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Speed Record S.A. ::: Speed Records ::: Motivator ::: Team Maximum Impulse 

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Posted by :
Ray Wakefield - Date: 14 Aug 2002 at 15:48

At this juncture we realised that there would be hardly any room above the engine to add weight in order to raise the centre of gravity and axle loading on the rear end, should this be necessary. After some thought, the chassis members between the lower rails and the top of the roll cage were cut out and modified. The position of the rear wheel and seat were determined from the drawings supplied and a couple of rough dimensions taken from 'frozen' frames of some video footage.

This thankfully showed that it would be just possible to mount the power unit, a 500cc Kawasaki , between the two in the conventional motorcycle fashion. (The team's original trainer bike had its engine mounted very high up, almost vertically above the rear wheel. When I queried this with Gwyn, he told me it was the only place they could find for it on their machine!).

In order to allow for any difference in the sprocket offset from the centre line of the pneumatic and alloy wheels, the engine mountings were positioned such as to allow for about 15mm of lateral adjustment to be achieved across the frame by the use of appropriate spacers.

Fettling the engine mountings

Note the pivots for the trainer wheel wishbones on the lower rails (under wrist and to left), and the suspension mounting brackets for these on the vertical member.

Motivator's rear wheel is mounted rigidly between the slotted plates, seen above the chassis cradle.

Maximum Impulse is held upright when at rest and at low speed by titanium skids attached to legs protruding from the body to the rear of the cockpit. These are raised mechanically when the machine has reached sufficient forward speed, and fit flush into the body in the manner of the undercarriage of a fighter aircraft. Motivator has no such sophistication. Instead we fabricated a pair of wishbones that pivot on the chassis rails. On their outer extremities, they are fitted with rear hubs from an Austin Mini.

Mild steel discs mate these to rims taken from a scrap scooter.

Adjustable vertical arms run from these wishbones to small suspension/damper units, which were also salvaged from the same scooter, along with the petrol tank above the rear wheel.

By removing and refitting of pins, the length of the vertical 'trainer' wheel supports can be altered, thus allowing for the height of the wheels above the ground to be varied from zero to 160mm.

In order to simulate the load on the front axle of Maximum Impulse (600lb) we provided a facility for adding weight to the front end of the chassis. This takes the form of a cylindrical, open topped tank, fixed between the front bulkhead and first fuselage former. This will permit sufficient weight in the form of wet sand to be carried. A tube carries the steering rod through this section, and with the bodywork fitted, a lid neatly covers the tank's top.


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