We have a lot of serious bicycle riders and mechanics who visit The Kneeslider on a regular basis and, as they will be quick to tell you, a streamlined recumbent can reach some pretty high speeds due to its slippery shape, you're taking a very efficient vehicle and making it even more efficient. Well, if you're the do it yourself sort, you might start thinking about doing the same with an efficient motorcycle to see what results you can achieve. Motorcycles can quickly reach speeds where aerodynamics have a major effect.
Allert Jacobs, of the Netherlands, designed the Quest velomobile, a streamlined recumbent tricycle, and then decided to go to work on a Honda Innova ANF125i, a 125cc motorcycle popular in Asia, to see if he could dramatically improve on the already high 107 to 122 mpg of the stock bike and provide the comfort and weather protection inherent in the design. He fell a bit short of his goal of 235 mpg, managing "only" 214 mpg.
The mechanical changes were fairly minor and included a new sprocket and converting to a manual clutch, everything else involved changing the seating position to feet forward recumbent and then designing and building the fiberglass aerodynamic shell. He also experimented with various tires which can definitely affect rolling resistance.
He did the work in stages and documented the mileage along the way, but think about it, he doubled his mileage, it went from 107 mpg to 214 mpg. That's quite a change!
Lots of guys have built recumbent motorcycles before and many more certainly will, but this is a good example of what a dedicated do it yourself builder can do. It's well designed and very well documented. Nice project.
This pointer is from Jean Des Rosiers, who is a pretty talented builder, himself. Thanks, Jean!