Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
MOTORCYCLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/104071
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A motorcycle having a road-going accessory (10) detachably fixable to mounting means of the motorcycle, and blanking means also fixable to the mounting means in the absence of the road-going accessory, to convert the motorcycle from a road-going configuration to a track configuration.

Inventors:
WHITE TONY (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2003/002474
Publication Date:
December 18, 2003
Filing Date:
June 06, 2003
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BRUMBY CORP LTD (GB)
WHITE TONY (GB)
International Classes:
B62J6/00; B62J17/00; B62K11/04; B62K19/30; B62K19/32; B62M7/02; F01M1/02; F01M1/16; F01M5/00; F02B61/02; F02B75/06; F02B75/20; F02B77/00; F02F1/10; F16F15/26; F02B75/18; F02F1/24; F02F7/00; (IPC1-7): B62K19/30; B62J6/00; B62J17/00
Foreign References:
US5820254A1998-10-13
US2658135A1953-11-03
US4522442A1985-06-11
FR2704827A11994-11-10
Other References:
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 017, no. 580 (M - 1500) 21 October 1993 (1993-10-21)
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Moir, Michael Christopher (100 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8AL, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A motorcycle having a roadgoing accessory fixable to mounting means of the motorcycle, and blanking means also fixable to the mounting means in the absence of the roadgoing accessory.
2. A motorcycle according to Claim 1, wherein the roadgoing accessory is carried by a body panel which is fixable to the mounting means.
3. A motorcycle according to Claim 2, wherein the blanking means is a further body panel not carrying the accessory.
4. A motorcycle according to Claim 2 or Claim 3, wherein the body panel carries a plurality of roadgoing accessories.
5. A motorcycle according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the roadgoing accessory is an electrical accessory.
6. A motorcycle according to Claim 5, wherein the roadgoing accessory comprises a light.
7. A motorcycle according to Claim 5 or Claim 6, wherein the roadgoing accessory is detachably connectable to a wiring loom of the motorcycle by a connector having a first piece attached to the accessory and a second piece attached to the motorcycle.
8. A motorcycle according to Claim 7, wherein the blanking means encloses the second piece of the connector when the blanking means is attached to the motorcycle.
9. A motorcycle according to Claim 1, wherein the mounting means comprises an aperture.
10. A motorcycle according to Claim 9, wherein the blanking means is a plug having a portion formed to fit in the aperture.
11. A motorcycle according to Claim 10, wherein the plug is formed of a resilient material and comprises protrusions adapted to engage with the inner surfaces of the aperture.
Description:
MOTORCYCLE The present invention relates to a motorcycle. In particular the invention relates to a motorcycle convertible between a road-going configuration and a track configuration.

Attention is drawn to the following related applications filed on the same date as this application and in the name of the present applicant: Agents ref. Title 24605 Gas Flow Management 24611 Motorcycle Engine 25241 Motorcycle The disclosure of those applications is incorporated herein by reference.

While road-going motorcycles must have certain components (e. g. wing mirrors, headlights, indicators, etc), motorcycles intended for racing or other track use do not require such items. It is common for the owners of high performance motorcycles to take their production motorcycles to race tracks in order to experience riding in race-type circumstances on so-called"track days". Many race tracks require that motorcycle owners wishing to do so remove from their motorcycles certain road-going accessories (e. g. wing mirrors, indicators, etc) which could become detached in the event of an accident.

Moreover, (for example, particularly in the case of Superbike motorcycles) motorcycle owners may wish to remove such accessories in order to bring the appearance of their motorcycle more into line with that of a racing version of the motorcycle for reasons both of aesthetics and aerodynamics.

It is an aim of the invention to facilitate this"conversion"of a road bike for track use.

In many known motorcycles, each of the accessories must be removed from the motorcycle independently, with the result that the time taken to"convert"the motorcycle can be quite extensive. It is a further aim to reduce the time necessary to convert a road-going motorcycle for track use (or vice versa).

Therefore, in accordance with an aspect of the invention, there is provided a motorcycle having a road-going accessory fixable to mounting means of the motorcycle, and a blanking means also fixable to the mounting means in the absence of the road-going accessory.

The provision of a blanking means which is fixable to the motorcycle in the absence of the accessory may enable a rider to limit any detrimental aerodynamic effects caused by the removal of a road-going accessory.

In certain motorcycles, an accessory may be carried by a panel which is fixable to mounting means. In such a motorcycle, the blanking means is preferably a further panel not carrying the accessory.

The provision of an accessory on a body panel which is replaceable with a blanking means body panel may be advantageous in that the blanking means body panel may be more aerodynamically formed than the body panel, which must be capable of carrying the accessory.

Preferably, the body panel carries a plurality of road-going accessories. In this way, a number of accessories may be removed by the removal of a single panel, potentially reducing the time required for the conversion of the bike from a road-going configuration to a track configuration.

