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NEDRA News from 2016 - 2015

Frank John Breaks 200 MPH

Record Setting in Maine

NEDRA NEWS - LORING, ME (September 4, 2016) After participating in the July "Maine Event" at the old Loring Air Force Base, I returned over Labor Day weekend for the final LTA land speed racing "Harvest Event" of the year.  This was with my 2004 Suzuki Hayabusa conversion which uses a Remy HVH250 motor, Rinehart Motion Systems PM100DX controller and Lonestar "Sleeper" cells.  I had collected enough data in July to know that 200 mph was possible and I formulated a plan to try to achieve that.  Max power can't change much so I focused on improving aerodynamics.

I had raced in July with the bike in totally street trim (mirrors are removed per rules) including a double-bubble windscreen and cut-down seat.  I replaced these with the stock items per recommendations from other 'Busa racers.  I also moved the stock "clip-on" style handlebars inboard as much as possible and kept the replacement front fender (permissible in virtually all racing organizations' rules).  I refabricated my top cover (where the gas tank would normally be) to make it a bit narrower which would keep my knees out of the wind more, and finished up by taping over seams in the bodywork.  The only mechanical change I made was gearing down a couple of teeth (up numerically) to try to reach top speed quicker.

My wife Shari and I drove to the track on Thursday afternoon and we helped finish setup Friday morning.  Racing started Friday afternoon and I made one 165 mph pass as a shakedown run.  I experimented a bit with riding positions on this pass: everyone has opinions about what works best!  I decided to focus on remaining as comfortable as possible without sliding back too far; this worked for me in July and I felt this was safest.

Saturday had a noticeable headwind coming pretty much straight down the track.  I worked Timing until noon then got relieved so I could make some runs.  The LTA times at both the 1.0 mile and 1.5 mile and I ran a 191.3/196.4 mph on the first pass.  I recharged and went out again an hour or so later and ran 195.3/199.8 mph into the same wind.  The difference was that the warmer pack yielded higher power.

On Sunday morning I was preparing to start up Timing (my usual volunteer position) but we had extra help so I was encouraged to suit up.  There wasn't much wind and it was warming up, turning into a real nice day.  I made a pass then drove the 2.5 miles back to the pits where I hooked up the charger, then radioed Shari to ask my approximate speeds (she was helping out at Timing).  When she came back with "199 and 205" I just about flipped.  I knew it was a good pass but I wasn't expecting that!  The mile speed was actually 199.856 which I'm told had everyone at the start line groaning after it was announced.

After recharging I made my final pass recording speeds of 201.645/206.847 mph.  I knew it was a good pass: the bike performed flawlessly and I concentrated on staying "under the paint" as much as possible.  I think that with another gearing change that I can improve the mile speed but there's not much left in it after that without changing to streamlined "land speed" bodywork.  That's something that I'll have to think about over the winter.  Going that fast is both exciting and scary at the same time.  The track is smooth and well-marked, and proper speed-rated sport-bike tires provide confidence but there's always the element of uncertainty.  Going fast is definitely a rush though.

The equipment I use is outstanding.  The Remy/Rinehart combination seems to be bullet-proof and the Sleeper cells typically stayed within .015V of each other all weekend.  They obviously give good power.  As far as I can determine this is the first time a street-legal EV with stock bodywork has gone 200 mph in the standing start mile.

Tulsa Raceway Park

NEDRA NEWS -TULSA, OK (July 30, 2016) On the 29th and 30th of July, Tulsa Raceway Park hosted another fine Test and Tune (TnT) and the Professional Motorcycle Racing Association (PMRA) event. NEDRA members on hand were George, Terry, and Tommy at the TnT event, with Terry waiting about a year to test his updated Shock Therapy Drag Cart and Tommy to test the DMC-B bike before racing on Saturday. Terry was able to make several test hits and his best 1/8 mi pass was 7.04 @ 91 before part of his battery pack went up in smoke. The good thing was his motors showed no sign of destruction so he will be back before the end of the racing season. Tommy's bike powered over to tech and back, but upon the time to go to the starting line, a fault error preventing the main relay to engage on the Zilla. After several checks, the error code 1131 (precharge circuit) would not go away so back to the trailer it went. The good thing was another hairball was available on another school project and that evening it was changed out and work correctly. In the mean time it had rained most of the night into the morning and races were delayed 2 hours. With only one qualifying pass available, Tommy turned a 11.4s @ 115 MPH with the rear tire only getting traction after the 100' mark. A guess for the ET posting time should be close to 11.0 so that is what he went with. Turns out in the 1st race he ran a 11.02s @ 119 MPH, but slept at the light and narrowly lost to a 9.56 sec Supper Gas bike on a 9.45 dial in. He is still chattering the tire on a 1kA zilla, so next time he will take tire pressure to 6.5 to 7lb in order to get it into the 10s. The rebuilt motors ran great, with several modifications to prevent arching and new Helwig brushes

