Faculty of Engineering: Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering: Research: Control and Power
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Control and Power Portfolio Partnership

Control and Stability Analysis of Two-Wheeled Road Vehicles

Research Objectives: The broad purpose of our research is to use mathematical models to study the stability and response behaviour of single-track road vehicles. We aim to develop new classes of mathematical models that are in advance of those currently available in the art. We will use these models to study nonlinear instability phenomena that occasionally occur in motorcycles with catastrophic consequences for the rider. More particularly, we aim:
  • to improve on existing computer models for motorcycle stability, steering and road profile response;
  • to use these models to further the current understanding of straight running stability;
  • to use these models to determine steady turning equilibrium states and to determine small perturbation stability properties relative to these equilibria;
  • to incorporate road profile features into our motorcycle models and to study the dynamic behaviour of the machine when it is excited this way. These simulations will be used to find those circumstances most likely to cause large and dangerous responses.
  • to discover the underlying mechanisms which result in various forms of nonlinear instabilities. These instabilities appear in practice and give rise to substantial difficulties of control and danger to riders.
  • to use our simulation models to discover those aspects of the motorcycle design which limit its speed of response to steering torque inputs and to thereby better understand the problem of trading off stability for speed of response. In its linear form, this is a classical control theoretic problem.