Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-32-0037
2003-09-16

Aerodynamic Drag Reduction of a Racing Motorcycle Through Vortex Generation 2003-32-0037

For any high performance vehicle the aerodynamic properties are significant when attempting to optimize performance. For ground vehicles the major aerodynamic forces are drag and down-force. The focus of this research was to determine the feasibility of vortex generation as a method to reduce the aerodynamic drag of a racing class motorcycle.
Wind tunnel tests were performed on a full-scale racing motorcycle in the Closed Loop Tunnel (CLT) at West Virginia University (WVU) and in Old Dominion University's (ODU) Langley Full Scale Tunnel (LFST) at various airspeeds. Counter-rotating vortices were generated using small commercially available vortex generators (VGs).
The largest reduction in drag was 10%, which was measured in the WVU CLT. The LFST tests showed no measurable increase or decrease in drag. This led to the conclusion that the airspeed and test section blockage ratio influenced the optimum configuration and size of the vortex generators. This preliminary research shows that the use of small vortex generators can reduce the overall drag.

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