Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:09 pm

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Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
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Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:09 pm linkquote
Hey there fine folks of MV,

It has indeed been a while since I've been on the boards, but I'm back today because I want to get people involved in something. I'm building a vehicle and I'm calling it Project Streetliner.



What it is: It's a tilting 3-wheel commuter vehicle based on modern scooter running gear. Picture a recumbent Piaggio MP3 with a fiberglass streamliner body on it. It'll be single seat, but hopefully incorporate a good amount of luggage space. I want to build either a roll cage or F1-style safety tub into it for some basic safety and include a 5-point harness. You can read my initial synopsis here.

What it's not: It's not an all-purpose vehicle. It's not for passengers. It's not a hot rod (although I intend for it to be highway capable). It's not a touring vehicle. It's not a replacement for my Vespa. It's not being developed for sale or market. It's not top secret. In fact, I want to do as little original thinking as possible.

Where you come in: I want this to be a collaborative, open-source project. Though this won't be a scooter in finished form, it will use a lot of scooter components and I want it to tap into as much scooter practicality and mojo as it can. I want it to be a convergence of lots of ideas. I want it to be something that someone else might see and take in a totally different direction if they wanted to. So I'm opening it up to anybody who's interested.

How to get involved: You can keep up with the project on ProjectStreetliner.com. But more than that, you can submit ideas or even just related stuff you find online directly to the project via this submission form. Thanks for your input!

Last edited by NathanielSalzman on Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:27 am; edited 1 time in total
Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:15 pm

Petty Tyrant
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Petty Tyrant
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:15 pm linkquote
Awesome! I don't know if I have anything to contribute, but I love the idea.
Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:17 pm

Moderator
2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
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Moderator
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:17 pm linkquote
Very cool, I'm sure I won't be able to help much at all but I'll sure be interested in watching this come to fruition. Good luck with your project.
Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:09 pm

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Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:09 pm linkquote
jess wrote:
Awesome! I don't know if I have anything to contribute, but I love the idea.
Sure you do Jess, I think you have the tail section all done.

I'd love to help where I can.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:13 am

Hooked
Vespa GT 200L
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
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Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:13 am linkquote
Thanks folks!

What I'm looking for most of all is just ideas, inspiration, little flashes of "well you could do THIS".

I figure scooterists are pretty ingenious folks as they've already figured out that cars aren't everything
Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:29 am

Moderibbit
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Moderibbit
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:29 am linkquote
Neat idea! Do you have any thoughts about the drivetrain? Are you intending to have it be front-wheel drive or rear wheel drive? What is your budget?

Conceivably, if you wanted it front wheel drive, you could use many of the parts from an MP3, only extend the width of the two tilting wheels, and maybe stiffen the suspension on them significantly so it isn't too free-tilting, and then use the MP3 rear engine/wheel as the front wheel (having switched it around of course.

In this way, if you could land your hands on a high-displacement MP3 you could have many of the mechanical bits including the engine available to you in one go.

It may be that you'd want a bigger engine than any MP3s come with, though, in which case it would be a waste to bother with hacking one up just for the articulated front wheels (in your case rear wheels).

Just a thought I haven't really mulled over for more than a minute
Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:52 am

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Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:52 am linkquote
xantufrog wrote:
Neat idea! Do you have any thoughts about the drivetrain? Are you intending to have it be front-wheel drive or rear wheel drive? What is your budget?
It'll be rear-wheel drive with the tilting wheels up front just like the MP3. Right now I'm thinking the 400cc MP3 rear end because not only does that give me the engine, but the transmission, rear brakes, rear suspension, etc. That's the beauty of using scooter parts.

My budget for now is $10k, although I haven't raised a dime of that yet. It's all just prototyping and refining the concept at this point. If you read my intro on Tumblr (link in the original post), it's got my full spec, including that I want to get 60 mpg or better, and weigh in under 500 lbs.
xantufrog wrote:
In this way, if you could land your hands on a high-displacement MP3 you could have many of the mechanical bits including the engine available to you in one go.
Beyond that, I could use the wiring harness, gauges, switches and other key components. Whatever I use, I want to pick a donor and stick to those components so that I have one-stop shopping for parts. So if I use a Piaggio power plant, I'm going to stick to Piaggio brakes, wheels, etc. Or if I go with the rear end out of say a Honda Silverwing, then I'll use as many Honda parts as I can so that spares are easily accessible.

Great thoughts!
Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:21 am

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:21 am linkquote
I'd start with an mp3 and aim for the smallest possible frontal area. This will most likely be dictated by the front suspension followed by the human form. You'll want the bottom surface to be v shaped to allow at least 45deg lean each way.

