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Thread: My Prototype Motorcycle......FX bikes beware

  1. #76
    apriliaforum expert velocityjunky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomantTC View Post
    I too would buy one if it was priced at a market price.
    I am interested in using this machine for conventional motorcycle trials. There would be some changes needed like the engine would have to be different due to the power delivery required for trials. And a few other mods to add strength at key stress areas, but besides that. This could be pretty good.

    The low weight is of most interest of course.

    Can I buy it? or buy a chassis?

    Honestly i dont know how well it would work in a trial application......its meant as a technical "trail" bike, and trials bikes have been designed for that specific purpose. but if it would work in that application i'd love to see it in action.

    can you buy it or a chassis?.......................Pm me about that

    take care guys. and thanks again
    Last edited by velocityjunky; 11-30-2007 at 12:58 AM.
    Motorcycles- No better way to turn money into smoke and noise

  2. #77
    apriliaforum newb dgriff's Avatar
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    Found this article a little while ago, just wanted to say thanks Wes and Grant from Hell For Leather magazine.

    http://hellforleathermagazine.com/20...-new-clas.html

  3. #78
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    Hey.. got linked over here from another site. Seems you mention stiffening up the chassis/working on reducing weight in the swingarm a bit. If you need help, I would be more than willing. I am a structures engineer for an aircraft engine company and wouldnt mind going in and using the computer a few nights to get some work done... just need models with the geometry... we can figure out all the loading and what not as well. Let me know! ill be on this site checking on this thread more often.

    Rob

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    Thumbs up Comments from FX Bikes

    I've got Google Alerts set to "FX Bikes" so saw your post that way.

    I founded FX Bikes 5 years ago and we've since been working through 4 generations of prototype like the one you guys built, so I appreciate the work you've done! For a 'student project' you've definitely done an awesome job and earned all the praise and attention you've got.

    Let me give you and the forum some comments based on this experience...

    - Really liked your thoroughness in this design study. You covered a whole lot of design process bases in a very short time, well done.

    - Geometry comparison was good, although not sure why you chose a 450cc dirt bike, and your seat height ended up higher even than theirs, but overall nice work on crossing over between that and DH.

    - 2-stroke engine: we spent a year or so researching and prototyping with 2-strokes, including direct injection (visited Orbital Engine Corp that did the Aprilia DITECH system for example)...in the end the conclusion was that regulations will not allow commercial production of 2 strokes to continue in any major form except for closed circuit competition, for which you'd need to create a race category, and even there the CRF150 (and some trials bikes) are starting to change to/dominate with 4 stroke. Hell, the head engineer of Orbital, the world's premiere 2 stroke injection company, said 'go 4 stroke!' Which is a bummer coz we've been wanting to do exactly what you've done kitting out KX85/100s!!

    - Unfortunately Honda won't sell you, us or anyone their CRF150 engine dammit. The engine is the key, not just what to use but will anyone sell it to you ex-factory! If you buy engines/parts retail/wholesale, then sell bikes retail/wholesale, that's not much of a margin for investors to get excited about. We've just secured exclusive supply of excellent 125cc 4 strokes from Daytona Japan, based on their XR50 hop up kits but now sold as complete engines. 12hp is way less than the KX85/100 but goes real well in a 57kg/125lb (wet) bike.

    - Not just engines but all parts need factory supply as you know...which means minimum order quantities in the 100s or 1000s to get realistic prices. Funnily enough we talked to Craig at Avalanche Downhill Racing too, and although his forks look great he said he's not a mass manufacturer and can only sell at dealer prices...again no margin.

    - Someone said that price would not be an issue when compared with DH bikes etc. True we've taken orders for US$15,000 titanium framed bikes, but in such small numbers that we couldn't reach minimum quantities for Ti ($2000 for the bar to make the steerer tube!!)

    - Trials bike application. We've had Warren Laugeson, 7 times New Zealand and Australian Trials Champion, test all our prototype generations, and you guys were right in saying that trials bikes are very specialized for what they do..totally different geometry (footpegs near rear wheel for balancing on back wheel, steep steering head for balancing on front wheel), huge (10kg/22lb...add this rear wheel alone and your bike and ours is up to trials weight) baloon tire on rear for incredible grip, no seat and superlow standover, 5 inch travel set for awesome preload launches....

