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Dynamics of a Single Track Vehicle

Engineering Dynamics Report

Abhishek Sharma - S.N.F. D Souza

November 2016

The analysis of the dynamics of a single track vehicle mainly aims at understanding the effect of various parameters on the ride comfort of the biker.
In order to be able to perform such analyses, it is necessary to first model
the system correctly and chooses appropriate parameters such that the dynamics of the bike can be accurately described. Once this is done we can
use our existing knowledge to find the energies corresponding to the system,
and can further use this to obtain the equilibrium positions of the system,
the natural frequencies, eigen modes and also comment on the stability of
the system. One of the possible outcomes of this analysis is to determine
which factors play a major role in obtaining dynamics of desired nature. The
results obtained can help us recognize the factors affecting ride comfort and
explore how these factors can be optimized to achieve a good ride.

1 Introduction

2 Methods
2.1 Kinematics, energies and equations of motion . . . . . .
2.1.1 Defining and modelling the system . . . . . . . .
2.1.2 Generalized coordinates for the system . . . . . .
2.1.3 The Kinetic and Potential Energies of the system
2.1.4 Obtaining Lagrange equations of the system . . .





Chapter 1
Vibration behavior of bikes is an important area of interest because it allows
us to study two things- first, the dynamics of the bike itself and second, the
influence of these dynamics on the rider. Hence a good bike design not only
has improved performance but also ensures that the rider is comfortable at
most times during the ride. The problem statement describes a mud bike
with a simplistic model. The elements such as masses, springs, dampers and
rings that are combined together also have known dynamics. The goal is
to describe the equations of motion of the chosen generalized coordinates
by either the Lagrange scheme or Hamiltons principle. After finding the
equations of motions we systematically move to determining the relevant
mass, damping and stiffness matrices at equilibriums, and then comment
on the damped motion of the given problem. The problem solving also
involves making appropriate assumptions (whenever necessary) to enhance
the effectiveness of the techniques being used, and also some assumptions
to ensure that the problem is not beyond the scope of our knowledge. Also
apart from just purely applying mathematical techniques, it is also important
to consider the physical interpretation of the results. The report is finally
organized as follows: In section one, we discuss the methods used to solve each
part of the given problem and also discuss the considerations made in each
step. In the section that follows we discuss the results of each of the methods,
and also provide arguments for their validity. Finally the possible conclusions
that can be made from this analysis are put forward. The appendix portion
contains the script of matlab file.

Chapter 2

Kinematics, energies and equations of motion

Defining and modelling the system

The problem has been solved using the basic concepts from engineering dynamics. The first step for the analysis is to model the system. This requires
that the coordinates be assigned to every part of the bike. The bike that is
being considered has been shown in Figure 2.1


Figure 2.1: Model of the bike.

The bike consists of the front and back tires with given radii, the front
and back rims (wheels) with known radii, the front suspension of natural
length Lsus at an angle sus to the vertical, the basic frame and the saddle
where the biker is seated. The biker can rotate at the point of contact with
the saddle which has therefore been considered as a torsional spring with
an initial angle f b . Also, the arms of the biker have been assumed to
be elastic springs with a natural length Larm . The length lb represents the
distance from saddle to the bikers centre of mass while Lb represents the
distance between the saddle and the arms. From the Figure 2.2 it can be


Figure 2.2: Model of the bike with co-ordinates.

seen that 19 coordinates are needed to describe the system. These are The front tire-x, y and theta coordinates (xtF , ytF and tF respectively)
The back tire-x, y and theta coordinates (xtB , ytB and tB respectively)
The front wheel-x, y and theta coordinates (xF , yF and F respectively)
The back wheel-x, y and theta coordinates (xB , yB and B respectively)
The bikers center of mass-x, y and theta coordinates(xb , yb and

Center of mass of the frame-x, y and theta coordinates (xf , yf and f

The length of suspension- s
These coordinates in the absolute frame need to be converted to their admissible generalized forms for finding the Lagrange equations which will be
used in converting the non-linear system into a linearized system around the
stable equilibrium points.


