IS THIS THE FUTURE OF FUEL INJECTION?
The “rotating gate” (left) is completely invisible when wide open. It only contacts the housing when fully closed. This means low friction. The butterfly (right) is in the way when the valve is open.
After months of tinkering, Dean Dickinson is close to a production verison of his prototype R&D throttle body. The Geico Honda team of Justin barcia and Eli Tomac have been using it in the Nationals and MXA has followed its progress since Dean showed us his stereolithographic liquid polymer plastic test parts–which was the first step before building Team Geico Honda’s working models.
The “rotating gate” replaces the typical butterfly valve and as it rotates out of the way it does not disrupt the air flow...as a butterfly or slide do.
The overall size and shape of R&D’s throttle body is almost identical to the Keihin unit, but the inner workings are significantly different from any throttle body on the market today. Dean drop-kicked the pesky butterfly design, because no matter what the throttle position, the butterfly always created turbulent airflow. Dean considered going back to the tried-and-true slide design of the old carburetors (as used in the Simon Smart Body throttle body), but felt that even the slide could be improved.
R&D wanted simplicity. There are only three major components.
Dean’s stroke of genius was to design a rotating gate design. What is a rotating gate? Instead of a flat slide that is pulled vertically out of the venturi, a rotating gate is an elliptical barrier that rotates into a slot beneath the bore when opened. The elliptical shape guarantees that the butterfly replacement rolls away with a smooth, shaped surface that disappears completely out of the way. It’s a simple, clever design that eliminates the obstruction of a butterfly and the drag of a slide.
As for the rest of R&D’s throttle body, it is taper-bored 1.5 degrees from one end to the other. The bore is round at both ends and oval in the middle. This oval shape allows for the fitment of the rotating gate and OEM components (like the throttle position sensor). When the rotating gate is closed, there is a bypass port for idle air, but it is complemented by an adjustable position stop for the rotating gate at fully closed and fully open.
How does R&D’s innovative throttle body work? The Geico Honda guys aren’t complaining. For more info on R&D go to www.r1dean.com