2014 - 2015 Dragbike testing - Update 20-10-15
This year we have decided to try and get some serious development time on the Saltbikes engine. The last 3 years have been about building, rebuilding and design changes. The rained out 2014 Speedweek put a serious dent in our knowledge of "what will it do" so we decided to build a test platform suited to the drag strip and transplant the engine into it. The build progress is shown in pictures on the Build link above.
The layout may seem a bit odd and there will be lots of spare wire looped up but this is because we do not want to have to rewire, re plumb or change what will be re-used back on the Saltbike. Also we want it easy to work on and have a least a small chance of working right on the drag strip. We have a lot sensors to try for front & rear wheel speed, temperature sensors for boost and head, boost pressures etc.
The new dragbike will also give us considerably more time to try out the engine, find it's limits on RPM and to develop it to run Nitro. The Saltbike is already in the Fuel class at Bonneville so adding Nitro is some extra horsepower. However Nitro is not easy and it can become greedy with parts of the engine. Dave has some prior experience, I have none, only a lot of theory and some tried and tested fuel injection books.
The weather this year was not good. Cold and miserable testing was not helped by dropping a valve and trashing the head. Bad weather at unfortunate times made testing difficult and when we finally got out again we dropped another valve trashing the second head. After lots of thinking this was traced, we hope to modifications we had done to the valve train. The push rods although strong were just too heavy for the springs to keep under control. On the last rebuild before shipping to Bonneville we fitted some light weight racing push rods which we hope will work. The engine runs but it was then packed and shipped.
As for Speed week, well it wasn't, it never happened, nothing happened. The salt has even more rain and the event was cancelled. Thankfully I cancelled all the flights, vans etc, but the bike had gone and we only got it back on the 16th October.
There are 3 more test days before the Pod shuts for christmas. If it's dry and not stupidly cold, well give it a go.
Plans for next year are Turbo and electronic injection. Not because we want to but to do serious testing on long runways we need to be a bit quieter and at present our bike is just too loud.
Further updates later.