It Bruises so to Speak
Yamaha is looking straight to science fiction for this latest patent spotted by MoreBikes. The company has a carbon fiber framed motorcycle that can detect any time the bike is damaged. MoreBikes says the bike essentially bruises. This can be helpful for identifying where, how, and if the damage is extensive enough to worry about.
The way this works is there’s a cable that’s embedded inside the carbon fiber. The cable has a lower resistance to impact, meaning it will “feel” the impact more than the carbon fiber. If it does feel an impact, even a small one from say the bike tipping over at a standstill, it will send an alert to a damage detection control unit housed somewhere on the motorcycle.
That control unit can notify the rider of the damage to the frame. Also, the actual material of the motorcycle’s chassis will change color when there is damage triggered. This is done through the use of an optical cable that’s also woven into the carbon fiber. This is what the so-called bruise is.
You might be asking why you need this. Can’t you just see the damage? Well, with a metal frame, yes. It will dent or bend, but carbon fiber frames are a bit more difficult. Small cracks can occur. Those cracks can be hard to spot. This could lead to serious issues, and having a system like the one that Yamaha is working on will help identify issues before they get too bad.