GPMono/Moto3 Project Blog

March 2013

IMD250 first race meeting, NZSBK 2013 Rd 5, Taupo.

Rider: Glen Skachill

Well, after all the work and late nights and weekends, it all came down to the race debut of the IMD250 at Taupo circuit. Glen Skachill had agreed to ride the bike for us which was awesome as he has not ridden for a little while and was also feeling a little under the weather. The weather all weekend was just perfect! Sunshine, soft breezes, warm but not hot.

Friday practice day turned into a bit of a non-event when the bike would run for about 3/4 of a lap and coast to a halt. This happened 3 times after chasing the gremlin all day. After it was pointed out that I really should have had a fuel filter in the line we dismantled the carburettor properly (ah, so that's how it comes apart) and found that the fuel feed circuit was indeed blocked full of dirt from the new GRP fuel tank! So that was easily fixed.

Friday evening in Taupo we held a Meet the Riders evening and doubled it with the "official launch" of the IMD250. Thanks all those that turned up, we had fun.

Saturday practice and qualifying then went really well with Glen qualifying in 9th place with a time of 1.42s, which is a pretty decent laptime for 125GP/GPMono around Taupo. Everyone was impressed with how well the bike went and how neat it looked and sounded!

Race 1 on Saturday went equally as well with Glen getting a slow start, but showing the drive capabilities of the bike into T1. Several riders decided to have little lie downs, but Glen kept pushing on and came home in R1 in 7th position. What a great start!

So after some more discussion around tuning we made a couple of changes for Sunday.

Sunday also dawned perfect, so we were amped for a great day of racing. Race 2 went very similarly to Race 1 with Glen getting a better start and getting up to about 5th place until he got to the faster parts of the track where the 125GP bikes would go past him. However, again several riders decided to lie down and Glen had a great battle with another rider to the end of the race and came home in 8th place with a best laptime of 1min 41.6 sec, which in 2012 was near to the front running pace!!

Unfortunately for us, the bike refused to start for the last race and it was too late to chase the gremlin, so we were unable to start.

But all in all we had a fantastic weekend, we learned all of the lessons we needed to learn. Glen had a ball riding the bike and was really impressed and says there is definitely potential in the bike, if only we can find more horsepower.

So, watch this space, but first a wee lie down and focus on some other things for a week or so.

Thanks to everyone!


Steve

 

February 2013

Cycleworks IMD250 Exhaust pipe Mark 2

After seeing the results of noise testing, dyno work and track testing we decided to modify the exhaust system of the bike. The muffler has been shortened and lifted away from the ground, the pipe lengthened correspondingly, an extra staging pipe has been inserted and the route of the pipe has been changed a bit to clear the rear brake lever. Cycleworks did another great job with the result that an already great looking and working pipe now looks and feels even better. It still sounds great too! To my ears it seems hardly louder than it was before.

Cheers.

 

IMD250 exhaust Mark 2

 

20 January 2013

Trackday/Testday#4 - Manfeild Park

 

IMD250 Dec 2012

 

After the small modifications (12mm mounting bolts, set gussets, remounting engine) and the dyno testing it was time to get the bike back on track to see if it had made any difference.

So Neil Chappell had another ride on the bike given that he had ridden it previously. Last time he enjoyed it, but couldn't go too long due to the vibrations. This time he REALLY enjoyed it, and didn't want to stop!!! While vibrations are present, it is a single after all, he said it was nothing that he was not able to put up with. Unfortunately he had to stop after 8-10 or so laps when a small 5mm bolt broke on the gear shift rod, but he said the IMD250 was awesome even for a rider of his size. He commented on how effective the Suter slipper clutch is in that he could go hard into the corner and concentrate on braking and turning, and not have to worry about what engine revs he had on before changing down gears. He also felt that the engine had more power and that the delivery was still smooth and instantaneous. As soon as you turn on the throttle, the power comes on, there is no waiting for it to wind up like on a small 2-stroke. The power comment might be because he was not having to worry about any vibration, but our small amount of dyno work might have made a small difference. We also investigated the oil pumping issue, pumping oil from the breather into the catch bottle. After Neils session there was 250mL of oil in the bottle, so this time instead of putting it back into the engine I discarded it and waited to see if we got any more after Dans session. Result, only a tiny bit more!!! Yay!! So it is likely to be just an issue of slightly too much oil in the bike to start with. This '06 KTM 250SXF is an old engine and they can pump a bit as the rings wear, but as old as it is, it is still going great guns!! And we are confident that when we get a freshly built and balanced engine in the bike, some more of the vibrations will go away.

