Athol Williams made a house to keep the KillaCycle dry while travelling on the back of his little Stud Welding NZ truck. We really can't thank Athol enough, he's the New Zealand & Australian record holder on his 6.1s nitromethane powered bike. He took care of an aweful lot of logistics on the KillaCycle tour, and it wouldn't have been the same without him. During the first part of the tour, the KillaCycle travelled in his mobile race workshop, and he provided racing advice and support at Meremere and Nelson. It was a great weight off my shoulders to have his years of drag racing experience, as I could simply be pit crew while Athol took care of the track side with Bill.
We had to wait after a V8 powered mini took out some timing gear in an unscheduled bit of off-road adventure. He managed to get it back on the track, and was loose all day.
Not everything went smoothly, with the KillaCycle refusing to switch the motors from series to parallel. The bike starts in series, putting up to 2000A through both motors, but in series, the voltage across the motors adds, so when they are turning fast, we run out of battery voltage to push the current through them. Scotty pushes a button to switch the motors to parallel, where the current divides and we get up to 1000A through each motor, but the voltage doesn't add, so the battery is able to do this even when the motors are turning fast. Unfortunately, the shift only worked on the first easy run and while testing in the pits, it wouldn't work on the track at full power. Without shifting, we only managed a best time of 8.81s in quarter mile.
We did do a quick turnaround for the last run of the day, doing two runs within 8 minutes. We didn't do anything to the bike, we just waited behind two other cars before we could go again. The KillaCycle can do about 14 passes, including riding back to the start line, without charging. Bill tells me that when they do showboat back-to-back runs, the second run is often quicker than the first, but there is a good chance of damaging a motor as they get too hot. This time there was no damage.
Nelson is going well, we've done 2 runs with the KillaCycle, and are about to do a third. The first was a slow 10.551s @ 115MPH where we found the track is very slippery out of the hole. In the second run we had a ground fault in the motors and the series-parallel shift didn't work, so 9.594 @ 136.37MPH was slower than expected.
I'm in Nelson where the KillaCycle is scheduled to run tomorrow (Saturday 6 Feb) at 11:30 at Motueka aerodrome. The experimental "high voltage" motors that blew up at Meremere have been replaced with the record setting lower voltage motors with variable brush timing system, so we should see better times than last weekend.