Metrology as a Means for Motorbike Optimization

Speed: competitive advantage, object of desire, or strategic focus? The motorbike industry—just like the auto industry—is a typical sector of interest for 3D scanning applications. KTM Motorsports expertly employed metrology instruments and inspection software to look further into their product improvement process.

On the one hand, the team used a 3D scanner to capture data for wear and crash analysis on a myriad of different bike components to facilitate their daily quality control (QC) assessment. On the other hand, they optimized driver stance and aerodynamic features with 3D scan data by testing and adjusting components between laps on the test racetrack!

3D measurements for product development and quality control

The lifeblood to winning milliseconds on the racetrack resides in improving the aerodynamics. To maximize the ergonomics and aerodynamics, designers and engineers used 3D measurement instruments, with precise 3D measurements, that could scan the whole bike, including the driver. In order to design and produce optimal parts, the KTM team conceives complex shapes, tests them in a wind tunnel or the racetrack, then makes adjustments, tests them again, and so on. While this process can require several iterations, the use of Creaform’s 3D scanners minimized the number of iterations required to achieve the desired specifications as quickly as possible.

Scan output of KTM motorcycle frame
Scan output of KTM motorcycle frame

One of the perks of the solution used by KTM is its portability: the 3D scanner can be used in various environments, i.e., bringing the scanning gear to the test racetrack and taking reliable, high-quality, precise measurements to make design decisions in a timely manner. Plus, setting up the equipment for a scan-ready configuration takes virtually no time. Real-time meshing and dynamic referencing are also readily available for data acquisition at the workshop, in the QC area, or at the racetrack.

From a quality control standpoint

Using inspection software, KTM’s quality control team performed wear and failure analysis on frame and chassis components. The outcome was then used to detect areas of design improvement, and to document and monitor component features and deviations that could potentially hinder the performance of the vehicles. From a QC standpoint, finding the root cause of such deviations quickly
is crucial to draw conclusions and alter the design accordingly. The ability of Creaform’s 3D scanner to acquire large amounts of data in a short time—without having to prepare the surface or parts being inspected prior to the scan—echoed with KTM’s READY TO RACE mentality, focused on both speed and performance. Very precise and not necessarily focused on discrete points, the 3D scanner allowed for the measurement of components across-the-board. With very minimal training, members of the KTM team were able to understand the plug-and-play scanning instruments and undertake the necessary adjustments for overall performance improvement.

Quality Controller Motorsport Christian Schwarz performs 3D scanning of the motorcycle frame
Quality Controller Motorsport Christian Schwarz performs 3D scanning of the motorcycle frame

Leveraging race-proven metrology technologies to boost the performance of KTM’s products

KTM AG is Europe’s leading high-performance street and offroad sport motorcycle manufacturer based in Mattighofen, Austria. Over the years, KTM has built a reputation as a fierce competitor on racetracks around the world. With an established presence in the off-road segments, KTM has progressed through the world of street motorcycles, and recently made a grand foray into sport bike
territory. Incorporating race-proven technology into KTM’s products allows KTM riders to experience the thrilling performance that defines the KTM brand, for themselves.

Given their READY TO RACE mentality, KTM Motorsports focuses on performance and speed in all circumstances, even in the lab and at the production plant.

Pol Espargaro from Red Bull KTM MotoGP™
Pol Espargaro from Red Bull KTM MotoGP™

Article written by Creaform

Comments about this article

Jorge Hernandez

Excellent since I am a enthusiastic creaform follower.

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