Scott Griffith (the GPR chassis man) also had a ride and made the same comments; nothing really worth worrying about!! Scott has ridden all manner of bikes including old British singles and bucket racers. The vibrations of the IMD250 are nothing compared to those bikes, he said, and people ride them for hours!!  Another mate who leant us a replacement shifter bolt, Dan Plaisted from City Honda, also had a few laps until the bike ran out of petrol. Dan had ridden the 125GP bike and was really keen to compare the two experiences. After riding the 250 he said that the 250 was way more fun and certainly much easier to ride and of course, much more fogiving of mistakes. Dan is not a top level racer, but has some good racing and riding experience, so his comments are really great for guaging where the bike might be for riders that are not the next national or world champions.

The comment regarding forgiving mistakes is often made as a criticism of 250cc 4-stroke racing, and has some validity. But my opinion is that while that might be so, the fast rider that remains precise and accurate will still beat the fast rider who makes mistakes, no matter what they are riding. It is just that the techniques needed will be a bit different between 2- and 4-stroke. It is not as though the bike has 100HP and can just walk away from a 125. The power delivery will be good, the bike will handle well, but it will still need to be ridden well to excel.

So, overall a very successful test and we really are on the right track. We will make the carb mods (trumpet, needle) and the exhuast mods in the next week or so and get the bike on track for the next trackday Sunday 17 Feb at Manfeild Park. In the meantime I will be stuck into rebuilding the broken engine, making the new fuel tank and cover and making a new and better airbox. I will have two weeks to myself before I start my new job with OPUS Central Laboratories in Lower Hutt, so I'd best make the most of it!

Our plan as mentioned below is to have two bikes running for March NZSBK and then have a stand at The Speed Show in July. We had some good discussions today and that plan might now change, so watch this space.....

It seems a good time also to thank the people and businesses that have helped us to get here and to get elsewhere during the past 6 months and this summer, and also to help Moto Academy NZ assisted riders for the New Zealand Superbike Champs 2013 (Glen Orwin, Superlite; Hamish Murphy, Pro-Twin; Tyler Lincoln, 125GP; Rogan Chandler and Mihi Banks, Development Class).

Please visit our supporters page to learn more: Griffith Performance Racing, Griffith Engineering, Brent Watson, Stephen Watson (no relation!!), Kiwi Suspension Solutions, Henshaw Signs, Interislander, TSS Motorcycles, Innovative Pools, Grow Wellington, TechNZ, PledgeMe and all the pledgers, W White Wholesale, Eurotred NZ, Motometal, Machinehead and my Mum and Dad.

Thanks to everyone and here's hoping we can put on a good show in March at Hampton Downs and Taupo.

 

19 January 2013

IMD250 dyno runs at Motomart, Lower Hutt.

This morning with the able assistance of Luke van den Borst at Motomart in Lower Hutt we dyno'd the IMD250 for the first time to see how she runs and what changes we might need to make.

The bike went well on the dyno, no problems and produced good results which can be seen below. We did a couple of jetting changes which improved things slightly, but as you can see in the second graph, we have a big area at around half throttle where the engine goes too rich, producing a bit of a dip in the power curve, which then limits the peak power.

Peak power was about 40 - 41 hp (the 41.5 number is of the non-smoothed curve and is a bit optimistic) and peak torque was about 20 ftlb and quite flat from about 8k rpm through to about 12k rpm. Both numbers being really encouraging.

So some thought about carb jetting, a carb inlet trumpet and exhaust design needed and we should be up to the 42-44 hp range pretty easily. The only vibration issues were right at the top end of the rev-range where the seat got a bit buzzy, but that was without the foam seat unit, only the subframe, so perhaps on the track with the seat unit on it will be better. An engine rebuild and balance will also help, not to mention the crankshaft balance factor, but that is another story. And it is also possible that the gearing currently on the bike (17/35) is a bit too tall as the speed was a bit more than I think it should be for Manfeild where we are doing our track testing.

Overall, a really successful session. Looking forward to discussions about exhaust changes with Damon.

Dyno chart 1

IMD250 Motomart dyno chart 1

IMD250 dyno chart 2

IMD250 Motomart dyno chart 2

 

13 January 2013

IMD 250 orders

We are ready to entertain pre-order enquiries with a view to establishing our pricing structure and supply options in the very near future. If anyone is interested in acquiring an IMD250 in 2013 please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

10 January 2013

Re-engineering of engine mounts

After some thought and discussion around the engine vibration issue I decided that the first step would be to dismantle the bike and ensure that the engine was in fact correctly located and tensioned in the frame. The second step would be to increase the diameters of the engine mounting bolts from 8 and 10mm to 12mm. The increased mass and increased tension that can be applied will aid with damping some of the vibration.