The airflow through the inside is just as important as the outside so I'd stick the radiator in the back with good ducting to and from it.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:28 am

Hooked
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Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:28 am linkquote
oopsclunkthud wrote:
I'd start with an mp3 and aim for the smallest possible frontal area. This will most likely be dictated by the front suspension followed by the human form. You'll want the bottom surface to be v shaped to allow at least 45deg lean each way.

The airflow through the inside is just as important as the outside so I'd stick the radiator in the back with good ducting to and from it.
I would think the V is less important if the whole body is up high enough that you're not just right off the ground. You've just got to be trim on the edges. You're definitely right about frontal area - that's where the biggest efficiency gains are made. I'm not sure how it would be more efficient to have the radiators in the rear though. Seems like they've got to stick out into the air one way or the other. Could you elaborate on that? If they're up front in the nose, it seems like that protrusion has to happen anyway, so why not make it meet the radiator? Also, if I utilize the coolant system for heating the cabin in cold weather, that'd be a lot easier to do if the hot water is already making the journey front to back anyway.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:33 am

Ossessionato
Scooterless at the moment
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Location: Brooks, Alberta, Canada
 
Ossessionato
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:33 am linkquote
Nice chrome tipped bullet intakes would be nice on the side of the body,
Just like those old cars from the 50's, Might also be nice to have a single fin.

Just to take it away from the Harley Tri-Hawk design.



Dave
Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:35 am

Hooked
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Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:35 am linkquote
I want to do as little engineering as possible, so I'm pretty sure I'll stick with the stock intake
Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:42 am

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Addicted
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:42 am linkquote
So it is like a modern Messerschmitt?

It seems like there is a lot of room in the front of your design. I am having a hard time figuring out the dimensions of your project as drawn due to the apparent smallness of the wheels. If they are supposed to be 12 inch wheels(like the front of the GTS or MP3), then your drawing has a wheelbase of over 80 inches and a total length of 120 inches. The MP3 has a total length of 84 inches.

I don't think that you mean it to be this long, though. It almost looks like the size would be right if it is drawn with no tires on the wheels. That would put the wheelbase at over 54 inches and a total length around 80 inches, which matches the MP3 pretty closely.

It also looks very skinny. Like, nearly impossible to fit into skinny. I would make the seating area twice as wide. You want this to be a commuter, not to set land speed records. Make it comfortable for one person.


Messerschmitt!

Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:06 pm

Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
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Moderatus Rana
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:06 pm linkquote
If you haven't seen this video yet it may give some inspiration
good luck!
Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:11 pm

Hooked
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Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:11 pm linkquote
HonestlyLincoln wrote:
I am having a hard time figuring out the dimensions of your project as drawn due to the apparent smallness of the wheels.
It's bigger than I think you're imagining it. The wheels on my sketching template are set for the outside diameter of 19", which is the size of the wheels and tires on a Honda Silverwing. Take a look at this:



The curved dashed line is the shape of the recumbent seat. The circle with the cross through it is the approximate pivot point of the rear swing arm. The "L" is actually the notch where my helmet would sit. The wheelbase as I've got it scaled is right at 84", which is the same as the overall length of the MP3.

Then again, my proportions may be totally off!

EDIT: I re-checked my graphic and it's 90" between wheel centers.

Last edited by NathanielSalzman on Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:14 pm

Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:14 pm linkquote
theres no need to do it from scratch ............. this is a bumper car with a lammy lump in it

Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:19 pm

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Hooked
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:19 pm linkquote
That's hilarious! Not quite what I had in mind, but funny none the less.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:39 pm

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:39 pm linkquote
NathanielSalzman wrote:
HonestlyLincoln wrote:
I am having a hard time figuring out the dimensions of your project as drawn due to the apparent smallness of the wheels.
It's bigger than I think you're imagining it. The wheels on my sketching template are set for the outside diameter of 19", which is the size of the wheels and tires on a Honda Silverwing.
OK, that is close to what I was guesstimating for the Vespa wheels, which are something like 18.5 inches. So what is the width? I am thinking 20-24 inches on your drawing.

Looking at it, I would be tempted to make it bigger. Wider on the front for stability and wider in the seating area. Taller and higher off the ground. That messerschmitt that I posted has a wheelbase of 80", but looks about twice as big in the body compared to your concept drawing. It has a curb weight of just over 500 lbs, but has a small 200cc engine.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:00 pm

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:00 pm linkquote
Some 'scooters' the Scooterdoodler doodled some years ago.

How about a 'trike' with what looks like a little vintage 'Jag' influence? In the basic concept, not really too far off from the OP's configuration.



Then there's the three-wheeler that looks a bit like a WWII medium bomber. The 'radial engine nacelles' are really the fenders for the two front wheels.


