Donnie Belansky: The Pleasure of Racing

Racing can be a very personal event, especially when you do it for fun. And that’s what Club Racing is all about. The riders who race at Willow Springs International Raceway (Rosamond, CA) have a once-a-month (for eleven months) opportunity to race. The race track is over fifty years old, and is a challenging 2.5 miles long. According to Donnie Belansky, “There can be anywhere from five to fifteen motorcycles racing in his class at a time over a weekend.

Donnie races in the Formula Twin Heavyweight class on his Aprilia Mille R, 1000 V-Twin 2002 motorcycle. “I’m racing an old bike against a lot of newer bikes out there,” he explains. Nonetheless, Donnie came in Second Place at this past year’s Championship Races. And this, after missing two of the meets. “I have the heaviest bike out there,” he said, “so I have to make up time with high corner speeds.”

To help inch his speeds up, Donnie has begun to lighten his bike a little at a time. He has swapped out some components for standard plastic parts he’s been able to find, but now he’s begun to change out some of the components using fabricated components from Solid Concepts, Inc. (Valencia, CA).

The first thing Donnie replaced was the bottom belly pan. He replaced the pan with a part that was manufactured using a fiberglass layup process by Solid Concepts. This is a process where sheets of fiberglass are skillfully cut and laminated with proprietary epoxies. Panels are created from a one-sided layup tool where the A side geometry is accurately reproduced. The back, or B side, of the geometry often requires brackets, hinges, boss clusters, and/or other hardware. The use of proprietary fixtures allows Solid Concepts to precision locate B-side hardware, providing a much tighter fitting assembly with consistent and level reveals.

The fiberglass panels have exceptional surface finish, ideal for single sided cosmetic purposes. Additionally, the process allows for faster production of large parts when compared to the pricier alternative, RIM (Reaction Injection Molding). Although typical application for this process includes large cosmetic prototype panels for automotive, agricultural, construction and medical industries, the 2009 introduction of UL 94 V0 Fire retardant materials has enticed other industries, like motorsports, to turn to fiberglass. The components created are light and very tough.

“Using the fiberglass process to provide the belly pan took about 3.25 pounds off the bike. The next item Donnie plans to replace using Solid Concepts’ Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process is the air box system. Then, he plans to modify the tail section using either Fused Deposition Modeling or SLS. This will take even more weight off the bike, which will help Donnie increase his corner speeds from his already 150 mph plus speeds.

Rather than spending additional time and energy performing post processing for the parts, Donnie depends on another of his sponsors, one11inc, who provides body wraps for all the new parts. Other sponsors include Silkolene Oil, and Bill Belansky, Donnie’s brother, at PCEC Racing.

Due to the combination of high corner speeds and a lighter-weight bike, Donnie has been able to compete with newer and lighter motorcycles and still hold his own.

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