be a cable control because I do not want to run a hydraulic brake line to the front of the Streetluge.
February 26, 2007 I've finished the brake control and started to work on the custom exhaust. It sure would be nice to have an exhaust bender like they do on some of these custom show but baring several thousand dollars I'll just have to cut and piece together parts from several pipes.
March 12, 2007 Brake assemble and exhaust is done. I have to find a fender and modify the chain guard next. Thank God for Nicks (Nicks Custom Cycles) the man has thousands of parts for the picking you just have to find what your looking for.
March 27, 2007 Well Danny did a great job welding the fuel and oil tank pieces together but I ended up with leaks so it's back to Dutra Sheet Metal for some touch ups. The last thing I need is a fuel or oil leak when I get to the salt flats.
April 19, 2007 Work has been slow for the past couple of weeks because my job has been getting in the way. :) I did find a fender and chain guard the only problem is the fender needs the sides filled in to work. I could have purchased a new fender blank but at $300 a blank I can do it my self.
April 24, 2007 I purchased a control box and key switch Today now I have to figure out the wiring diagram. This is one thing I will draw up on paper. The last thing I want to do is blow out the electronic ignition by miswiring something. I have also added a neutral and ignition light to the mix they way I will be able to tell if the system is on and the transmission is in neutral before starting. I will not be on the Powered Streetluge when I start it so it's important for safety reasons that I'm sure it's in neutral.
May 6, 2007 Another couple of weeks of slow movement but when the grass needs to be mowed it needs to be mowed. The fender is done and the chain guard has been modified to fit so I'm still moving forward.
May 17, 2007 The shifter, clutch, brake and throttle controls are finally done. I would love to be able to afford an electric shifter for this thing so I did not have to hand shift but the budget is getting pretty thin. At this point I figure I should just have enough to make it to September and the trip to Utah. I would say I'm going to run out of money when I reach Delaware. :)
May 25, 2007 I finished the fuel tank and oil tank mounts and now I have to plumb everything together. This thing has got more hoses than I care to deal with. I'm using steel braided fuel line on this one because the gas is gravity feed. I could have purchased a vacuum fuel pump but that would only mean more plumbing and more points of failure in the way of fuel leaks and possible failure of the pump its self. KIS (keep it simple) always worked for me plus is costs less. J
June 30, 2007 I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I will have no control of the Powered Streetluge when I start it. The neutral light will be helpful but if something happens I will not be able to react with positive control. Unlike a motorcycle or car you can hit the brakes and keep it from rolling, without being on the Powered Streetluge the only thing I have is the deadman switch so I decided to create a shifter lock this way it can not be shifted out of neutral until I'm ready to run. It's all custom anyway so what's one more custom component right.
June 30, 2007 I spent a good part of the day moving the battery box from one side to the other in an effort to correct a balance problem only to move it back because it through things off even further. I did adjust the location a little from the original. It would be nice to have some plans but when you creating something like this from scratch plans are a few drawling and a lot of trial and error.
July 1, 2007 Finally I moved the new Powered Streetluge into the sunlight and test fired the motor. It purred like a kitten. Now I get to tear it all apart and send it out for powder coating.
July 5, 2007 The pictures I took went out to the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association Tech Committee Today. I hope they have no objections to the new design. I got the idea last year that they expected my to run under 80mph so the idea of coming back with a whole new Powered Streetluge and going for 150mph my cause a few concerns.
