The Aerodynamics of the RS3 Cube

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Aprilia has always paid careful attention to the aerodynamiccharacteristics of its products, continually investing in research anddevelopment.

The aerodynamics of the RS3 was designed entirely within the Apriliaracing department, and heavily relied on the experience gathered duringthe years of racing motorbikes at the highest level, and the recentdevelopments in aerodynamic analysis.

Within the motorsports industry aerodynamic analysis is undergoingcontinual development; where the main limitation lies within thecompetition rules and regulations, not to mention budget restrictions(unlike F1)....

Currently the importance of the aerodynamics of racing motorbikes isinferior than in F1, due to the fact that the effect it has on thechronometer (lap time) is inferior. However, with further developmentthis could quickly change.

Within the Aprilia Racing Department the aerodynamic development isconcentrated in;

· the reduction of the drag coefficient, lift coefficient and pitchingmoments.

· the minimisation of the effect of lateral wind

· the optimisation between aerodynamics and motorcycle dynamics.

Aprilia uses different tools to development the aerodynamics of itsmotorbikes, these include;

· wind tunnel testing
· aerodynamic computer simulations (CFD)
· track tests.

All three methods described above are of vital importance for a rapid andcorrect aerodynamic application to a new project.

The most recent tool introduced in the aerodynamic analysis of racingmotorbikes is computer simulations (a virtual wind tunnel). Thesesimulations produce a multitude of data and information (pressure andvelocity distribution, aerodynamic forces, flow lines, etc.) that isimmediately accessible for consultation; this data constitutes a base forthe initial definition of the aerodynamic project and for furtherdevelopment.

The progressive and continual evolving of the hardware and software toolsused for computational simulations enables this analytical method thebecome more efficient and more effective.

Since Aprilia has set itself the objective to continually develop winningproducts, the company keeps a vigilant eye on the continual evolving ofnew technologies for aerodynamic development, evermore important withinthe motorcycle racing industry and always applicable to production bikes.

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Brent Avis
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