James Whistler


Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features -

Apart from con­trol­ling the fu­elling what else are you mea­sur­ing?

We’ve got just about ev­ery­thing you want to mea­sure all cov­ered: ground speed, GPS speed, drive speed all the en­gine data you’ll ever need, oil temp, wa­ter temp, in­take temp, com­part­ment temp, pre-turbo temp, air pres­sure... the list goes on and on. And that is for each en­gine. We also mea­sure wheel speed and sus­pen­sion travel front and back, and full pitch, yaw and roll.

Do you have trac­tion con­trol?

We have full trac­tion con­trol. It worked by re­tard­ing the ig­ni­tion for a short while, then we go to a cut ig­ni­tion set­ting – but we re­ally don’t want that, as we’re fill­ing up a big ex­haust with wasted fuel and air. We try to sim­ply re­tard the ig­ni­tion as much as pos­si­ble to try and get it back in line, but we also have to al­low for some slip – it’s in­evitable.

How much slip does the sys­tem al­low?

The rear wheel spins quicker than the front. We are look­ing at around 430mph rear wheel speed for a 400mph ground speed. If the front is do­ing 400 then the rear will be 420-430mph by our es­ti­ma­tions. Around a 4% slip is what we are ex­pect­ing. You have to re­mem­ber we have no real down­force. Guy con­trols the power but I’m try­ing to give him some help, as this has the po­ten­tial for over 1000bhp on a slick tyre. Guy ac­tu­ally starts by rolling the power then goes all in and I try to help when he hits a soft bit of the track for ex­am­ple. We are aim­ing for a con­stant 0.3G of ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Do you also mea­sure G on deac­cel­er­a­tion?

Yes we can mea­sure that. When the parachutes open we see about 1.5G neg­a­tive, then it starts to drop off. The ’chutes do a re­ally good job of stop­ping the bike. On a good race­bike on track we’d see about the same 1.5G, F1 cars can go up to 5G, so it’s not that much.

Is Guy al­ways up­right?

He usu­ally has just a frac­tion of lean all the way down the course. It’s back and forth de­pend­ing on ac­cel­er­a­tion and brak­ing but he is never 100% up­right – or very rarely.

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