Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Jean-Michel M. Dhainaut

First Committee Member

Dr. Sathya N. Gangadharan

Second Committee Member

Dr. Ilteris Demirkiran


The thesis objective is to define and establish an engineering process for the design of a modern motorcycle chassis and suspension. The engineering process focuses on the interdisciplinary fields of engineering dealing with design and structural optimization. Specialized software, such as Motorcycle Kinematics, MATLAB, CATIA, HEEDS Professional, and NASTRAN are utilized. Motorcycle Kinematics is used to set up the preliminary motorcycle geometry, and MATLAB is a used to analyze the kinematics and stability of the motorcycle based on this geometry. CATIA (Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application) is used to graphically illustrate the geometry of the motorcycle in three dimensional space. HEEDS Professional is optimization software that was used to minimize the weight of the motorcycle by searching the preliminary design space by automating the iterative design process, adjusting the criteria variables until it has reached an optimum value. NASTRAN (Finite Element structural program) is utilized for the calculations of stresses of the motorcycle frame components. HEEDS software interfaces with NEI Nastran until the optimal geometry ensuring structural reliability is obtained. The software was used to design, analyze and structurally optimize a race oriented motorcycle.