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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
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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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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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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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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.
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More old pics. This first one is dated June 1968 at a time when the Bell Star helmet was unknown in Europe. My inspiration was... astronaut helmets! The bike is aerodynamically all wrong and would have caused massive lift, but the seat is virtually identical to the ones first used by Don Vesco at Daytona in 1972. It is inspired by Ray Amm's 1952 Norton record bike for the position (kneeling rather than seating) but uses a center-hub steering with a front swing arm, a solution picked by Andre De Cortanze (also the designer for the aero on the Courage-C60 of Team Pescarolo, of the 1998-1999 Toyota GP-C and 1990's Peugeot 905 LM) for the Elf-X motorcycle in 1978. It also features an aluminum monocoque chassis/fairing/fuel tank. The exhaust is routed under a fake tank under the driver's chest. Also note the cast wheels at a time when no one had made any for motorcycles. This exact wheel design was later used by Yamaha from 1975.



Here is something I found that is of about the same period as the Cox slot racing bikes. Originally produced for the program of the US Grand Prix (Motocross) in Carlsbad, CA in 1974, later re-printed in the Yamaha International Magazine also in 1974, it precedes the actual re-introduction of the monoshock rear suspension by Yamaha (1975) and shows many features that were quite advanced at the time, such as advanced aero and inboard disk brakes, not counting the bellcrank rear suspension that was later adopted by Kawasaki, then all the others.



Note the fixed idea with the kneeler position, much better aero that would actually provide down force instead of lift, but generally the same thinking, just more detailed.



Fun stuff with a virtual Kawasaki 250cc similar to what was later used for Kork Ballington to win the 1978 World Championship. Only they used an inline twin configuration.



This is a very interesting sketch, showing down force-generating aero on the driver's helmet for the first time. The date is 1977 and this was done while working as a consultant for Morbidelli, then the dominant 125 and 250cc force in the world. It shows a very evolved aero system including a downward exhaust for the air going through the nose-mounted water radiator. It took until 1992 for a helmet manufacturer (Bell) to at last address the problem of lift on a helmet. Now, every manufacturer has some kind of device for reducing lift.



Also dated 1977 is this sketch with annotation made on a restaurant napkin in Pesaro, Italy, during an intense conversation with Ingeniere Giancarlo Morbidelli. The general ideas are retained, but check this out: the front suspension is now a double A-arm system with a profiled cast-magnesium rigid fork with cast-in brake calipers, adjustable for camber as well as trail, using a sophisticated inboard Koni shock and adjustable hydraulic steering. Power is distributed to the rear swing arm axle by a constant-tension chain, a second constant-tension chain driving the wheel over a single-side arm. There is virtually no frame as the composite fuel tank (carbon fiber had not found its way on a racing car yet but I remembered the Chaparral 2 tub) acted as a stressed member, and the steering "bridge" was just held by a few small pieces of tubing bolted to the tank.

Having fun yet?

Mr. Pea
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Unfortunately, and because they have no clue, Carrousel transformed the "Eagle" graphics into a pigeon... It takes a delicate touch to do this right. Even the Cox little 1/40th slot car had accurate decals, and Carrousel was not even able to do this right on a 1/18-scale supposedly hi-detail model? Also they later used the 1975 version to model the 1972-1973 cars, and they are two very different cars. A very disappointing model of one of the greatest Indy cars of all times.

The blue Jorgensen Eagle is the 1975-1976 version. The "pretty" one is the Olsonite-Eagle from 1972-1974, in white. There are two distinct sets of graphics and the design is much more dynamic.



This is the first one I did for Gurney in 1972. The last one was the Castrol-sponsored Eagle-Toyota of 2000. In between, there are a dozen different cars, two of which won the "best paint" award at the Indy 500 (1974 and 1978).

Mr. Pea
 
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