People invent stuff to make their lives easier, more luxurious or solve a problem. Sometimes though they invent things just because they can!
The latest example is Yamaha, and its new Motobot. The bike riding robot that wants to compete with human riders one day. It is not ready yet, but the goal is clear and totally useless, since it won’t provide any service such as driving you to work. The video speaks for itself.
We have already done some bike related posts in the past. One is about the Motorcycle Leaning Angle and the other about Bicycle trail.
Today we are going to talk about Wheel flop!
Wheel flop refers to steering behavior in which a bicycle or motorcycle tends to turn more than expected due to the front wheel “flopping” over when the handlebars are rotated. Wheel flop is caused by the lowering of the front end of a bicycle or motorcycle as the handlebars are rotated away from the “straight ahead” position. Mechanical trail is the perpendicular distance between the steering axis and the point of contact between the front wheel and the ground. It may also be referred to as normal trail.
Wheel flop phenomenon occurs according to the equation on the left.
Wheel flop factor,(f in meters) the distance that the center of the front wheel axle is lowered when the handlebars are rotated from the straight ahead position to a position 90 degrees away from straight ahead, is depended on the trail and the head angle (the steering axis angle measured from the horizontal). b is the mechanical train (in meters), and θ is the head angle in radians.
Go ahead, check this equation and search whatever else you want to solve. You will find some help in our fxSolver video.
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