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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ever wish you had enough locking storage to travel out of town on your motorcycle?
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I finally finished my Vetter style aero tail last June and have 11,000 miles on it now. My fuel economy was already very high with the Honda CBR250R but has now been running slightly better at 101 mpgUS at 65 mph during the warm months. Having the large trunk is nice for shopping and going back and forth to work. The rear area sloping down behind the tire is included so I have about 100 liters which is just enough, along with a large tank bag, to hold all of my stuff for camping. The CBR250R is a dart through the wind on the highway if you slide back on the seat and lean down on a big tank bag to tuck in. The 3.1 gallon tank and incredible fuel efficiency lets me plan on 250 mile legs between fuel stops during cross country trips. Top speed with the trunk is little changed from the 96 mph I was getting before with the +1/ -2 gearing.
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The big question that always comes up with a tail mod is "How is the wind". Keep in mind that while you are cruising down the road at 60 mph, a 30 mph side wind gust is combined with the 60 mph head wind to appear as a vector coming from 30 degrees off of the nose of the bike. A side wind is only a side wind when the bike is parked. My bike with the truncated tail isn't any problem but the guys with full length tails learn to park facing into the wind. Just look for the sea gulls in the lot to see which way they like to stand. I rode in the 40 mph wind gusts of the remnants of the recent "Witch Storm" and the side wind performance of the CBR250R with it's low, truncated tail is almost unchanged from the stock bike. The wind was primarily from the West so directly perpendicular to the 30 mile highway leg of my commute. My Honda with the tail still has the same amount of self correcting into side winds where the side force works through the trail in the front end geometry to automatically lean into the wind. The added surface area doesn't really seem to have increased the force from the wind when at highway speed since the vector of the apparent wind is still coming from no more than a 30 degree angle off the nose of the bike. If anything the added mass of the tail has slowed the polar inertia of the roll performance making the bike move less in the shorter duration transient gusts so it is less active under the rider. Like the heavier bike that it now is. Having all of that handy storage on a motorcycle makes it infinitely more useful.
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When Craig Vetter first saw my tail I had the top flipped open where it acts like a table while you are loading. He immediatley said "Now that is how bikes should come, right from the factory". Very useful.
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