Dyno questions

johnm

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Oh good grief. I knew I was going to regret it. :)

You said

"expect great gobs of extra power"

What did I actually say

"small but useful improvement"

And if you read the BP document in full it includes the following -


"Methanol allows extremely high compression ratios to be used to produce more power. In addition, with methanol the engine can cram more energy into the cylinder for three reasons.The large amount of fuel being consumed.

The cooling effect when methanol evaporates raises the density of the mixture, ie. even greater energy content of the mixture.

Methanol contains oxygen within its chemical structure, which acts like a chemical supercharger. "


Note the " IN ADDITION" bit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even the documents you quote agree with what Im saying if you bother to read the whole thing :)

And this is really absolutely the last time I post on this subject! :)
 
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I'm not surprised that Johnm lost his patience! I've been dipping into this thread from time to time and the most useful and interesting posts were made by experienced mechanics and engine tuners who know what they are talking about- e.g. Dances, johnm, and beng. These comprise about 5% of the thread - the rest is mostly waffle and sidetracking. Johnm, especially, gave a good insight into how to use a dyno to tune his Dommie to make more power and be competitive on the track. Thanks, John, for sharing this information. Some videos of your Norton in action would be good!
 

johnm

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Hi Dave

Thanks for the kind words. (Breaking my rules again)

But please I hope no one thinks I am upset. I work in the former Soviet Union and things which happen to me every day are 1000 times more "exciting" than events on this forum :)

Somewhat bemused would be a more accurate assessment.

And as an old racing buddy said. "When the flag drops the BS stops" It's all good fun :)

I suspect Rohan and I would get on fine in "real life" We both sound about as stubborn as each other :)
 
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acotrel said:
Johnm, I'm glad you broke your 'last post promise ' and I hope Rohan reads the article that you've linked to. I don't think running methanol/petrol mix in cars using public roads would be a good idea. If methanol runs rich, the products of combustion include formaldehyde and formic acid. The first is a listed carcinogen, the second is the acid ants inject into you when they bite. Even ethanol in fuel can produce acetic acid which can be quite nasty. As a racing fuel in any four stroke motor methanol is great, in a two stroke it is a pain in the butt. It is expensive however it gives a substantial power boost. I have always used it when racing even in my T250 Suzuki road racer, with which I once blew off a good TZ350 Yamaha.
I think Rohan is trying to say that methanol does not give an appreciable power boost. - He should try it some time.



By and large with the exception of British motorcycle speed way and the standing quarter and one eighth of a mile dragstrip guys, “open fuel” is not really allowed in the UK.
Only once have I ever seen an “open fuel “ short circuit road race, way back in the 1970s, when one race at a clubman’s race meeting at Brands Hatch, a pre war, Scott Flying Squirrel, running on methanol, beat everybody else in the race, including a 750 Triumph Trident production racer, amongst others, as it was for any class of bike! The Scott’s (Charlie Wilkinson?) owner commented that the engine seized up if they tried to run it on any other fuel
There was a pair of brothers from Greenwich, whose name I have forgotten, who used to purchase cheap for £25, ex-M.O.D. 500 Triumph aircraft starter engines and with a blower fitted on to them, make them fly at the Santa Pod dragstrip, running on methanol. They were suitably of low compression for the blower, if the engine blew up, it was simple and cheaper to obtain another engine from their supplier.
 

johnm

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Bernhard said:
By and large with the exception of British motorcycle speed way and the standing quarter and one eighth of a mile dragstrip guys, “open fuel” is not really allowed in the UK.

There was a pair of brothers from Greenwich, whose name I have forgotten, who used to purchase cheap for £25, ex-M.O.D. 500 Triumph aircraft starter engines and with a blower fitted on to them, make them fly at the Santa Pod dragstrip, running on methanol.

When the NZ Open Classs guys go to the UK for the season they often have trouble converting back from methanol to race gas.

I think those Triumph engines could be the Lancaster bomber generators that were the basis for the Triumph GP engine. I have a friend who used one as a basis to create his replica GP motor.
 
