Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Motorcycle Fairing/ helmets with dimples

Most know a fairing when they see one, but don't know how it became to be known as a Fairing. In fiberglass work, for instance, fairing is the action of smoothing any surface imperfections and creation of aerodynamic edges and curves. So a Fairing on a motorcycle is to smooth the airflow around the imperfect front end and increasing the bikes aerodynamic aspects. A motorcycle front end just isn't very aerodynamic and has several parts to upset the flow of air. Achieving better Aerodynamics isn't just the shape but includes any surface waves or dips. Fairing sounds better than "Hey, I put one of those new smooth flows on my bike today"

Though now if you look at a Golf Ball you will see plenty of surface dimples to help the ball glide through the air with a decrease in drag as well as scoop air and direct it towards the back of the ball. (Why not on a Fairing I wonder) This action reduces drag by reducing the pressures pulling the back at the ball from behind as well as. Dimples also increase lift when there is backspin on the ball - back spin not desirable for a motorcycle - by creating low pressure above the ball and heavier at the bottom, when this happens you get better lift. With dimples you also have much less flat surfacing in direct contact with the surrounding air so less air to surface contact cuts down on air push. With higher speeds you get more pushing back from the air but with dimples you have less surface.

Would a Fairing with dimples and helmet with dimples increase speed while reducing drag for a motorcycle? Would special racing leathers add to the equation? If I had tons of money and sponsorship I'd take it to the salt flats and put it to the test. If however you read or see later someone is giving it a try remember you heard it from me first.
Why all this though on this? Well, the four of us in our little shop have been commissioned to build a street plane for advertising a restaurant chain. Then as I am always looking for better ideas for existing products, the Dimpled Fairing and Helmet idea came to me and instead of thinking WHY? I thought "Why not'"


Trobairitz said...

I never knew where the term fairing came from. I learned something - can I go home now?

MythBusters did a thing about cars and gold ball dimples being aerodynamic and fuel efficiency. They covered a car in clay and carved dimples in it. I can't remember the outcome but found the video online for you.

Here is a link to the episode though: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/dimpled-car-minimyth.htm

WooleyBugger said...

Thanks trobairitz, I'll have me a gander.

You can go now but be in class early on Monday.

WooleyBugger said...

Trobairitz, I watched it and the car got 11% better mileage. One thing they did wrong, in my opinion, was all the added weight of the clay was not taken into account which made the car heavier. Dispite that it still got better mileage, although had they dimpled the original body panels and not added weight with the clay I bet the mileage would have shown to be even greater.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Wooley:

I read this blog episode with great enthusiasm, initially. Any thought of calling more attention to the sight I present on a motorcycle by dimpling my helmet or any fairing with modeling clay is out of the question. I'd rather suffer the higher gas mileage. However, I'd be delighted to volunteer several of my riding buddies.

Fondest regards,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads

WooleyBugger said...

Well Jack, I just know a dimple helmet would fit in with your mohawk helmet. But send your friends, I do have a small ballpeen hammer perfect for dimpling fuel tanks and fenders.

KT Did said...

Wow! I'm so excited to see this project of yours and I now I know when I smile and my dimples show I'm a bit more aerodynamic!

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