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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Russell Sheldon asked me to post these drawings from my days at the helm of the R&D department at the COX Hobbies Company. They have never been seen before by anyone other than the Cox New Products Committee in 1973. I hope that you will enjoy them and compare with the features of the new Scalex bikes, a definite leap forward we all hope...



This motocross set was a project that only saw the prototype stage. The special track has an under boxed section in which a counterweight attached to a steel wire allows the bike to stay straight up, and to lean in corners. The complete set even features a hot dog stand...that is the power pack for the set!



The bikes are just set over a conical pin and can actually "crash" if jumped too fast!
They actually lean in corners due to the counterweight action. Incredibly enough, the prototype oval track showed that this worked rather well!



The HO-sized motor drives a crown gear on the same shaft as a friction drive to the rear tire. The motor was a bit too high on the prototype and we had to place it in a lower location to make the system work. Not quite Valentino's Yamaha, but... what the heck, this was 30 years ago.




The controllers are in fact the only survivor of this set. In 1970, they were originally devised for a Riggen 3-lane HO set that never saw the light of day. They include twin resistor bypass for brakes and full power, just like the later Parma Turbo and most electronic controllers of today. The handles were designed to fit perfectly in one's right hand, never mind if you are left handed! (wait for the discrimination lawsuits right there...
)



You may see on top left, the prototype of the Parma Turbo, devised in 1972, and the Riggen prototype controller built in 1970. Same internal features but simplified on the Riggen unit.

Mr. Pea
Ex-patriate
 

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Brian Ferguson
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I just wish we could put all the "designers" into one room today.... just the guys that have the knowledge from the past 40 - 50 years.... the guys that were sharp then and are sharp now... let them loose together for a few days.... add today's technology by way of some new blood.... what would we see?

Probably some pretty awesome stuff!!!


Thanks, PdL, that's something I had never seen before!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE Thanks, PdL, that's something I had never seen before!

Yo Fergy,
Don't feel bad, no one else ever saw this. I have many more... on many more subjects.

 

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Russell Sheldon
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Wonderful! Thanks, Philippe! Xlot will love the guide / slot concept!

It's an interesting application and not unlike the Aurora T-Jet bikes, I guess they were close to 1/24th scale, judging by the size of the bike relative to the (HO style) motor?

Love the controllers too!

Kind regards

Russell
 

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Beppe Giannini
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Yes indeed, Russell !! Except that in my case the rails are recessed and the whole assembly needs to be stiffer since the slot is just 2 mm wide - but I don't want to hijack yet another thread....
Rather :
- still another example of how those times were bustling with new ideas - is there a specific reasons why this could not happen again ?
- as for MotoGP, one issue I have is that a 1/32 track will inevitably look too narrow

Beppe
 

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Russell Sheldon
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For those that don't know, Philippe actually knows a litle bit about motorcycles -- other than the fact that Valentino Rossi rides a Honda and not a Yamaha!


In the 1960's Philippe was a successful motorcycle racer, competing in the French Championship and several rounds of the Grand Prix circuit, the "Continental Circus" as it was called. During this time, he rode for Kreidler Team France, then for Team Derbi-France.



Philippe also won a number of races on motorcycles that he maintained and sometimes constructed himself. It is believed that he was first to use a disk brake on the rear wheel of a motorcycle for road or racing use.

In 1977, following the publication of an article by Philippe in the Yamaha International magazine, titled "Grand Prix Bike of the Future", he was hired by Giancarlo Morbidelli to design and build a revolutionary 250cc GP bike. The bike had completely new architecture, weight distribution and aerodynamics, and after some testing and modifications, Graziano Rossi, father of current world champion Valentino Rossi, finished second in the 1978 World championship.

Philippe also designed an aerodynamic spoiler on the back of a helmet to improve the problem of 'helmet lift' on rider's heads, almost 15 years before they appeared on production helmets.



Philippe became a works rider for the Morbidelli factory team, winning 21 races in 1977 and 1978, ending his motorcycle racing career on a high note.

The question though, Philippe, were the Cox bikes designed to lean into the corners or not!


With kind regards

Russell
 

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While not being a bike person, this is a fascinating topic.
A couple interesting thoughts spring to mind when looking at the pics.

