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post #21 of 23 Old 12-13-05, 09:08
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Well CF is sportbike bling. And I don't know about overseas, but mainly in the states the most CF most sportbikes have on them is the exhaust canister. My buddy is a composites guy and he made all CF fairings for his wifes F4. It looks awesome! But full CF is extreme, and expensive, but tid bits here and there I think trick out and personalize a bike. Alot of people are chroming things so I am staying away form all that. Plus the more weight you save the easier it is to blow by someone on Trackdays! 8)

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post #22 of 23 Old 12-13-05, 11:44
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I am not too sure about CF wheels. I think it is mostly bling. The biggest issue I have with it is when they fail they shatter! I remember a discussion about this when I owned my Aprilia and found the report on it. I hvae cut and pasted it here. The report is of a racing accident caused by CF wheel failure taken from the apriliaforums.com web site. I did not write this and kept the signature at the bottom to indicate source.

"By now there have been hundreds of messages posted on this topic. What you are about to read is based upon more than 8 hours of studying the crash remains. There are numerous pieces to evaluate other than just the broken wheel. Pictures alone cannot be used as a basis for drawing any valid conclusions except that the bike crashed and damaged many pieces. I am not now or at anytime in the past, been an employee of Dunlop or any other tire company. I do not own a set of BST wheels and this set is the only set I have ever sold. My only desire has been to identify whether the wheel broke as a result of the crash or actually caused the crash. I have no vested interest either way. As a matter of fact, I am the one who recommended these wheels to Sam. My shop is the only shop to mount tires on this set of BST wheels. More than ten sets of Dunlops.

Before I start with the crash remains, here are a couple of interesting facts.

BST has never offered to send someone stateside to look into this crash. As a matter of fact, during the one and only phone conversation I had with BST, I was told specifically that BST could not afford to send someone here. I was additionally told that I should not tell anyone that the wheel had failed causing the crash because this could be rather damaging to BST and it more than likely was not true. To this day I have not tried to influence anyone’s conclusion as to the cause of this crash or stated what my conclusion is. And, you will not find my conclusion in this post. I have merely pointed out the evidence which is visible when looking at the crash remains.

I registered more than 3 weeks ago so I could post this message on another forum. I promptly received notification that I was in fact registered, but I cannot log in or post to that forum, as I am still not authorized to do so. Efforts have been made to contact the administrator of that forum, but there has been no response.

Ducati 998R, 5160 miles, more than 4,000 miles on Thunderhill, never ridden on the street, never crashed, meticulously maintained. The crash occurred during the third session of the day and there were no previous indications of instability with the handling
of the motorcycle. Tires were up to temp, between 5 and 7 laps.

We spoke to Dennis at Sport Tire Services in regards to the “recall” of slicks. There were 2 tires that failed in Canada and 1 that failed at Daytona. All failures were at very high speed and due to the growth from the centrifugal force. Dunlop issued a “Safety Recall” and subsequently strengthened the tire carcass to eliminate the problem. These were the only failures Dennis knew about and in each case the carcass failed and the tire blew apart. Dennis said if the tire is in one piece, it did not fail. In addition, there have been dozens of club racers who used tires from this production lot and no failures occurred. We mounted this particular tire on another rim, using the valve stem from the BST wheel, and checked for leaks. There are none and the tire/rim/valve stem assembly maintained a consistent pressure for several days.
The rear tire shows no evidence of a crash. It looks brand new with the exception of some straw and dirt that is adhered to it. There is an area on the tread surface, which has a glossy texture to it. This area matches the outline of rubber left on the vertical section of the exhaust system near the rear shock. There are no punctures, cuts or tears. There is no visible evidence that the tire received a blunt force during the crash. The bead areas of the tire are not damaged anywhere. The tread surface does not show any evidence that this tire skidded or slid in any direction. There were no skid marks at the crash scene from the rear tire. Once again, the tire looks brand new. There is no evidence that indicates this crash was caused by the tire. There was no shaking or wobbling and Sam has repeatedly stated there was no indication that the rear of the bike felt or acted unstable in turns 6 or 5 or during any of the previous laps. The tire is still holding consistent air pressure and we inflated it more than 2 weeks ago

Rim/Tire Assembly
The rim/tire assembly was separated from the main crash damage and the tire was still on the rim even though the tire was deflated. The bead area of the rim is undamaged except where it is broken in two across the width. There are no scratches or other evidence of damage caused by the crash or during any tire mounting activity to the rim lip. There are areas where the carbon fiber has been torn from the spokes and center section out to the rim lip. This occurred when the spokes/center section separated from the rim/tire assembly. The rim has three punctures caused by the rear brake rotor. These punctures are in the centered of the rim, in line with the rotor. This means when the wheel broke, these punctures occurred before the rim began to move laterally away from the spokes. The Galfher wave rotor fits precisely into these punctures. These punctures vary in size from 1.5 inches long to .5 inches long. All three of these punctures compromise the rim’s ability to maintain air pressure. These punctures indicate two events: first the rim/tire assembly rotated after the spokes broke. The radial location of the punctures indicates this. Second, some force was exerted which pushed the rim into the rotor or the rotor into the rim. There is evidence that the tire contacted both the mufflers prior to separation from the rest of the bike. There is no crash damage to the swing arm, rear suspension, rear caliper, or bottom of the belly pan. The damage caused to the mufflers and exhaust system by the tire is only visibly evident and not structurally evident. In other words, the tire only left contact marks on both the mufflers and the exhaust system, no dents or indentations.

