Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Motorcycle "Spinner" Wheels
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(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

We've all seen those super cool "Spinner" rims on pimped-out Escalades, so why not add a little "Bling" to your bike?

Until now, it hasn't been easy... what with all the final drive sprockets and brakes bolted to either side of the wheel. But MotoBling, LLC proposes to change all that!

The solution is to put the spinning portion INSIDE the wheel. I'll need to define some commonly misused terms to accurately describe it, so bear with me. The hub is the center portion of the wheel assembly that surrounds a fixed axle such that the entire wheel assembly is allowed to spin freely around said axle. The rim is the outer portion of the wheel to which the tires are mated. For lack of a better term, we'll call the metal bits that connect the hub to the rim "spokes", though this invention is a modification of the typical one-piece mag wheels and will not work with true spokes.

This invention retains the same rim/tubeless tire assembly and hub, but the solid center spokes would actually be cut down the middle to leave two faces - right and left. These would be welded into the hub and rim such that a small gap is left between them into which a round metal plate machined into a similar "spokey" pattern is affixed. This is the spinner. The spinner is attached to the hub (or spokes) by means of a ball bearing raceway which allows it to spin freely within the spokes governed only by inertia and not directly by the brakes or drive sprocket.

Now before you sharpen your pitchforks and heft your fishbones, let me explain why this is a useful invention.

1. They look cool.

2. They would potentially make the motorbike safer by allowing the rear wheel to retain and gradually step down some of its gyroscopic stability in a panic situation where the rear brake becomes locked. Given enough mass, this design COULD help reduce the number of dangerous "highsides" that occur due to the sudden loss of gyroscopic stability. (see reference link)

I anticipate two arguments against this idea, so let me try to head those off at the pass.

Objection 1: A spinner with that much mass would surely require a greater amount of horsepower to get it moving. Unsprung weight is the enemy of acceleration performance.

Response: Yes, but they LOOK COOL. Modern motorcycles have far more horsepower than they really need, anyway.

Objection 2: Um, they don't really look cool. They make you look like an idiot.

Response: It's a SAFETY FEATURE! Don't you get it? Sheesh... Some people.

justaguy, May 06 2005

Highside Dynamics http://www.msgroup.org/DISCUSS.asp
link 1 in the left hand navigation menu - explains how loss of gyroscopic forces can cause a dangerous situation. [justaguy, May 06 2005]

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       That does it, I'm voting for my own idea. It's a good one, dammit!
justaguy, May 06 2005

       Just like everything else, the good-looking "spinners" I've seen on cars are the outrageously expensive ones, the cheap, affordable ones just look cheap and stupid.
whlanteigne, Sep 26 2005


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