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Aerodynamic improvements for a Moto2 racing motorbike

In the framework of a student project, the aerodynamic team (led by Prof. Leonardo Manfriani) worked to improve the aerodynamics of a Moto2 racing motorbike. Aerodynamic details, rider position and helmet type were investigated in the wind tunnel of ETH Zurich, focusing on drag reduction and rider feedback. The goal of improving aerodynamic efficiency without limiting the rider’s freedom of movement could be reached; some of the aerodynamic improvements were successfully tried on the racing circuits.

Description

The racing motorbike was slightly modified by Tech3 so that it could be installed on the six-component balance of the ETH wind tunnel. The wheels were put in motion by electrically powered rollers so that their rotational speed could be balanced with the wind speed.

Various modifications designed to reduce drag were designed and realized before the wind tunnel tests. The investigation was not limited to aerodynamic improvements to the motorcycle itself; rider’s position and helmet variants were also tested. The rider could optimize his position thanks to a real time display of the actual drag value in the cockpit. The measurement results, the rider’s feedback and restrictions due to safety considerations had to be taken into account in the aerodynamic development of the motorbike.

The wind tunnel data were post-processed and presented to the customer in a final report. Some modifications could be applied already before the next race.

Tech-3 racing bike (season 2017) with rider Remy Gardner in the ETH wind tunnel
Various modifications were tested
The motorbike wheels were put in motion by electrically powered rollers
Project team for the wind tunnel tests of the Tech3 Moto2 racing bike

At a glance

  • Project partner: Tech3
  • Project financing: Tech3, ZHAW (student project)