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Bernard, In Australia except on speedway, methanol can only be used in racing pre 72 historic bikes . My Seeley 850 just scrapes in. It was the major reason our guys were so successful in Europe in the early days - they were used to the speeds. A British manx on petrol was usually as fast as ours were in Australia on methanol. I don't believe many of our fast guys got the max out of methanol in Australia, and probably did not need to lean it off so much to defeat what was racing here back then. When you get near the destructive limit, it really gives a substantial performance increase regardless of comp. ratio. I wouldn't like to have my motor on 14 to 1 comp. , and try to lean it off so much. It would be like doing it to a two stroke.

Johnm, thanks for your comments.

Rohan, it is not about the engine running cooler, but about freezing the incoming air through the fuel vaporizing making it denser, and needing more fuel for correct combustion. The oxygen content of methanol does not contribute to energy release in the same way that the oxygen bonded to nitrogen atoms does in nitro fuel or explosives. Water has a similar oxygen situation, to methanol. It is the carbon atoms changing to CO2 which gives most of the energy, the oxygen is released as water vapour when it combines with bonded hydrogen, I don't believe that gives a major contribution. It is more of a chemical rearrangement of the atoms with minimal energy change. Nitro compounds contain excess chemically bonded oxygen ready for release and are unstable. If they are mixed with hydrocarbons, there is a lot of carbon available, and you have an explosive on your hands. We've had bikes catch on fire on a trailer on the way home from a race meeting after the fuel system was flushed with petrol, after using nitro.
 
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johnm said:
And as an old racing buddy said. "When the flag drops the BS stops" It's all good fun :)
And when we all see dyno charts of fuels compared, then all the dust will really have settled.
Its really odd its so hard to find this anywhere though ??
No-one seems to have done a direct comparison - and documented it.

If that BP fuel site is going to issue contradictory statements, then the dust hasn't settled.
Although they stressed the higher compression angle...
Cheers !
 

johnm

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Rohan said:
And when we all see dyno charts of fuels compared, then all the dust will really have settled.
Its really odd its so hard to find this anywhere though ??
No-one seems to have done a direct comparison - and documented it.

Cheers !
Finding examples of motorcycle dyno runs is very rare. In some 10 year of looking for examples of our kind of bikes I have seen one Manx Norton plot , some Norton Commando ones from Cycle Magazine, some BSA Goldstar ones from the original factory test sheets, some test data from the Daytona Norton twins put up by Ben - and my ones - thats it.

(And no I dont have them all nicely stored away somewhere sorry!)

- but apart from bragging purposes they are not really so helpful because you usually dont know if they are rear wheel, crankshaft , what sort of dyno, calibration, fuel type etc etc.

I have never tested methanol on the dyno. Firstly I didnt have time, second I am no longer in NZ and frankly also the poisoning issued outlined above. Nearly all dynos are stuck in a room with only half reasonable ventilation, with extractors which only partially work and I have no desire to poison myself. My dad died years ago from industrial induced cancer and I have no wish to risk the same. There is one dyno I know of in NZ which just tests the engine inside a sealed container - but it is in the South Island and not set up right now. This unit would be the perfect solution if it were commisoned. I beleive it was once used for the Britten development. Its partly owned by the guy Im going to the Manx with next week so I will have a talk with him about it.