July 12, 2007 I received a call from one of the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association Tech Committee members Today. There primary concern is over wheel spin on the salt. I explained that everything was designed to avoid high RPM starts and speed shifting. They are going to let me run in the 130mph class but have concerns about me moving to the 150mph course. At this point it's a wait and see situation to see how I do on the 130mph course. I guess I should count my blessings because where not going to let me run at all but they already approved a 600cc go-kart for the 130mph course. Thank God there are others in the world that have the need for speed. :)
July 31, 2007 Ok by not your asking yourself what exactly is this guy building? I know it is a Powered Streetluge with a gas motor attached to the rear but how about some details. Well the cat is out of the bag now because Friday evening (7/27/2007) I unveiled the new Powered Streetluge at Madison County Gravity Fest to a stunned crowd. Stunned because the last word most had from me was I was going with a 250cc Yamaha® YZ motor and here I was pulling up to lead the local parade riding a 1200cc Harley-Davidson® Sportster® Powered Streeluge and boy were jaws dropping. I'd don't know why people call me crazy because I think it's natural fit :)
August 24, 2007 Due to a family emergency and work commitment I have to cancel my trip to Bonneville Salt Flats and the World of Speed event. Luckily thou I have been invited to attend the Texas Mile event on October 6&7 so I'll be making the cross country drive to Texas and making an attempt to push my record even further.
October 11, 2007 Wow what a ride! Both the trip two and from Texas Mile and the runs down their 1 mile course.
Texas was a blast but not because of the runs I made but because of the runs my daughter Jenna made. About two weeks ago Jenna asked me if she could run the 100cc Powered Streetluge. On Saturday after two runs that did not register because she went under the beams we added a broomstick and cardboard flag then the fun began. When her first recorded run was announced the crowd went wild, 91mph. Her second run was announced at 94mph and the crowd started cheering. Then her third run was announced at 95mph and the crowd started cheering again. On Sunday all the talk was about Jenna and her progress. Her first run on Sunday was only 88mph because of a heavy head wind. Her second run was right before lunch and was going to be her last because we planned on leaving until the announcer came over the radio and the crowd started cheering again, 99mph. Well needless to say we did not head out after lunch because Jenna was back in line to make another run but this time with here pant legs taped down, the gas leaned out and a lot of encouragement from most of the riders. The starter gave her the sign and she took off, as I went to leave the line the starter stopped me and held everything until the announcement came over the radio, 102mph. Just about every rider in line was cheering and giving us high signs as we shot back to the pits to see her come down the return road with people walking out to give her high fives. What a blast, I can't wait to go back just to watch her run but the motor has to be replace with a 125cc.
As for me I only got in three runs. The course is clean but is in three sections, the ends are concrete and the center is very coarse asphalt with transitions between the concrete and asphalt. My first practice run on Saturday was slow because I was not sure how the new Powered Streetluge would handle at high speeds. After a slow start I brought up the speed but let off after coming off the asphalt because of the bump. I did manage to recover before the speed trap and ended up running 114.004mph. My second run basically ended at the half mile marker with bearing / wheel failure, I remember looking over at the half mile sign and seeing a wheel fly into the infield before all hell broke loose. I regrouped with new bearings and wheels for my third run on Sunday but it also ended around the half mile marker. With the speeds that the Powered Streetluge is pushing I’ve got a lot of testing to do before I make any more high speed runs but as soon as they announce their March 2008 event I'll be making my plans.
December 2, 2007 I was contacted by Joe Pratt who invited me to display the Harley-Davidson® Powered Streetluge in the Atlantic City Motorsports Rac Car Show in January. Knowing what an honor it is to be asked I agreed.
December 12, 2007 I have located and ordered new form of wheel for the front from a supplier to the snowmobile drag racing community. These wheels are run to speeds over 150mph.
December 12, 2007 I have located and ordered new form of wheel for the front from a supplier to the snowmobile drag racing community. These wheels are run to speeds over 150mph.
December 21, 2007 I received the test wheel which is only 1 inch wide so I am going to continue to search for a wider wheel.
January 2, 2008 It's a new year and I ordered a new wider test wheel from another company who provides drag racing snowmobile wheels. These wheel are roughly 110mm high, 2 inches wide and run at over 165mph.
January 8, 2008 The new test wheel came and it looks great now all I have to do is adapt it to the trucks.
