Cyclops Speedbike by Larry Lem

Cyclops Speedbike by Larry Lem

2009 Scimitar was designed to be a direct-view, nose windshield streamliner.  This is the Scimitar plug.
Scimitar bike and fairing
But when lying down looking forward, all I could see were my legs, no windshield, no view out the front.  I was using a narrow bottom bracket and perhaps laying too far back.  The Scimitar was designed for 130 mm crankarms.
2010 Cyclops was designed for a larger rider, 170 mm crankarms, and a standard 108 mm bb.  For the plug, I made two parts from the Scimitar top female mold.  I split the tops lengthwise and spread the noses 4 inches, pivoting about the tail.
I cut the tops at the midsection and lengthened them 4 inches.  With Scimitar, in the "no-canopy" configuration, the top of my helmet could touch the rear wheel. With a taller rider, the fairing required lengthening.
I attached the two tops together, separating the noses by 4" in the vertical direction, again pivoting about the tail.  This would add height to the nose for better visibility and provide room for longer crankarms.
To make the sides and top "round" instead of flat and slab-sided, I added small sections of plywood and a lot of Bondo.
I used angle iron in the Scimitar plug for support and to use as a stand.  But this made shaping the plug in those areas difficult, and caused more work when making the female molds as well.  As the Cyclops plug was supposed to be much lighter using fiberglass shells, I decided to not support the Cyclops plug and let it rest on large pieces of foam.  But it grew heavy with Bondo and became cumbersome to move.  The lack of an external frame made it difficult to keep the exact top and bottom centerlines as well as the side parting lines defined.
The nose windshield would be made using a female mold and large, flat sheets of polyethylene (PETG).  The idea was to heat the PETG and pull a vacuum from below, drawing the sheet down, just above the surface of the mold.  If the PETG touched the mold, it would become distorted.  Here, I am adding foam to the plug to make the female mold.
Windshield female mold layup
Making the windshield mold into a bowl
Chicken wire
Adding flanges to the windshield mold
An elephant's bedpan to some, a 50 gallon Jello mold to others
Right angle pipe fitting to be glassed into the mold to connect to the vacuum line
George Leone, Matt and HP at George's barn / HPV workshop
2' x 4' sheet of clear .120" PETG sitting on a gasket on the mold.  Plywood flange above, and 4 dozen 1/4" bolts and fender washers clamping everything together.  Heating lamp above, and light vacuum being drawn from below
We went through many experiments.  Here we drew down a thin sheet to the bottom of the mold to provide a smooth surface in case the windshield accidently touched the surface.  It didn't work.
The results of our many attempts, best piece furthest from camera.  It eventually dawned on us that the shape of the bowl didn't matter if the sheet was not allowed to touch it.  The shape of the windshield was determined by the flange outline, the eveness of the heat and the amount of vacuum.  Vacuum needed to be applied very slowly to stretch the PETG evenly and not create thin spots.
I layed up the top female mold before completing the bottom of the plug.  To complete the bottom of the plug, I'd have to add wheel fairings.  But once I added those, I wouldn't be able to rest the plug on its bottom.
Sanding the sharp, overlapping fiberglass/epoxy edges.  This would be another wet layup, no vacuum bagging.  The mold did not need "flanges".  
Hot-gluing pool noodles
More fiberglass over the noodles to increase mold stiffness
How to remove a female mold from a plug: drill a hole in the plug, thread in eyebolt, tie a rope to the eyebolt, step in a rope loop, push like hell on the mold until it pops off.
Scimitar top mold vs. Cyclops top mold.  Cyclops is 5" longer; Cyclops wins!
Laying up the top crash panel on the plug
Top crash panel
View out the front looking through the top crash panel with 520 front wheel - not so good.   I recall that Ron Layman said that there wasn't much of a view out the front of Primal 2.
The view is better on my dual 406 lowracer.  I decided to switch from the 520 front to a 406 front to remove some of the clutter and ensure the view would be adequate.  I could work with larger wheels later once the small-wheel bike was successful.
Top fairing made from the top mold.  This was the best fitting windshield, but not the clearest.
A little distortion in the windshield becomes very bad when the portion of windshield being used is at a very shallow angle.
I layed up part of a Scimitar bottom for the wheel fairings
The Scimitar front wheel fairing was quite narrow and during the WHPSC 2009, I was concerned that the available steering angle would be insufficient if a big side gust ever hit.  That was one of the reasons I didn't run on the last night in 2009.  Here, I am widening the front wheel fairing by 3/4". 
Attaching wheel fairing sections to the plug
Adding plywood to build up the rear wheel fairing areas
After completing the Bondo-job on the left side of the rear wheel fairing,  I decided to add a couple more gallons.  On the Scimitar, I treated this area like a fin attached to a body, but this may have resulted in a lot of excess drag.   So I slathered on the Bondo to fill in this area to minimize the disruptions in the streamlines, thinking gentle curves, front to rear.
For the right side, instead of adding a ton of Bondo, I added a ton of plywood.

Sean Costin humor:
"Shit on a shingle"  It represents man's inhumanity to man.
-Larry Lem '10
mixed media: Foam plywood Fiberglass bondo automotive primer UHMW adhesive tape, Liquid nails
Plug done, primered
Bottom female mold with top fairing just to get a feel for the size and shape
Bottom fairing with frame
Launch cart modified to fit the Cyclops
Quick, runny primer job on the last day before heading to Nevada
Loaded up for Battle Mountain
I tested the bike in the full fairing the weekend before Battle Mountain with Jim Verheul riding.  Jim reported that there was something wrong with the steering, that his head was too high to see the horizon, and two dozen other things.  But he also noted that he didn't like the way my dual 406 lowracer handled, so I didn't think to take him seriously about the handling of the streamliner.

Tech inspection, Chris Broome, Sunday, Battle Mountain
During Monday morning qualifying, I immediately had a large steering instability at low speed.  After launch at 10 mph, the fork bounced off of the steering limiters at a rate of approximately 5 Hz.  I braced my elbows against the fairing, but could not arrest it.  I accerlerated to 20 mph but the cycling remained.  The whole bike was shaking and it didn't go away when I coasted.  I managed to pull into the left lane fighting the bike the whole way and dumped the bike on its right side a hundred meters down range.
photo  by Sam Whittingham

I determined that I didn't have enough trail and would have to fix it at home as maintaining alignment would be difficult if I attempted an on-site modification since the frame and fairing were now a matched set.  (Alignment is my worst enemy.)

To confirm the handling problem, I tested the bare bike during Friday morning qualifying and it rode fine.  I tested the bike and lower fairing on Saturday morning qualifying and the handlebars would shake if I didn't pull on them.
Photo by Pam Metcalf

Post BM view 1
Post BM view 2
Post BM view 3
Post BM view 4
Post BM view 5
Post BM view 6
Post BM view 7
Hmm, it looks like the parting lines at the side are not even
The fairing is huge, 21" wide at the shoulders.
Steering modified from 65 head tube angle and 1.75" of trail, to 68 and 3.00" of trail.  Ready for Battle Mountain just a few weeks late.

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