I haven't posted on this forum for ages this prject was mentioned in another thread about CNC master cylinders so I thought I would bring the bit about the Centre Hub Steered bike up to date in part because it going to a a show next week and some people showed an interest in seeing it in the metal as it where, its the Kickback show at Stoneleigh Park 1st April 2017.
Its also been featured in Performance bike Magazine in which they stated its the best special they've ever tested.
Here's some pics and more info below.
Below is an extract from an early post elsewhere
On the 3rd July last year, I ran out of excuses and had no choice but to ride the thing, the plan was to ride down our lane (about 400 yard long) feet down and get a feel for the steering etc, and also check out the brakes, gear change, etc etc, are reacting as expected, having never ridden a Centre Hub steered bike I was unsure as to what to expect, theory, geometric CAD animation and computer simulation are all very good but you don't get injured if a computer model goes haywire, Id read all sorts, vague steering!, lack of feel!, bump steer!, Quirky, all sorts. So after finally fitting the tank and seat proper (until now Id been running it on a dummy tank to set stuff up) I warmed up the engine a little donned my open face helmet so I could listen better for odd noises and get a clue as to what was going on, I pushed it out of the gate, straddled the bike, slipped it into first, and set off feet down for about 10ft, then feet up rode to the end of the lane in second gear, on the way I weaved about a bit getting a feel for the brakes and steering, braked for the lane end, turned right then left onto the main A road, I proceeded along this road for about half mile, testing the brakes and gear change where OK, I then turned right onto a windy bumpy B road which eventually swings back on itself after about a mile or so to rejoin the A road, I did 4 laps of this at speeds upto about 75mph to check engine temperatures and stuff and bed in the pads.
So what happened to the feet down plan, its simple really it just felt dead normal with no real surprises at all, in fact I've ridden strange to me bikes hundreds of times and the only stand out thing is it didn't feel odd at all, other than lack of dive under breaking, its hard to describe but it just feels really precise, After getting back and checking it over for loose stuff, oil level coolant etc, I let my mate Tony take it out, he's raced in the UK in club racing and competed in the late 80's and early 90's in both the T.T. and Manx GP on TZ's initially, and then later a Kawasaki 1100 and then GSXR's, after doing another three laps of the same A and B roads as me he came back with a big grin on his face declaring it just feels normal.
I had noticed that the front was a bit hard so backed of the compression damping a couple of notches, today I rode it again doing about 30 miles on a mixture of a A and B roads at speeds upto about 85mph, including a short stint of about 5 miles on a duel carriage way, the front damping feels about right now, handling wise its still early stages but initial impressions are very encouraging, it steers neutral, and feels very precise and is very stable, I was riding no hands today at about 70mph, just to see if the offset I build into the Hub is working as expected and it is, I even tried upsetting it by pushing one of the bars and letting go, it just holds the line you put it on, braking over bumps you can feel the suspension working, the front dips a little on first application of the brakes but then holds there, my initial setup is 40% anti dive which at this stage feels about right.
The Gen2 engine with Gen1 electrikery and Gabro's chip works great, the engine pulls really strong with good midrange, one of the main unknowns was the cooling system, home made water pump side mounted rads, however I needn't have worried it seems to be working fine, its holding a temp of between 78 and 84c during normal A and B road riding I haven't heard the fans cut in other than when its been ticking over during engine setup.
Over all it was a bit of an anti climax, I think this is a good thing, I suppose its because it feels so normal, which is much better than the opposite which involves getting thrown about and going through hedges etc......
however since then I have made a few changes, after playing with Rake Trail Ride height etc etc I now have it steering neutral in most conditions, and have the damping more or less sorted, the problem is when you make adjustments it doesn't do what you expect i.e. lifting the front makes it steer faster, which is opposite to normal, however I can now make adjustments and predict what the change will do, where as before it was confusing in part because its so adjustable and I wasn't doing it systematically, this lead to confusion and me for a time getting lost, in the end I went back to my original calculated settings and started again, but this time adjusting one thing at a time and noting the changes after a longer ride, I also stopped riding my other bikes because this was adding to the confusion.
In addition to the above:-
When most of the picture here where taken the bike was more or less straight out of the shed it had covered about a 800 miles, since its covered another 3000 or so.
This winter I have changed the front calipers to Brembo's and made a new rear suspension rocker in order to change the rising rate to a more linear setup, it felt a bit wooden at the back, and this summer I intend to try some extreme rake setting etc, as an experiment just to see what happens.