Browse Publications Technical Papers 09-07-01-0004

Eleven Instrumented Motorcycle Crash Tests and Development of Updated Motorcycle Impact-Speed Equations 09-07-01-0004

This also appears in SAE International Journal of Transportation Safety-V128-9EJ

Eleven instrumented crash tests were performed as part of the 2016 World Reconstruction Exposition (WREX2016), using seven Harley-Davidson motorcycles and three automobiles. For all tests, the automobile was stationary while the motorcycle was delivered into the vehicle, while upright with tires rolling, at varying speeds. Seven tests were performed at speeds between 30 and 46 mph while four low-speed tests were performed to establish the onset of permanent motorcycle deformation. Data from these tests, and other published testing, was analyzed using previously published equations to determine their accuracy when predicting the impact speed of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The most accurate model was the Modified Eubanks set of equations introduced in 2009, producing errors with an average of 0.4 mph and a standard deviation (SD) of 4.8 mph.
An updated set of Eubanks-style equations were developed adding data published since 2009, and further partitioning from two equations (pillars/axles and doors/fenders) to four equations (axles, pillars/bumpers, doors, and fenders). When applied to the subject tests, the newly developed set of equations produced an average error of 3.5 mph (SD = 4.3 mph). With respect to all available data (N = 99), the equations produced an average error of 0.1 mph and an SD of 5.8 mph. The errors were also analyzed for each of the four equations developed here, and confidence intervals offered. This research, which represents the first detailed analysis of Harley-Davidson motorcycles’ collision response, indicates they behave in a manner similar to previously tested motorcycles. Further, the equations developed and presented here give accident investigators a refined method for estimating the impact speed of an upright motorcycle, Harley-Davidson or otherwise, having struck an automobile with its front tire.


Subscribers can view annotate, and download all of SAE's content. Learn More »


Members save up to 20% off list price.
Login to see discount.