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Setting a Land Speed Record: Preparation (Part 1) - Electrical

Posted September 02, 2011 10:15 AM by Old_School

The motorcycle that I built was never intended for more than puttering around parking lots, so the conversion to fully legal race bike took several months of planning and work. The first major concern was installing a kill switch and a reliable electrical system to operate it.

Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines cannot normally be shut down with the flick of a switch. Diesels with mechanical injection systems like mine do not require any wiring, and must be shut down either by throttling it down below idle or choking off the fuel supply. The first option is not ideal because the engine couldn't fall below idle when my hands left the throttle.

Previously, I had installed an inline fuel shutoff directly next to the injector inlet that would starve the engine of fuel and shut it down. However, the rules require a method where the riders hands never leave the handlebars. I was able to track down a special injector for this engine through Ebay that had a solenoid shut-off valve installed directly in the pump body. By keeping a 12 volt current running though the pump, the fuel line stays open and allows the engine to operate. After rewiring and installing a kill switch and dead man's switch on the bars, the electrical system was done.

The "dead man's" lanyard is visible on the left bar.

If the rider should fall off, it pulls out and shuts the engine down.

Editor's Note: Click here for Part 2 of this series.

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Guru
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#1

Re: Setting a Land Speed Record: Preparation (Part 1) - Electrical

09/03/2011 5:45 AM

Interesting, I didn't know that...
Although I have had engines which would run on, presumably they were deiselling. (Putting 'em in top gear and dropping the clutch usually killed the suckers)
Del

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#2

Re: Setting a Land Speed Record: Preparation (Part 1) - Electrical

09/03/2011 5:14 PM

I used a large containerised generator set that had an emergency shutdown damper on the air intake. There are some situations in which a Diesel can runaway even without a fuel supply; in an explosive atmosphere or running on crankcase fumes. At least one large industrial explosion in the UK has been caused by a diesel running on fumes leaking from a chemical plant which could not be shutdown.

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#3

Re: Setting a Land Speed Record: Preparation (Part 1) - Electrical

09/04/2011 9:03 PM

A Harley that sounds like a Mercedes?

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#4

Re: Setting a Land Speed Record: Preparation (Part 1) - Electrical

10/10/2011 1:41 PM

Another option would be a CO2 canister dumping into the air inlet, controlled by the kill switch described.

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