Development of Scooter Suspensions for Comfort Optimization 2003-32-0070
This paper presents a method, based on multibody analysis, developed in order to reduce the time required to get the optimum design choice in terms of ride comfort behavior.
The model that has been built has 4 degrees of freedom, besides the vehicle translational degree of freedom. This model has been defined in a parametric form to allow an easy conceptual design development. The virtual vehicle rides over a reproduction of a real rough road profile, properly selected to emphasize ride comfort characteristics of the scooter. It is possible to ride at different speeds, simulating the most significant ride conditions.
Using this model, the engineers involved in a new design can simulate in advance to prototype manufacturing, the effect of geometric and functional changes in suspension characteristics (like what happens changing the location of engine suspension links to the scooter frame, front fork geometry, stiffness and damping characteristics of shock absorbers and so on).
In order to test the quality of the virtual model, a very extensive experimental work has been carried out in our Piaggio & C. S.p.A. laboratory and test track and on real roads on instrumented scooters.
Correlation between simulations and testing has been investigated, showing satisfying results.
With this work and the other already programmed for the near future, Piaggio & C. S.p.A. is facing the design of a scooter with a strong attention to the ride comfort. This aspect is increasing in importance since the market started to request and use bigger scooters instead of cars. Nowadays in Europe, it's easy to meet big scooters on motorways or a long ways from the town.