By Curtis M. Beloy, P.E. ::::
Motorcycles are unique vehicles that require special training and licensing to operate. They have unique handling characteristics and respond to disturbances differently than passenger vehicles. From a very simplistic point of view, a motorcycle can be thought of as being comprised of two wheels, a front structure that includes the handlebars and front fork, and a rear structure that includes the frame, fuel tank, and motor. The motorcycle contacts the ground at two points- the contact patches of the front and rear wheels. Unlike passenger vehicles, motorcycles are subject to unique vibrations and instability due to their ability to pivot about the joints on the motorcycle and the contact patches with the road. Because of this design, motorcycles can “weave” and “wobble” while traveling down the road, as well as lean/tip over (capsize) to the side.