Norton's Fearless Motorcycle Design

Uploaded by engineeringdotcom on 16.02.2011

Hello, and welcome to the product design show.
I'm Vince Penman.
And I'm Allison Toepperwein.
Today we're looking at motorcycle design.
This story from is a dream product for every motorcycle enthusiast.
Mark van der Kwaak started with this nice looking 1964 Triumph when
he decided to strip it and hard tail it, which means getting rid of the rear suspension
to lower the bike and give it a more old-school look.
Mark used CAD modeling for various elements of the project, including the front fork designs.
The bike is still under construction.
You can track the project at
Now if that all looks like too much work, Ducati has introduced the Monster Art Project,
which lets you customize your new Ducati 796 in just 10 minutes.
The kit lets you choose from the selection of official art to change the look of your tank, fairing,
front fender and seat cover
They really do look different.
I wanna give my ride some street cred with cosmetic bullet holes.
Ducati's custom detailing is a much safer way to install bullet holes than my other idea.
Stupid ricochet.
Norton Motorcycles has openly shared their recent engine builds for the new version
of their legendary Commando motorcycle.
This daring bit of engineering while others watch took a lot of courage, but the pictures
of the highly polished aluminum clutch parts and sub-assemblies make
their engineering look inspired.
There are 660 parts that go into the engine.
Norton is able to design and keep track of every version of every perfect part
by using Creo Elements Pro, a CAD software and design environment that helps
them achieve precision, power and performance.
And now for a truly unique ride, meet the Uno, an all electric motorcycle that you control not
with pedals or throttles or even brakes, but by leaning.
A computer in the console powers the motors to solve
a classic control problem, as
Brad Hargety CEO of BPG Motors recently explained to me
One way to think about it is, technically it's called the inverted pendulum.
But a kinda common man's way to think about it is if you take a broom and you balance it
on the end of your finger, when that broom starts to tilt over, you move
faster underneath it to keep it balanced.
That's very much the principle of this bike.
So, you don't have to do anything as a rider, but there's pretty clever software
in there that says where is the center of mass,
where is the person sitting on the wheels relative to the balance point.
So if the person is in front of that balance point, it accelerates the wheels underneath it
Of course, you wouldn't want to ride without a helmet, and French designer Kevin Goupil
has designed a new bicycle helmet made of cork.
Cork is a renewable resource commonly used, of course, to seal wine bottles.
Well, now it can protect something more valuable than a 1787 Chateau Lafite, human brains.
The helmet uses cork because of the superior shock absorption.
It is fashioned after World War II era French Army helmets which made up in style what they lost
in the ability to repel occupying invaders.
Take that, French Army!
Designing motorcycle demands that engineers collaborate for surfacing, electronics, parts
and big assemblies.
You can download an excellent article on the best practices
for concurrent engineering at
That's a wrap for this week. If you have a suggestion for a product design you would
like to see on the show, please send it to
Next week on the Product Design Show we'll bring you amazing engineering in agricultural equipment.