If you've ever thought motorcycles are a lot more fun and fuel efficient than your average car, but you could do without getting wet in the rain and you prefer being able to carry a bit more baggage now and then, you might join Roger Dunkley in thinking an enclosed motorcycle isn't such a bad idea. The Peraves, though it does all the right things, is a bit pricey for most of us and Roger, living in New Zealand, naturally figured a DIY version would be a viable option, which leads us to the AeroBike project.
Roger designed a sheet metal tub in a tandem two seat configuration and mounted telescopic forks. The drivetrain he used, though not his first choice, is Suzuki RF900 inline four which works very well.
The necessary side stabilizer wheels are designed to retract telescopically instead of swinging up like the Peraves. They, too, work well, now, though there were a few bugs initially resulting in a few tipovers, but that's what building is all about, solving problems as they arise.
The fiberglass body is designed and built by Roger and it has a strong resemblance to the Peraves, not really surprising when you consider what any body will look like when enclosing a tandem two wheeler in an aerodynamic package. It's gorgeous work. What I also thought impressive is the clear canopy was also made by Roger. After several false starts and very high bids from companies who he had planned to hire for that portion of the project, he finally built his own oven and did it himself.
Roger has put up a pretty nice running story of the build and the videos below are interesting, the first shows testing without the body, the next taken from the finished AeroBike and another from a chase car during a slow lap of the Manfield race track.
The AeroBike is still in the shakedown phase, but it seems to work extremely well right out of the gate and the build quality seems top notch. From the perspective of the track video, it might take some getting used to, but I think it would be a fun ride. Very nice work, Roger!
Thanks for the tip, Bob.