So, I dismantled the bike and found that indeed the engine was not correctly mounted and also that there were some areas where the engine was rubbing on the frame. I had also assembled it in the wrong sequence which put it in the wrong position and put the frame under some unwanted tension. I decided that while the bike was apart I might as well fit the 12mm bolts, so I enlargened the mounting holes. Incidently, the existing holes were somewhat larger than the 8 and 10mm bolts being used, so perhaps a tighter fit will help us too. I worked out the correct mounting procedure which is to: sit the frame on stands with no swingarm; hang the engine from the top mount and let it swing free; fit the front mount bolt and spacers, leaving it loose; fit the swingarm, spacers and pivot bolt, leaving it loose; fit the bottom bolt and tension plates, again leaving loose. The best tightening procedure it seems is to tighten the front mount first, followed by the swingarm, the bottom mount and then the top mount. The larger bolts mean we can use higher torques than previously. I also have fitted the central frame stiffening member which can be readily removed during testing. At the same time I removed some mass where the engine was touching so that it is now clear of the frame except for the mounting points.

Upon restarting the bike after reassembly it appeared to me that there was significantly less vibration than during the last tests, indicating that the work done had helped to dampen much of the vibration. Some vibration remains on the down-run (likely due to old engine main bearings moving out of spec allowing the crankshaft to move out of the line of rotation and an old crank not being in good balance), but overall the vibration seems entirely acceptable. The engine runs up to the factory rev-limit of 13,400 rpm and sits there with no problem and not so much vibration that one cannot hang onto the bike. The vibration that is present is mostly in the seat, so we will fit a gusset to the seat sub-frame to dampen that. A trip around the block established that the bike is really ridable, the slipper clutch works (oops, forgot it was in race-shift pattern), the power delivery is smooth and predictable and the vibration is not a killer as it was previously.

So, we will be at Manfeild on 20 Jan for further testing where one rider who rode it previously (Neil Chappell) will be able to compare and we will test with and without the centre brace and the top engine mount. Fingers crossed I am not looking at the bike with rose tinted glasses.

See you there if you want to come and check out the IMD250.

 

14 December 2012

Track test #3 Manfeild Park - Neil Chappell and Marc-Antoine Jacquet

After refitting the 2006 engine and making sure it was correctly shimmed and tight in the frame I took the bike to Manfeild where I would be testing young Marc-Antoine Jacquet (21, Auckland), with a view to his joining Moto Academy NZ in 2013.

Given that Neil Chappell (Chappy) would be testing his new 650cc motorcycle, I asked if he would spin a few laps to compare and contrast, and to provide some more feedback. During the day it would also be possible for Marc-Antoine to have a ride. Scott Griffiths and Brent Watson were also able to come out to the track to see and hear the bike on the track.

Good and bad news from both Chappy and M-A. Just as Tyler had said, the bike handles awesomely and in general feels really good and easy to ride. However, just like Tyler also said, the vibration issue had not disappeared.

I am now armed with more information regarding said vibrations so we have some positive leads about what directions to go to sort out these older engines.

One direction is to secure 2013 250SXF engines, the other involves changing the crankshaft balance factor on the existing engines.

But in any case, the bike works well for a rider of Chappys dimensions, and a rider of Tylers dimensions. So another mixed bag, but a bunch of positive feedback and support.

 

10 December 2012

Track test #2 Hampton Downs - Glen Orwin

After the very positive test at Manfeild, you just have to know that the second test will be an abject failure. In anticipation of the test with Glen, I had fitted the second engine to test that out at the same time as the bike at a new circuit. We wanted to test the position of the muffler on a circuit with a flatter, faster right hand turn and the last turn at HD is just that. Anyway, the bike warmed up well and ran well at idle in the pit lane and ran well for 3/4 of a lap. Just as Glen was exciting the last turn the engine failed spectacularly and that was the end of that.

Examination has shown that the piston has collapsed on the inlet side, punched through the cylinder, broken the inlet valve guides and peppered the underside of the cylinder head. We will have to have a think about why this happened. Perhaps it was just an engine that needed a freshen up after all?

Vibration continues to be an issue and we hope to make a change to the chassis and find a cure this week and hopefully test again at Manfeild on 14 Dec.

 

25 November 2012

Track testing of IMD250. Couldn't have gone better!

After a day spent in the garage at our friends house refitting the fairings freshly painted by Pretzel (Stuart), another awesome job, I headed off to Manfeild on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning for the Vic Club trackday. I got the bike all set up and waited for our stand-in testrider to arrive, because Glen was busy racing in the world championship event, oh, sorry, not world championship but bucket championship event, in Auckland! Everything on the bike seemed to be right. The tank was holding fuel, the engine was running well and all was working as it should be. Today Tyler Lincoln would be putting the first laps on the new bike and was really looking forward to it. So our session came along, Tyler got geared up, I got the bike fired up and he headed out onto the track in the Slow session for a couple of slow shakedown laps. After one lap he came in so that we could check over the bike. Everything seemed to be working well except: the gearing was too short and I had not plumbed in the engine breather into a bottle so there was a little oil splashing into the airbox. Tyler then did one more lap to double check our thoughts which confirmed them.

 

IMD250 Manfeild Nov 2012

Prior to the next session I plumbed in the breather into the overflow bottle, changed the gearing, cleaned off the small amount of oil off the top of the engine and prepared for the next session. The next session showed we had solved the oil issue and that the bike was much better geared, but still slightly short. So for session three I raised the gearing to the highest I have.

