Look at your average MotoGP bike and you’ll see lots of titanium and carbon fiber pieces, same goes for high end bikes like the Ducati Desmosedici or any motorcycle needing the strongest and lightest materials. Unfortunately, all of those exotic bits mean high prices, but, we could see more of those materials used in the not too distant future due to advances being made which will increase availability and bring prices down.
A new non-melt consolidation process for producing titanium parts, being developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory could reduce the energy required and the cost of production by 50 percent. Titanium has a huge number of applications but costs can be prohibitive. Efforts to increase the efficiency of all of our vehicles creates a need for materials with high strength and light weight. What better time to lower the cost of titanium?
Carbon fiber is the other prime choice for strength with light weight and a group of Japanese companies are working to develop a new mass production process for the material with the goal of mass market carbon fiber cars.
A few custom builders have used carbon fiber and one company is building carbon fiber frames but you don’t see it too often.
Think of what happens if you can use carbon fiber and titanium for frames, suspension, bodywork, wheels, and all of the various bits and pieces in the average motorcycle. You don’t see it now because costs are off the chart but maybe not for long.