I'll take a stab at whipping up a concept sketch or two this evening based on Nathaniel's design, but I warn you, it might be 'retro-crazy', which is my specialty.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:12 pm

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Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
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Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:12 pm linkquote
HonestlyLincoln wrote:
So what is the width? I am thinking 20-24 inches on your drawing.

Looking at it, I would be tempted to make it bigger. Wider on the front for stability and wider in the seating area.
I probably have been drawing it a bit narrow, you're right. The thing about wider is that because it's going to have the ability to lean into corners, width doesn't actually mean stability. I want it to be just wide enough up front so that standing still, but fully leaned over, it won't topple. That way I never actually have to put feet or outriggers down. But the wider I set the wheels, the further away the center of gravity sweet spot is on the inside of a turn. Put another way, I'd have to lean deeper to get the same amount of dynamic stability. Some of that could be made up for by being taller, but then that has to be balanced against wanting to present as small a frontal cross section as is practical. Half the fun of this is balancing all the factors against each other. It's worth keeping in mind that my sketch template has the belly of the body at basically the same ground clearance as the MP3.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:13 pm

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:13 pm linkquote
Scooterdoodler wrote:
Some 'scooters' the Scooterdoodler doodled some years ago.
These are FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for sharing these sketches. This is exactly the kind of collaboration I've been hoping for folks. Thanks so much! Keep it coming!
Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:18 pm

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:18 pm linkquote
NathanielSalzman wrote:
I probably have been drawing it a bit narrow, you're right. The thing about wider is that because it's going to have the ability to lean into corners, width doesn't actually mean stability. I want it to be just wide enough up front so that standing still, but fully leaned over, it won't topple. That way I never actually have to put feet or outriggers down.
I guess that I am just afraid that I would always be tipping the thing over. I still think that there is extra space in the front. I roughed in a guesstimated person on your drawing. I think that there is a lot of space in the front and maybe you should drop the rider down to nearly the bottom of the structure. I put the person in red and where there might be "extra" space circled in blue.


I think that I would shove the person forward a couple feet and move the engine forward. That is why I was having a hard time with your dimensions before, it looks like there is too much space for one person. I could be totally off, though.



Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:29 pm

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:29 pm linkquote
HonestlyLincoln wrote:
I guess that I am just afraid that I would always be tipping the thing over. I still think that there is extra space in the front. I roughed in a guesstimated person on your drawing. I think that there is a lot of space in the front and maybe you should drop the rider down to nearly the bottom of the structure. I put the person in red and where there might be "extra" space circled in blue.
One thing to keep in mind is that if the front suspension is similar to the MP3, you can't exactly put your feet through it.
HonestlyLincoln wrote:
I think that I would shove the person forward a couple feet and move the engine forward. That is why I was having a hard time with your dimensions before, it looks like there is too much space for one person. I could be totally off, though.
Part of what I was thinking with this overall layout was two fold: First, to put the rider in such a place that the CG is where it belongs front to back for a trike. Second, the seat height (or more specifically, the eye line) is high enough to be safe at highway speeds. If you're too low to the ground, you can't see the road ahead properly. If you crest a hill at speed and there's a sharp turn, you're going to see that turn much later than you would with a higher eye line. Also, being that high (and having the vehicle be that tall) adds to its visibility to cars and such. Additionally, that puts the safety tub closer to regular bumper height. Or at least that's my ballpark estimation. This vehicle won't be as nimble as a regular scooter, so I've got to be realistic about basic crash-worthiness.
Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:44 pm

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:44 pm linkquote
Oh and also, my other thinking behind the long nose was that I needed somewhere to put the radiators and possibly a larger battery. If there was room left over, that'd mean cargo space, which wouldn't suck either. The slightly larger nose lets me give it a little more interior room and present a slightly better shape to the wind. This is only one of my concept sketches though. Check out the website for more.

http://www.projectstreetliner.com

Last edited by NathanielSalzman on Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:34 am; edited 1 time in total
⬆️    About 1 month elapsed between posts    ⬇️
Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:36 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:36 am linkquote
Quick update for everybody. The project has grown so much that it now has its own website. Check out http://www.projectstreetliner.com for all the latest updates and do please participate in the comments section. I want all the collaboration I can get! Utilize the handy RSS feed and follow the updates as they happen.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:53 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:53 am linkquote
I'm glad you bumped this thread up to the top again. I hadn't seen it before.
Having owned a Messerschmitt. I would say try and make your car a two seater. It's much more fun to have someone along for the ride and you have cargo space when solo.

I've been collecting parts for a three wheeled car. But; I'm doing a more retro design. I have an aluminum World War II belly tank that will be the body. Like you I plan to use a Large scooter or motorcycle for the drive train.