The bike seemed to be much more comfortable on the circuit with this gearing even though Tyler had to hold back due to being out in the 'Slow' group. It was possible to see the bike jump out of the corners and run fast down the straights. The bike tracked perfectly around the corners and was stable under brakes and on acceleration.

 

IMD250 Manfeild Nov 2012

Tylers first impressions?: He was really impressed. He said the bike handled really well, although one could see it will need a slightly different approach than the 125GP bike as it did run him a bit higher on corner exit which I think will be improved with a slightly different approach to the corners. He said the bike felt really powerful and was plenty fast enough even though he was not revving out fully and was holding back a bit in the Slow group. We had one or two issues with the digital dash (I think I had the ignition pick up wire installed incorrectly) but we think that he was able to run consistent 1m24s laps without even trying, so that was really encouraging. Tyler was really happy to have tested the bike and really impressed with the speed and handling (clearly the KSS Ohlins suspension was doing its job!!). Another part that was doing its job was the Cycleworks exhaust and muffler. At full speed (albeit not 100% top rpm but not far off it), the bike measured only 87 dB!! Awesome.

So, all in all a really successful test. One or two parts will need redesign and reworking but that is normal and to only need a couple is really neat. One of them is only because I made it out of material that was a bit too light, so no worries really. I am really relieved and happy that the bike went so well, that Tyler had such a good time on it and that we can really look forward to sorting out the fine tuning points.

Videos
 

I will have the bike at Hampton Downs next weekend and for Rd 1 of the Tri-Series, so others who have not seen the bike yet can come have a look and see Glen spin a few laps.

Cheers all!!!


Tyler's impression

I was lucky enough to be the first rider of the new Innovative Moto Developments IMD250. The first outing was just to see if everything was working so I did two laps. The first was very slow making sure everything was good, the second was faster. I thought that the bike handled well for being set up for a heavier rider. I wasn't sure about the power because the gearing was very short. I came in and made sure that everything was fine. We noticed a little bit of oil coming from under the tank. We took it ouff and saw that there was a breather vent on top of the head that needed a hose coming off it to go into the overflow bottle.

Steve fitted a hose on the breather and put on taller gearing. I went out for another session on the IMD250 and pushed a bit harder. The bike handled really wel and had good power for a standard motor, but there was an issue with bad vibration at high rpm. Otherwise the bike was great. I had another session with slightly taller gearing again, to just have more time on the bike. The gearing was still a bit too short, but otherwise the bike was fine.

Overall I think that the bike has great potential and is a very easy bike to ride.

 

 

 

20 November 2012

She's alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After a bit of a false start with the wiring and after consultation of appropriate wiring diagrams and some rewiring it turned out that we can't run a battery total loss on the SXF model as it runs an AC ECU system. The XC-F and EXC-F models run DC systems because they have speedos and lights and such like. So I had to put the generator back on and cut a hole through the middle of the cover to take the starter, but that worked out perfectly, so that will save a kg or so in weight. I jerry-rigged up a fuel tank (i.e. water bottle hung from ceiling), cranked her over with the drill-starter and the IMD250 fired into life immediately and settled into a steady idle at about 1200 rpm. No leaks, appropriate heating rate, lots of smoke off the new exhaust pipe, lots of noise, but good noise if you catch my drift. Rapid and smooth throttle response, but only to a few '000 rpm, not full noise or anything. I have increased the main-jet size a couple of ranks to compensate for the new pipe. So I am just waiting now on the fuel tank and the front sprockets and we will be away up the street (or not, as that is not really allowed now is it!!).

I will have the bike at Manfeild on 25 Nov for the VMCC trackday and if all goes to plan it will be running enough to get some laps. Glen will be busy that weekend so I will need to tap someone appropriate on the shoulder to run a few laps and provide first impressions.

If any of you can make it we will be happy to see you and share in the first run of the new IMD250.



18 November 2012

Final assembly has commenced.

We are now on the final leg of the assembly journey. The bike has the exhaust. I am fitting the high level Ohlins suspension, the tank will be ready by Wednesday, sprockets should be done early this coming week and fairings will be finished by next Saturday. New oil and filter installed. I am aiming for a retro style paint scheme. I hope it turns out right!! Swingarm has also had a small update!


13 November 2012

Exhaust system complete.

The IMD250 now has a new, bespoke Cycleworks (Made in New Zealand) exhaust and muffler. The exhaust is staged, rather than stepped and looks really good. It is light and adds only minimally to the weight of the bike. It is designed to open up the power delivery and lift the peak power RPM by 1000-1500 rpm. We are hoping that the exhaust along with lifting the revs, will allow the engine to make a few more HP, so we will approach the 38hp region in standard form. With cams, port work, high comp piston, ignition and larger carburettor we should be in the 42hp region quite easily. We think that the muffler will make the bike quiet enough, but Cycleworks made some outlet restrictors to aid with noise reduction if we need it at any time. We can then revisit the muffler design retrospectively. Not far away now......

