Chassis on Motorcycles

Chassis: the base frame of a motor vehicle or other wheeled conveyance.

-The outer structural framework of a piece of audio, radio, or computer equipment.

The chassis of a motorcycle typically includes the frame, the suspension, the Motorcycle Seat, the wheels, and the brakes.

The Frame of the Motorcycle
The frame that’s made for motorcycles is almost always made of either steel or aluminum (alloy). The frame can usually include a lot of hollow tubes and mainly serves as the backbone – or the skeleton – of which parts like the gearbox and engine are mounted on. The frame of the bike also has the job of keeping the wheels in line. This is done in order to maintain the handling of the motorcycle.

Imagine if the handling wasn’t as right as it needs to be? Yikes.

Suspension on the Motorcycle
The frame that you just previously learned about also is used to support the suspension system on your bike.

Suspension system on a motorcycle: a bunch of springs and shock absorbers that are supposed to help keep the wheels of the bike in contact with the road that you drive on. The suspension also provides cushion for the rider when they encounter unexpected bumps and just random jolts.

The most common design for the rear suspension is called a swingarm design. On one side, the swingarm is designed to hold the axle of the rear of the wheel. On the other end, the swingarm is attached to the frame by the swingarm pivot bolt. There’s a shock absorber that is there to extend upward from the swingarm pivot bolt and attaches to the top of the bike’s frame – this is just below the Motorcycle Seat.

Brakes on the Motorcycle
Both of the wheels on the bike each have a brake. The person riding the bike can activate the front brake by using a hand lever that’s located on the right grip. The driver can access the rear brake with the right foot pedal. There were drum brakes included on the bike that were common until about the 1970s, but as of today, most of the motorcycles rely on superior performance of disc brakes.

Wheels on the Motorcycle
Most of the wheels that come on motorcycles are usually made of alloy or steel with spokes on them. Some of the bikes that were made and introduced around the 1970s offered cast wheels. When the bikes have cast wheels, they can use tubeless tires. When you compare these to pneumatic tires, tubeless tires don’t have an inner tube that holds the compressed air. As an alternative, the air in tubeless tires is usually held between the both the rim and the tire – this means that it relies on the seal that forms between rim and tire to maintain the internal air pressure.

The disc brakes have a steel braking disc that’s connected to the wheel – this means that its sandwiched between the brake pads. When the rider gets the chance to “activate” one of the two brakes on the bike, the hydraulic pressure (acting through the brake line) is the one that causes the brake pads to squeeze against the disc on both sides.

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