The axle on this Ducati is not damaged in any way. It is not bent or scratched and it did not contact the pavement or dirt during the crash. One would think as strong as these wheels are, any impact strong enough to break the wheel could damage the axle. I am specifically stating this because someone posted that the axle was damaged and that is not true.

Dirt in the Exhaust Pipes
There was less than 1 inch of dirt in the exhaust pipes not 6 inches. I am stating this because someone posted there was 6 inches of dirt packed in the pipes. Actually, the dirt was quite moist that morning, as it had rained most of the night and into the early morning hours. The fact that there was less than an inch of dirt in the pipes indicates that when they did contact the dirt it was not with much force. This force was not even significant enough to cause any damage to the pipes. The damage received by the exhaust system was caused when the tail section contacted the track and the dirt.

Damage to Bodywork
The windscreen is broken and only one piece remains of any size. There are several scratches on it and the direction of the scratches is across the screen, left to right or visa versa. The gas tank was thrown clear of the main wreck remains. There are several scratches on the tank. These run primarily across the tank just like the windscreen. The front fairing is still in one piece, missing only the two small areas where it bolts to the air
runners. The front fairing has scratches predominantly on the left side. These scratches run from right to left or visa versa. The top of the tail section is where the vast majority of crash damage exists, not the rear. As a matter of fact, the rear panel of the tail section has no indication of direct contact with anything. If the rear of the bike was damaged severely during end over end tumbles there would most certainly be evidence of this manifested in crash damage to the rear of the tail section and the exhaust pipes. The scratches in the tail section run across from left to right just like the scratches on the gas tank. The left lower fairing is scratched in two directions. The scratches run front to rear and top to bottom or visa versa. The damage to these items means the bike never tumbled end over end but rather sideways.

The tumbling began when the front wheel was violently turned to the left. The lip of the front tire contacted the track, forcing the triple clamps to hit the left steering stop(rather hard), bending the left fork and breaking the lower triple clamp. All this was confirmed by a skid mark left from the front tire. The tire itself shows evidence of this also

Rider’s Description
Sam’s description of what happened is: “I had exited turn 7 and was accelerating when the rear of the bike suddenly dropped. It was like sitting on a three-legged stool and someone kicked one of the legs out from under me. Then the bike fell on the left side and I began sliding toward turn 8 when the bike passed me and began to tumble.”

From reviewing the damage to the fairings, tail section, forks, triple clamps, and the skid mark on the track, we know the bike did not tumble end over end. It went from a low-side on the left, to tumbling sideways. The vast majority of the crash force was directed at the left fork and the top of the tail section while the bike was tumbling. This force bent the left fork first and then the sub frame and exhaust system downward toward the wheel.

If we apply some deductive reasoning to the evidence we can eliminate some possible causes.

Rider error---no, Sam has more than 1,000 laps at Thunderhill and no one has pursued this as a cause because it is not logical.

Tire--- no, evidence does not exist

Rear Suspension failure--- the rear suspension is totally undamaged and still function properly

We have been searching for a competent third party to analyze the crash. No one has been interested. We have taken the opportunity to show the crash remains to two different sources with experience in carbon fiber components. One source was NASA and the other was Lockheed. It is almost ironic that both had exactly the same two comments when inspecting the BST wheel. Their first concern was the lack of wall thickness evident on the spokes. In particular, their concern was the areas where the spokes transition to the rim. Their second concern was what happens to carbon fiber when it is continually being flexed. If a part is not made substantial enough to prevent all flexing, sooner or later you will have a problem.

There are the facts; you draw your own conclusion."

Jon M. Nichols
Nichols Mfg.
Nichols Sportbike Service

If you don't smile every time you climb aboard your 675, fire it up, and chuck it into a corner, don’t bother checking your pulse. You’re already dead.
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post #23 of 23 Old 12-13-05, 11:52
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CF Wheels

I haven't heard of alot of CF wheels failing. And with technology changing, they should be able to improve on composite materials. Like ceramic brake rotors! Most of the advantage of CF wheels is the unsprung weight which gives you an advantage in ergos and handling. I can see the fear of a failing wheel and the price deffinitely isnt in my ballpark so it's a no go for me.

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