Freshman Seminars

The Art and Science of Motorcycle Design

FRS 106: Art and Science of Motorcycle Design STL

A course offered from 2009- present.

Michael Littman

Donald P Wilson ’33 and Edna M. Wilson Freshman Seminar.

This is a hands-on seminar and laboratory experience about the engineering design of motorcycles. Students will restore a vintage Triumph motorcycle and will compare it to previous restorations of the same make and model of motorcycle from other years (1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, and 1964). No previous shop or laboratory experience is necessary, and we welcome liberal arts students as well as engineering students. Technical staff members of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering — Glen Northey, Al Gaillard, and Jon Prevost — will assist Professor Littman in laboratory.

Students will examine, disassemble, model, test, and rebuild a vintage motorcycle. All motorcycle subsystems will be considered with special attention to the power, structural, and control subsystems. Classic and modern engineering tools to be used include computer-aided design (CAD) software for the documentation and prototyping of engine parts, engine simulation software for understanding factors affecting engine performance, and engine brake dyamometer for determination of engine power and torque. Students will assess and restore motorcycle components. Precise measurement, repair, and redesign (where appropriate) of key parts will include the restoration of cylinder, piston, head, cam, valves, transmission, brakes, fork, oil system, clutch and chain. Students will also inspect and restore all electrical system components as needed and disassemble, clean, repaint, and restore the frame and suspension.

Current seminar: Motorcycle TBA:

AY 2018-2019

Triumph Motorcycle

’63-2 Tiger Cub
AY 2017-2018

’57 Tiger Cub
AY 2014-2015

’64 Tiger Cub
AY 2011-2012

’58 Tiger Cub
AY 2016-2017

’56 Terrier
AY 2013-2014

’63 Tiger Cub
AY 2010-2011

’65 Tiger Cub
AY 2015-2016

’59 Tiger Cub
AY 2012-2013

’62 Tiger Cub
AY 2009-2010