Monday, July 28, 2008

Post-Apocalyptic Technology: My Transportation Idea

I have become strangely obsessed with designing a vehicle that fits a particular niche/capability: Interstate highway travel, winter conditions with ice and snow, declining oil supplies, ability to repair by local unsophisticated means.

The Ural Gear-Up or Patrol models come so close, but the Russian motor is not good for Interstate travel and takes lots of tending to. I've checking in with owners and dealers over the years, and the motor has gotten better but still is fragile compared to Japanese engineering. A conversion to a more dependable Japanese or European small diesel might make the Ural the greatest hardcore, survive-anything vehicle. But I'm thinking up another design and showing the gist of it in this blog entry.

I've recently been seeing a Flyrite Bobber in my neighborhood. I'm not into choppers normally, but this is such a beautiful retro technology motorcycle. 1" tubing for the whole frame makes it very minimalistic and lightweight. Everything on it looks very early 60's tech. Flyrite constructs their own frames, and will take custom orders. I would like to take a Flyrite Bobber, have the manufacturer construct a sidecar frame with fender and wheel that matches the standard Bobber back wheel. On the Ural mentioned above, its amazing snow and mud traction comes from dual wheel drive. Having Flyrite make a sidecar frame would be an especially special order, but a transfer case sending power to another wheel might be beyond what they would ever offer as a service. If that is the case, I have a quirky hybrid idea to get power to that wheel. A hub mounted electric motor. Sound Speed Scooters is in my neighborhood, and sells hub mounted electric motors for scooters. I'm pretty sure the scooter motor may not propel a larger motorcycle at 70 MPH, but that may not be necessary. The benefit of the 2nd drive wheel is at slower speeds and especially when stuck or almost stuck with other tire not getting traction. Applying a conservative amount of power to the sidecar wheel might be all that is needed to get the true benefits of 2-wheel drive in winter road conditions.

Flyrite Bobber
EV hub motor

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