    - As you said DH components were key to weight reduction...get the bike light enough and some modified DH parts can actually handle the application. Some won't, like the Hope front brakes you mentioned as a potential weak point...we used the Hope 6-pot titanium brakes for prototypes which were great but eventually fade on downhill, 2mm rotors not dissapating enough heat...AND Hope won't sell for this application because their bicycle liability insurance wouldn't cover it (an issue for all suppliers of course).

    - You said the FX had a weakness in its rear bicycle shock, which was correct for earlier prototypes, but we now use either the Fox MXR Air pit bike/KLX110 shock at 600gms, and we've been testing the new Marzocchi pit bike coilover with reservoir.

    - Electric. A few comments have said go electric, which you guys said you'd like to look at and referred to the other guys who've done that, namely www.electricmoto.com, which started with Marzocchi Supermonster 12" DH forks and DH wheels but with battery weight so high migrated to Ohlins MX front and rear and 19" MX front wheels on front and rear...total weight 199lbs with various reports on recharge range, most still not looking good for trail rides. Everyone is waiting for better battery technology to increase range in lighter packages, so the key in the marketplace is how do you differentiate your offering and/or gain a technical/production advantage over Blade or others?

    - Manufacturing. Minimum order quantities are one major hurdle, the cost of ordering each and every part then getting it through the production cycle asap is critical, tooling for injection molding etc is a huge cost as you know, quality control, parts manuals, etc. are massive...from great concept models and handbuilt bike-building to pre-production has taken us years in 3D modeling, supplier relationships, contracting etc...Now we have a great factory tooling up at their cost, to be paid back per unit, and reasonable cost units due from March 08...I don't want to celebrate until the first container comes out!

    - Marketing. A wise man said that if the cost of making a good product is $50,000, the cost of getting it packaged ready for retail sale will be $500,000, and the cost of actually selling it will be $5,000,000. One of our advisors was vice president of distribution for Harley Davidson and estimated we'd need 600 dealers in the USA alone to eventually cover that market properly...what does it cost to sign up 600 dealers? But dealers (or distributors) are unsure about taking on a new product when they don't know how much demand there is, so we have to generate a lot of that demand ourselves first...even with an awesome product that takes road trips, expos, magazine reviews, events, press releases...just to write a professional press release costs really good money. But that all will be the fun part!!

    Where are you guys based, Colorado? We've got an office in Los Angeles and will be building up R&D and marketing in the Inland Empire alongside Honda, Yamaha, Pro Circuit etc in 08, so let's see if we can hook up.

    Drop me an email at mh@fxbikes.com if you like and maybe we can go trail riding in Colorado some time! Not that it'd turn into a race at all, not with me riding anyways

  5. #80
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    Comments from FX Bikes

    I've got Google Alerts set to "FX Bikes" so saw your post that way.

    I founded FX Bikes 5 years ago and we've since been working through 4 generations of prototype like the one you guys built, so I appreciate the work you've done! For a 'student project' you've definitely done an awesome job and earned all the praise and attention you've got.

    Let me give you and the forum some comments based on this experience...

    - Really liked your thoroughness in this design study. geometry comparison was good, although not sure why you chose a 450cc dirt bike, and your seat height ended up higher even than theirs, but overall nice work on crossing over between the 2.

    - 2-stroke engine: we spent our first year or so researching and prototyping with 2-strokes, including direct injection (visited Orbital Engine Corp that did the Aprilia DITECH system for example)...in the end the conclusion was that regulations will not allow commercial production of 2 strokes to continue in any major form except for closed circuit competition, for which you'd need to create a race category, and even there the CRF150 (and some trials bikes) are starting to change to/dominate with 4 stroke. Hell, the head engineer of Orbital, the world's premiere 2 stroke injection company, said 'go 4 stroke!' Which is a bummer coz we've been wanting to do exactly what you've done kitting out KX85/100s!!

