Project V8: sixteen months after

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Yes, September 5th 2010 was quite a euphoric day, it was the day the V8 bike proved to be rideable! So: just a paintjob away from finishing the project? Almost seventeen months later I can tell you this: no way.

Because testing – and riding is just one of them – provided us with loads of data and a long to-do list. First of all: heat. Heat is one of the worst enemies in this project.

I started out making heat shealds for the seat pipes.


Although quite rigid the front fork springs turned out to be not rigid enough. I put in the hardest springs on the market.



The bike has two 40Amp alternators. It turned out that they should rev up earlier in order to nourish all the hungry current consumers. I drew a little scheme to determine the right diameter ...


Chris Jansen (owner of Hartgers Radiateuren) came to the workshop to test the bike's coolant flow.


... after which we took the water pump apart.


To increase flow I got rid of the temperature controller; this bike heats up fast enough.
BennoI found a nifty device called m-Unit which will take its place. I drew this scheme, installed all the wiring and ... it worked.

At the end of January 2010 Niels continued on the bike's engine electronics.


March 20th 2011: I got permission from the company Dekker van de Kamp to use their private roads (no snoops!) for testing the bike. Although it was a perfect sunny Sunday, the results were not that happy: the engine wasn't running smooth at all so I had to heat up the clutch a lot while riding to prevent the bike from stalling.

On the left you see 'newskool electronics' Niels, on the right you see 'oldskool experience' Klaus. Behind Niels you see Frans, representing a very important skill: optimism.


Niels concluded that the cause of the problems might be unclean injectors. So I visited Peter Scheepers (owner of Scheepers Motorsport) in Germany. Peter built a special test rig for the injectors ...


... and tested all sixteen of them. The amount of dirt was negligible which was good. And not good because it wasn't the cause of the ill engine.


Niels called in Gerhard Bekaan, an experienced engine tuner. He took with him some nice testing equipment ...

Tell us, Gerhard: were it the injection coils, the motor management, the spark plugs, the wiring, the injectors? The size of the fuel rails perhaps? Easy questions, difficult answers, even for pros.


Could I affort the extra thickness? No: the small balancing weight under the nut just hit the frame.


On July 3rd we had another testing day with Niels, Gerhard and Frans. It turned out to be the right choice to use the Ford EDIS 8 module because the sparks were significant more powerful than the sparks that MegaSquirt generated.

On the right you see a white heat resistant ceramic spark plug.


October 22th 2011: another sunny day and a perfect day to transport the bike to Scheepers Motorsport. That afternoon I managed to make a few test runs on a deserted road nearby. A magnificent feeling to open the throttle even just a little.


Peter has built his own Dyno. Unfortunately it was too short as my bike is slightly longer then a normal bike. Together with Rainer (on his left) he discussed how to extend this high-tech test facility.


Between October 22nd and the first Dyno test (November 19th) Peter helped me solving quite some annoying problems.

Despite that all brake calipers were 'better than new', the test run proved that braking was still far from optimal. We bled the front and rear brakes thoroughly after which Peter found out that the front brake discs were bent, or 'krumm' as they say in Germany.


Radical action: tearing out all sixteen injector connectors. This was necessary because the wiring was damaged caused by lots of (dis)assemby.


In almost no time Niels and Frans installed new connectors.


You know by now I don't show any picture of the bike itself. Even Peter and Niels had their back turned to the bike quite some time, drawing conclusions from all the data the sensors provided.


You can tell I was a bit worried during the test.

Lothar calculated that the fuel rail should have a minimal inner diameter of 10mm. A table (with no less than nine decimal places) ...
As I wrote before, there's no space for bigger tubes. Another radical choice had to be made: instead of sixteen big injectors – like the one on the left – I changed to 'just' eight small ones (on the right). Can eight small ones deliver the same amount as sixteen bigger ones? Yes they can, and even more than that! These are state of the art Bosch injectors, small in size but very powerful.
Two fuel rails instead of four. But two big ones: 20mm inside diameter instead of 6mm.

This report was just a tip of the iceberg; all the guys above know that.

So what's next? Finishing the new fuel system, testing it. Finding out what caused the engine problems and solving them one by one. Diminish the to-do list. It's that simple.

It's not easy building a complex bike like this, nor is it always fun. But I'm not a quitter, I know what I want and why I want it. So it'll get it on the road, nolens volens.

Wanna hear a time schedule? Won't give it, can't give it. I'm surrounded by professionals, we'll finish this project step by step until ... BANG!