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