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Influence of Road Camber on Motorcycle Stability

Evangelou, S. A., Limebeer, D. J. N. & Tomas-Rodriguez, M. (2008). Influence of Road Camber on Motorcycle Stability. Journal Of Applied Mechanics, 75(6), 0610201-06102012. doi: 10.1115/1.2937140


This paper studies the influence of road camber on the stability of single-track road vehicles. Road camber changes the magnitude and direction of the tire force and moment vectors relative to the wheels, as well as the combined-force limit one might obtain from the road tires. Camber-induced changes in the tire force and moment systems have knock-on consequences for the vehicle’s stability. The study makes use of computer simulations that exploit a high-fidelity motorcycle model whose parameter set is based on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 sports machine. In order to study camber-induced stability trends for a range of machine speeds and roll angles, we study the machine dynamics as the vehicle travels over the surface of a right circular cone. Conical road surfaces allow the machine to operate at a constant steady-state speed, a constant roll angle, and a constant road camber angle. The local road-tire contact behavior is analyzed by approximating the cone surface by moving tangent planes located under the road wheels. There is novelty in the way in which adaptive controllers are used to center the vehicle’s trajectory on a cone, which has its apex at the origin of the inertial reference frame. The results show that at low speed both the weave- and wobble-mode stabilities are at a maximum when the machine is perpendicular to the road surface. This trend is reversed at high speed, since the weave- and wobble-mode dampings are minimized by running conditions in which the wheels are orthogonal to the road. As a result, positive camber, which is often introduced by road builders to aid drainage and enhance the friction limit of four-wheeled vehicle tires, might be detrimental to the stability of two-wheeled machines.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Road Camber.pdf] Text - Published Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.


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