January 21, 2008 Boy what a blast the Atlantic City Motorsports Rac Car Show was over the weekend. We where swamped at are booth and have narrowed the first comments down to primarily three. 1. You're Crazy, 2. You're Insane and 3. That is Wild. There where some other notables such You're a better man then me and You have bigger B**** then me of course these where men talking to Jenny my daughter when they found out she had been over 100mph on a smaller 100cc Powered Streetluge. We also noted a lot of jaw dropping and eye popping when the spectators caught sight of the 1200cc motor. The kids really loved it when they where offered the chance to lay down on it to get the feel of what it would be like and get their picture taken. And some of those kids where under 21 too. Over all we had a great time meeting and talking to everyone who stopped by.
February 12, 2008 When offered a spot at the Atlantic City Motorsport Race Car Show in January I thought it would be a great way to get more exposure for the Powered Streetluge in my hunt for sponsors. What it got me was an offer to attend the Mid Atlantic Motorcycle Show over the weekend in Timonium Maryland. Be careful what you go hunting for because I was overwhelmed by the nearly 40,000 attendees during the three day event.
Friday was a light day from 10am to 9pm I think I was able to set down a whole 10 minutes. Saturday and Sunday I barely had a chance to sit down and eat a hotdog. They gave me a corner spot at the end of the aisle and it really gave everyone a chance to get a good view from both sides but it also gave them a chance to plug two aisles at once. The best part was the kids, after being told “Don’t Touch” all day when they came to our booth they where able to touch and even climb aboard. Did I say kids? Maybe I should expand on that that's kids of all ages because of the 200-300 people that climbed aboard there where a lot of "Older" kids who had to give it a try. I am always amazed at the diversity there is in bike riders. Growing up around bikes all my life in the 60s - 80s there where bikers, racers and bike enthusiasts. Now the crowd is made up everyone from bikers to lawyers to corporate CEOs and we met the all at the show including people like Jay Green who maintains the Road Captain USA blog on the Internet. I did end up with some good contacts and offers so maybe the sore feet were worth it. What a blast, now if I only had a dollar for every picture taken of the Powered Streetluge I would no longer be hunting for sponsors. :)
March 2, 2008 I received an invitation to run on MIRs 1/4 mile race track so I headed south to finally get some much needed testing done. Three runs at the Texas Mile event can hardly be called testing since the second two where aborted. I made 4 runs : 1st 77mph, 2nd 88mph, 3rd 95mph and the 4th was 100.23mph. Finally getting a chance to test I learned a lot especially with the walls lining the drag strip reverberating every sound such as the clutch slipping like there was not tomorrow. That thing sang all the way down the strip in first, second and third. I made an adjustment before the fourth run but it did not help. I also learned that there is a big difference between running a 1 mile course and ¼ mile course on a Powered Streetluge, there's no way to keep yourself from sliding off. On my third and forth runs I had to hook both my heels on the front of the Streetluge to keep myself on the thing because the torque even with the slipping clutch was too much. I guess I need a little more work but now I have somewhere to test.
March 16, 2008 I headed back to MIRs 1/4 mile race track and ended up fighting a lot of little issues all day long for a bent king ping to broken wires to low tire pressure to breaking the wheel loose off the line. All in all it was a good day because I ended up with an 88mph run in the 1/8 mile, a 109mph run in the 1/4 mile and all 6 of the ¼ mile runs where over 100mph.
June 23, 2008 At the request of MIRs I attended their summer bike fest to display and make some exhibition runs. After making a few changes I wanted to use the opportunity as a testing session. My first run was just over 107mph, second 112mph, third 110mph and my last was 115.13mph. I still have issues with getting loose off the line but it is now running very straight down the line.
July 18, 2008 I began building a new Powered unit for Jenna's Powered Streetluge. The idea is to increase the horse power and gear range for Bonneville. The motor I am using is a Parilla 100cc with a jack shaft assembly made by Buller Kermit Buller has been more than helpful.
