Many of the same principles for making cars go fast work the same when applied to motorcycles. However, there are fundamental differences which need to be taken into account when the highest performance is required. Take chassis design, for instance. With an automotive chassis, race cars generally want to be as stiff as possible. This is not always the case when there are only two contact patches on the ground. This is because lateral flex allows some "give" when the bike is leaned over. Some also believe that some extra steering input is given by the rear tire when the chassis flexes, allowing the motorcycle to handle better when leaned over. Another area where motorcycles differ from cars is aerodynamics. Because of the basic rider\bike relationship, width is crucial when it comes to motorcycle racing aerodynamics. The height is almost preset by the rider; you can only crouch so much! But, the width of the bike allows designers the ability to shorten the bike by shortening the distance between the riders knees. Motoczysz has taken this idea and run with it. They believe that by halving the engine width by arranging the four cylinders in a staggered "V" pattern that they can make up the lower output they will achieve by adding a coupling set of gears on the crankshaft with the increase in aerodynamic efficiency that the design will allow. They are also building in adjustable lateral suspension movement in their innovative front fork arrangement.
Follow us past the break for more on the design of the Motocsysz and the Ecosse Spirit ES1 plus a video of the Ecosse Spirit ES1 just before its official unveiling!
[Source: Ecosse Spirit, Motoczysz and Motorcycle News]
Motoczysz is not the only would-be manufacturer that plans on pushing the boundaries of motorcycle design. Ecosse Spirit has taken standard motorcycle design and thrown it in the garbage with much of the design of their new ES1 bike. Their bike design does not have a conventional chassis at all. The arrangement allows them to place the rider lower on the bike and keep his knees close together. This design forced them to move the pivot of the swingarm up from its normal placement.
One constant between the two radical bike designs is extensive use of carbon fiber for the bodywork and chassis components. After all, the lighter you can make the bike, the less power you require to stay competitive. Chassis design for bikes is a bit of a black art and might allow the most room to grow from where the industry is at now. Innovative designs like these could allow them to vault to the front of the podium, or, fall flat on their faces. We look forward to finding out which one it will be!
The Ecosse Spirit ES1 was just officially unveiled yesterday at the US MotoGP race at Laguna Seca. Motorcycle News got a sneak peek at the bike, the "F1 bike on two wheels", just prior to the unveiling. Here is the video!