Powerhouse Museum - Home


Back


 
Manufacture of the Superbike Superbike - home

Once the bike had been designed the project leader, Lachlan Thompson, was determined to put it into production in Australia. The problem was that bicycles had not been made in Australia since 1990.

The problem was overcome when Thompson was introduced to Sal Sansonetti by a friend from Aerospace Technologies. Sansonetti had cycled for Australia at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, was Italian Champion in 1970, and had won two stages of the 1971 Tour of Italy and the Milan Six. Not only did Sansonetti understand bikes and metal, he was keen to manufacture bicycles and owned a company, Nezkot, which made injection moulding dies for such clients as Holden and Ford. He therefore had the necessary tooling to make the frame of the bike.

A company (Bike Technologies) was formed in 1996, not only to provide bikes for the AIS, but to manufacture the Superbike in track, touring and mountain bike types for world distribution.

The requirement study showed that a one-size monocoque shell could be developed to suit a wide range of rider size. One single size of the 'Superbike' can accommodate riders from 1600 mm to 1900 mm in height.
The 'Superbike' is unique in that it has been designed from the outset to be of a shape and structure that can be easily and cheaply produced in high volume. This manufacturing feature, a 'one size fits all' concept, removes the necessity for multiple and expensive tooling. The use of a complete monocoque shell gives lower weight and greater stiffness than achieved in previous racing bicycle designs. This shell is completely hollow and requires no additional core material. Careful structural optimisation has allowed thin non-buckling skins to be used.
Refinement of the manufacturing technique has allowed patents on the process to be lodged. (Thompson, 1996: 3)

 

HSC technology syllabses support - HOME space Superbike - MENU