July 31, 2008 The new unit is basically done now I need to work on the motor and get it ready. I had to add to the length but that will mean a steadier ride.
August 23, 2008 I was invited to display at the Bikers Bash in Vineland NJ Today. What a great crowd and the food was free. I'm heading to Mullica Hill NJ Tomorrow for another show.
August 24, 2008 The Mullica Hill show was also a blast and I won the Readers Choice trophy. The crowd was more into how it was made and what it could do in speed. One X drag racer suggested a wing for the rear to improve traction at high speed. I should have gotten his name because I thing it will end up at Bonneville this year.
August 26, 2008 Jay Green posted a great interview in RoadCaptainUSA.com He had some great question for me.
September 1, 2008 Time is running out, I spent the whole day building the crates to ship everything to the Salt Flats. Still a lot to do since everything ships next Tuesday.
September 23, 2008 Were back from the World of Speed event and the Bonneville Salt Flats where a blast.
First I would like to thank the crew who gave 125% and made the event for us.
Neil Orta Crew ChiefChris McBride CrewWally Hoffman CrewDianna Morrison Crew
Jenna made quite a few passes over 100mph including a few passes that broke the 100mph mark in the first half-mile. We tried everything we could over the 4 days with her Powered Streetluge and after many gear and engine changes Jenna pushed her record quite a bit further with two passes at 113mph.
I on the other hand only made 4.25 passes.
130mph Course Pass 1 - At the ½ mile mark I was at 125mph so I had to back down because you should not exceed 100mph on the first run and went through the traps at 109mph.
130mph Course Pass 2 - I opened it up quite a bit more and ran 138mph.
130mph Course Pass 3 - We decided that since I only needed a 130+mph run to make the 130mph Club I should shoot for 135mph and I hit it right on the mark.
150mph Course Pass 1 - When I reached about 50mph I began to osculate so I backed it down, adjusted my riding position and tried again. At about 50mph I again began to osculate so I backed it down, adjusted and tried again. At about 50mph I again began to osculate so I pulled off the course to adjust the front trucks. When I pulled back in to line we discovered that one of the wheels had blistered. Not having any spare wheels the next 43+ hours included many phone calls and two trips to Salt Lake City with Neil and Chris arriving back at the starting line just in time for me to make one last run on the 150mph Course and it was the last run of the event.
150mph Course Pass 2 - After a minor course adjustment I went through the gears and headed for the 1 mile marker. I was just below 135 at the 1 mile marker and opened it up from there. Approaching the 2 mile marker I began feeling something stinging the back of my legs and thought it was salt until I saw black pieces flying from between my legs. Knowing I only had a ¼ mile to go to get through the speed trap I held it wide open and held on as it began to drift left with the wheels disintegrating. The GPS read 146mph so I made my way down to the timing shack to discover I had made it through the traps with a 145mph pass. Out of wheels and out of time it was my only full pass on the 150mph course.
January 2, 2009 A new year is here and already we have three shows on the calendar. Timonium is first and with the economy it will be interesting to see what happens.
Finished the new T-Shirt and the are onsale Online
January 26, 2009 The King of Prussia show as not what we expected but we met some great people and the T-Shirt was a big hit. The Timonium is just two weeks away and I'm wondering how the economy is going to impact the show.
February 9, 2009 The Timonium show was again off the hook. The doubled the size of our booth and placed us right in the middle of the custom bike floor. Everyone was great and again
we where overwhelmed. Neil Orta and Kim Trader came out to support us and I really think they where taken back by the crowd we had in the booth all weekend long. You would not beleive the
charaters we had lay down and get they picture taken.
Vinnie from V-Force Customs stopped by to take a look. After noticing the wheels I explained how the green ones flew apart at 137mph and the black ones melted at 140mph but we now have red ones. I don't think it help, he still thinks we crazy.
Feb 28, 2009 I began building a new rear wheel for the drag strip so I can switch between wheels rather then rebuild the Bonneville Salt Flat wheel.