Frank John report:

NEDRA NEWS - LORING, ME (September 4, 2016) I attended the LSR "Maine Event" up at the old Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, ME last week.  Event management was trying a new format (5-day event) to give interested participants more opportunity to explore the top speed limits of their machinery.  Other venues are at risk: Wilmington, OH is on an event-by-event basis as they are losing access to their runway.  Bonneville has not had much going on the last two years due to poor salt conditions and rain, but is looking better this year.  Some teams used this event as a test-and-tune (hoping conditions at Bonneville hold up).  There were about 80 teams: this event is one of the more lightly attended and it's no overstatement to say that you can (literally) make as many runs as you want.  Some competitors made more than 30 runs!  Working a longer event is harder on volunteer staff but the event was more structured in order to allow a bit more downtime (ex. scheduled lunch time most days).

Loring is probably the premier site for standing start LSR racing due to its length.  Timing is done at 1.0 and 1.5 miles and there is about .9 miles to slow down (not including another 1000' of rough abrasion asphalt followed by an uphill field before coming to a fence).  I've only ever seen one vehicle in the field (a streamliner that suffered a parachute failure this past May).  The fastest speed on pavement in the 1.5 mile was recorded there in 2011 by Bill Warner (311.945 mph).  Going fast is fun but you have to be able to stop.

I brought up my street conversion (E-Busa), a 2004 Suzuki Hayabusa.  It uses a Remy permanent magnet motor and Rinehart Motion Systems controller, fed by a 96S4P pack of Lonestar Sleeper cells.  Weight is about the same as stock and the first gen Hayabusa is known for good aerodynamics.  I knew the combination had good potential but wasn't sure what to expect.  I chose gearing based on theoretical data and it turns out I wasn't off by much, but in this world, a single tooth difference in a sprocket can be huge.

I'm fortunate enough to be part of the team that runs the event and I was happy to plan on only a single run each day.  I had ridden the bike before in 2014 to 140 mph with different running gear and knew it was a stable platform.  On Wednesday I made a siting pass around 125 mph to make sure everything worked properly.  On Thursday my goal was to run 150 in order to move up to the next license level.  I had trouble seeing the GPS speedometer because of my tuck position and glasses (out of focus!), I knew I was a bit faster than planned but didn't know I was doing 170 mph.  There was a strong gusting crosswind on Friday and for the first time ever we stopped the event for a couple of hours until things stabilized.  I chose to wait until Saturday.  With more volunteers learning how the Timing system works I had more flexibility and would be able to make a couple of runs.

I went out Saturday morning and made a pass into a headwind to the mile (187 mph) then coasted through the 1.5 mile lights.  The whole time I was getting data: regular battery parameters but also temperature of various components.  Satisfied that everything was working as planned I charged up and made a full-bore pass into the same headwind.  I had the same 1.0 mile speed but was pleasantly surprised to see I had registered a 195 mph at the 1.5 mile, which was more than I had expected.  I suddenly realized that I might have a chance at getting into the "2 Club".

I had been charging to 4.15 volts per cell but decided to increase that to 4.20 on Sunday.  The extra 5 mph takes about 7.5% more power at those speeds and I was hoping the extra voltage would help.  There was absolutely no wind and I ran 192.0 and 198.4 at the 1.0 and 1.5 miles, respectively, but I knew there wasn't much more to be had.  I charged again, balancing quickly to within 10 mV and went out, knowing the batteries were a bit warmer.  I ran essentially the same times (191.9 and 198.8) but it was clear that extra little bit was not to be had.  My tuck was very good and I even taped the overlap between my leathers and boots.

