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5-Ball Racing Salt Torpedo Chapter 10

The Game Changes Every Week—Chassis Work

By KRB with photos by Wrench and illustrations by Atomic Bob

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This has been one of the most challenging years of my life and the Salt Torpedo was one of them. The Paughco team stepped up to save the day and we have more progress on what could be the first streamlined trike. Actually there wasn’t a streamlined trike category until I picked up the phone and called Dennis Manning.

“If you’re going to build one we better find a category,” Dennis said and went in search. He found a workable solution with the FIM sanctioning body. As you can imagine, the Paughco team, lead by Steve Massicotte had to get a handle on what I slipped into the back shop.

Fortunately, they have a customer, Darrel, who builds dragsters and understands hot rod chassis and steering. Since Paughco’s head quarters are in Carson City, Nevada I couldn’t run over every other day with resources and suggestion. The staff would tire of the bastard Bandit Ball showing up all the time.

Darrel and Steve put their heads together and of course Ron Paugh, the boss had to make the space and the time for his guys to work on it. The poor economy helped toward the end of the year. Actually, about the beginning of the year, during riding season the Paughco crew was busier than ever making their classic springers and custom frames.

Steve had numerous notions to take off the rear Progressive shocks and build a mono-shock system to keep it narrow. He was concerned about chassis length and if I would fit. “The front axle may need to reside outside the front of the belly tank,” Steve said, and I cringed. Streamlining is all about cool and sleek. Only the minimum can reside outside the chassis.

It’s bad enough to sport two wheels in the front but almost nothing else can be allowed to stick out. Originally we studied a front swingarm, with dual shocks inside the body, but Steve came up with a very cool notion to use more Paughco components and build a dragster leaf spring system.

At one time Kent weeks talked about placing the gas tank in it’s stock position, and again I cringed. It would have meant a bigger body. There’s a rule about streamlining and aerodynamics. The bigger the surface the more horsepower you need to push it. That’s why I chose the smallest belly tank configuration I could order from Class Glass in New Jersey.

A couple of times folks have said, “Maybe we need a larger tank.” Each time I would cringe and reach for my flask of Jack Daniels.

Let’s see what Steve has for us:

Here is the frame neck gusseted before we cut the stock neck off.
Here is the frame neck gusseted before we cut the stock neck off.

We cleaned up before we could weld new backbone in place to drop height of frame. Still working on the frame as we speak.
We cleaned up before we could weld new backbone in place to drop height of frame. Still working on the frame as we speak.

At this point my smile returned. I know we were going to have serious aerodynamic issues with the two front wheels sticking out the sides.

This is another mock up for frame & seat positioning. We narrowed the seat 4 inches, but might still need another 2 inches cut out.
This is another mock up for frame & seat positioning. We narrowed the seat 4 inches, but might still need another 2 inches cut out.

This is the front view with the seat and first prototype lower frame horns.
This is the front view with the seat and first prototype lower frame horns.

Another mock-up shot. I have Kyle & Matt on this now about 8 hours a week. Things should speed up now.
Another mock-up shot. I have Kyle & Matt on this now about 8 hours a week. Things should speed up now.

“I have an idea for front suspension,” Steve added, “so will talk to Daryl and get back to you.”

"We have been welding up the front suspension today using our Indian leaf springs- left & right," Steve said.

"We are doing 2-3 hours a day now on it so we should have a bunch to show you in the near future," Steve added.

Here are some more images of the new front suspension and some partial roll cage picks.
"Very cool if we do say so ourselves," Steve added.

"I have the machine shop making a new mount to hold both L & R leaf spring sets," said Steve.

The following came from Drew Gatewood an official Bonneville inspector:

Please see enclosed link for current AMA Supplemental Regulations.
This should be provided to your builder:

Though your 3-wheeled machine would be considered a "cyclecar," and eligible for F.I.M. entry only, it will also be considered
a streamliner, as it appears you will be enclosing the chassis with a type of belly tanker covering.

The AMA rules regarding streamliners are what we point entrants towards even if entering in F.I.M. only. They are similar, and easier to interpret.
I highly suggest you and your builder fully understand the following...


Article 9.M. discusses all chassis/roll bar tubing requirements.

