Title: A magneto-rheological fluid shock absorber for an off-road motorcycle

Authors: Everet O. Ericksen, Faramarz Gordaninejad

Addresses: Composite and Intelligent Materials Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno NV 89557, USA. Composite and Intelligent Materials Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno NV 89557, USA

Abstract: This study presents theoretical and experimental investigations of a controllable, semi-active, fail-safe, magneto-rheological fluid (MRF) shock absorber for the rear suspension of an off-road motorcycle. A fail-safe MRF damper refers to a device that retains a minimum required damping capacity in the event of a power supply or electronic system failure. A theoretical fluid mechanics-based model is developed to predict the controllable damping force in terms of the physical parameters of the device, the magneto-rheological fluid properties, the electromagnetic circuit parameters, and the input motion. The specific application for this proof-of-concept study is a retrofit of a Honda XR 400 Enduro Motorcycle shock absorber. The MRF damper emulates the original equipment manufacturer shock absorber performance in its passive off mode (i.e., no applied magnetic field) and provides controllable dynamic damping rebound and compression forces, when activated.

Keywords: magnetorheological fluids; semi-active; controllable; fail-safe; damper; off-road; motorcycle; suspension.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2003.003574

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2003 Vol.33 No.1/2/3, pp.139 - 152

Published online: 19 Sep 2003 *

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