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Marty

Aluminum

33 posts in this topic

Originally posted by Brian Meadows:

Have you made anything a complex as a m/c frame with cost being a constraint? Probably not.

Well Im not going to go out and say I have millions of dollars to blow, and Ive never made anything such as a frame, the only things I have made are Corvette rear ends, intakes for automobile, intercoolers and things like that.

And if other companies are doing why not Yamaha , heck they charge 6199 for a 2001 Wr426, im sure they have plenty of money to blow on a little r&d for us.

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Well and what gets me is all the flack Honda has gotten for the "RIGIDITY" of their twin Spar frame. So, do we want less weight for a more rigid frame? The picture I saw of Everts YZF4?? was more of a conventional frame with a rather large single to double down tube at the front of the motor. Maybe this design is less rigid but more flexible. I know my 39yr old butt & knees do not want or need hard & stiff slapper type of landings.....Amen

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Lets not forget the process for making it out of aluminum. You just cant weld it and throw the thing together like steel. It will snap in half on the first ride. It has to be welded at specific temps depending on the alloy. Each weld creates stress in the frame, therefor the frame needs to be baked in an oven at a very hot temperature and cooled slowly to relieve all that stress. You are looking at a couple of days to make this frame vs an hour ot 2 to wels a steel one. So how cost effective would the extra manpower and time be? Not very.

[This message has been edited by mike68 (edited 04-26-2001).]

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Not to sound stupid cause I'm not an Aluminum Engineer or a cost accountant but, Honda is doing it on their CR125, CR250, XR650, and now CR450. Granted the XR650 might not take the abuse of SX/MX but it is a tank and they do desert/baja race the bike and that has to beat the hell out of the frame too. Cannondale although not having a whole lot of data or use to back their bike up also has it on their bikes if they ever get released and from what I understand it's not the frame that's holding them up. I even read an article from cannondale saying that they think Honda picked the wrong alloy for their frames. Although Cannondales experience is with Bicycles I would think they have a wealth of knowledge about aluminum. Basically other companies are doing it, some successfully, so why not Yamaha. Just my 2 cents!!

------------------

Khris

When in doubt, GAS IT!

What are you, YELLOW?

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There are alum frames out there as people have pointed out - add most hipo street bikes to the list as well. I've read somewhere that Yamaha engineers did not feel there was a real advantage to aluminum. Sounds like they may be back pedaling a little bit on this one :) How much that decision is driven by engineering & design requirements I don't know. May be driven by marketing hype. Hell, the KTM 400/520 are the lightest 'mass' produced 4 strokes & they have a steel frame & an elec starter.

Marty - just curious how many hours you had into manifold, intercooler and rear ends? How many did you make? Not trying to start anything but when you start talking volume the tooling $$$$ starts adding up very quickly.

Brian

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Originally posted by Brian Meadows:

Marty - just curious how many hours you had into manifold, intercooler and rear ends? How many did you make? Not trying to start anything but when you start talking volume the tooling $$$$ starts adding up very quickly.

Brian

Well the first thing I made was a shortened rear end for my friends S-10, and then I made one for his friend. And as of right now Im making a intake for my Sonoma that will be mated to twin Turbo's then the entire front end of my Sonoma's front facia is intercoolers now, haha, pure love. So as far as hours I couldent tell you, get a 12 pack in me and ill work for hours. hehe. I just thought it would be something to do.

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Originally posted by Brian Meadows:

So when are you going to post the pics of the Sonoma? Didn't the Cyclone/Typhoons come with water/air aftercoolers?

Brian

Yeah they did come with water/air coolers, but cause of space restraints, its going to be real tight, since Im going twin turbo's im really packing it in. And all pics will be up on my web page as soon as it is ready, I dropped 20k on that truck and now im tearing it apart, I also want to make it all wheel drive, but im asking alot of my abilities at that point, but i think i can do it.

Wait this is a thumper forum, ummm Im also changeing my bike color to all black.

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Marty,

That sounds like an insane vehicle. My friend has an S10 that he put NOS on the 4.3 and trashed the engine. His cure for this was buying a built LT1 to drop in this summer. Sounds like you'll have a fast ride when you're done!!

------------------

Khris

When in doubt, GAS IT!

What are you, YELLOW?

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sirhk100,

Yeah insane is what Im going for, Yeah your friend asked for trouble when he put the NOS on is, thats all ive ever done with engines on NOS is blow them up. But turbo's are not much safer, but what the hell. I considered the V8 conversion, but everyone does it, I dont know a single person stupid enough to try twin turbos, and I stress TRY, I dont know anyone who has attempted it, so I would like to be the first, Ill either go broke with is, or I will make something fun. Everyone I know is putting there money on broke. Damn them, no love I tell you. Well see how it turns out.