John
 
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Poisoning from methanol is not re ally an issue when you use it for racing unless it is blended with benzene which gives blood changes (leukemia). The effects of methanol are cumulative brain damage and due to it being oxidized in the body with formic acid and formaldehyde being produced. It is one of t he reasons that moonshine is dangerous, methanol is produced when the mash is charred. There was a case here during WW2 where some aborigines found a container full of methanol torpedo fuel which had been left on a beach by US troops, they drank it and a few died. The treatment if that happens is to keep the patient very drunk on ethanol until the methanol is out of their system. When you use it in a race bike, all you need to do is minimize skin contact and breathing the vapours - i.e. don't wash parts in it. Leaded petrol is probably more dangerous, and unleaded petrol still has benzene in it. If you read the safety data sheets, all chemicals cause cancer. Methanol is not a listed carcinogen , however its oxidation product formaldehyde is. There is no need to be paranoid, exposure from using it when racing is minimal. As an industrial chemist I've worked with stuff which will kill you in three minutes if the vapours waft over your skin. It is a fact of life that many chemists live shorter lives. If you think motorcycling is dangerous, try standing over a vat containing 100 KG of nitroglycerine while the niration is proceeding. You recognize your own mortality. During WW2 the guys in Britain used to defuse booby trapped bombs. In everything you ever do you must minimize the risk to a tolerable level and recognize your duty of care . John, you worry too much - you are not statistics.
 
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This is what it's all about at the end of the day: Bob Mac working the Heenan and Froude test brake and getting out for a spin around Oulton Park. The circuit has changed a little since then...

Thanks to Aco on another thread for pointing me in the direction of The Right Line (Duke Videos).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7LwEG7Tptc
 
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Thanks for that Daveh. I still get a buzz out of watching that. I had the movie on film for years and paid to get it digitized. I had part of the movie up on Youtube until Duke claimed the rights to it. In watching that, I've just regained the urge, and I'm thinking that I must get my bike fired up as soon as our weather improves. Dynos are obviously good stuff, however I think if you want the best results, you must actually own one. I'm simply horrified at some of our local young self-proclaimed experts who have been nowhere, done nothing. I think I must be getting too old.
 
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johnm said:
I have never tested methanol on the dyno.
Nor has anyone else, it seems ???
Sorry John, I didn't mean you had to do a dyno test for the comparison between petrol and methanol.
I'm just surprised that there seems to be no tests out there that actually compare them.
The collected wisdom is that methanol is better, but there nothing?? in print to actually prove this. ?
And comments and claims about this are all over the shop.
Which makes everyone non-experts on this... ?

A few bike magazines published dyno charts for all the bikes they road tested back in the 80s and 90s, and even the 70s.
I kept an index of these, but actually finding the magazines to go with them may be more of a challenge.
At least they consistently used the same dyno(s), so some results are comparable, at least.
No methanol testing though...

Some bike makers published dyno charts for their engines, even way back into history.
Indian in 1925 claimed 25% more horsepower for their new detachable head model (sidevalve)
- and published the dyno chart in the brochure to prove it.
The chart is too small to read !, but looks like 10hp up to 12.5 hp = not big beer.
JAP Racing engines came with a name -and claim to power.
The 8-80 model made 80 bhp, which is some serious mumbo for the 1930s and 1940s.
And some serious cash to own it. It also used special race fuel, quite a brew apparently ?
Cheers.
 
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acotrel said:
. I had the movie on film for years and paid to get it digitized. I had part of the movie up on Youtube until Duke claimed the rights to it..
You were lucky they didn't do you for copyright infringement. ?
Stories of kids being done for similar with computer games, and being landed with a bill for $500,000 or $800,000 etc in damages are in the press a lot these days.
Not to mention pirates and hackers that can be done for jail time for 'National Security'...
 

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I found some videos of Tony riding the Dommie. Soem of you may have seen them before. In all these races the bike was on methanol but had issues in that all the other bikes had 6 spped boxes and good front brakes. The Dommie just had the 4 speed a Commando 2LS against Manx 4LS etc. This is a real problem in the last race at Taupo. Notice the throttle sticking on the start line as well. Thats a cable problem under the tank but I wasnt there that day because I had already left for overseas before the end of the season. The #75 bike which passes him twice in the second video at Puke is a top of the line McIntyre G50.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyekqMox4tw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CPMiqN5 ... i8&index=5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2egiKbFL ... CPMiqN5KcA

This last on is his H2 at the Paeroa street races this year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy9bK5kD ... y9bK5kDlFs
 