Generalized coordinates for the system

The number of generalized coordinates needed is equal the number of total

number of possible coordinates needed to describe the system minus the
number of constraint relations in the system or 3N-R where R is equal to the
number of the constraints in the system. The total number of constraints
needed to describe the system can be reduced using the constraints present.


Figure 2.3: Frame

In Figure 2.3, it can be seen that the coordinates of any point on the
frame can be determined with respect to the centre of mass of the frame

using the following relation:





For the back wheel the constraint relations include the basic fact that the
back wheel has the same x,y coordinates as that of those of the end of the
frame connected to it. The x and y coordinates of the biker can be expressed
in terms of the saddle and the angle of inclination of the biker while the saddle
coordinates can themselves be expressed in terms of the centre of mass of the
frame. This can be described by the following relation:

+ lb
The x and y coordinates of the front wheel can be related to those of the end
of the suspension, which is itself connected to the front end of the frame as

sin(sus -f )
cos(sus -f )
Additionally, The following constraint has been assumed for the tires where
rolling without slipping takes placex + rtire = 0


Thus we have the 11 generalized coordinates to denote the system dynamics. These are ,F , ytF , tF , B , tB , ytB ,s, xf , yf and f . Thus all the
other coordinates have been expressed in terms of these 11 coordinates. The
various parametric values have been taken from the given data. The set of
these generalized matrices has been called q which is a column matrix. The
mapping for every specific coordinates and the parametric constant values
can be found in the appendix part1. One can see that the constraints are
holonomic except the rolling without slipping condition which has been transformed into holonomic form by assuming the above mentioned constraint.
Hence the system consists of scleronomic constraints only. Since there is no
imposed motion on the system, there are no rheonomic constraints.


The Kinetic and Potential Energies of the system

The kinetic energy of the system includes that of the biker (body), frame,
wheels, tires. This includes rotational as well the translational kinetic energies. The velocities are obtained as a derivative of the displacements with
respect to the time (which were expressed in terms of the generalized coordinates) Thus the derivative of any displacement (say x which is a function
of other generalized coordinates) can be found asx
where q is the set of all the 11 generalized coordinates of the system. This
can be also written as equivalent Jacobian(x,q) q.
For instance, the kinetic
energy of the front wheel can be found as:
x =

Kineticenergy = 0.5massw [x 2 + y 2 ] + 0.5I 2


The same procedure can be used to calculate the Kinetic energy of the back
tire, back wheel and the front tire. The Kinetic energy of the biker can be
given asKineticenergy = 0.5massb [x 2 + y 2 ] + 0.5I 2
The same can be applied for the bike frame. The potential energy of the
system includes the gravitational potential energy of the tires, wheels, frame
and the biker as well as the elastic potential energy of the front suspension,
biker arm, saddle-biker torsional point, tire contact energy and due to the
stiffness between the tire and the wheel. The gravitational potential energy
can be described for the tires, wheels, frame and the biker as mass*g where
g has been taken as 9.81 m/s2 . The elastic potential of the suspension can
be given as 0.5kx2 where x is the linear elongation of the spring. The same
can be expressed for the bikers arm. In case of the torsional spring at the
saddle x represents the angular variation. For the tires, the contact forces
were used to find the potential energy. The contact force was assumed as3
f = kcont0 ytF + kcont2 ytF


Hence the potential energy for contact between tyres and ground is evaluated
equal to integral:
P otentialEnergy = (kcont0 ytF + kcont2 ytF


Figure 2.4: Wheel

The stiffness energy for tires was calculated by considering a radial spring
and integrating all over the circumference. The following figure illustrates
the tire model- The stiffness energy thus can be obtained as 0.5*stiffness of
tire*(elongation2 ) The expressions for all the elongations, kinetic and potential energies can be found in the part 1 of the appendix.


Obtaining Lagrange equations of the system

The system is scleronomic in nature hence the energies can substituted into
the following Lagrange equationd
f racT q(2.10)