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Technical Paper

Lightweight Design of a Racing Motorcycle Wheel

Mass minimization is a key objective for the design of racing motorcycle wheels. The structural optimization of a front motorcycle wheel is presented in the paper. Topology Optimization has been employed for deriving optimized structural layouts. The minimum compliance problem has been solved, symmetry and periodicity constraints have been introduced. The wheel has been optimized by considering several loading conditions. Actual loads have been measured during track tests by means of a special measuring wheel. The forces applied by the tire to the rim have been introduced in an original way. Different solutions characterized by different numbers of spokes have been analyzed and compared. The actual racing wheel has been further optimized accounting for technological constraints and the mass has been reduced down to 2.9 kilograms.
Journal Article

Tire Ply-Steer, Conicity and Rolling Resistance - Analytical Formulae for Accurate Assessment of Vehicle Performance during Straight Running

The aim of the paper is to provide simple and accurate analytical formulae describing the straight motion of a road vehicle. Such formulae can be used to compute either the steering torque or the additional rolling resistance induced by vehicle side-slip angle. The paper introduces a revised formulation of the Handling Diagram Theory to take into account tire ply-steer, conicity and road banking. Pacejka’s Handling Diagram Theory is based on a relatively simple fully non-linear single track model. We will refer to the linear part of the Handling Diagram, since straight motion will be considered only. Both the elastokinematics of suspension system and tire characteristics are taken into account. The validation of the analytical expressions has been performed both theoretically and after a subjective-objective test campaign. By means of the new and unreferenced analytical formulae, practical hints are given to set to zero the steering torque during straight running.