March 12, 2009 I picked up the new tire today, it's a Continental and it's much sticker they the Avon V rated tire for the Salt Flats.
April 1, 2009 We spent the winter and spring building a new Powered Streetluge for Jenna using a 200cc Yamaha Blaster motor. This moves her from a 100cc single speed to a 200cc 6 speeds motor. We used the same drive system as last year and added the mounting for a jack shaft because we could not achieve the gearing necessary to reach her goal of 130+mph.
April 4, 2009 Jenna's motor returned from Vito's Performance. Paul and the crew worked this thing over to move the peak horsepower to the highest RPMs possible.
April 6, 2009 The new wheel is complete and balanced all the way through the rotor and sprocket. I found a company the will create just about any sprocket you need for a motorcycle. Rebel Gears make me a new and light 48 tooth sprocket for the new wheel and I ordered a 42 tooth sprocket to take to the Salt Flats with us.
April 18, 2009 I located a brand new dyno just 10 minutes from my home sitting it the back of a garage owned by a man named Harvel Brown. What a setup, we where able to run a 3rd gear and 1st to 4th gear graph. The 1st to 4th gear graph maxed out at 62hp and 159.5mph. I would like to improve the horsepower about 10% before Bonneville and this will help to show my gains after I install the cams and new carb.
May 1, 2009 I have been told by several people that no track in New Jersey would let us run but I don't hear very well so Jenna and I took a ride to Atco Raceway which is only 45 minutes from our home. We opening the trailer for the crew at Atco and stood back. They took a few minutes to look it over, asked what we ware when we run? I told them we ride in full leathers with SA approved helmets, armored gloves and leather shoes. To my surprise they said let's run it and see what it does. I had when there unprepared to run but I figured since they said yes I should make a few runs. My first run was 98mph and my second was 107mph. Both runs begin with the rear wheel slipping so after the second run we called it quits until I mount the new wheel but we'll be back.
May 12, 2009 The new wheels have arrived and we now have a choice of wheels to run on. Or should I say a selection to progress through should one wheel fail we will not be without wheels on the salt flats. Proline provided us with their current drag racing snowmobile wheels and should they fail they also made up aluminum billet wheels that will not melt or fly apart.
June 8, 2009 I took a ride to Norwalk Ohio last weekend for the All Harley Drag Racing Association race held at Summit Motorsports park. I stopped in Wheeling WV to pick up Wally Hoffmann aka Old 97 and we had a great time weekend long. The fans bought more T-Shirts than any event to date plus I got to run with a top speed of 111mph I was a little disappointed with the speed but we where experimenting with different things on every run, something I have not had an opportunity to do. It ADHRA crew was great and if nothing goes wrong in Bonneville I look forward to attending the final event in October at the Rockingham NC track.
July 21, 2009 We spent the weekend in Carlisle PA at the Carlisle Event Bike Fest. What a diverse crowd that event draws and they where all great. Rick from OCC stopped by to get a look. Apparently they had posted it in the local new paper that we where going to be there and he read about it. I have had contact with OCC going back to when Vinny was still and Rick said that he had showed him pictures but we have never been to an event that OCC was attending also.
August 9, 2009Today all the work on the new 200cc Powered Streetluge paid off at American Bike Fest 2009 held on the Maryland International Raceway. Jenna raced and beat Bob Swartz in the first official Powered Streetluge race that consisted of a best two out of three race. I on the other hand did not fare so well. I was there to make exhibition runs but on my first run just before the speed trap the motor coughed and died. I coasted to the end of the track and tried to start it again but it coughed and backfired. Knowing this had something to do with the valve train or timing I did not attempt to run it again.
August 10, 2009 I tore down the motor to find that the front intake valve had broken and the head was laying in the cylinder. The heads and pistons where not damaged bad but I decided to replace the heads and have the cylinder bored.
