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BMW Superbike: Superglue Swingarm
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BMW Superbike: Superglue Swingarm - June 3, 2010, 10:50 PM

BMW Superbike: Superglue Swingarm
Jeff Buchanan

World SBK News
When it comes to technology there are virtually limitless possibilities at how to extract performance from a motorcycle. And nothing forces engineers to explore these possibilities like racing.

World Superbike, being a production-based road race series, serves as a developmental platform for manufacturers to carry out research that ultimately leads to faster, lighter, more powerful motorcycles that find their way to the consumer.

An example of this pursuit of performance-oriented technology is exhibited in just one of BMW's latest developments for their WSBK race team. The team bikes piloted by Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus showed up at the recent US round at Miller Motorsports Park sporting very trick swingarms.
Both riders had been experiencing a mysterious, slightly unstable feel mid-corner, which was ultimately traced to the swingarm. The rigidity of the massive aluminum swingarm was having an adverse effect when leaned over.

Engineers figured out that while rigidity was needed to absorb the incredible forces of energy transmitted through a motorcycle at race speeds, the bike could benefit from some minute flex in side-to-side forces, such as those exerted on a machine when leaned over at severe angles.
The solution? A two-piece swingarm was fabricated out of two massive blocks of aluminum, stacked together to create a top and bottom.

This allowed the race team's BMW S1000RR to retain its necessary rigidity to handle the forces exerted on the chassis while also allowing for a slight percentage of side-to-side flex to absorb forces transmitted through the bike when leaned over.

The real magic is in the fact that the two pieces of the swingarm are not welded or riveted together in any way, but are actually held together with an adhesive. Even BMW team manager Berti Houser shakes his head, saying, "I don't know how they do it, but it is glued, it is adhesive."

Consider the number of parts on a racing motorcycle, the attention to detail, the man hours devoted to each and every item, all with a single goal of creating the most efficient and dependable pieces to make up the whole.
Eventually, a good portion of these tireless World SBK labors find their way to our beloved sportbikes, making us the beneficiaries of all that hard work. All just so we can go play.

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June 3, 2010, 11:20 PM

That's crazy!
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Groping is a skill...
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June 6, 2010, 09:44 PM

Wholly crap. Wonder what it is..

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June 6, 2010, 10:58 PM

I think they are onto something!

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June 6, 2010, 11:40 PM

It looks like all the structural points are on the lower half of the swing arm, I wonder if the upper part is as much load bearing as it is torsion/ flex prevention.

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June 7, 2010, 10:01 AM

Originally Posted by turkishexpress
Wholly crap. Wonder what it is..
Probably a structural epoxy...adhesives are stronger than most people think...what do you all think holds a carbon fiber chassis (supercars, F1, airplanes, etc) together?

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July 23, 2010, 08:07 AM

Makes sense I guess but it's still slot to wrap the mind around. I just have am image of a mechanic with elmers glue stuck in my head.

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July 23, 2010, 08:11 AM

Didnt see this till now, freakin cool

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July 23, 2010, 08:29 AM

adheasives are pretty damn powerful...hell thats how the body's to corvettes have been assembled for years....

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July 23, 2010, 08:43 AM

magical racing.jp sell heat magic swingarms for all bikes along with beater tanks, the swingarms are like 3 grand and the tanks are over 1k


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July 26, 2010, 03:46 PM

Like a golf club....thats how the head of a golf club is held onto the shaft, with apoxy, and even with speeds over 140 mph hitting a stationary target they hold up after thousands of hits.

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July 26, 2010, 03:53 PM

Can you imagine the practical jokes that are played on that team!?


Did you check the ceiling?

Or gluing rookies to the wall. Or their boots to the floor when they arent looking....while they are still in them.

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July 26, 2010, 05:21 PM

Oneway has been holding his bike together like this for years!
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August 13, 2010, 06:33 PM

It's probably the kind of epoxy/adhesive they use to bond together the wings of newer aircraft like the F-22 and Boeing Dreamliner.

The question is will this sort of engineering discovery make it to the production bike?

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