Student: Motorcycle and High Performance Motorcycles Essay

Submitted By patrickzhuang
Words: 603
Pages: 3

Key technologies affect the motorcycle industry

As the demand of high-performance and high-safety of motorcycles has been getting higher by consumers, the technology of motorcycle has improved a lot. Nevertheless, the number of accidents related to motorcycle still has risen gradually since 1990s, which grew from 61,451 in 1997 to 79,000 in 2003. According to UK Department for Transport, motorcycles have 16 times the rate of serious accidents in every 100 million vehicle kilometers, comparing to cars, and double the rate of bicycles.[1] The key technologies affecting the industry can be generally divided into four aspects: dynamics, engines, suspension, safety gear, transmissions.

The capacity of combustion chambers, the number of cylinders possessed or the number of strokes of power cycles can normally classify Motorcycle engines (William Harris) [2]. By the constant technological innovations of motorcycle engines, the capacity of engines experienced a significant improvement from 50cc to more than 8000cc, Single-cylinder engines to Eight-cylinder engines (V8 engine). On the one hand, these technological improvements meet the demand of consumers who seek for high performance motorcycles. On the other hand, these high performance motorcycles are easier to cause accidents. According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), supersport motorcycles, which can rapidly reach speeds of above 160 miles per hour, have 4 times higher driver death rate than standard motorcycles.[3]


Suspension of motorcycles can be generally classified as front suspension and gear suspension. The telescopic is the most common design of front suspension for a motorcycle. Other fork forms are suspended on sprung parallel links (common before the 1940s), girder forks and bottom leading link designs (common before the 1960s). Although front suspension were already adopted globally before World War I, rear suspension was used after World War II.[4] These improvements of motorcycle suspension have significant impacts on two perspectives which influenced the industry a lot: handling and braking the vehicle, and keeping the passengers from bumps, road noise and vibrations to provide them safety and comfort.[5]

Safety gear

Safety gear, which is also known as Personal protective equipment (PPE), refers to helmets, protective clothing, or other equipment that can protect the wearer from injury. There are five basic types of helmets including full face, off-road, modular, half helmet and headwear. The only helmet manufacturer remaining in the UK is Navida, which produces hand-built helmets from ots site in Liverpool. In order to meet the latest safety standards in