August 14, 2009 The cylinders are bored and the pistons are matched but I have not been able to locate a nice pair of 883 heads. I'm thinking of mounting a nice pair of 1200cc heads to get better flow at high speeds.
August 20, 2009 Still unable to locate a pair of nice 883 heads so I'm going to mount the 1200cc heads I have and dyno it.
August 24, 2009 I made 3 runs on the dyno and the 1200cc head are a mess. After rejecting to get a better O2 reading the 1200cc head are all over the place on the charts. The improved the horsepower in 2nd and 3rd gears by 8hp over the 883 head but in 4th the horsepower just went down hill with a top speed of 145mph.
August 25, 2009 I tore down the motor and replaced the 1200cc heads with a set of 1100cc heads I was able to find and went back to the dyno this evening. What a difference. All the charts where smooth with a 14hp improvement over the 883 head. On the first 4 speed run it ran right up to 160mph without issue. I think I have found my heads.
August 30, 2009 We made one last trip to the dyno Today with both Powered Streetluges ready for the Salt Flats. Jenna's produced just of 26hp with a top speed of 137mph and mine produce 65hp with a top speed of 159mph.
February 12, 2011 Took a year off to build a new garage but it's time to get back in the hunt for speed. Purchase a new 100hp motor for the Powered Streetluge. Old motor was 65hp so I'm hoping I can return to Bonneville and run 150+mph twice.
March 21, 2011 New motor needs to be freshened up so I tore it down and the work has begun.
September 2, 2011 New motor has been rebuilt but the addition to the house is getting in the way.
February 5, 2012 New motor has been mounted but with the Timonium show just a few days away I don't want to fire it up and find I have an issue.
February 19, 2012 It's alive! The new motor fired right up and sounds strong with good compression in both cylinders. First practice day I can get to should prove whether or not this motor was the right choice.
February 19, 2012 It's alive! The new motor fired right up and sounds strong with good compression in both cylinders. First practice day I can get to should prove whether or not this motor was the right choice.
April 1, 2012 Test and Tune at Atco Raceway. Only two passes but with speed wobbles on the first run I was still able to make a 114mph pass. Current record is 115mph. Second pass I missed 3rd gears but improved my 1/8 mile speed but 6mph. New motor is definitely stronger than the other. On my second pass the G force was pushing me up over the shoulder support. WOW!
April 19, 2012 AHDRA event day 1 at Atco Raceway, giving the new motor a run with the goal of 120mph, 121.14 on my first run, new 1/4 mile record. Maybe I should shoot a little higher tomorrow<
April 20, 2012 AHDRA event day 2 at Atco Raceway, Yesterdays new record of 121.14mph did not last long, second pass 125.89mph is now the 1/4 record. The new motor has more power than I expected but I have not spun the rear wheel on the line so it has more in it.
June 2, 2012 MIR event Maryland International Raceway for the Summer Showdown to display and make exhibition runs. Atco proved the new motor has a lot more powered but it proved it today by breaking the 11 second mark with a 11.91 second pass. Third pass was not so good, I broke the trans and I think I damaged the read head.
June 6, 2012 Yep the read head has a bent exhaust valve so the transmission, heads and cylinders are heading to Simon's Competition. I figure since I have to rebuild the heads I might as week have the cylinders bored.
June 24, 2012 Top end is back together but I'm still waiting on the transmission to return. Came up with an idea for a in helmet shift light. I'm starting with a MSD shift that I'll tear apart.
June 30, 2012 Motor is back together and fired up fine. Need to run through a few heat cycles to break things in before heading to the dyno. 10 days till we leave for Maine and the Loring Timing Association event July 12-15, 2012.
July 1, 2012 Break in is done and the oil has been changed. Ran through the gears just fine. Last thing to do is reset the valves the head to the dyno.
Caution: Do not try anything listed in this website. Events described where done on a closed course with many safety precautions taken. Always seek the advice of professionals before attempting any sport where you are placing yourself or others at risk.