This year’s HPV project is being done in conjunction with a Senior Project. As such, we are following the scheduling guidelines laid out in the senior project framework.

Research and Design

Frame, drivetrain and rear fairing design concept

Frame, drivetrain and rear fairing design concept

This project is going to be unlike any other we have attempted, and we want to be as well informed as possible to maximize our success. We spent the Summer of 2018 compiling research for the upcoming year, studying principles of fluids dynamics, using online resources, and looking at other teams successful bikes.

The team divided into sub-teams at the end of Spring quarter and research began shortly after. We began to create preliminary designs and integrate our subsystems to create a plan for the year. The Summer research culminated in a trip to Battle Mountain to spectate the 2018 WHPSC and learn how other teams had designed their bikes.

Once school began again, we hit the ground running with an army of new recruits. We continued our fairing design, creating our initial mock-ups and beginning our computational fluid dynamic analysis. We created a preliminary model for our rider which is critical for our fairing and frame dimensioning.

We are designing a forward-driven bike with a removable steel-frame. The frame will house all of our components except the camera system. The drivetrain will feature a double reduction system to produce larger gear ratios.


This is what HPV is all about - getting our hands dirty and building our bike. We may still be in our design phase, but that doesn’t mean we can’t log some hours in the shop.

These past weeks have been spent prototyping segments of the bike to help us design more effectively. We are also teaching new members manufacturing principles during our learning days. We recently introduced the team to carbon fiber and composite work, and plan to hold more days for metal work soon, stay tuned!

Composites learning day - Derek Fromm led the team through a lay-up onto last years seat mold.

This year, Zodiac Aerospace has agreed to build and CNC our foam plug from high density precision board. From the plug, we will lay-up a fiberglass female mold. Then we can lay-up our carbon fiber into the fiberglass mold.

As the fairing comes together, we will be constructing our interior frame. The frame will be built from steel tubes welded together using a gas tungsten arc welding process. We will assemble the components to the frame before fastening the fairing and frame together.

Our goal is to have the bike fully assembled and ready for testing by the end of Spring quarter, 2019.

Be sure to get your red tag/yellow tag if you want to help out, it’s not required for a lot of what we do, but it’s still very helpful to have them! Check the Cal Poly machine shop web page for more details on red tags and yellow tags.

We are holding learning days for our manufacturing processes on various Saturdays throughout the quarter. Check back on our calendar soon for exact dates.


Testing will done over the Summer of 2019. We will be fine tuning, troubleshooting any design or manufacturing errors, and evaluating our rider’s performance on the bike. Adequate testing of the bike is crucial to avoid catastrophic failure at the competition.

Testing will also help us practice for the real runs in Battle Mountain.