Berzerkeley in Motion

Tom
Update by Tom Heath to the Berkeley Sports project car
Jul 30, 2008

It's still early in the development cycle, but the Berzerkeley shows more promise than ever.
It isn't pretty, but it's pretty effective.
Per tacked an exhaust in place to keep the Berzerkeley from starting any Florida wildfires.
Tom got to be the first to drive the Berzerkeley. As you can tell from his expression, he's pretty upset about it.
We still (still!) have some wiring to clean up, and adjustments have to be made for our short-but-fat exhaust.

Now that the engine was running, we affixed a somewhat rough facsimile of an exhaust system to prevent the roadside grass at our double-top-secret test facility from erupting into flames. This will also protect our test crew from going deaf.

We’ve really gained momentum with Project Berzerkeley. It seems that getting the engine to fire last week inspired a flurry of additional activity this past weekend. We’ve heard that success leads to success, so we shouldn’t have been surprised when Per and Tom got the beast in motion.

Now that the engine was running, we affixed a somewhat rough facsimile of an exhaust system to prevent the roadside grass at our double-top-secret test facility from erupting into flames. This will also protect our test crew from going deaf.

Before we tried to drive it, we gave the whole Berzerkeley a thorough preflight inspection—we wanted to ensure that we’d be able to stop and turn when we were underway. Once we had checked all of our vital fluids and reinstalled the seat, we felt we were ready to test the core of the vehicle in motion.

We only drove about a quarter of a mile, but it was a long enough distance for us to make a few important determinations.

Our GSX-R 750 engine is running well and seems to be happy in its new home. The gearbox is also working as advertised—while we didn’t rev beyond 5000 rpm or so under a load, we did row through the gearbox without incident. Mechanical controls for the clutch, brakes and throttle all work well, but we’re still not 100 percent sure about the steering. The suspension seems to be pretty compliant and controllable up to about 30 miles an hour in a straight line, so it won’t be long before we’re ready to expand the test envelope to include some real driving.

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Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
7/30/08 10:10 a.m.

We've really gained momentum with Project Berzerkeley. It seems that getting the engine to fire last week inspired a flurry of additional activity this past weekend. We've heard that success leads to success, so we shouldn't have been surprised when Per and Tom got the beast in motion.

Now that the engine was running, we affixed a somewhat rough facsimile of an exhaust system to prevent the roadside grass at our double-top-secret test facility from erupting into flames. This will also protect our test crew from going deaf.

Before we tried to drive it, we gave the whole Berzerkeley a thorough preflight inspection--we wanted to ensure that we'd be able to stop and turn when we were underway. Once we had checked all of our vital fluids and reinstalled the seat, we felt we were ready to test the core of the vehicle in motion.

We only drove about a quarter of a mile, but it was a long enough distance for us to make a few important determinations.

Our GSX-R 750 engine is running well and seems to be happy in its new home. The gearbox is also working as advertised--while we didn't rev beyond 5000 rpm or so under a load, we did row through the gearbox without incident. Mechanical controls for the clutch, brakes and throttle all work well, but we're still not 100 percent sure about the steering. The suspension seems to be pretty compliant and controllable up to about 30 miles an hour in a straight line, so it won't be long before we're ready to expand the test envelope to include some real driving.

fastEddie
fastEddie SuperDork
7/30/08 11:07 a.m.

This update is useless without video!!

confuZion3
confuZion3 UltraDork
7/30/08 1:44 p.m.

Is your double-top-secret test facility your neighborhood? ;-)

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
7/30/08 2:50 p.m.

No, we had a house built inside the double-top-secret test facility, so it's no wonder you're confused. ;-) Video might be coming soon, as long as we remember to wear some appropriate safety gear...

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
7/30/08 3:54 p.m.

Note the highly detailed backdrop/mural also in use at the Top Secret Test Facility.. all aimed at providing a real-world experience.

chknhwk
chknhwk HalfDork
7/30/08 8:08 p.m.

Screw the updates, I want a ride! This thing is freaking awesome. You are all my heroes.

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid Dork
7/31/08 3:23 p.m.

yes, i have to add, need the video of this beast running and just how loud it is.....

Doncan
Doncan None
8/3/08 9:27 a.m.

I'll be honest to say that I didn't like your proyect at first but now is starting to look really good. I have 2 questions though; Why didn't you guys install the bigger 1,000 GSX-R or 1,300 'Busa engine ?? Looking at the chassis, it should handle the extra power. And also; Dou you know of a similar concept car but with the motorcycle engine at the rear ??? Thanks and keep the good work !!!

Jeff Blaine
Jeff Blaine New Reader
8/11/08 5:12 p.m.

Videoooo.

Tom
Tom None
8/17/08 9:36 a.m.

Why did you build a diff when you could have used one for a Radical Sr3. It has reverse and it built by qufai.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
8/17/08 2:47 p.m.

Tom, that's a simple one—ours was cheaper. We're still working within a $2008 challenge budget. The Radical SR3 diff setup would immediately wreck our budget.

PHeller
PHeller PowerDork
10/2/08 6:58 p.m.

Are you guys gonna post any videos? I wanna hear this thing.

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