This week, our chapter welcomed Eddie Smith, the lead design engineer from Erik Buell Racing.  This was a unique opportunity to look into the design considerations that go into making a superbike like the 1190RS.  Eddie gave some insight into how the Buell brand came about through Erik’s passion for motorcycles and his desire to build the best bike possible.  After separating from Harley Davidson, an independent company, Erik Buell Racing (EBR) was founded to continue Erik’s dream of building the ideal superbike.  We learned about how EBR developed the 1190RS for the elite superbike enthusiasts and the more affordable 1190RX sport bike.  These bikes were designed with a great deal of cooperation with their AMA Superbike racing team.  Eddie spoke about design optimizations from aerodynamics, engine cooling, air intake, exhaust tuning, emissions, and frame rigidity.  He also talked about the testing methods they use to refine their designs, including camouflage bikes driven on the road, track testing, as well as dynamometers and static loading rigs in house.

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