 

 


6 November 2012

Exhaust system.

The IMD250 exhaust system has been calculated (well, a basic exhaust for now and a proper one for when we get our hot engine) and the bike has been delivered to Cycleworks in Upper Hutt to have the header pipe and muffler constructed. Now we just need to finish the fuel tank, cut new splines in the front sprockets and get the bike assembled and running. Not long now!


27 October 2012

6th and last round of the Vic Club (Victoria Motorcycle Club of Wellington) winter series (who would know, it was sunny and warm!!) at Taupo.

The assembled IMD250 was wheeled out and put on display for anyone who was interested to come and see it. The bike looked great in the sun and garnered a significant amount of interest.

On Monday 5 Nov the bike will be delivered to Cycleworks to have the exhaust pipe made, the tank will get finished, the sprocket will get machined and we will be ready to rock.

Check out the pics below, from Taupo.

 

 

 

20 October 2012

Labour weekend, the perfect time to get to work. After a fantastic paintjob by Pretzel of the frame, swingarm and some wheels, the IMD250 rolling chassis has been reassembled. Hope you like it! Paint is Resene Acrythane Traffic Orange, Bright white and Ford Bionic (Blue) supplied by Resene Autopaints. 

 

 



13 October 2012

Frame, swingarm and front wheels delivered to Pretzel our trusted painter in Ashurst. KTM orange frame and swingarm, white front wheels, blue rear wheels, white tank, white seat, blue fairings, white number boards. Sound like a good combo?


10 October 2012

Bike Rider Magazine Issue #101. IMD250 article.


Bike Rider Magazine IMD250 article

Bike Rider Magazine Issue 101


1 October 2012

Well, it is school holidays for two weeks. Our first foray into this new territory and being the 'house husband' it is my job to look after little Maya. So progress on the bike will be slowed a bit while I take on this monumental task!  I hope to survive........


27 September 2012

Frame is cleaned and primer painted. 3D models and Finite element analyses coming along.

The frame has come back from the sandblasters all clean. It has now been primer painted with etch primer to get a good bond to the steel. The sandblasting clean up the surface rust and took off all the sharp edges. White primer has been used to offer the best chance for the top colour to be as bright as possible.


GPR006 white

GPR006 white

My mate Jamie and I are working our ways through learning 3D modeling programmes (Me = Inventor Fusion, Jamie = Solidworks) and making models of as many of the parts as possible.

(Those who look closely will see something not quite right in this model. Email me if you can spot the error, which has been corrected, by the way).

Rearset assembly

 

As we go along Stephen Watson in Japan will be running Finite Element Analysis of as many of the stressed parts as possible, including the frame when we get the model made. The FEA will help to determing fail loads, twist moments and areas where we can possibly save weight, or where we need to add strength. Our first object test is a simple item such as the rear brake lever. Our analysis shows already that we can lose significant weight from this object before it will fail or not operate correctly.


Brake lever FEW

Finite element analysis of brake lever


20 September 2012

Progress update and pics.  After several late nights and long days in the garage, I mean, workshop, I have completed the major assembly of the bike. The airbox, new airscoop and gear shift mechanism have been fabricated; the carburettor, all the controls; the electronic MyChron3 dash; the radiator and plumbing; new axle and reworked front fork cartridges have all been fitted. All that is left now is: rear sprocket (fitting a 520 sprocket. We will start off with 15/36 gearing which according to my calculations is good for 187 km/h @ 12,500 rpm, which is 1000 rpm below the red-line but a good red-line for now); the fuel tank (which is getting welded together right now); blanking the kickstarter hole in the engine case (all being done by our local engineering partner MotoMetal); and the exhaust pipe. The exhaust is the major part which will require calculation and some tricky fabrication by Cycleworks.

Some pics taken at Kaitoke Kart circuit during local 'Bucket' race meeting.

 


 

 

 

 

 

1 September 2012

She is safe at home! I collected the 1st IMD250 yesterday and she is now safely in the Moto Academy NZ/Innovative Moto Developments workshop. The PledgeMe project also ended this weekend, so we will be looking forward to receiving the pledged funds and pay some bills!! So, no pressure for me, all I have to do is make an airbox, modify the gas tank, fit all the bits and pieces, get the exhaust made and fitted and get her running. SIMPLE!!!  Not!! It also seems that we will be able to make some preliminary shakedown tests here in Wellington on a private track, so that will be handy! Better than running up and down the street.

Huge thanks again to everyone who has helped.

 

27 August 2012

We made it!!!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Pledgeme project, we have made our target. If anyone has not yet pledged who intends to, please do not hesitate, the more the merrier.

Thanks to all.

Steve and the IMD team.

