Czysz: Just Say No to Dustbin Fairings

03/09/2010 @ 2:26 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

The last time we met up with Michael Czysz, he gave us the lowdown on why allowing dustbin fairings for use in road racing events was a poor decision for sanctioning bodies to make. Thankfully, Czysz has put his words to paper (computer screen?), and explained his thoughts on the subject more deeply in a blog post.

Making comparison to the salt flats of Bonneville, where streamlining is the name of the game, and close-circuit road course races like the Isle of Man, Czysz drives home the point that this is not a technology that transcends racing venues, saying “if Bonneville was 24’ wide and lined with stone walls streamlining would be banned- and so it should be at the IOM.” You can read his full post here for more of his analysis, and click past the jump to see what all the fuss is about.

For those who aren’t that familiar with the debate surrounding dustbin or streamliner fairings, there’s been some talk in the electric motorcycle crowd about bringing this sort of technology back in favor for road racing use. Electric motorcycle’s can greatly benefit from the added efficiency streamlining brings to motorcycle design, and is considered part of the “rethink how we do things” mentality electric racers have included in their raison d’être. However as Czysz points out, these benefits come with various risks that Czysz believes are too great to chance on a road based circuit, and the move to an electric platform does not warrant such a back-step from the industry-wide notion that true streamlining has no place in road racing.

With TTXGP holding its rules open in a wiki format, the push for streamliner fairings has come back into public scrutiny, and is currently allowed in the series’ rule book. Part of this push comes from the added participation of Craig Vetter in forming the TTXGP rules in regards to streamlining. Vetter has been a long-time proponent of dustbin fairings, and has been the central rallying point for the pro-streamlining camp. In response to this, Czysz calls for support from his fellow manufacturers, it’ll be interesting to see who joins the anti-dustbin bandwagon, and even more interesting to see if anyone shows up with a dustbin fairing at any of the scheduled electric motorcycle racing events this year.

Source: MotoCzysz Club

  • I say yes to streamlining…look at the Ecosse Spirit and the V8 Guzzi – it can work!

  • Sean Mitchell

    Forgive my ignorance, but how would you have the room inside a dustbin to physcially move the bike from left to right? I’m with Czysz on this one.

  • Doug Panting

    Leave the option for streamlining open. Let’s give the advocates of streamlining the opportunity to perfect their work.

    There are ways to overcome the problems Michael Czysz describes. He may soon see them on the track.

    The rest of the motorcycle world is full of anti-streamlining rules. Let’s be allowed to experiment in this one small area, as Electric motorcycle’s could greatly benefit from the added efficiency streamlining brings to motorcycle design.

    Rather than advocate rule changes before the races have even begun, lets give streamlining an opportunity to prove itself on the track.

    If Michael Czysz doesn’t want to race against stream liners there are ample opportunities in racing throughout the rest of the motorcycle world. He does not have to spoil the opportunity for innovation for those in the electric field.

    I have to wonder if this is a preemptive attack on streamlining is because of the rumors that the Agni bike will be streamlined?

    Agni won last time.

  • Doug Panting

    “Sean Mitchell says:
    03/09/2010 at 7:04 PM

    Forgive my ignorance, but how would you have the room inside a dustbin to physcially move the bike from left to right?”

    It depends on the design. Take a look at this picture:

  • John Merlin Williams

    Here’s an interesting simulation studying the Lift/Drag ratio of a rider and motorcycle that suggests the fairing of a conventionally-faired race bike acts as a lifting body at high lean angles. With today’s lean angles exceeding 55 – 60 degrees from vertical could it be that, in addition to Michael Czysz’ concern about cross winds, that an enclosed dustbin, at that flat angle could act as a highly effective lifting body (i.e., reduce grip and traction)? Tests would tell. Nobody leans at Bonneville.

    To quote from “Aerodynamic Analysis of a Motorcycle and Rider on a high speed corner”
    Giorgio Pagliara and Giuseppe Ganio © CD-adapco 2009

    “The results of the simulation predicted that at a straight line speed of 120 Km/h, the motorcycle is well balanced with neither excessive lift or down force experienced. During a turn, however, the rider and bike are at an angle to the ground, generating large amounts of lift and a rolling moment that acts to straighten the bike.

    Plots of pressure coefficient show that, during cornering, the rider produces aerodynamic downforce while the bike produces lift. The L/D ratio (lift over drag) ratio of the bike and rider is around 0.4 which may be compared to a typical value of between -3.5 to -2.5 of an F1 car, a difference which is largely accounted for by the lack of any lifting surfaces (front and rear wings) and the effect of rider on the overall aerodynamic performance.”

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  • Ian

    Didn’t the Red Bull Yamaha team try something along the lines of streamlining a few years ago when John Hopkins was racing for them? If I recall correctly it made very little difference to the lap times (hence it never being raced).

    I wondered about aerodynamics last year after talking to a few of the teams at the TTXGP launch. A few were talking about using Hayabusas as a base ‘because it’s the most aerodynamic bike’ but these things were barely reaching 80mph. Surely working on reducing weight would reap more benefits than a dustbin fairing at these speeds. Ok things hav emoved on in a year and the bikes will be faster, but theres a world of difference between 200mph+ at Bonneville and a lap of the island.

  • Tael

    Its not so much an increase in speed that the streamliner’s are proposing, although there may be a minor benefit here, but a reduction in the energy/force required to attain it.
    In electric racing circles, where the available power reserve is limited (and was the main factor in the final positions of the race last year) any reduction in used energy reserve is greatly appreciated.

  • Scatterbrained

    I distinctly remember reading about how “dustbin” fairings were banned from prototype (now motoGp) motorcycle racing due to the dangerous handling characteristics that they brought with them. I think the people who are advocating the return of dustbins are ignorant of racing history.

  • @Scatterbrained – Some students of (and participants in) racing history might tell you that the “dangerous handling characteristics” was the reason given for the banning, but that you should consider all possibilities. Could it have been that the streamlined cycles handled just fine and raced faster, but that the manufacturers behind the racing organizations did not like their use because they looked nothing like what they were selling in the motorcycle shops? An inquiring mind won’t venture calling other people “ignorant” based merely on something he or she “distinctly remember[s]” reading. This is a complex issue and there are strong viewpoints on each side. Frankly, I hope someone (oh… Agni?!) brings an odd-looking bird or two to the races and puts the others to shame. That’s the kind of drama this sport needs.

  • Scientific advancement requires just that – the application of the scientific method – rather than using 50+ year old rumors – why don’t we open up the rules so that the technology can advance. As to those who say there is very little speed or efficiency advantage to the ‘dustbin’ design – those people are woefully ignorant of the tremendous influence of aerodynamic drag as THE principal power requirement in the motive force of a motorcycle, rolling resistance and vehicle weight are essentially only an afterthought. As to turning ability, I invented something better as a solution, which can be viewed at ,
    With respect, Someone who has ACTUALLY RIDDEN A DUSTBIN.

  • I vote for the dustbin too–they handle well if the bike has enough weight forward, and there is no question they work aerodynamically, In 1982 I built a motorcycle that got about 192 mpg in naked form…when we put a dustbin fairing on it mileage leaped to 300+