Friday, November 11, 2011

Petron Endurance and Economy Run 2011

Here's something that we don't usually get to participate.
It's a unique motorcycle event,
"The Petron Endurance and Economy Run 2011."

Let me give you guys a brief explanation of what it was about.
It's a motorcycle run where the most fuel efficient motorcycle
would win, sounds simple, right?
Well, here's where it got complicated - all the participants
(regardless of the classes) would need to travel
750 kilometers on a predetermined route,
covering  9 provinces (Metro Manila, Bulacan,
Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija,
Nueva Viscaya  and  Baguio) with 5 check points all in all.

The Participants needed to arrive at a given time window
on each checkpoint, so if you arrive too early
you'd get a penalty that will be deducted to your fuel economy
during the final computations;
arrive too late and you're out of the game.
It really sounds simple but it's not.
I never knew that there were lot factors that you
needed to consider for a Fuel economy and endurance run.

The first time my Dad knew about this event was last November 2010.
My Dad loves to go to motorcycle forums  and look for non-racing events likes this one. The event  was to be held on February 5, 2011. We only had a couple of months to prepare. The registration was first done online. Requirements were  just  1000 pesos worth of Petron Gasoline and 5 liter worth of Petron Motorcycle oil receipt scanned and emailed to the organizers.

There are 6 classes all in all, each with different Engine displacements.

At first, my dad was the one who was very meticulous about
the fuel consumption of his bike
(Yamaha Sniper modified to 150cc engine)
for weeks and months he took down endless notes
of fuel consumption, computation's mileage, average speed and time.
All that time he was the one taking this Economy run seriously.
I did the computations even though I was just going
to participate just to accompany him during the run because
"It's free gas, food and stuff."
But eventually, I told myself, "hey why don't I join competitively?"
So I started setting up my "Wonder bike" for the Economy run.
I also took notes of the fuel consumption of my bike
which was a tedious process because I just started
taking it seriously just a couple of weeks prior the event.

Here's the List of participants  on each of our respective Classes.
I am  #33 in class 4 and Dad is # 6 on class 3.

"Wonderbike" is actually a Modified Yamaha Crypton Z the Displacement was increased to 178 cc from the original 110cc. Fitted with a Yamaha 4 valve single overhead cam Cylinder head with oil cooling system (no  Porting done, stock camshaft profile as well ) Carburetor is a 24 mm Keihin CV stock transmission gear ratios as well. With those serious modification procedures done on that bike it was very difficult to win if you are against  motorcycles which had no modification on the engine.

My "Wonder bike" only averaged 34 kms per liter that's city riding. 
On the open road, I  was guessing  it would go
for 40km/l. I had no idea what the other competitors' consumption
was so I needed to increase the efficiency more
to be able to at least get a decent finish in my Class.
During my dry runs I felt the engine revved to high at 60 kph
so I changed the sprocket to a high speed set up
from 16/35 to 16/34 then I took out the heavy parts of the bike
which I didn't need during the run like rear the foot pegs
and rear grab rail also I changed my tires to
smaller diameter tires to make them light weight as well.
I even took the risk of over inflating
my tires so it has less ground contact.
I also made a special air filter element to give the engine
more air to breathe in to make it more efficient,
cleaned out the brake calipers to make sure
they only have minimum friction when not in use,
and of course valve timing and carburetor tuning as well.
My dad did the same on his motorcycle.

After alterations to the bike,
fuel economy increased by a mere 38kms per liter on city riding,
not a great deal but we were heading into the right direction.
With the bike's set up and prepped,
the next thing to do is to plan the average speed
for each check point of the run. I've said earlier there are
penalties if you arrive earlier than scheduled.
I did computation after computation to make sure
we have allowances for refueling eating or
any other things that may occur during the run.
Did I mention that I have to make 2 different plans
since me and my dad belong to
two different classes for the run?
I was in class 4 my dad is in class 3.

 The day of the competition the participants were required
to submit their bikes and the riding gears for inspection
before they were to be filled with gas and
sealed during the inspection.
My bike failed due to my electronic speedo and odometer
since the original bike was just using an analog speedo and odometer.
I was furious with the "idiot" who inspected the bike
claiming that the speedo was not accurate.
I told him that we're going to travel the same 750 kms
regardless of the odometer reading.
I guess he's really an idiot 'coz he did not know a thing
about motorcycles although he claims to be a motorcycle rider as well.

I had no choice but to go back home,
installed the original speedo and went back for another inspection.
By the way my dad's bike passed the inspection.

 The Tachometer in Question...

This was the basement parking where they kept the bike after passing the inspection.

 They put tamper proof seals on the gas cap to make sure
you couldn't add fuel illegally during the run.

Finally, my bike passed the inspection. I had to make another set of strategy and computations for the analog tach since the odometer on this one could not be returned to zero.

Before the run began we were already awake for more than 18 hours - we were sleep deprived for the last 2 days which was a disadvantage in our part because in an endurance run you have to get all the sleep you can get to avoid dozing off while riding.

There's my Dad reviewing the "Master plan".

Each classes were separated by 30 mins.
At the start, my dad's class left the starting point at 11:30 pm
and my class left at exactly 12 mn.

 The parking lot being full of participants and supporters.

One of the things I've noticed during the runwas that there were a lot of participants who were just racing in the streets revving their engines on a stoplight and accelerating quickly once the green light was on.

Since my bike has minimal fairings I had to duck
so that I'd have better aerodynamics even though I was
just going at 30kph to 55kph depending on our computed average speed.
It was very uncomfortable especially when you're wearing racing leathers.
One of the most uncomfortable riding positions
I have ever done and I had to
endure this for most of the 750kms of the run.
Me and my dad were able to meet up and ride together
on the 3rd checkpoint which was in Urdaneta City.
We took our time strolling,
there was one part in the run
where there's a 109 km slithering
highway filled with curves uphills and downhills.
The way I described it was that
"Each time you blink your eyes there will be a different curve on the road."
Taking a Breather, Around 60 kms to the finish.
We got to the finish line at around 6pm
in Baguio City just right for each of our respective classes.
The winners was announced the next day

in a special  awarding ceremony
held at a fancy hotel in Baguio city.
I placed 2nd class on Class 4 not bad for a modified bike
while my Dad placed 5th on class 3.

Official results list for Class 4
(Sorry I can't make it any bigger)

 It was such a unique experience for me since it's the first time we joined a Fuel economy run hopefully next time we will get the top prize.

Some of the photos are from Motorcycle Philippines Forum.

(Something went wrong on the fonts of this post and we couldn't figure it out)

Have you tried setting up your bike for fuel efficiency??


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