The fastest sit-on electric motorcycle in the standing start mile (that I know about) is a Lightning, ridden to 206 by Jim Hoogerhyde last summer at Mohave, but that machine was specially prepared and wearing streamliner bodywork with an aerodynamic tailpiece.  Initial analysis of my data has shown me that I can make some changes that should result in slightly higher speeds: I hope to find out at the next event in September.

Fastest bike at the event was a turbo ZX-12 ridden by Scott Davis to a blistering 266.  The fastest ever nitrous only run was made by Ransom Holbrook at 252.  There were lots of fast cars, a Charger ran 244 and there were quite a few others exceeding 200 mph.  Not everybody is into big speeds; a lot of folks enjoy running older machinery and were quite happy with small improvements.  One of the things I like about this aspect of the sport is that there's a place for everybody and everything.  The LTA has adopted NEDRA rules and voltage classes with electric conversions being seen as another engine class.  There are lots of open records for EV's and I keep hoping more people with production EV's will attend and get their name in the record book.

Frank John
NEDRA Northeast Rep. and Loring Timing Association Liaison



PRI Article about EV Racing

See the full article on Page 22

NEDRA Points Championship Series for 2016 is here.

New for 2016 are better trophies! More prizes! Cars and motorcycles are now in separate series.

is now $1250 in prise money for this years winner. See the NPCS RULES PAGE to register and for details to take part in the series. Good Luck and hot and sticky tires for all!

Roy LeMeur
NEDRA Competition Director

Lonestar EV Racing Team News

NEDRA NEWS - HOUSTON, TX (May 22, 2016) Lonestar EV Racing Team went to the track again and finally took down a long standing record held by Dennis Berube. The 1/8th mile DR/A3 record was barely inched out by two runs one at 5.09 and another at 4.94 139mph.

The car called "Panic in Detroit" was piloted by John Metric and the team includes Nathan Metric, Adam Clark, Keith Howard, Kevin Douglass and many others.

Panic in Detroit

John is adding 40% more battery and making some weight distribution adjustments before he takes on Don Garlits for the 1/4 mile record. He currently makes about 1200BHP from his Lonestar EV Performance "Sleeper Cells" and 2250ftlbs torque from his array of Netgain Warp9 motors and Manzanita Micro Zilla controllers.  John was surprised to find that the 1/8th mile record had never been advanced since Dennis's run, which goes to show you there are a lot of opportunities to set world records at NEDRA.

Tesla Model S Ludicrous

Tesla Ludicrous

2015 Records

1/4 mile

Bryan Hollander, SMC/I, 18.150@65.12
Jeff Montella, DR/C, 11.7421@110.57
Tom Henderson, SMC/D, 12.122@100.20
Sam Young and Olly Young, XS/A3, 9.354@155.55
Tom Henderson, SMC/D, 12.534@95.57
Michael Bertrand, PS/F, 12.927@102.88
Michael Bertrand, PS/F, 13.888@92.21
Brooks Weisblat, SP/A3, 11.683@114.61

1/8 mile

Klaus Nissen, SMC/D, 7.263@93.73
Hans-Henrick Thomsen, DMC/C, 5.1668@136.16
Glenn E. Nielsen, XS/A3, 5.746@127.97
George V Grant III, DMC/H, 7.208@92.16
Wayne Krauth, FC/B, 9.237@86.04
Ed Fargo, PP/A3, 10.8263@64.56
Frank John, DMC/A, 6.750@107.02
Wayne Krauth, FC/B, 9.237@86.04
George V Grant III, DMC/H, 7.272@89.34
Bob Salem, SC/D, 9.128@72.92
Lowell Simmons, HM/A3, 6.329@111.84
Mitchell Medforn, PS/A3, 6.886@101.03

2015 Bike and Sled Championship at Winterport Dragway

NEDRA NEWS - WINTERPORT, ME (October 11, 2015) I was asked to do a write-up describing my 2015 drag racing season which culminated with the overall point's championship in the Bike & Sled class at Winterport Dragway. Drag racing was something I had always wanted to try but I didn't take the plunge until mid-summer last year (2014.) I decided to use my street conversion (based on a 1976 Suzuki GT550 which I had ridden on the street for about 5 years) as the basis for this project. The street bike used a 72V SepEx system with D&D motor, Sevcon controller and 100Ah Thundersky batteries. Needless to say, this was not the hot setup for the strip!

