Motorbike rider

A new software program developed in Germany can help manufacturers analyse their motorcycle wheel designs. The new program was developed by researchers at the German outfit Stress & Strength working with scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability in Darmstadt.

The new software is actually an enhancement to a previous version of Stress & Strength’s WheelStrength software. The program was originally developed to simulate mechanical stress in car, truck and rail vehicle wheels, and has been on the market for four years.

Working in cooperation with the motorbike manufacturer Aprilia and the Italian wheel developer OZ, the researchers extended the capabilities of the software to include motorbike wheels.

“The programs available until now could only check a few supposedly crucial criteria,” says Oliver Ehl, the Managing Director of Stress & Strength. “This means that some really important areas may have been overlooked while others were unnecessarily overrated. Consequently, manufacturers have failed to tap the full potential of lightweight elements, for instance.”

“Using this (new) software, manufacturers will be able to test new developments on the computer before building an expensive prototype,” Ehl added. “They can see exactly where the wheel undergoes critical stress, and eliminate those weak points. This shortens the development process by at least one cycle.”

The software can be purchased as an add-on for conventional finite element programs at a cost of 30,000 Euros.