Instrumented Motorcycle Maneuver

Accident Roadway Defect Testing

Laramie, WY


Background: A motorcyclist lost control of her motorcycle during a passing maneuver. The motorcyclist alleged that the loss of control and subsequent accident was caused by a faulty section of roadway.

What We Did: To reconstruct the accident, a video camera was mounted to an exemplar motorcycle, and a second camera was attached to a lead vehicle being driven ahead of the motorcycle. Additionally, the motorcycle was fitted with a VBox data acquisition system to record position, velocity and acceleration. Dr. Dan Metz, an experienced motorcyclist, rode the motorcycle over the accident roadway at various speeds, and was able to show that the accident was not the result of a roadway defect.

Relevant Scientific Publications:

  • Metz, L. D., “Road Bicycle Dynamics in the Presence of Idealized Roadway Irregularities,” SAE Paper No. 2010-01-0053 [also in SAE SP-2267](2010).
  • Metz, L. D., “Behavior of a Motorcycle after an Encounter with a Road Irregularity Parallel to Its Direc-tion of Travel,” SAE Paper No. 2006-01-1561 [also in Trans. SAE](2006).

VBox mounted on motorcycle for test.

Camera mounted on motorcycle for test.

You can observe a lot by watching.

Yogi Berra, baseball Hall of Fame catcher