    - Unfortunately Honda won't sell you, us or anyone their CRF150 engine dammit. The engine is the key, not just what to use but will anyone sell it to you factory! If you buy engines/parts retail/wholesale, then sell bikes retail/wholesale, that's not much of a profit for investors to get excited about. We've just secured exclusive supply of really nice 125cc 4 strokes from Daytona Japan, based on their XR50 hop up kits but now sold as complete engines. 12hp is way less than the KX85/100 but goes real well in a 57kg/125lb (wet) bike.

    - Not just engines but all parts need factory supply as you know...which means minimum order quantities in the 100s or 1000s to get realistic prices. Funnily enough we talked to Craig at Avalanche Downhill Racing too, and although his forks look great he said he's not a mass manufacturer and can only sell at dealer prices...again no margin for any profit.

    - Someone said that price would not be an issue when compared with DH bikes etc. True we've taken orders for US$15,000 titanium framed bikes, but in such small numbers that we couldn't reach minimum quantities for Ti ($2000 for the bar to make the steerer tube!!)

    - Trials bike application. We've had Warren Laugeson, 7 times New Zealand and Australian Trials Champion, test all our prototype generations, and you guys were right in saying that trials bikes are very specialized for what they do..totally different geometry (footpegs near rear wheel for balancing on back wheel, steep steering head for balancing on front wheel), huge (10kg/22lb) baloon tire on rear for incredible grip, no seat and superlow standover, 5 inch travel set for awesome preload launches....

    - As you said DH components were key to weight reduction...get the bike light enough and some modified DH parts can actually handle the application. Some won't, like the Hope front brakes you mentioned as a potential weak point...we used the Hope 6-pot titanium brakes for prototypes which were great but eventually fade on downhill, 2mm rotors not dissipating enough heat...AND Hope won't sell for this application because their bicycle liability insurance wouldn't cover it (an issue for all suppliers of course).

    - You said the FX had a weakness in its rear bicycle shock, which was correct for earlier prototypes, but we now use either the Fox MXR Air pit bike shock at 600gms, and we've been testing the new Marzocchi pit bike coilover with reservoir.

    - Electric. A few comments have said go electric, which you guys said you'd like to look at and referred to the other guys who've done that, namely www.electricmoto.com, which started with Marzocchi Supermonster 12" DH forks and DH wheels but with battery weight so high migrated to Ohlins MX front and rear and 19" MX front wheels on front and rear...total weight 199lbs with various reports on recharge range, most still not looking good for trail rides. Everyone is waiting for better battery technology to increase range in lighter packages, so the key in the marketplace is how do you differentiate your offering and/or gain a technical/production advantage over Blade or others?

    - Prototype/Manufacture/Market. A wise man said that if a good product takes $50,000 to prototype, it’ll take $500,000 to manufacture and $5,000,000 to actually sell in the market. One of our advisors was vice president of distribution for Harley Davidson and said we need 600 dealers in the USA alone to eventually cover that market…how much does it cost to sign 600 dealers? But dealers or distributors don’t know how many of a new product category will actually sell, so a massive part of the demand has to be generated by the product makers…think Burton spending 20 years building up snowboarding, or Gary Fisher pioneering mountainbiking for a similar time as it built up to critical mass. As I write this I’m getting depressed and wondering why did I chose this job! But the challenge of creating something totally new outweighs the bad parts…a vision I’m sure you understand!!

    Where are you guys based, Colorado? We opened an office in Southern California earlier this year and will be expanding basing our US R&D and marketing efforts from there, so hopefully we can catch up some time…we’ve got to make it to Colorado and the famous trails there too, so would be good to go out riding with you (not that it would turn into a race of course…not with me riding anyway!)

    Give me an email at mh@fxbikes.com if you like and we can compare bike building notes…

    Mike
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  6. #81
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    respect all round......and that inlcudes the AF1 guys for making this breeding ground such a top place to hang out, 'nother reason I'd rather shove wasps up my arse than sell my Ape!
    Thunder on African Roads!

