BMW Motorrad wins the 2018 JEC Innovation Award in the Leisure and Sports category for developing a rear swinging arm made of carbon fiber.
Established in 1996, the JEC Group is the world’s leading specialist organization for the development, manufacture and processing of composite materials. The JEC Innovation Award is conferred by a jury of international experts and goes to 30 companies in ten categories. The BMW HP4 RACE bike is the one that uses the aforementioned arm, as one would expect from a motorcycle with a main frame made entirely of CFRP.
The BMW Group uses lightweight construction in both automobiles and motorcycles, applying an intelligent combination of different materials including carbon fiber as a particularly important element. In 2017 the carbon fiber frame of the HP4 RACE opened a whole new chapter in motorcycle chassis construction, combining optimum technical qualities, uniform manufacturing quality and cost efficiency for the first time.
BMW Motorrad has now taken a further step towards consistent lightweight construction and excellent technical properties in motorcycles with a rear swinging arm likewise produced by means of an industrial process. The project MAI hiras+handle was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the leading-edge cluster MAI Carbon. The aim of this cooperative venture bringing together seven partners from industry and research was to develop a process that enabled the cost-effective volume-production use of carbon fiber composite materials (CFP) in structural components subject to high levels of continuous stress.
In the case of this particular part, it was also possible to establish a cost-efficient manufacturing process suitable for the large-scale production of injection mould components made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic with CFP tape reinforcements using thermoplastic material.