Does Homebuilding One Human Powered Vehicle Lead To Another?

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HPV 2

The HPV 1 page shows all that leads up to this point. The HPV video shows how it got to this point.  Now on to HPV 2.

HPV shell and support structure
HPV shell and support structure
View 2 of HPV shell and support structure
View 2 of HPV shell and support structure

Flutes are clearly seen cut into the Coroplast which allows curving over the Aluminum ribs. The two sides will be trimmed and fastened to the center bar as seen extending from just in front of the handlebar to the nose.


Cutting Coroplast with soldering iron
Cutting Coroplast with soldering iron

A soldering iron is used to make easy work of cutting the Coroplast. The hot tip cuts through the plastic like butter, also making is far easier than using a knife. It’s possible a Dremel with a cutting blade might work as well. The cutting wheels are so small that there is not enough clearance between the Coroplast and fingers to clearly see where you’re cutting.

A larger hand grinder with a cutting wheel could work, but this is heavier, more costly than a soldering iron, and because of the weight makes it a little harder to use with ease. Besides, it’s what you have at hand, and not what you have to go by.

Finished HPV body and ready for trial run
Finished HPV body and ready for trial run

HPV 2 is ready for a test run

Trimming is done. Now it’s fitting things together, using the “sex bolts” to fasten the pieces to the Aluminum. Look how nicely the Coroplast folds over the frame with the flutes cut out, including at the top where the canopy for the cockpit will go.

All buttoned up! Now finishing touches, such as the triangle by the canopy that was cut wrong. It’s finally taking shape.

HPV 2 is ready for a test run! Red masking tape is holding some things temporarily to see what may need to be changed or adjusted. The ride was great for speeds of 28-32 MPH on a flat track. A few things were noticed that needed to be fixed, but not one single thing major. 

All the prior experience has led to a really good effort. Next will come the finishing touches, and transporting this 250 miles to Cooper City for the event.

Lined up at the starting line
Lined up at the starting line

Getting ready for the first run of the day.

Way ahead of the competition
Way ahead of the competition

On the track and running smoothly. The two competitors running without fairings can be seen a good way back.

No so far ahead of the competition now
No so far ahead of the competition now

Cornering proved to be the one great challenge with this design. Due to the height of the crank and pedals, plus the width of the bottom, there was only so much lean that could be managed in the curves. On two different trips around the track of the three that were made, this was a result. Fortunately there were ready hands to help me get upright and continue.

So in building HPV’s there are constantly minute changes
Helping hands to get back in the race
Helping hands to get back in the race

This design proved to be one of the best for me, yet there are still so many elements to be tested with Coroplast to see just what can be done. Using a thinner, 3MM thickness and not the 5MM makes the shell much more pliable. The biggest drawback is the surface is not as rigid, creating an uneven surface making it less aerodynamic.

So in building HPV’s there are constantly minute changes that can add that extra bit of smooth gliding. As of October, 2016, the World Human Powered Vehicle Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Utah, witnessed a top speed of over 89 MPH! This of course was on a five-mile track with a 150 meter trap at the end for timing purposes. Watch the video to see this amazing feat of pure human power!

In the video you will notice there is no canopy! The rider is viewing the track with monitors fed by a camera mounted on the top of the fairing shell. This provides the most aerodynamic flow for maximum speed. That, and a custom recumbent bike inside, plus a CAT 1 cyclist in top condition make this possible. Still, 89+ MPH? Where does it end?


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