A motorcycle simulator that consists of a Triumph motorcycle mounted on a rig surrounded by huge projection screens is currently under construction at Nottingham University.
Once complete, the system will allow engineers to study aspects of motorcycle design as well as rider behaviour, competence and safety.
‘The motorcycle allows riders to operate controls and lean on the motorcycle as they would in the real world,’ said Dr Alex Stedmon, a lecturer in the School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering’s Centre for Motorcycle Ergonomics and Rider Human Factors.
By putting the rider into tailor-made scenarios and measuring both their and the motorcycle’s performance, the simulator will produce valuable data, both for academics and the motorcycle industry – manufacturers and road safety organisations have already shown an enthusiastic interest in the project.
Anything from hazards – such as children or animals running out into the road – to different light, traffic and weather conditions can be programmed into the simulator, allowing researchers to measure the responses of different riders riding exactly the same scenarios. And real-life environments can be faithfully reproduced, so that riders can take a leisurely tour of Beeston, or give the motorcycle a real test on the racetrack at Donington Park.
Final year Mechanical Engineering students designed and built the rig along with the software that will be used on the simulator, which is expected to be up and running by June.
The development of the simulator was part funded by a New Lecturers Grant, a University initiative which provides funding for individual research projects, and Triumph, who provided a Daytona 675 for use within the rig.