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Technical Paper

Analysis of Motorcycle Structural–Resonance–Induced Fatigue Problems

Vehicle structural resonance modes are classified generally into rigid and flexible (non–rigid) body modes. During motorcycle testing and development for design validation, it is often useful to understand these modes of vibration. Understanding rigid and flexible body modes helps to improve the ride and handling performance. Understanding the flexible body modes helps to isolate noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) problems. It can also help to find the root causes of structural durability failures. Flexible body modes can also be annoying or unsafe to the operator. For example, handlebar vibrations may cause numbness in the hands or arms. Flexible body modes also can contribute to motorcycle dynamic instability modes such as the weave instability. Similarly, the rider's ability to see approaching traffic from the rear may be reduced if mirrors are vibrating due to a flexible body mode in the handlebars, frame, or front fork.