1. Motor cycles are designed with the engine as low as possible, just as in a car, yet unlike cars, the 'pilot' is way up in the air, creating a very high centre of gravity.

2. I notice the demo pic of the controller shows the trigger being pressed by the middle finger, rather than the index.
I have a sneaky feeling that this is not a mistake by the demonstrator and that the middle finger IS the best one to use.
How unusual is this?
Which finger do most of you use?
 

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While we are talking about old motorbike projects...

Jump Jockey (by Triang) - the catalogue showed a motorbike along with the horses!!!

Needless to say it did not lean! The system used a small drive train unit under the track surface.

Does anyone have one of these - i have never seen one.

Gareth
NSCC
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE The question though, Philippe, were the Cox bikes designed to lean into the corners or not!

Yes indeed! Leaning right or left is an easy decision for politically-korrekt motorcycle drivers... the Cox motorcycles, that were 1/24 scale, did lean right or left as needed.

As far as the controllers, yes indeed the middle finger, the one used to express your feelings to your mother-in-law, was found to be the most efficient for driving at peak performance, and the Parma Turbo trigger was designed to allow this.

Also the trend towards lower CG and lower CR that I was advocating during the late 1970's in Moto GP was possibly wrong, as it caused UNDER-STEER. The idea was to cause mild under-steer that could be controlled by applying more throttle and literally sliding the bike, causing a (faster) neutral attitude, that would be utterly controllable. It kind-of worked but would have required brain re-education for the drivers, or we would have had to start by taking babies from the craddles and educate them on new motorcycles without allowing them to ever drive a conventional one...
Not very realistic indeed. Today's bikes follow closely the aero that we pioneered, but the weight distribution is very different, with the jockey perched very high to increase the moment and make the motorcycle more un-stable, allowing a more acrobatic but faster driving. Tire progress made this possible.
Regards,

Philippe
 

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Russell Sheldon
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Oops! That should read "rode a Honda"....



6000 Honda Repsol, Valentino Rossi

Hornby are indeed producing his 2004 ride as well:

6005 Yamaha Gauloises 2004, Valentino Rossi

Kind regards

Russell
 

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Beppe Giannini
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Come to think of it.... RC motorcycles work, right ?
So, it must be that the wheels gyroscopic effect self-stabilizes the contraption - but you probably need the front wheel to steer (as well as rotate)
 

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The Cox/PdL sysytem is fascinating and I do appreciate those lovely drawings.
I imagine the major drawback to entering production was the special track?
If nothing else, I will try the middle finger technique next time I race!
 

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QUOTE Come to think of it.... RC motorcycles work, right ?
So, it must be that the wheels gyroscopic effect self-stabilizes the contraption - but you probably need the front wheel to steer (as well as rotate)

Actually, just as aerodynamics work on a very different scale in 1/24 or 1/32 reduction, the gyroscopic effect can only work if the outer weight of the tire and rim would be increased by a factor of...a lot. So the stability and leaning of the motorcycle model has little to do with the gyroscopic effect, but is due entirely to the counterweight below the track. The model must be very lightweight and fairly low in its CG for this to work. When we built this model in 1973 on a flat oval test track, the total weight with motor was 38 grams, and the counterweight had to be as much as 75 grams to function. We also found that the slot needed to be radiused top and bottom for the thin .032" wire holding the "pin" to the counterweight to be able to lean both ways.

But lean, it did, and the prototype was a lot more successful than I ever imagined.
The Powers-to-Be however decided at the time that "motorcycles were for Hells Angels and were not a desirable part of the Cox image". Never mind their gas-powered trike issued the year before, a purce chopper in the best tradition of the tattoed and pierced crowd...


I have found a lot more documents about various projects for Cox, Riggen, Dynamic and other companies I dabbled with, and will get to scan some more if there is any interest.

Regards,

Mr. Pea

 

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QUOTE I have found a lot more documents about various projects for Cox, Riggen, Dynamic and other companies I dabbled with, and will get to scan some more if there is any interest.

Abolutely!! Yes please Mr Pea


Regards,

-Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I will scan a few more this weekend but I MUST first finish the pictures and results of the Marconi Proxy Races before they hang me by E-mail.
Mr. Pea
 
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