Andy from Performance Engineering uploaded this video of the dyno test last Wednesday. I think it sounds great!
I really enjoyed taking the Scott to the dyno yesterday. It was the first time I’d ever actually booked a proper set-up rather than a single run. I suppose cost was always an issue but I have realised how useful it is to be able to see the results of the changes you make and a proper session allows you to experiment with many different settings and see how each affects the result. It’s a bloody good way to see what affects your power output, and how. The cost is similar to me going to a trackday, and there’s no way I’d have gained the same information from that.
Of course, you need to have someone who can run the dyno and can interpret results. GT motorcycles of Plymouth have a very interesting division called ‘Performance Engineering‘ that specialise in rebuilding, restoring and tuning Honda racing bikes, and it’s these guys that run the dyno. Steve is highly knowledgeable and experienced in getting the most from an engine on the dyno. I’ve done my previous runs with him, but yesterday he was able to really show me the benefits of a dyno setup. Steves colleague Andy, another two stroke fanatic, was assisting and as the Scott’s engine note became crisper and cleaner they were both obviously enjoying the experience. Ok, so the Scott doesn’t put out the sort of horsepower as an NSR500, but it did sound so very good .. and maybe the 4.5% Castor mixture helps too!
Anyway, I realise that for many people the idea of going on a dyno seems a bit extreme but carburation and ignition set-up problems can persist for years if you don’t seize the opportunity to really get to the bottom of them. I don’t want to spend my time at a race meeting or a track day like the Beezumph constantly messing around with jets , needles and timing just to try and get somewhere close. You’ll always have a certain amount of tweaking.. but at least I feel like I am quite close with what was a completely unknown arrangement.
So, What happened?
I’d fitted the 1″ carbs with 320 main jets for a start. The needle was on the bottom groove, so all the way up. I’d figured that it might be rich but I had no desire to start from the other direction! The timing started at 22BTDC.
It was rich. Our runs followed the following order:
1: down two mainjet sizes to 300
2: down two mainjet sizes to 280
3: drop needle one notch
4: drop needle another notch
5: drop mainjet one size
6: raise mainjet one size
7: change timing to 23.5
You can see the graphs here for the final results compared to the very good curve I produced when I first set up the bike up on methanol.
The exhaust temperature sensors were really useful and we were able to monitor for significant changes with any modifications to setup that we made. The final high was around 530°C. Always increasing by about 30°C to 40°C the moment you shut the throttle off… interesting stuff.
You can see that the Torque curve starts later and then increases at a very high rate. It may be that this lost section (around 400 revs) at the beginning is retrievable by playing with cutaways, but the gain in midrange torque is very good indeed. That may be down to the improved gas flow in the head. It loses to the methanol later in the rev range, about 4000rpm. The methanol torque stays high all the way to 5000rpm where it suddenly falls off a cliff. The new curve hits a higher torque figure but tails off more noticeably. However, the fact that suddenly I started to have more revs was a bonus (as long as I can get the 400 back at the beginning!). I think Steve’s attitude was that the extra ‘over rev’ was extremely useful as the engine was able to keep pulling longer because of it.
As far as I understand, the fact that I increased the head volume, lowering the compression ratio might have created the conditions to encourage the engine to keep revving.
As the torque was lower late in the new curve the maximum power is less than before, but I’m not too concerned about that at the moment. It might be that I could do with the shape that I have created in the combustion chambers, but with a high compression ratio. It would be worth experimenting with heads sometime.. but not now. It may even be that the carb size is a little small, and I’ve never done any further tests with the exhausts but short of changing the slides to try a higher cutaway I’m now looking at actually using it! It felt really smooth and sounded great.
So, this afternoon I posted off my entry to the British Historic racing clubs second meeting of the year at Anglesey on the weekend of the 16th and 17th May. Roger is going too. I’ve never ridden Anglesey before but I’m really looking forward to it.
I really enjoy taking the bike to the dyno. It’s so useful to see the results of changes prior to driving 300 miles to a race circuit and it gives you a deadline to get things done by.
The rolling road dyno I use is at Alan Jeffry’s engine tuning workshop on the Valley road in Plymouth. Alan’s a really nice guy but the main part of his work is cars so the motorcycle dyno is run by GT motorcycles (01752 485000). A single run (at time of writing) costs under £40 including VAT and Steve, who operates it, is a two stroke fanatic and a very experienced re-builder and tuner. He had an NSR 500 (GP bike) complete with carbon chassis on his stand when I saw him on Thursday. People with NSR 500s aren’t going to let just anybody work on them.
It was all the more enjoyable since I was joined by Roger who, having made the journey down to Devon to meet his new grand-daughters the day before, was interested to see the improvements I had made.
I was there at 9.30am as planned, and then again at 9.45am… this time with fuel!
As I said in the Beezumph report post, it didn’t feel any quicker to me in the way it was delivering power, but I thought that it was pulling through a higher rev range. This wasn’t actually the case since it is producing more power, in fact it’s almost exactly doing what I intended to do when I started planning the modifications at the beginning of this year.
The plan was to try and get the engine to breathe better with some carefully executed gas flowing and port modifications, and also to extend the inlet timing a little to see whether I could take advantage of any negative pressure pulled by the exhaust before the transfer closed. By using Jennings’ port time/area calculations I was trying to move the peak torque up the revs a little from the previous 3500RPM (ish) to nearer 4000rpm. I didn’t want to lose the bottom end and I knew that was too easily done.
See the graph below. The blue line (as indicated) is last years test after returning from the final Cadwell park BHR meeting.
How that translates into horsepower:
So, it shows that there’s a fair bit more power available and really well spread over the rev range. It may be that that’s why it didn’t actually feel more powerful, because it delivers it so smoothly over the range.
Whilst peak torque is up from 31.8 to 37.9 ft/lb (almost 20%), it’s interesting to see the change in revs that this occurs at. Previously it was around 3700 RPM and now it’s pretty much dead on 4000 RPM.
Also, driving out of corners should be much improved as low down torque is significantly better. I haven’t plotted the actual revs through the gears at corners for Cadwell, for example, but for slow corners like the Old Hairpin and the chicane after Mansfield this is where you really need that low down grunt, otherwise you get passed on the exit. At 3000 rpm, the torque is up from 23 to 31ft/lbs (35% increase). That’s pretty impressive to me.
So extrapolated from that, the peak power is up from 26 to 33hp, but still everything stops at 5000RPM. Steve said he could feel it wasn’t producing any more so he just shuts down. Whether it would actually rev any more anyway is another question. Unfortunately I have no idea what I am revving to because my Scitsu hasn’t worked since I converted to methanol. Apparently a common problem with inductive rev counters due to methanols highly conductive nature. Something I need to address sometime.
The main focus now is to fit the twin carbs to give me more intake mixture. The 30mm carb is definitely sized small and
I’ve got less than a month before the last Cadwell (27th and 28th September). It may well be that this will keep things going up toward the higher end of the rev range where the need for an easier ‘gulp’ comes into play. It may be that it loses some immediate pick up at low revs, but we will just have to see.
The other thing that I need to look at is the cylinder head. I’ve never worked on the head, it’s a standard ‘MOSS Engineering’ high compression head which is designed to raise the compression to a level acceptable on a fast road machine on petrol. Since I’m on methanol, I can deal with some extra squeeze and with a bit of time and effort I think I could get the compression a bit higher which would increase the burn speed. I’m then looking at 40 ft/lb as possible and maybe even a fraction more. I may even extend the rev range a little.
Ideally I need to get the work done in time to get to the dyno again before I go. Just over three weeks.. I’d better get a move on!