  7. #82
    apriliaforum Junkie johnalex's Avatar
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    Wow! Impressive. A+

    Quote Originally Posted by velocityjunky View Post
    so thats a more than a year of my life wrapped up into 2 posts.....wow
    it couldnt of happened without a group of skilled friends....thanks again to everyone that helped us out!

    ah yeah.......THANKS TO AF1 FOR THE BANDWIDTH!!!!!


    hope you enjoy our creation
    Enjoy. Absolutely. You guys are on your way to a great career. Keep us posted on new projects. This one should go into actual production.
    JohnA in LA, CA USA

    01 RSVR (sold)
    00 Pegaso (sold)
    98 VFR800 (132,000 miles)
    89 R100GS (living in Baja)
    85 RZ500

  8. #83
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    Unhappy oops sorry about the double post!

    thought it hadn't gone through, and lost the last few paragraphs so retyped them...didn't need to dammit

  9. #84
    apriliaforum expert RossGuzzi's Avatar
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    Velocityjunky or anyone else interested for that matter........A friend of mine has a very interesting take on suspension. To prove it they have a test bed product called Streetsurfer.
    Im sure they would be interested in what you guys are up to because Aldo, the technical man behind the product is in fact a Bicycle frame builder par excellance!
    Check out www.streetsurfer.com.au
    There is no shock absorbers as we know it. They rely on polomers of some type. I have riden on thier bikes and they are a blast!!
    Let me know what you think!
    Cheers
    Tuono Racing + KTM 990 Adventure =

  10. #85
    apriliaforum expert velocityjunky's Avatar
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    Mike fx,

    Thank you for posting. It is great to get feedback and information from those who created the market. Your post has given us insight and answered many of our questions.

    We would absolutely love to meet up with you and your team....... and a group ride would be incredible. We will definitely be in touch.

    Our bike wouldnt exist if you had not paved the way, so we thank you for the inspiration.

    Take Care
    Grady Barfoot.
    Motorcycles- No better way to turn money into smoke and noise

  11. #86
    apriliaforum expert velocityjunky's Avatar
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    also just wanted to answer the questions that you posed:

    we chose 450mx geometry to compare against because they are "the standard" when it comes to performance off-road motorcycles.

    as far as the seat height....we wanted to keep the peg to seat distance close to a full size bike to prevent a cramped cockpit (we read that was one of the complaints about your prototype...low seat). but our ground clearance/peg height is higher than the average enduro bike, so therefore our seat had to be raised to accommodate this.

    but with the shape that our seat has taken, the current seat height is 36.5in
    (although the narrowness of the machine masks its height)
    Motorcycles- No better way to turn money into smoke and noise

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocityjunky View Post
    thanks for the offer......but our molds wouldnt work.

    real injection molds for all of our parts would be more expensive than the entire bike.
    Have you thought about making plastic molds and using a 2 part plastic? I do composites work in model airplanes and have buddy that does this. The first part is water thin, the second is a powder. The plastic is available in many durometers and colors. These kinds of molds would be a lot like a composite mold, and you already know how to make them...

  13. #88
    apriliaforum newb AtomantTC's Avatar
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    Mike FX & VelocityJunky

    Did you ever consider using a Rotary Wankel engine?
    Webmaster for : www.rossdanby.net ¬ www.totaltrials.co.uk

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  14. #89
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    I am local to you and found your thread from the FZRarchives. A lot of us over there are really into modding bikes. We take crappers like the FZR and mod them into bikes that can keep up with modern sport bikes. Just wanted to say good job. I could only dream of accomplishing what you have accomplished. If I get some space cash, I should attempt something like what you are doing. I could only hope to do as good of a job though.

    If you ever want to meet up for a ride or hit loveland pass send me a PM. Its cool to get to know people who think outside the box.

    Noah
    Denver area

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomantTC View Post
    Mike FX & VelocityJunky

    Did you ever consider using a Rotary Wankel engine?
    Absolutely...well I guess we considered almost every type of engine including model aircraft, hydrogen, steam (high tech), plastic/ceramic (Renault made one!), compressed air (one carmaker in Spain did/does one), diesel/JP8 (have to look for military apps, yuck!), electric, microturbine, other crazy new engine concepts....

    Rotary would be wild, saw one with 30hp weighing almost nothing (go kart), but same problems as 2 stroke with emissions and noise, plus reliability (actual or perceived) and parts supply...

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