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Mechanical Application Brief

Harley-Davidson

Affiliation


The Structures Lab

Description


The Structures Lab at Harley-Davidson Motor Company tests and qualifies components for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Location


Milwaukee, WI

Motorcycle Frames

The Problem


The Structures Lab at Harley-Davidson Motor Company is responsible for testing and qualifying various motorcycle components before they are used in production. To accomplish this, various forms of test data are collected. This data comprises strain, acceleration, temperature, pressure, force, displacement, voltage, current, and other parameters.

System Limitations


The data for the testing is collected both in the lab and at a test facility at the Talladega Super Speedway in Alabama. The data comes from several different types of instrumentation, including Telemetry systems, stand-alone portable acquisition systems, DAT recorders, multi-channel processing digital oscilloscopes, PC-based data acquisition cards, and dynamic signal analyzers. The data analysis from these instruments, used in a stand-alone type of configuration, is limited by the capabilities that the individual system provides. Harley-Davidson Heritage

Frame Stiffness Database Required


One example of the type of testing done at the Structures Lab is frame stiffness. The frame stiffness plays an important role in the overall design characteristics of the motorcycle. In designing a frame many factors can influence the effects of the overall stiffness. Some of these effects include engine mounting variations, bolt on subsystem variations, material type, and material geometry. To characterize these effects, stiffness tests need to be performed. For frame stiffness to frame variations, a comparison of overall stiffness characteristics needs to be made. Thus a database is required to allow comparisons to be made.