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Aerodynamic development of the Aprilia RS3

Aerodynamic development of the Aprilia RS3

Aerodynamic development of the Aprilia RS3

The aerodynamics of the RS3 were designed entirely within the Aprilia racing department, and relied heavily on experience gathered during years of racing motorbikes at the highest level, and also recent developments in aerodynamic analysis. Within the motorsports industry this field is undergoing continual development, and is a vital area of progress within increasingly strict competition rules and regulations.

For Aprilia Racing, aerodynamic development is concentrated in three main areas; the reduction of the drag coefficient, lift coefficient and pitching moments. Also the minimisation of the effect of lateral wind, and finally the optimisation between aerodynamics and motorcycle dynamics. Aprilia uses different tools to develop the aerodynamics of its motorbikes, these include; wind tunnel testing, aerodynamic computer simulations (CFD) and track tests. All three of these methods are of vital importance for a rapid and correct aerodynamic application to a new project.

The most recent tool introduced in the aerodynamic analysis of racing motorbikes is computer simulations (a virtual wind tunnel). These simulations produce a multitude of data and information, (pressure and velocity distribution, aerodynamic forces, flow lines, etc), that is immediately accessible for consultation. This data then constitutes a base for the initial definition of the aerodynamic project and for further development. The progressive and continual evolving of the hardware and software tools used for computational simulations enables this analytical method to become more efficient, and thus provides the best opportunity to help develop a winning product.

MotoGP, 2002

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