As long as we’re talking about building real motorcycles, I should mention Tony Foale. Tony has written a very comprehensive book, “Motorcycle Handling & Chassis Design,” and more recently has offered “Suspension analysis” software. Details of both are on his website where they can also be ordered. Kevin Cameron, technical editor of Cycle World magazine wrote the foreward for Tony’s book.
Tony’s website is a wealth of information on the subject with numerous articles and also offers several software calculators for download. I warn you, if you find motorcycle design interesting, you’ll be on his site for a little while. The miscellaneous articles page by itself is an education. The photos, … same thing.
Tony offers seminars worldwide. They span two full days and the subjects covered should result in some kind of certificate for the attendees.
Tyre characteristics, suspension and offshoots
· Basic construction.
· Differences between radial and cross ply.
· Why radials have lower profiles
· Some reasons why we need tyres.
· Tyre is NOT a gas spring. Force/deflection curve is basically linear.
· Suspension action of pneumatic tyre.
· Weight support. – how?.
· Optimum conditions for maximum traction.
· Tyre hop and damping.
· Suspension settings and differences between optimum for comfort and performance
· Contact area – variation with load.
· Some geometric effects of tyre width.
· Sidebar on basic bike geometry – rake and trail, as a lead-in to:
· Pneumatic trail.
· Mechanisms of tyre friction.
· General shape of force vs. slip curve.
· Driving and braking slip.
· Steering slip – slip angle.
· Camber force.
· Concept of steering and camber stiffness.
· Combinations of steering and camber forces.
· Required steering angles at given cornering speeds.
· Friction ellipse.
· Drifting and throttle steering.
· How tyre characteristics provide limit feel.
· Variation of grip with vertical load.
· Under/over-steering from tyre view point.
· Under/over-steering from steering and stability view point.
And that is just the morning session on day one!
The information available from Tony should be required reading before any more “build offs” take place because it may keep the various shops from creating something mechanically embarrassing.