 

25 August 2012

That was a short delay!

Well, after indicating that we would be delayed for additional work on the swingarm, Scott came through and found a better and easier method for widening the swingarm. This meant that we were able to display the rolling chassis at Manfeild Park raceway today.

IMD250 rolling chassis

The roller is now about 90% complete with just a few small bits and pieces needed to complete before we can move into the second phase and build the airbox, fuel tank mods, exhaust pipe and mount all the control stuff. The bike is very light, I can bend over it and lift it off the ground easily and it is a touch longer than the RS125 which makes it much more comfortable to sit on.

IMD250 rolling chassis

We are very confident that we have a great bike coming together. One last thing, we also test-ran the new Ohlins TTX36 rear shock absorber in the RS125. Aaron Hassan, our student rider this year, indicated that the bike felt much more planted than before, so that is really good and the TTX shock will look fantastic in the new bike.

 

21 August 2012

Slight delay during mock-up and swingarm modifications

As is normal with projects of this type, progress has been slightly delayed by a design issue that was foreseen, but not fully understood until it came time to mock-up. The integration of the rear engine mount as part of the swingarm pivot (thus maintaining the overall length of an RS125 NX4) and the larger distance from the bike/engine centre line to sprocket, has resulted in a need to modify the swingarm to achieve optimal configuration. This modification will not change the characteristics of the suspension or linkage system nor the final geometry of the frame with regards to the original RS125 specifications.  GPR have already made similar modifications to previous incarnations of their design. These modifications are therefore part of the design that we had hoped we might not need, but had planned for just in case, so we are confident that it will all work out as required.

We are still planning to be able to show the rolling chassis at Manfeild on Sat 25 August.

 

12 August 2012

IMD250 further progress

Well as you can see in the pictures, the bike is really gathering steam now. You can see that the frame philosophy is unique to GPR and unique to the IMD250 utilising curved sections to link the various load bearing points, mounts and hangers. We have added the radiator, seat and rearset mounted, or at least placed, to see how they will fit. So, we are definitely ahead of schedule and will look to have a full rolling chassis finished by the end of August, early September. My jobs will to be to sort out the airbox and the fuel tank mods.

 

 

4 August 2012

IMD250 takes shape

The IMD250 chassis is taking shape. The frame has been started and as you can see in the pictures, it has really gone a long way down the track. It looks like we won't be so far away now!! Exciting times!!

 

 

 

 

31 July 2012

Frame development

Progress is being made in the development of the motorcycle frame. Our frame builder had discovered that the engine is an odd shape and would need some modification to fit. However, he then worked out a change to the frame jig to modify the frame to the correct size. We will now be able to fit the engine with minimal modification.

 

31 July 2012

GPMono/Moto3

There has been some discussion on a local forum site regarding the description of this project as a Moto3 project. We would like to point out here, that we are developing a GPMono motorcycle rather than a full on Moto3 motorcycle. Our funding partners are fully aware of what it is we are doing. The latter uses a prototype engine, while the former uses a modified MX or off-the-shelf production engine. However, in many instances the name Moto3 is used interchangably with GPMono, the term GPMono does not actually mean all that much to many people, while Moto3 is becoming the default class name. We believe that Moto3 will soon come to mean any 250cc4-stroke single GP style motorcycle. If there has been any confusion, we apologise.

 

30 July 2012

PledgeMe project

Well, after just one weekend since the PledgeMe project went live we have been overwhelmed with the response. Already we are at about 25% of our target. I must say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has pledged, and to the pledger with the really big donation, you know who you are. I really am humbled. I am confident that we will reach our target and more. Thanks again.

 

27 July 2012

www.Pledgeme.co.nz

Our crowdfunding project on the local website Pledgeme.co.nz has been launched. In the first day we have attracted $300 funding pledged. A great start!

All you motorcycle racing enthusiasts, motorsport enthusiasts and those interested in supporting a new motorcycle manufacturing enterprise can support us to pay for one chassis via crowdfunding. Visit Pledgeme.co.nz early next week to check out our project, the rewards and to pledge your support.

 

21 July 2012

After an awesome couple of days racing in the glorious sunshine at Manfeild Park, I delivered the engine and cycle parts to our frame builder. We have tentatively agreed that the rolling chassis will be ready in about one month give or take. We are really underway..... Exciting. Lots of people are getting excited about the project. Jamie Rajek from Taupo had his Honda RS/CRF250 at the track this weekend. He wasn't racing it, but it certainly goes, looks good, sounds good, so the concept is building steam all round.

 

19 July 2012

We are excited to welcome Wayne Wright, aka Wobbly Wayne, aka Wobbly Pipes to the project as our Exhaust pipe design expert. Wob, from Tauranga, is one of the best exhaust pipe designers in this part of the world, if not in the world. His exhuast pipe designs, both 2 and 4 stroke, have been used on some of the most powerful and fastest racing vehicles; cars, karts and bikes. Wob has offered to design the pipe which we will have manufactured by Cycleworks in Upper Hutt. Wob works closely with the engine builders at Kelford Camtech, so we are excited that we now have the best team on board for engine development. Cheers Wob!!!

