Science 101: Approaching the problem

So, we thought we’d better start with the general idea, and then talk about each individual component. Makes more sense to the readers this way ?
Let the learning begin! ?

Whenever and engineering analysis takes place, some data have to be known to proceed and get a solution. If data are unknown, and copying takes place, this becomes quickly a mess, since it is treated like a black art. Think of it like an equation, where some constants have to be known (or we decide their maximum allowable value, allow for safety etc.) and we are looking to find the unknowns in this equation. In our case this is the material, the geometry, and how to minimise the weight for a given structure. Keep in mind that these parts have to be ergonomic and easy to install and you get the idea of how complex each problem may be.

Finding the requirements.
It is neither easy nor straight forward. We need data. Data can come from various sources, from hit and miss, from crash reports or from iterative processes (manufacture something, a customer says that it failed, then strengthen it to avoid further failures etc.). All these methods can work, but none of them is the scientific way. After all you cannot ask the test riders to crash every other day to test your components. ? Sometimes, eager as they are, they do it anyway…
But this is not the way mechanical engineers are taught. An engineer needs data to work with. What are the forces involved in that part? What happens during a crash? What is the environment that this part will operate on? Where is the centre of gravity? How it affects the bike? These are important questions that need to be answered. Keep in mind that centre of gravity. We will need it when we talk about the tower weight, a debate that causes havoc in most fora. It becomes clear that to get the forces, one needs to have special equipment. And since this a niche market, not a lot is usually invested in that. People may argue that software has come a long way since 1997, where back then we had AutoCAD® 13, but still, unless you know the data to put in that software, you are still a sitting duck. So, one has to invest in accelerometers and thermometers, and other data acquisition software so that these numbers are used during the design phase. Is this enough? As Murphy’s Law applies to all things, the moment you think that you had enough data, Murphy is there… You will get different data from a paved road, from a mild off road track or from a Motocross track. And this will vary from rider to rider as much as five times. So designing a head clamp that is strong enough to survive a straight line riding at 120km per hour, it does not mean that it will survive the dunes in Mauritania or throttle to the donkey style. Big difference is also noticed between different riders. Professional riders will give different data, but don’t think that a Pro rider is always treating his bike “Bad” . Usually they protect their bikes and know how to ride, they are far more agile, so they avoid things in their path.

You may ask: “Do we really need this? “. And the answer is a bold yes. And we don’t mean this in a small way, we mean it in a big way. The way forward is to build something that will last. Not something that will leave you wondering in the middle of nowhere looking for alternatives or workshops. Build something that is safe, so that you don’t start leaking fuel while on your way to Africa. Build something that will travel or race. Because, contrary to what others say, both traveling and racing have mostly the same needs.

The #NeverGiveUp! motto started in 2013 for a reason. We set off and did it with the magnetic roadbook holder and never looked back, with no failures in the field on customer bikes since then. The #701Rally and #701Xplorer bikes were concepts with the same ethics. Allow the riders to reach their destinations or the bivouac, every single time.

So, we set off to discuss these things with some RTW people, see the challenges that they faced when they used other designs and from our racing experience we opted for something that will be solid and give you peace of mind for many thousands of kilometres.
Firmly believing that original ideas is the way forward, we set off to design a head clamp from scratch. And you may ask ‘why is that important?’ Because the way forward is to get the best, and spread it around, keep evolving instead of cloning. Pushing the design envelope. Making new things that did not exist before. New designs using new technologies.

Next on, is the #HeadClamp. The part that holds the navigation tower to the frame of the bike. There are different solutions, drill, weld, simple attach, the lot. Pros and cons will be explained and we will get some neat #GenerativeDesign technologies to show you. #StayTuned ‼️?