For the motor I used a surplus ADC 6.7" 4-brush motor I had in the basement waiting for a project like this. I chose the venerable Z1K (Zilla) controller and a 72S2P pack of 100C LiPo "Sleeper" cells from Lonestar EV Performance. Recognizing that the motor was the weak point in the system, I started at 500A and slowly increased output, racing the rest of 2014 at 800A. The last event of the year I went to 1000A and promptly had a plasma event. Someone came up to me and said "you know there sure were a lot of sparks coming out of that thing mid-track!" Along the way I learned that I needed to strap the front end, add swing arm extensions, cut down the seat and install a 4" slick. I was told that people enjoyed watching my runs as I fought wheelies and mid-track spinning on my path along the learning curve.

My winter project list included cutting down the seat tubes, installing short struts, clip-ons and a surplus GE 7.5" motor obtained through the generosity of Lawless Industries. I rebuilt the motor, having the commutator turned and fitting new bearings, obtained a set of Helwig H49 racing-grade brushes from another motor which I machined to fit and advanced brush timing. Initial performance wasn't great because the brushes weren't shaped very well. It took a lot of time with garnet paper and spinning at 12V to make sure the brushes were well seated.

Bracket racing is won through consistency, in both machine and rider, but we all like to go fast. I made a conscious effort to only make one change at a time, typically running a "test & tune" pass after competition for the day was finished, and I would then use those settings for the following week. Before long I was at 1000A and 180V for motor settings. As machine performance improved, my riding improved as well, although I did see a few red lights along the way.

Part of being consistent is just showing up. I attended 13 of 15 events this year and won races in 10 of those outings, including 3 event wins and 2 runner-ups. Field size fluctuated week-to-week and was anywhere from 6-20 racers.

Motorcycles and snowmobiles (and sometimes ATV's) race together and there are typically more sleds than bikes. Competition was pretty fierce with the fastest motorcycle using a slider clutch, 2-step and auto shift setup for consistency. Snowmobiles are also extremely consistent with their centrifugal clutches. Several of the racers have been drag racing 30+ years. It's not unusual to have 3 or 4 women in the field. EV's can be very consistent but no more so than snowmobiles or the motorcycle described above. One of the few hand-clutching riders is bringing back his modified (and feared - don't laugh!) HondaMatic next year. He's won championships at several New England tracks on this slower but very consistent machine.

Supporting NEDRA's mission, I wanted to show folks that good EV performance is possible. My personal goal was to break into the sixes and top 100 mph at the 1/8-mile track. Ultimately my quickest time was 6.670 seconds, fastest speed was 112 mph and I reset the DMC/A record to 6.750 seconds. I have plans to make further modifications over the winter and think I can run low 6's next year.

Last race of the year:

Frank John

Trophy received at the year-end banquet:

Frank John's trophy

Time trial earlier in the year: (the dial-in card says "Gil", in honor of one of our racers who had just lost his daughter in a car accident)

Here is a video clip from True Cousins team in Sweden, and here is the write up to follow this video:

The Sliver Bullitt Electric Drag Bike has officially set their best time, and so far the fastest in Sweden @ 5.19sec in the 1/8 mile, gaining them a highlight in the news in Sweden! Good job guys! Videolink:


Follow this link to an article:


TCX Pits


Amazing pictures of Jeff Disinger's Electric Bike's speed run at the Ohio Mile Sept. 26th - 27th...That blue hue coming from the bottom rear was a combination of the electric motors nearly frying, and because of the copper and humidity despite having to replace the motor, it made for an awesome picture.  Let Jeff tell the story and he'd say, "...It's that  Power Glow!"  He had a 173 MPH recorded run, but his on board GPS speed tracker logged 178MPH! Awesome job Jeff!