The road-going accessory may be an electrical accessory, for example a light, which is preferably detachably connectable to a wiring loom of the motorcycle by a connector having a first piece attached to the accessory and a second piece attached to the

motorcycle. For example, the connection may be made by a hot-shoe arrangement.

Preferably, the blanking means encloses the second piece of the connector when the blanking means is attached to the motorcycle. This may serve to protect the connector, for example, from water or from minor crash damage.

The mounting means may, for example, comprise an aperture. In this case, the blanking means is preferably a plug having a portion formed to fit in the aperture. This may further simplify the conversion of a road-going bike for track use.

The plug may for example be formed of a resilient material and comprise protrusions adapted to engage with the inner surfaces of the aperture. Such a plug may be easily inserted and removed, allowing the conversion of the bike to be performed quickly and simply.

Specific embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a left side view of a motorcycle; Figure 2 is a rear view of the motorcycle shown in Figure 1; Figures 3A and 3B are perspective views respectively from above and below of the muffler fairing of the motorcycle shown in Figure 1, detached from the motorcycle; Figure 4A is a left side view of the muffler fairing shown in Figures 3A and 3B; Figure 4B is a rear view of the muffler fairing shown in Figure 4A; Figures 5A and 5B are left side and rear views of a blank muffler fairing; Figure 6 is a detailed view of the rear of the motorcycle shown in Figure 1 showing a muffler fairing and rear fairing detached from the motorcycle; Figure 7 is a detailed view of part of the motorcycle shown in Figure 1, showing the location of the wing mirrors; Figure 8 is a cross-section through a plug in situ in an aperture for a wing mirror ; and Figures 9 to 11 are views of a further accessory unit.

Turning to Figures 1 and 2 which are are respectively left side and rear views of a motorcycle 2 suitable for road use, the motorcycle comprises three primary exhaust pipes (not shown) which are attached to the engine (which in this embodiment is a three-cylinder engine) and closely follow the underside of a one-piece carbon fibre matrix material seat unit 36 mounted on the chassis of the motorcycle before being brought together into a single collector pipe 24 which is connected to the muffler (not shown). The muffler is substantially enclosed by a rear fairing 18 and a muffler fairing 16. Three end pipes 26 emerge between the rear ends of the rear fairing 18 and the muffler fairing 16.

While the invention is described below with reference to a motorcycle having such an enclosed muffler, the skilled man will readily see that the invention is equally applicable to more conventional motorcycles having the exhaust muffler alongside the rear wheel, for example.

The motorcycle 2 comprises a number of road-going accessories, including front indicators 4, a rear light unit 6, a number plate 8 on a number plate holder 11 on a pylon 10, and a reflector 12 (on the number plate holder 11). In addition, the motorcycle has mounting means in the form of an aperture 14 in each of two arms of a front fairing 42 (which extend upwards and rearwards from the nose of the motorcycle, on either side of the screen) for the fixing of a wing mirror (not shown).

Referring to Figures 3A, 3B, 4A and 4B, the light unit 6 and pylon 10 (and thereby number plate holder 11, number plate 8 and reflector 12) are mounted on the muffler fairing 16 (which may be formed, for example, of a carbon fibre matrix material). The muffler fairing 16 is releasably attached to the underside of the rear fairing 18 (which may also be formed of such a material) by means of eight screw and nut fasteners 21 in apertures 22 of the muffler fairing (see Figures 3A, 3B, 4A and 4B).

The light assembly is attached to the muffler fairing by six screw and nut fasteners 28 and 30 while the pylon 10 is permanently bonded to the muffler fairing 16. The light unit 6 comprises a brake light and two direction indicator lights contained within a single unit.

Referring to Figure 4B, the brake light 170 is located in a central position, and the left direction indicator light and right direction indicator light are located on the appropriate sides of the brake light.

The type of accessories, such as lights and reflectors, that are attached to the muffler fairing can be chosen to satisfy the statutory requirements of the country in which the motorcycle is to be used, and the aforementioned accessories are stated by way of example only. For example, a registration plate illumination lamp and/or a rear running light may also be included.

Electrical accessories, such as lights within the light unit 6 are connected to the wiring loom of the motorcycle by means of a standard detachable breakout connector (for example the AMP SUPERSEAL 1.5 SERIES 6P CA 6-way connector (part number <BR> <BR> 282108-1) ). In an example, the breakout connector is located within the body of the muffler fairing 16. In an alternative example, the breakout connector is located on the surface of the light unit 6.

In an embodiment, the muffler fairing may be removed by detaching the rear fairing 18 (see Figure 6) by removing five screw fasteners 34 which attach the rear fairing 18 to a carbon fibre matrix material seat unit 36. The muffler fairing/rear fairing assembly 16/18 may then be removed rearwards and the muffler fairing subsequently detached from the rear fairing. In an alternative embodiment, allowing for quick conversion of the motorcycle, the muffler fairing 16 may be removed from the rear fairing 18, while the latter remains in situ on the motorcycle.

