September 3 2012.

Ricardo's  capability in motorcycle and personal transportation has been further enhanced with the commissioning of a brand new motorcycle chassis dynamometer suite at the company's Schwäbisch Gmünd Technical Centre in Southern Germany.

Motorcycle and small engine projects are frequently characterized by application-specific requirements. Volumes of production in particular can vary widely from niche applications such as micro-UAV engines, through to hand-held tool applications for which the quantities produced can often vastly exceed those of mainstream automotive products. Despite these differences, motorcycle and small engine projects tend to share many of the stringent design targets of larger power units such as optimized fuel consumption, NVH, regulated emissions, quality and, of course, lifetime cost.

The Ricardo centre of excellence in motorcycles and small engines at Schwäbisch Gmünd aims to ensure that the company is able to provide a comprehensive development capability in these important and interlinked market sectors. Engineers at the centre are able to deliver projects up to and including full turn-key motorcycle and small engine programmes, drawing on resources from across the global Ricardo organization.

Underscoring the company's commitment to the growing two-wheeler sector - from luxury European and Japanese brands to the value-driven products popular in Asia - Ricardo has announced the commissioning of a brand new motorcycle chassis dynamometer facility. Equipped with a 190 kW AC motor, the dynamometer is equipped with 900mm roller allowing a simulated inertial range of 100-450kg, and vehicle speeds of up to 350 km/h. It is also capable of being configured for quads, as well as two-wheelers. This test facility builds upon the product development resources already available to customers at the Ricardo Schwäbisch Gmünd Technical Centre.

"We are very pleased to be able to announce this new investment in test and development facilities," commented the head of the motorcycle and small engine centre of excellence, Uwe Moser. "An intuitive understanding of the product is crucial to the quality of the engineering solutions delivered to customers in the motorcycle and small engines industries. Over 80 per cent of our motorcycle and small engine centre of excellence staff members are active motorcyclists, and their passion for the product makes a real difference in a market in which performance, quality and competition are so crucial to customer appeal. With an increasingly comprehensive range of state-of-the-art development facilities such as the new motorcycle chassis dynamometer, and the back-up of the global Ricardo organization, we are capable of taking on the toughest challenges in motorcycle and small engine development."