Lastly, streamliners of all types go through the most in-depth and lengthy scrutineering/tech. inspection process of all the motorcycle entries, so please keep in mind while constructing your machine.

Best of luck with your build, and please stay in contact if and when further questions arise.

--Drew Gatewood
tel/fax: 219-926-5647
email: gears55@frontier.com

I opened the PDF from the AMA and started reading. We will refer to this document as we mover through this process. We still may miss something, but we’ll be close and safe. Here are a couple of items from the rules as we discuss building the frame.

It is required that streamliners have a minimum of two roll bars, one forward of the riders’ head and one behind the riders’ head.
The protective cage shall extend past the riders’ feet and shall protect the rider from all sides and directions. Roll bars shall have
a minimum outside diameter of 1 ¼-inch, a .090” nominal wall thickness, steel cap, .090” thick covering the upper 140-degrees,
riders head and braced on each side to mainframe.

Gussets are required at the junction of the roll cage and chassis tubes. The rider, with helmet on, shall not have more than 2-inches of head movement within the roll bar.

Foam padding, which has a minimum 1/4-inch compression and meets SFI 45.1 or Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) specification shall be installed around the head hoop or head area, as well as all head hoop supports in the roll cage assembly.

Seats are an integral part of the rider restraint and protection within
the roll cage. Seats shall be welded or securely bolted to the
chassis and be constructed of .060 steel or .120 aluminum.

Seat backs shall be supported by chassis members or equivalent strength structure. All non-metal seats shall maintain rider seating
position and restraint belt tension during a loss of control event.

The riders’ leg area shall be inside the chassis and the cage structure on the top, sides, and bottom. If there is removable cross member above the rider’s legs it shall be constructed of the material similar in strength to the tube requirement.

Hinge and securing hardware shall be a minimum of 3/8-inch diameter grade
eight fasteners at four points minimum. Any other roll cage design shall be tested for strength and have a finite element study to prove its strength by a qualified expert or a person holding qualifications of a recognized institute (Engineering Firm, etc).

Installation of shoulder and seat belts shall be to the manufacturers specifications, labeled with the date of manufacturer, and no more than five years from the date of inspection.

Shoulder and seat belts shall be attached to the protective cage
tubing. Bolt in restraint belts shall use belt manufacturer supplied or similar hardware.

Mounting plates welded to the chassis shall be a minimum .125-inch thickness with a minimum 1-inch radius material in the load path outside the bolt circumference.

Belts shall be attached to the tubing in line with the direction of pull as close to the rider as is practicable. Shoulder belts passing over tubing and remotely attached to a different distant chassis member will
not be allowed.

Aluminum hardware as a component of any belt system is not permitted. Latch type belt release systems shall be resistant to and protected from arm restraints releasing the latch. Arm restraints are mandatory with anchor points to the harness assembly secured to the frame. Rider released leg restraints are compulsory for any streamliner that does not have a welded or bolted structure over the leg area.

Rider releasable leg restraints are recommended in all cockpits. Net type leg restraints are acceptable as long as the net will allow the rider to exit the streamliner
without assistance.

Do not expose belt and harness mounting hardware on the outer plane of the chassis.
All streamliners require a 7-point harness to hold the rider.

A SFI 38.1 type helmet restraint system is strongly recommended for over 200mph closed cockpit motorcycles.

Since we got this far, we had a meeting with Duncan Keller, who is a master with vintage motors and knows a few things about trikes and Bonneville. He pointed out a problem. We need more weight in the front end. We’ll bring you more news in the very near future. We may have a major solution.











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Back to 2016 Bonneville Effort, 5-Ball Bonneville Racing

Reader Comments

What was the last official race done by 5-ball racing? Any record or attempt since the salt shaker record? Did Ray throw in the towel? Sup?

Thursday, December 15, 2016
Editor Response A couple of years ago we were on the Salt with the Bonne Belle, the 1940 45 flathead. Then we made an attempt with a 1926 Peashooter and the next year with the Bonne Belle again.

We are attached to three World Records: Easyriders Streamliner for 16 years, 321 mph, 2006 Salt Shaker 147 mph, 2007 Assalt Weapan 154 mph. And now we are working on perhaps the first streamlined trike with a 135-inch Twin cam for perhaps this year. It's a major undertaking.

Ray, I'm not sure what he plans are, but his bike is a monster.

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