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Motorcycle Development

High-Revving Motorcycle Engines

Acquisition of Irregular Rotational Speed Patterns in a Four Cylinder Sports Motorcycle Engine

Because of a combustion engines discrete firing process, irregular rotational speed patterns of the crank-
shaft occur. These excite components of the driveshaft, causing rotational vibrations which in turn can cause
undesired noises and vibrations. On typical motorcycles, the engine and driveshaft are not acoustically encased.
Consequently, analysis to reduce undesired noises and vibrations is given high priority. Acquiring the rotational
vibrations induced on motorcycles can be done directly on the vehicle when placed on a roller dynamometer.
For the special case of high-revving motorcycle engines (>10,000 cycles/min), it is best to use Polytecs
RLV-5500 Rotational Laser Vibrometer.

Introduction there are lots of things that influence the setup on the dynamometer reflects real
The design goal of modern, high perform- drive of a motorcycle, it is vital to analyze conditions extremely well, and offers the
ance motorcycle engines is to optimize and test the whole driveshaft in detail. This advantage of reproducible driving condi-
efficiency and lightweight construction. is done by making measurements and tions for the various loads and RPM ranges
At the same time, there is the customers correlating to real test drives which are in an ideal way.
desire for smooth power delivery and com- especially important for determining sub- Specially manufactured measurement
fortable characteristics from the driveshaft. jectively perceptible and annoying vibra- adapters which are resistant to rotation and
This means a drive that is free of reson- tions and knocks. The vibration behavior are fixed on to the respective end of the
ances and does not jerk. In addition, the of the total driveshaft can be examined in crank and gear shaft, leading out of the
stress caused by irregular rotational speed detail with the aid of special rotational crank housing, form the measurement
patterns, hard load and gear changes, and vibration measuring setups. objects that can be acquired by the Rota-
misuse requires precise calibration of the tional Laser Vibrometer (Fig. 2). For this
individual components in the vibrating Experimental Setup purpose, the vibrometer is set up at an
driveshaft. Using dynamic simulation, the The analysis of the vehicles drive vibrations appropriate distance (the operating range
spring and damping elements of the on an acoustic roller dynamometer has of the RLV-5500 is approx. 200 mm) and
driveshaft (Fig. 1) are designed to suit the many advantages, apart from the rotatio- is aligned so that both of the laser beams
type of vehicle from giving a sporty to nal vibrations, the acoustic radiation can emitted hit the measuring shaft at right
giving a comfortable ride. As however, be examined at the same time. The vehicle angles and are set to be in line with the

Source: Polytec InFocus 2/2008 Polytec GmbH

direction of rotation (Fig. 3 and 4). Apply-
ing a diffusely reflecting self-adhesive film
improves the measurement signal-to-
noise and thus reduces any fluctuations in
the signal. The measurement principle of
laser vibrometry is based on the Doppler
effect. This measurement methodology is
very effective and works without making
contact and is thus non-reactive (zero
mass loading), allowing it to be used inde-
pendently of the material properties and Fig. 2: RLV-5500 Rotational Vibrometer. Fig. 8: Spring package for the clutch
temperature. With the recently released torsional vibration damper.
RLV-5500 Rotation Laser Vibrometer, it is
easy to make high resolution rotational sional vibration damper, optimizing the
measurements on high-revving motorcycle rubber packages of the rear wheel jerk Authors Contact
engines with a maximum RPM of well over damper and taking measures to limit the Dipl.-Ing. Simone Lennert
10,000/min. play in the driveshaft, it was possible to Dipl.-Ing. Werner Pauls
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Guido Khler
selectively influence and remedy these
Results NVH & Driveshaft Dynamics
resonance vibrations.
Measurements made on initial prototypes BMW AG, D-80788 Munich
generally showed excellent correlation with Conclusions and Outlook
simulation results. However, within the The comfort requirements made of modern
framework of comprehensive analyses and motorcycles and their power drives are
test drives, there were special driving con- continuing to increase. This leads to addi-
ditions which under certain circumstances tional technical challenges to make sure
were perceived by drivers as uncomfortable that the driveshaft of future motorcycles
vibrations in the vehicle. Such effects are is sporty and dynamic, yet comfortable.
Angular Speed [/s]

often missed during construction and simu- For this purpose, the described measure-
lation and can only be detected and classi- ment methods to acquire rotational vibra-
fied by selective examination of the rota- tions are very important and form a com-
tional vibration in the driveshaft (Fig. 5 prehensive process for gaining a better 1/min

to 7). Using carefully calibrated variations understanding of complex vibration sys- RPM

of the spring package for the clutch tor- tems and to reach the design goals.
Fig. 5: First irregular rotational speed
pattern vs. RPM.



Angular Speed [/s]






0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Force [N]

Fig. 6: First irregular rotational speed

Fig 3: Measurement of torsional vibrations Fig. 4: Measurement points at the crank
pattern vs. load.
on the crank shaft using the RLV-5500. shaft and at the gear shaft.

crank clutch & sprocket rear wheel

gear unit
shaft damper wheel jerk damper

Fig. 1: Schematic of a motorbikes driveshaft.

Fig. 7: Campbell diagram of a run-up
Source: Polytec InFocus 1/2008 Polytec GmbH