Once the muffler fairing 16 has been removed from the tail fairing 18, a blank muffler fairing 20 (such as that shown in Figure 5) may be attached to the rear fairing 18. The blank muffler fairing 20 is attached to the rear fairing 18 by means of the same fasteners 21 which held the muffler fairing in place.

The alternative muffler fairing/blank muffler fairing arrangement provides a quick and

simple means of reversibly converting a motorcycle between a form that is suitable for use on public highways and a form that is more suited to racing. For example, the motorcycle can be adapted for race use simply by removing the fasteners 21 and detaching the connection between the light assembly and the electrical system. By way of this simple operation, the weight of the motorcycle can be reduced, aerodynamic efficiency can be improved and a motorcycle brought into conformity with track regulations by simply removing a single assembly containing road-going accessories. Similarly, the motorcycle can be readapted for road use by reattaching the connection between the light assembly and the electrical system and reattaching the fasteners 21.

In a particular example, the muffler fairing 16 is fabricated from carbon fibre composite material. As can be seen from Figure 5, the blank muffler fairing is shaped such that it has a similar profile to an exhaust muffler comprising two parallel muffler canisters. To achieve the appearance of a double muffler configuration, the muffler fairing comprises a raised curved region 40, disposed between two downwardly projecting curved regions 38. Thus, the muffler fairing allows a motorcycle comprising an exhaust with a single muffler-to have a similar appearance for example to a race version of the motorcycle comprising an exhaust with two mufflers.

In further examples, the muffler fairing comprises measures to reduce heat transfer from the exhaust to the fairing, and thus prevent damage to the fairing. In a particular example, the surface of the rear fairing that is adjacent the muffler comprises a layer of aluminium, for example, which reduces heat transfer from the exhaust to the muffler fairing by radiation.

Turning to Figure 7, in a further embodiment wing mirrors 44 of the motorcycle 2 are mounted using nut, bolt and washer fasteners (not shown) to apertures in each of two arms of an front fairing 42 of the motorcycle. In order to remove the wing mirrors, the nuts and washers are removed and the wing mirrors 44 may be lifted free of the front fairing 42.

Blanking plugs 46 (as shown in Figure 8) are then inserted into the apertures 14 and fixed in place with washers and nuts.

In an alternative embodiment (not shown), the blanking plugs are formed of a flexible rubber material and are held in place by means of radial protrusions on the plugs which engage with the front fairing 42.

In either embodiment, the plugs are formed to have a smooth surface which is continuous with that of the fairing and which interferes with air flow over the front fairing 42 only to a small or negligible degree, minimising any negative aerodynamic effects of having removed the wing mirrors. In addition, the plugs have the same colour as the front fairing 42.

A further alternative embodiment will now be described with reference to Figures 9 to 11.

Figure 9 is an illustration of a mounting unit 130 for mounting on a motorcycle, the mounting unit comprising an upper portion 132 and a lower portion 134. The upper portion comprises a stem 136, an upper body 138, and two fins 140. The lower portion comprises a number plate mount 142, partially formed from legs 144, a lighting mount 147, and a reflector mount 148.

An indicator unit 150 is shown attached to one of the fins 140, a lighting unit 146 is shown attached to lighting mount 147, and a brake light unit 152 is shown attached to a brake light mount 154. Such indicator units and lighting units are readily attachable to and detachable from the mounting unit.

The mounting unit of Figure 9 is of two piece construction, but it will be appreciated that in alternative embodiments mounting units are of one-piece construction, or of three or more piece construction.

Figures 10 and 11 show the mounting unit of Figure 9 from other angles, without an indicator unit attached.

The mounting unit as a whole is readily attachable to, and detachable from, the motorcycle.

In the preferred embodiment the upper portion of the mounting unit 132 comprises a plug, which can be inserted into a socket on the rear assembly 120 of the motorcycle in order to attach the mounting unit to the motorcycle. The mounting arrangement may alteratively comprise a"hot shoe"type arrangement allowing the electrical components to be both physically and electrically attached to and detached from the motorcycle in a single operation. When attached the mounting unit is positioned below the rear assembly and at such an angle that it does not contact or interfere with the rear wheel of the motorcycle.

A range of positions of the mounting unit are obtainable in alternative embodiments.

In alternative embodiments, a range of different plug and socket arrangements, screw assemblies, and other standard fastenings are used to attach the mounting unit 132 to a motorcycle.

In the absence of the mounting unit, a blanking plug or plate may be fitted to the motorcycle in order to protect the fitting on the bike for mounting the unit and/or for protecting the electrical connections for the accessories.