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johnm said:
I found some videos of Tony riding the Dommie. Soem of you may have seen them before. In all these races the bike was on methanol but had issues in that all the other bikes had 6 spped boxes and good front brakes. The Dommie just had the 4 speed a Commando 2LS against Manx 4LS etc. This is a real problem in the last race at Taupo. Notice the throttle sticking on the start line as well. Thats a cable problem under the tank but I wasnt there that day because I had already left for overseas before the end of the season. The #75 bike which passes him twice in the second video at Puke is a top of the line McIntyre G50.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyekqMox4tw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CPMiqN5 ... i8&index=5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2egiKbFL ... CPMiqN5KcA

This last on is his H2 at the Paeroa street races this year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy9bK5kD ... y9bK5kDlFs
John - thanks for posting those. I did see one of them before but but they mean more now, knowing what the bike is and what has been done to it. That was pretty good going for your rider on the Dommie and you have it singing!
 
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I have taken my Thruxton around Puke and its tapped out in every gear till the limiter kicks in, I would have thought you'd be pulling more than 5000.
I've only been there once on the BMW as its not been closed to bikes.
 
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John, Loved your videos. Know what you can do with your H2 road racer ?
Rohan, I upload videos to preserve our motorcycling history, or it could be lost forever, and idiots will be able to exploit historic racing rubbish which bears totally no resemblance to what actually happened. In Australia our IP laws don't allow 'fair usage', and it takes about 12 years for a case to get to court. If someone wants to try to take $500,000 off me, they would probably only get about $300,000 and I would be bankrupt and homeless. This is not Dubai, there are no debtors' prisons. I have had a double bypass op and three strokes, - I don't believe I will still be a live in 12 years time . So what is important ? To me it is scraping up enough dosh to ride my bike a couple of times. You guys worry too much.
 

johnm

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Hi

Dont understand the 5000 rpm comment around Puke. The Dommie was pulling about 7500 on the back straight which if the tachs correct is about 118 mph. Which frankly is a bit more than I thought it would do. If its the H2 you referring to then the tach gearing is probably wrong. (the owner is as broke as it is possible to be and I think is a Suzuki one from some wreak)

And the H2 has nothing to do with me. Thats belongs to the rider. I dont think I have ever touched a 2 stroke in my life :)

He has a road one and we seem to fill up at about every second gas station !!!!!

John
 
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johnm said:
Hi

Dont understand the 5000 rpm comment around Puke. The Dommie was pulling about 7500 on the back straight which if the tachs correct is about 118 mph. Which frankly is a bit more than I thought it would do. If its the H2 you referring to then the gearing is probably wrong. (the owner is as broke as it is possible to be and I think is a Suzuki one from some wreak)

And the H2 has nothing to do with me. Thats belongs to the rider. I dont think I have ever touched a 2 stroke in my life :)

He has a road one and we seem to fill up at about every second gas station !!!!!

John
Opps , I was sneeking a look at work....clearly it was the practice lap....doh. Rider even managed to straighten up the camera when it tipped.
Cool vids cheers
 
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John, I probably shouldn't rubbish the H2, I've got an unfinished project which is basically an H1 motor in an Egli Frame. I've fitted RD350 barrels to it which makes it 600cc, it's got TZ750 port timings. Unfortunately I've lost enthusiasm for it at present. Your Dommie is great, however it reminds me of my short stroke 500cc Triumph, and I felt the anxiety while watching your videos.
Rohan, About dyno testing bikes which use methanol. In Australia we've only had bike dynos for probably the last 15 years, and these days only historic racers and speedway guys use methanol. If we'd had the dynos in the sixties there would have been plenty of data about methanol available to make the comparison with petrol. The reason I started this thread was that I had a discussion with a friend about a guy in Queensland who does speed records on the salt using a Z900 Kawasaki on methanol. He found it very difficult to get sense from the fellas with dynos, and eventually ended up with a guy in Brisbane who develops drag bikes. By using the dyno he didn't get much top end power increase, but a major increase in torque. So the bike gets going quicker on the salt, and has longer to develop its top speed.

My questions to you guys have mainly been directed at ascertaining the sensitivity of torque measurements on the average modern dyno.
 
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