Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

O. Raymond Courtney - Revised, Revisited, Revamped and sexed up!

 I'm sure many here have seen pics of this beastie... O. Raymond Courtney's streamlined racer from 1934.


Well I fell in love with it!  And am fool enough to think a slightly modified and "sexed up" version may actually make some money in a niche market.


Everyone I know who's seen pics of it says "I'd love to have one.." so hopefully in a year or two they'll get their chance...


Not being flush with cash, or being an experienced welder or fibreglasser, I decided the most cost effective way of re-creating the beastie was to convert my existing scooter (Hyosung 50cc rally) as a test bed to sort out any aerodynamic problems...


As you can see Courtney's beast has a longer wheel base than my scooter and so a little cutting and welding is required to stretch the frame.


If built exactly to the size of Courtney's beast it would be a very cramped and uncomfortable ride with my knees in my chest - after all the original WAS a racer... I'm getting old and like to sit comfortably and lean back on my little cruiser when I'm riding.. The scooter is just for quick trips to the shops...


So..... Why not scale it up for a cruiser version to make from my Hyosung Aquila???


Again the frame needs cutting and stretching - similar to this frame (below) made from a Honda 500 (found a guy that's building a replica of the bike from "Akira") and I'm away...






A streamlined bike that is aerodynamicly sound enough to increase both speed and mileage...




Unlike most of the whizz-bang streamlined bikes that people who SHOULD be smart enough to know better it doesn't look like an upright clamshell ....and because of its low center of gravity and streamlining FROM THE SIDE is not a suicide waiting to happen in a crosswind (or whenever a truck goes past in the opposite direction) - Note to ALL eco-nutters: Don't even TRY to design a bike if you don't ride one on the road yourself!


Not only are these "greener" modern streamliners death traps - you look like a total dork riding one! NO WONDER THEY'RE FULLY ENCLOSED!!!


The solution -  A slighty "sexed up" 1930s Courtney-style shell on a frame stretched to suit...


What started as an idea for a cool looking beastie to zip up to the shops on may well be marketed in a few years as an eco-cruiser! The cool looking retro bike that saves you gas...


Alll sounds grand dunnit?


And at this stage I'm still working out just where to cut the scooter frame (like I said above it's to become my aerdynamic test bed)


Thoughts? Opinions? Ideas?.... (cheekily) Investors???

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Love the photoshop pic! That is so cool! If I knew how to use photoshop I'd post a pick of how I envisage the final product!


How do I intend making the beasties without welding and fibreglassing experience?


I was wondering that myself until quite recently...


I work in a Vineyard in Margaret River, Western Australia... so amongst the 'full timers' there's a wealth of mechanical/welding/belt-it-into-shape-with-a-ball-hammer experience.... and here in Australia (I assume it's the same elsewhere) it is simply amazing the work you can get someone to do for you in exchange for a $40 bottle of bourbon or a case of beer that they wouldn't do for $100 cash!


So the welding and mechanical side didn't present a problem - the beer economy after hours at work would take care of that... but without a shell to put on it there's no point cutting the fframe so it all stayed rolling round in the back of my mind - fine tuning...


Then over a beer after work I found out that my boss used to make fibreglass kayaks... BINGO! I put together a little presentation in a folder and he went nuts over it! 


As soon as the picking season here is over (we're in the middle of it atm) and we're slowing down doing pruning etc - then after work - with the farm tools, welder, workshop... we begin!


i've even managed to track down the patent office drawings for Courtney's Racer and his later 1952 bike he called "The Enterprise" so we've got a good basis to begin the serious (re)design work from...

It's all fallen together so neatly I can't quite believe it! 8^D


Don't worry Tome... There'll be a cpl of articles posted about it once construction begins LOL!!!

*drools* love that streamlined racer.


how is the build going so far?

As i said I work on a Vineyard in west australia and we're in the middle of the picking season so the build is more on paper atm LOL! However as soon as things slow down it should be full steam (no pun intended) ahead .... 8^D

Well the picking is FINALLY over and it's all quiet on the western front now...


That doesn't mean I haven't been doing some stuff in the background re: this project....


Here's some video of samples of various virtual wind tunnel tests of Raymond Courtney's 1934 design and of modified versions considered before actual building I've been doing over the past couple of weeks...


...shows side on aerodynamic testing as well as just front on - If you've ever been on a bike as a road train or articulated truck passes you at high speed going in the opposite direction you'll KNOW why! LOL!


how is the build going so far?

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