Building and Testing High-Performance Street and Offroad Sport Motorcycles

Building high-performance motorcycles requires race-proven parts controlled by state-of-the-art technologies that enable riders to enjoy a thrilling experience.

Challenges: From the tests at the factory to the behavior on the racetrack, how can the performance of a sport motorcycle be guaranteed?

Building sport motorcycles for racing requires attention to detail. Designers and engineers have to choose premium materials and produce different geometrical parts with tight tolerances. A scan of the whole bike is essential for certifying that everything fits together. However, sport motorcycles are built to withstand extreme conditions and to be pushed to the limit on the racetrack. Inevitably, the part parameters change and undergo deviations during a race. Therefore, the testing team must be able to measure these deviations directly on the track and not only when the bike is parked in the factory.

Knowing that a sport motorbike is made of a multitude of components, all with different sizes, geometries, and surface finishes, how can the quality control team select the best metrology instrument for measuring a vast variety of parts accurately?

Inspecting parts of various shapes and complexity necessitates a 3D measurement technology that can acquire a lot of data without surface preparation. Unlike touch probing, 3D scanning provides an overall view of the inspected part, not just discrete points.

Knowing that a motorbike usually wears out after several races, how can the quality management team analyze wear and make improvements to new motorbike designs for better performance?

Wear and crash analysis of the frame and chassis are obtained with a scan-to-CAD comparison, from individual components up to the complete vehicle. To do so, the quality control team scans the whole bike and puts the parts in STL data in order to compare them with the CAD files. Therefore, the scanning tool and software suite must be easy to understand and use, without the need for extensive training. Plug-and-play tools and user-friendly interfaces facilitate engineers’ understanding and help them discover improvements that they can add to the design.


Knowing that the chassis and swing arm might undergo deviations during a race, how can the testing team figure out where these deviations come from quickly and directly on the racetrack?

Finding the root cause of observed deviations between laps, after racing, and after failures is the quality controller’s responsibility. In the motorsport environment, where speed is proof of everything, measurements must be obtained quickly in order to make hypotheses and draw conclusions. Therefore, the testing team needs a scanning solution that can measure the deviations directly on the racetrack and provide them with accurate data as fast as the bike is racing (or quickly, at the very least).

logo KTM

KTM AG designs, develops, and builds high-performance street and offroad sport motorcycles. Over the years, KTM has built a reputation as a fierce competitor on racetracks around the world. With an established presence in the offroad segments, KTM has progressed to become one of the world’s most innovative manufacturers of street motorcycles and now aims to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of sport motorcycles.

Since KTM’s entire sport motorcycle line is built using premium components, the quality management team requires accurate metrology equipment that can be used either at the factory or on the racetrack. “For us, accuracy is the most important thing,” says Christian Schwarz, Quality Controller Motorsports at KTM AG. It’s one of the reasons they have chosen the MetraSCAN 3D for testing the different parts of the motorcycles. “It is very portable to bring it wherever you want,” he adds, satisfied with his decision.

In addition, the selection of Creaform’s 3D scanning solutions improved communication between the design, manufacturing, and quality control teams. Now, data can be exchanged easily. Closer networking occurs around 3D scanning, and it brings dynamics to the group. All teams can use scanned data and work together from the same information.


Solutions: Accurate, Fast, Portable, and Versatile 3D Scanning Technologies

Accuracy is provided by precise, high-resolution, and repeatable results, regardless of the measurement setup quality, environmental instabilities, or user experience. For quality control teams, accuracy is usually the most important factor for selecting metrology instruments.

Speed is defined as the capability to generate real-time mesh that is already lightened and processed and ready to be seamlessly integrated into the preferred CAD software.

Portability is made possible thanks to dynamic referencing, where both the part and the instrument can move freely during the measurement process. This way, 3D scanning can be done at the factory, in the quality control lab, or on the racetrack, without affecting performance.

Versatility is demonstrated by the measurement of a variety of parts, regardless of size, shape, surface finish, geometry, and complexity, without surface preparation.

Metrology-grade 3D scanners, such as the HandySCAN 3D or the MetraSCAN 3D, as well as the software platforms VXInspect and PolyWorks are good examples of these accurate, fast, portable, and versatile scanning solutions.

Benefits: With accuracy, speed, portability, and versatility, the high performance of sport motorcycles is extended, enhancing the overall experience for riders.

In addition to success on the world stage, the pleasure that riders experience while driving exceptional vehicles is the ultimate proof of the manufacturer’s realization. 3D scanning technologies contribute to the following benefits, all of which are essential to being victorious in the world's toughest races:

  • More Robust Motorcycles
    Because wear and crash analyses are performed on the chassis and the swing arm after racing or failures, engineers are able to understand where wear comes from and why deviations occur on specific parts and locations. Thanks to the tests conducted with 3D scanners, they can adapt their future design and build bikes that are even more robust and resistant to wear and failures.
  • Faster and Lighter Motorcycles
    Building sport motorcycles for racing requires the design and manufacturing of complex geometrical parts with tight tolerances and the selection and testing of premium materials. With 3D scanners, engineers and designers can enhance performance while reducing unnecessary weight.
  • Easy to Trace Data for Future Developments
    Since 3D scanners quickly capture data on parts of various sizes, geometries, and complexities directly on the racetrack, quality controllers can easily scan every part they need, save the STL data, and compare them with the CAD files in order to make adjustments to future designs.

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