Motorcycle Rider Kinematics during Low and High Speed Turning Maneuvers 2018-01-0536
Motorcycle stability during a variety of maneuvers is maintained through both rider steering input and body interactions with the seat, tank, footrests, and handlebars. Exploring how rider-vehicle interactions impact vehicle control is critical to creating a comprehensive understanding of motorcycle handling. The present study aims to understand how experienced motorcycle riders influence motorcycle dynamics by characterizing center of pressure (COP) location, force applied at the seat, rider lean angle and offset relative to the motorcycle, and steering angle for various maneuvers. A course was defined on Exponent’s Test and Engineering Center (TEC) track and skid pad that included sections of straight riding, navigating a banked curve, and sharp turning (low speed U-turns, 90 degree turn after a stop, and obstacle avoidance). The task influenced rider response and, in particular, lateral COP location at the seat. During low speed turning maneuvers (U-turn and 90 degree turn after a stop), riders tended to shift their COP in the opposite direction of the turn to counterbalance motorcycle dynamics. The largest deviation in lateral COP occurred during the 90 degree turn after a stop and the second largest deviation occurred while executing a U-turn. The lowest lateral COP deviations were observed while riding around banked track curves and were comparable to riding straight. Results indicate that some riding tasks elicited stereotyped movement patterns shown across riders while other maneuvers produced different driving patterns between riders. The methodology presented here can be utilized in future research to establish a larger framework for optimal riding technique and instability avoidance during complex tasks.