Jeff Disinger

Jeff Disinger Ohio Mile

World's fastest female motorcyclist Eva Håkansson: 'I'm on a quest for 300mph'

It's not the speed that gives me the thrill - it's the joy of doing something that no one has ever done before'

Eva and KillaJoule

Eva Håkansson earned her current title as the world's fastest woman when the KillaJoule – an electric cycle she designed and built herself – reached 241.9mph

Eva Håkansson is the world's fastest female motorcycle rider, but the 34-year-old Swede isn't resting on her laurels. "My goal is always to be faster," she tells The Independent. "I'm on the quest for 300mph, but many things can go wrong."

Håkansson earned her current title on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in September last year, when KillaJoule – an electric cycle she designed and built herself – reached 241.9mph in the official race on the densely packed salt pan.

The US-based mechanical engineer was hoping to hit 300mph in KillaJoule this weekend, but flooding on the flats forced the cancellation of racing. Her next opportunity to write herself into the record books will take place between 12 and 16 October at an event called the Bonneville Shootout.

Eva Hakansson

Eva Håkansson is currently studying for a PhD at University of Denver

The KillaJoule, a bright red, cigar-shaped projectile, has had a number of modifications since last year's run. "It's always a work in progress so there are some upgrades in horsepower and there is less drag," explains the University of Denver PhD student. "All that makes the computer say that it will go 300mph."

Håkansson appears to inhabit a glamorous world, an image confirmed by her appearance in the latest ad campaign for Johnnie Walker, alongside racing driver Jenson Button and actor Jude Law. But she insists "it's not the speed that gives me the thrill"; rather it's "the joy of doing something that no one has ever done before".

The real pleasure comes from the 360 days she spends building high-speed vehicles in her garage; the five days of racing are "mostly quite stressful as that is when you prove your work".

Håkansson has two main reasons for breaking speed records in an electric vehicle. First, to show that women make as good engineers as men and, secondly, to change the perceptions of eco-friendly vehicles. She describes her record attempts as "eco-activism in disguise".

"The general perception of anything that is eco-friendly and low emission is that it is really boring and you wouldn't want an electric car," she says. "My mission is to change that perception by showing that electric vehicles can be insanely fast."

Electric cars would fulfil the needs of "about 95 per cent" of the population, she adds. "I don't think we will see electric long-haul trucks or electric commercial airplanes in a long time, but for daily driving electric cars are outstanding".

Håkansson and her husband, fellow engineer Bill Dube, get around in an electric car powered by solar panels on the roof. "It costs us practically nothing to drive and it's running on sunshine."

She is due to finish her PhD in about six months, at which point she hopes to convert her "high-end hobby" into a full-time career.

In the US, and also in the UK, where only 6 per cent of women are engineers, "many people seem to think that some unknown, unfathomable force makes us unable to be engineers. I want to change that perception, because women make excellent engineers and little girls and older girls and women need to see that the tech sector is an excellent career choice."

She believes women may be put off Stem (science, technology, engineering and math) careers "because they think they can't do it because they have been told all their lives that engineering is just for boys, and people accept that as some kind of undeniable fact".

Engineering runs in her family. Her father, Sven, was a Swedish road racing champion in the Sixties, who built and tuned his own machines. He also took a keen interest in electric-powered vehicles, developing Sweden's first electric street-legal motorcycle, the ElectroCat, with Eva.

KillaJoule Naked

The Killa Joule has a 375-volt, 10kWh battery pack has 56 cells; these are charged by a bio-diesel generator

Håkansson's mother was also an engineer – "the only female in her class" – as are her brothers. "Looking back at my childhood I realized I never really played with things. I was just always building things. I thought that was completely normal. I learned how to use a sewing machine when I was four. It wasn't until I reached my twenties and thirties that I realized how unusual that was, and what a great education I'd had. All the foundation for my technical work comes from my childhood."

describes the moment of setting a record as "like a great plan coming together, a feeling that you pulled it off".

The run itself is a "strange mix of boredom, terror and magic", she says. "When you surpass your record, suddenly you are in uncharted territory. You've never been this fast. Your bike has never been this fast and you just don't know if it's going to break or list or crash, and also it's very claustrophobic. You are inside a little tube, a straitjacket, and it's also very hot. You are in the middle of the desert. I have a speedometer, so I know how fast I am going and it is almost magic when it works. The world stops and afterwards there's a big release."

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