In early 2016, we started the motorsports project „Laserscanning Europe Road Racing Team“. With this, we support the young driver Christian Schmitz from Wuppertal in his sport motorcycle street racing.
About two years ago, university employees were standing in our office in order to rent a laser scanner. Their aim was to scan professional triathletes. With the help of the scanned athlete data, a CFD analysis (computational fluid dynamics) was conducted in order to better the aerodynamics of their position during cycling. The aim was to manage to save about 5 per cent of strength.
Being passionate motor cyclists, we came up with the question what kind of influence such CFD calculations would have with a motorcycle racer. After some research, we found that there was hardly any influence with circuit drivers as these racers only drive for short distances in high speed. With street racing like the Isle of Man TT or the NW200, it is different. There are legs during which the machine is being driven in full throttle. Speed of more than 300 km/h can be reached.
Research and Development
Following this, we started with the first trial scans via 3D scanner in 2015. Using a laser scanner is very interesting because the driver can be scanned while standing with his maschine. Speeds can be simulated via computer. This procedure is much more cost-effective than a wind tunnel reading. This wind tunnel reading is not affordable for an amateur team. Yet, there are some difficulties with the computer based simulation method, based on 3D scanner data. A motor cycle with a driver is an object that is very hard to scan. There are many small parts and ragged areas like motor parts, aggregates, and chassis. Also, the driver can only take his race position on the machine for a few minutes. So we needed a very fast scanner allowing for lower quality.
We needed sveral attempts until we had an executable model in the computer. A completely closed CAD model of machine and driver are necessary for the calcuations. The closed areas with many undercuts are a real challenge in a motorcycle. In talks with aerodynamics experts we realized that we needed to scan many positions in order to find out about the optimal seating position or the effects of changes to the cover panels. These tests showed us that our former workflow was still too complex which led to the idea of handing out this problem as a bachelor thesis for finding the best workflow.
The project CFD analysis motorcycle has not beet finished yet and we will pursue it with Christian Schmitz. Yet with our motorcycle adventure, we gained many new insights into the area of reverse engineering, which also help us with our daily tasks.
In the course of working with the race drivers and due to our interest for motorcycles, we established friendly relationships. We soon realized that it is very difficult for many talented drivers to raise the necessary funds in order to carry out their sport at a high level. Yet, street racing for motorcycles is very interesting for sponsors as there are crowds of as many as 10 000 to 20 000 lining the streets. Many established racing series dream of such numbers.
As a sponsor, we have the chance to get involved with a manageable budget. We decided to support the young driver Christian Schmitz out of passion for the sport and the reasons named above. His dream is to take part once in the Isle of Man TT, the most dangerous and well known street race for motorcycles in the world. Yet he need some race experience because that race is one of the most challenging in the world. IN order to gain that experience, Christian drives in the IRRC series (International Road Racing Championship) that is being held on different street race courses in Europe. Races in the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, and Germany are included.
Our support is not only financial, we are also involved with the team organisation.
Thus, we managed to gather more sponsors. We are happy that notable companies as tire manufacturer Pirelli, tool manufacturer Wera Tool Rebels, and the PS motorcycle magazine support Christian. A list of sponsors is to be found in the article below.
We wish Christian much success this season and will support him actively. We will report regularly.
Remembering Dennis Günther (#79 BamBam):
Our motorcycle project started in 2015. We wanted to join the season of 2016 with Saxonian motor cyclist Dennis Günther. Dennis died in a tragic traffic accident on December 25, 2015 through no fault of his own. After that, we actually wanted to cancel our arrangement. Yet his family, friends, and fellow drivers encouraged us to pursue it as „racing“ was Dennis' interest.