I come out to Minnesota every year in October. If it works out could I come buy and see your project?
Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:48 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:48 am linkquote
Quote:
I come out to Minnesota every year in October. If it works out could I come buy and see your project?
Absolutely! My shop is open to anybody who'd like to swing by.

The Messerschmitt is such a cool little thing! Were I a car collector, that'd be on my list for sure. As for being a 2-seater, I'm actually thinking that'd be my next project - something more like a cabin motorcycle that the wife and I could tour long distances in. The Streetliner is intended to be specifically an A-to-B type vehicle just to haul me back and forth to work. In fact, turning it into a tandem double would be quite a challenge at this point, given that I'm using scooter mechanicals. If I switch to motorcycle drivetrain, I'll be able to do a 2-seater, but like I said that's another project all together.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:57 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:57 am linkquote
NathanielSalzman wrote:
Quote:
I come out to Minnesota every year in October. If it works out could I come buy and see your project?
Absolutely! My shop is open to anybody who'd like to swing by.

Great. I will give you a couple of weeks heads up when I know the dates.

When on your site I saw the front end for your project. Very nice! Did yoiu build it? Was it built from scratch?
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:02 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:02 am linkquote
Lee B wrote:
When on your site I saw the front end for your project. Very nice! Did yoiu build it? Was it built from scratch?
I'm not quite following you. Did I build which? The vehicle? I'm only just starting to collect parts for my small scale prototype at this point. It's all been research up to now.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:04 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:04 am linkquote
I should have said front suspension. Sorry.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:05 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:05 am linkquote
Glad to see you are still on this project! Great site. PM me the location of your shop and the next time I am in St. Paul (my brother lives there) I would love to see it.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:12 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:12 am linkquote
You mean this?



This is the front end off of the Brunelli Leanster, a Norwegian 3-wheel motorcycle. It's pretty much verbatim what I'm going to build for my vehicle. It's got adjustments and an overall simplicity of fabrication that just makes it ideal. It's also a nice wide-track, which is essential for this vehicle. I doubt I'll use a radial brake rotor like that, however. I'm not interested in having to custom machine a wear-out part like a brake rotor.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:13 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:13 am linkquote
Beware the Sinclair C5
&feature=related
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:20 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:20 am linkquote
Ha ha! It's the Power Wheels of the future!

Good looking scooter you have there, Boulty! Looks an awful lot like the one in my garage
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:24 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:24 am linkquote
this is the picture I was asking about.

flickr.com/photos/nathaniels/4245712349/http://www.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:25 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:25 am linkquote
Awe yes
Let the rear tire and MP3 500cc enging do it all. Rear wheel drive is the best thing and in that way you can fool around with the front suspension all you want. I just saw your drawing and good luck on doing you project.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:25 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:25 am linkquote
Ah!

No that's the front off of an R/C monster truck. I picked it up used from a local R/C car shop yesterday. I'm going to take it back though, it's not quite what I need. The shocks are going to come in handy though.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 am

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 am linkquote
NathanielSalzman wrote:
The Messerschmitt is such a cool little thing! Were I a car collector, that'd be on my list for sure.
The picture of the Messerschmitt is from the Microcar Museum in Madison, GA. You might want to spend some time on their web page for some ideas with a lot of information on microcars and many of them 3 wheels. You could probably also get ahold of the two mechanics that rebuild them for the owner of the collection.They would probably have a lot of insight for you.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 am

Hooked
Vespa GT 200L
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
Vespa GT 200L
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 am linkquote
Re: Awe yes
erich51 wrote:
Let the rear tire and MP3 500cc enging do it all. Rear wheel drive is the best thing and in that way you can fool around with the front suspension all you want. I just saw your drawing and good luck on doing you project.
Thanks! Yeah, that's the plan. Right now I'm leaning toward the Suzuki Burgman, but the MP3/BV-500 motor is on my radar as well.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:30 am

Hooked
More than one should have.
Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 477
Location: Willits California
 
Hooked
More than one should have.
Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 477
Location: Willits California
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:30 am linkquote
NathanielSalzman wrote:
Ah!

No that's the front off of an R/C monster truck. I picked it up used from a local R/C car shop yesterday. I'm going to take it back though, it's not quite what I need. The shocks are going to come in handy though.
LOL. Ok.
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:33 am

Hooked
Vespa GT 200L
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
 
Hooked
Vespa GT 200L
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 111
Location: St. Paul, MN
Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:33 am linkquote
Yeah, I'm going to custom fab a front end closer to what I intend to build rather than depending on this limited geometry. I picked up a set of stroller wheels today at the surplus store and will scale the rest of this prototype off that size.
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