You can check out Waynes latest creation, the Aprilia/Yamaha/Wobbly Pipes RZ400 here: Wobbly Pipes RZ400 video

 

18 July 2012

The KTM SX250F and the first of the Honda RS125 bikes have been dismantled. This coming weekend I will deliver the KTM engine, the swingarm, subframe and front-end to our frame builder. One issue he will need to solve is that the SX250F engine shares one engine mount with the swingarm pivot. In road-race chassis the engine mount and swingarm pivots are kept separate. If we were using the RS chassis this would be a major problem, but because we are making our own chassis, this will not be such a major issue.

The Honda RS125 frame that we will be replacing, with:

This. The GPR frame with RS125 cycle parts (this is a TRR100 engined 'bucket racer').

Compared to the KTM Moto3 rolling chassis:

 

and the Mahindra Moto3 bike also with a tubular chassis:

 

The KTM SX250F engine (left) replacing the Honda RS125 engine (Right)

You can see that the KTM engine is not all that much taller than the Honda engine, but it is quite a bit longer, especially at the rear where the engine mounts at the swingarm pivot. The Honda engine is scalloped out in that region to allow the separation of the pivot and mount. We may need to cut the front out of the swingarm to accommodate the engine.

We are confident that our chassis will be almost the same weight as the RS125 chassis and the engine is 6 kg heavier than the RS125. So if we are able to make 43-44 hp (about the same as a good RS125 engine) and significantly increase the available torque, then we will be ahead of the curve. Furthermore, if we can obtain sufficient funding going forward, we will be able to buy a 2013 KTM SX250F engine and have 47hp on tap!

 

9 July 2012

The project is now picking up pace. Tomorrow I will drive to Rotorua to pick up our first KTM 250SX-F bike. We will remove the engine, electrics, carb and whatever ancillaries we need, then sell the rest of the bike for parts. We have also purchased a second KTM 250SX-F engine from Canada. This is an engine with electrics and other parts, so no need to sell the bike parts.

2006 KTM 250 SX-F

 

6 July 2012

Kiwi Suspension Solutions, their resident suspension expert Robert Tayler (Dr Robert) and Ohlins Suspension are welcomed to the project as development and supply partners. Moto Academy NZ and KSS will be working in partnership on several fronts. We will be developing solutions for the current standard Showa rear shock absorber found in Honda RS125 motorcycles. We have already found fantastic performance enhancements with the use of the newly acquired suspension dynomometer at KSS, which will aid all RS125 riders without the budget to buy aftermarket shocks. Most RS125 riders think that their standard shocks change when they change the clickers. We have checked three shocks out of three different bikes now and found that changing the clickers actually made almost no difference at all. It certainly made no difference to the low speed characteristics of the shock. Also, one of these shocks was marked as having been tuned in Japan. Unfortuately this meant that it had been tuned for very high-speed flowing circuits (eg Suzuka, Motegi, Philip Is) which we do not have in NZ. So the damping was all way too harsh for our tracks. However, the rider using this shock managed to race to lap-record speed at Manfeild Park, so here's hoping that with the improvements he will be able to go much faster.

For our GPMono/Moto3 project KSS will be developing a special specification TTX36 shock absorber (the shock used at Superbike level racing) for the motorcycle, along with special (top secrect at this stage) front fork solutions in order that the motorcycle is as advanced and optimal as we are able to make it.

We are very happy to welcome Kiwi Suspension Solutions and Ohlins to the project.

 

6 July 2012

KTM pre-release publication of data for 2013 SX250F describes the stock power output of 47 bhp at the back wheel.

Even though for the prototype motorcycles we will be using older versions of this engine, we feel confident that the basic platform of the KTM SX250F is going to be the correct choice for this application.

 

1 July 2012

Moto Academy NZ welcomes Martin Dunn to the project. Martin and Steve have previously successfully run the motorcycles accessories business Racing Links and Martin has significant experience in business, motorcycle industry business and motorcycle racing. Martin will be contributing to the project in business advice, financing, motorcycle design and marketing.

 

1 June 2012

Moto Academy NZ is currently seeking development support and finance for our GPMono/Moto3 project. In order for Moto Academy NZ to remain relevant into the future and to continue to attract overseas riders we will need to be able to supply 4-stroke race bikes. At the moment however, the MD250H is the only GPMono machine available on the open market, while Honda NSF250 Moto3 machine is now available and the KTM GPR250 Moto3 is to be released in the new year. However, these motorcycles are all too expensive for our environment.

We have therefore desided to design and to manufacture our own GPMono motorcycle that we believe will have superior performance over the Moriwaki MD250H motorcycle and, we hope, will out perform Honda and Yamaha 125GP bikes in standard or slightly tuned trim.

