Evolution of a fast fruit

Upon our return from Battle Mountain, poor little Mango sat neglected for several months, still with it's crash scars and still filled
with dirt from the Nevada desert. But as the new season approaches, it was time to give the bike some attention and get it ready
for racing again. The plan is to use Mango for circuit racing this year, which meant a few little changes from it's record attempt
format. The biggest change is the addition of landing gear, to allow safe self-starting/stopping. This consists of two telescoping
motorized legs which emerge from the rear of the bike with inline skate wheels on the ends. We'll figure out some doors for the
holes once we know it all works okay. The second change was to the steering geometry. Miles has made a subtle tweak to the
fork which has put a few degrees on the head angle and increased the trail, which will hopefully eliminate the high speed instability
that caused the crash in Nevada. So anyway, on to the pictures:

side view of extended landing gear switches mounted on brake lever bodies
Houston we are ready for launch the motors sit tucked over the rear wheel
and the view from the back the exit holes are fairly small, eventually they will have doors fitted
with the lid on you hardly notice the little legs

So why electric? Well, once we'd decided where the wheels would go, and started thinking about how to operate them, it just
seemed the simplest way to go. The biggest point in their favour is that the controls are very small and easy to operate; any
mechanical system would need some sort of lever or cable pulling device, and there just isn't room at the handlebars - we had
enough trouble finding space for the gear and brake controls! Each wheel is controlled by an independent switch. Once
underway, I just have to flick the switches up and the wheels retract, with microswitches stopping the travel once they are
parked. Then as I am slowing down I have to hold the switches down until the wheels hit the ground - this allows for different leg
lengths to accomodate track camber. It takes about six seconds for the wheels to descend, which should be okay. We'll see how
it works in practice soon!