Development of a Finite Element Computer Model of a Motorcycle Using Reverse Engineering Technique
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Over the past years, extensive research efforts have been made to improve roadside safety hardware to reduce injury to occupants of four-wheel vehicles and heavy trucks. In comparison, limited research has been conducted to address the safety of motorcycle riders when impacting roadside safety hardware. The vulnerability of motorcycle riders can lead to a high risk of injury for the rider, especially when impacting roadside barriers. In fact, motorcycle crashes were found to be the leading source of fatalities in guardrail crashes. Physical crash testing is essential to prove crashworthiness of roadside safety barriers. No current standards exist that require upright motorcycle crash testing of motorcycles against barriers. In real-world motorcycle crashes there is a wide range of impacts against other vehicles and barriers. Reproducing these different motorcycle crash scenarios through physical crash testing can be considerably costly and time consuming. Computer simulations are a great tool to address the wide range of impacts in real-world motorcycle crashes because they are significantly less expensive and quicker than performing full scale crash tests. Motorcycle simulation models have been developed since the 1970’s and have improved in complexity over the years. However, there is still a need to develop detailed motorcycle models that are geometrically accurate and can accurately predict motorcycle response behavior. This study plans to develop a finite element computer model of a motorcycle through reverse engineering that can be used to analyze impact between motorcycles and barriers.
Schulz, Nathaniel David (2016). Development of a Finite Element Computer Model of a Motorcycle Using Reverse Engineering Technique. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from