We will be using New Zealand sourced solutions including chassis, exhaust and ignition systems.

If you are at all interested in helping us, please Contact Us to discuss.

We will soon launch a crowd-funding project through the New Zealand crowd-funding site PledgeMe. (www.pledgeme.co.nz).

Please cruise on over there to check it out, and get your wallets out to help us achieve our goals.

Thanks for your interest and for your help.

 

Steve

 

R&D funding

Moto Academy NZ in partnership with a team of contract experts is applying to TechNZ for some funding to support the development of this new motorcycle technology. While we will not be developing a totally new motorcycle technology, the marriage of the novel chassis with the KTM engine and the performance modifications therein mean that we are indeed undertaking a Research and Development project. We are currently working through the TechNZ application process and we are confident that we will be successful in obtaining this funding. We are also very close to obtaining investment funding to allow us to proceed with the project. In order to help with that I have sold my own 1989 Honda RS250 Post Classic racer.

 

 

Honda RS250 GP racebike

1989 Honda NF5 RS250

 

Chassis

We have decided that simply modifying the existing RS125 chassis will not be sufficient to provide a marketable difference, a good enough value proposition, or even an optimal performance proposition. So we have decided that we will use a bespoke tubular steel trellis chassis fully designed and manufactured in Palmerston North, New Zealand by Griffith Engineering. This chassis is already being used in small capacity (100-150cc) racing applications and has also been demonstrated in 400cc (RVF400) and 650cc (SV650) engine applications. In the latter application it has won multiple New Zealand championships so we are confident therefore that we will be able to adapt the chassis design to the GPMono/Moto3 environment and that it will prove to be very effective and design flexible. KTM are using a steel trellis chassis for their factory Moto3 racebike (which is leading the world championships), while design partners Kalex of Germany have opted for an aluminium twin-spar frame for their KTM powered Moto3 bike.

We have become aware that the KTM chassis is a bit overweight and the customer KTM GPR250 Moto 3 bike will weigh in at 83kg. We will be aiming for high 70's only, with 80kg being our upper limit.

KTM and Kalex Moto3 bikes 

KTM (left) and Kalex (right) KTM Moto3 2012 motorcycles


Engine

We have chosen the engine that we will use in this race bike. The Moriwaki MD250H employs the Honda CRF250X engine, with option of the CRF250R cylinder head on the CRF250X bottom end. This engine is actually one of the poorer performing engines in the MX market. It has only a single camshaft, only a 5 speed transmission, uses a lot of oil, goes through pistons and rings quickly, has a low RPM ceiling and produces only moderate horsepower. However, the MD250H is a very good performing race bike especially in youth racing and is the equal of moderately well tuned Honda RS125 GP bikes that these bikes are replacing.

After studying all of the available options (CRF250X/R, WR250/YZ250F, KXF250, RMZ250, SX/XC250F), and because we are independent and not tied to any particular factory, we have decided that the KTM SX250F engines will best suit our purposes. This engine is probably the most expensive of the MX/Enduro engines available, but it has the best power/RPM/transmission and cylinder head architecture characteristics of all of the engines. We will opt for the MX version as the transmission ratios while closer together than the enduro (XC250F) version, they seem to be a bit better suited to our purposes.  We will also run a carburettor at least for the prototype machines and we will therefore not need to incur the costs of EFI design. Also, given that in the road racing application the throttle is opened smoothly and is wide open for long periods at a time, we feel that either a PWK/PWM or FCR Flatside carburettor between 39-41mm will be sufficient. The KTM engine is a bit taller than some of the other engine options, but we wonder if this extra height allows the top end architecture of the KTM to be more optimal than the othe platforms. KTM OEM parts will be supplied through our local KTM dealer TSS Red Baron of Lower Hutt.

In later stages of this project we will have the top end of the engine modified by one of our New Zealand development partners.

 

KTM SX250F engine

 

KTM 250SX-F engine

Cycle Parts

Similar to the Moriwaki MD250H and indeed as it turns out, the Honda NSF250, we will employ cycle parts from the Honda RS125 GP motorcycle. The forks, wheels, brakes, swingarm, fairings, levers and other parts from the RS125 are all very good items and will be well suited to applicaton on this race bike. Parts from the Yamaha TZ125 will also be equally as well suited and in the medium term we will also construct motorcycles with TZ125 cycle parts.

Honda RS125 GP racebike

 

Honda RS125 GP racebike

 

 

In later stages of this project we will have the top end of the engine modified by one of our New Zealand development partners, Kelford Camtech of Christchurch. They are highly experienced in retuning 4-stroke motorycle engines with 175 hp/L being readily achieveable, with greater outputs being possible with some effort. They are therefore confident that it will be possible to retune the engine to make more top end power with more of a top end focus and operating safely at higher RPM for longer periods than is required in the MX or even the Enduro environment.