24 June 2011

Engineering students convert moped into a race bike

It is unimaginable, but innovative brains have done it. A group of young talents from Bangalore have converted a moped into a race vehicle that can match the world standards.

Moped races are very popular in European and Western countries but are not very common in India. The young minds of NITTE Bangalore lead by Rohan R Baindoor developed one of the fastest vehicles in this category. The race modified bike has an engine capacity of 142 cc, weighs 60 kg and has an acceleration of 2.8 sec.

The magnificent idea of converting a moped into a race vehicle was instigated by the fact that they were inaccessible to sufficient data and requirements and decided to generate their own design based on experimentations.
Their work was initiated with the purchase of an engine. The engine was selected from various moped/scooters. The main criteria behind the selection were to get maximum power output. Suzuki Access (125cc) engine was found to be the best suitable engine for their project. “At the beginning the engine was overhauled and the necessary alterations were made by cylinder boring to increase the engine displacement. Also, the cylinder head porting was done for smooth and customized fuel flow which was previously absent in the engine,” Rohan said.
High performing spark plugs, CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) coil units and other aftermarket products were incorporated to provide excellent current supply to burn high octane fuel. Carburetor rejecting was done to have optimum fuel flow. Vehicle clutch, camshaft were also subjected to minor alterations to meet their requirements.
“The chassis was the most challenging task that was to be designed so that it had to be lightweight and provide good aerodynamics,” he said. The group decided to choose aluminum for the entire chassis design as it had desirable properties compared to normally used mild steel. The square aluminum beam was cut into required dimensions and it was precision TIG welded which was a very cumbersome job. Gazettes, which were laser cut, are provided at six vital locations on the chassis to obtain good strength. Normally, for mopeds the rake angle is 28°, increased this angle by 7° to have more stability.
The vehicle parts included various aftermarket products like aluminum alloy wheels, customized fuel tank, front forks, and handle bars etc. The outcome was the integration of all the above mentioned activities which resulted in an intended racing moped.
Rohan said that their vehicle would commensurate with the standards considered. Therefore the moped was very close to European race moped standards. The project involved a lot of engineering and technological skills and the group also gained real time exposure to practical environment.