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Help me out here, why is so hard and suck a big deal to make a aluminum frams for a bike, example the 2001 yz or wr426, why is so much trouble to make them with aluminum frames, I just dont get it. Ive made plenty of things out of aluminum, and it never seemed that hard?

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They are not that hard. But are very costly.

My guess is that you will see one on the 2002 YZF450. Check out what Stefen Everts is riding in Europe this year. Modified frame from last years Euro 426/4??. I read that it is probably a 490.....The cost is in testing,designing, molding the cast,strength & flexibility, etc...Also,remember that Yamaha will not release until worthy for us mere mortals...

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Have you made anything a complex as a m/c frame with cost being a constraint? Probably not. Just take a look at what a BBR frame costs. Now think about all the design & development that goes into a frame.

It's not easy & it's not cheap. And no, most aluminum bicycle frames are not a legitimate comparison.

Brian

[This message has been edited by Brian Meadows (edited 04-26-2001).]

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I would think that durability may be an issue, and I am not talking about strength. Aluminum is VERY stiff vs Steel. The pounding these bike along with the weight of the beast may be too much. The frame would be much bigger as well. I think I would prefer titanium. It has flexing ability and strength with out the tendencies of cracking like aluminum. Not cost effective. Why don't you build your own frame if you are good at working with it. You could sell them and people would buy them up.

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Actually, aluminum bike frame make a good comparison. At least to why it is so expensive. A cheap aluminum bike is 400-500 bucks. Average quality is 1000. It is easy to pay 2000 for just a bike frame. I can by my kid a ttr125 for the cost of some mountian bikes. When you think of how much more simple a bike is, you can see why more dirt bikes are not aluminum. Steel is cheap and reliable.

I know that with bikes an aluminum frame can be lighter and more rigid than a steel frame. Steel will flex more which can be good if done right. I would thing that for a motorcyle frame you would want it as stiff as possible so the suspension can work as it was designed. I had heard that the early aluminum frame cr250 was considered harsh. Is there any reason why a certain amount a flex would be good in a motorcycle frame?

Bruce

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With the exception of weight, I would prefer a steel frame. You can build a steel frame as light as an aluminum or pretty damn close for a fraction of the cost. You are not going to save 10 lbs with an aluminum frame. Why is flex good? Comfort for one. The steel fram can help absorb inpacts and vibrations that aliminum can't. A good example of the rigidity differences are in Mtn. Bikes. Take a steel and aluminum rigid (no suspension)mtn bike frame. You will notice a difference in the ride. More vibration is transfered to the rider through the aluminum than steel. The WR vibrates a lot. The aluminum would transfer this to your bars. For MX the aluminum would probably be fine and save a few lbs, but so would a good dump before the race. For going out and riding 70 to 100 miles I'll take the steel. If a bike has no flex, something has to give somewhere. Take trucks for example. They are built to flex. Thats why frames are bolted together and not welded. If you welded your truck frame together you would loose the flex, it wouldn't ride as nice and stuff would start falling off. I do not have a degree in metalurgy or anything like that. These are my opinions base on my experiences with both types of metal. The optimum is not afordable and that would be titanium. It is super light and has flex. Maby too much, but thats what I would love to try. Maby when I am a millionaire I will build a titanium frame. I love Ti!

If I could type half way decent, I wouldnt have to do so many edits!!!

[This message has been edited by mike68 (edited 04-27-2001).]

[This message has been edited by mike68 (edited 04-27-2001).]

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I have a couple of pionts to bring up. Khris brought up the XR650R, those frames are weak even for the desert. I broke mine on the second ride. Some of the prob. may be the plastic skid plate. The other thing Mike brought up is a Ti frame. If you think Aluminum is tough to work with, you haven't seen anything until you played with Titanium.

I hope for a YZ weight loss but, I also can't afford to pay $10,000 for a bike. $6000 is bad enough.

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Do you people really think that Yamaha and all other bike manufacturers don't do market research, and pheasability studies on what they sell? These are big corperations, and yes, with lots of money. Bottom line, why spend more on aluminum when what we build out of steel is still selling like hotcakes and were making a ton of money, cause McGrath rides one and he's fast, so if I buy it I'll be fast too, right? Honda mearly saw an opening for a aluminum frame on the market, as did Yamaha with a 4 stroke. Look at any race and tell me that all of the colors of the bike rainbow are'nt out there. Just my 2 cents on the subject.

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I don't really think this conversation has come accross as saying that the Manufacturers don't know what they're doing. It's more of if Aluminum works better and it's lighter should they be using it? Is it really better or is it so much more expensive that it's not worth the cost? I'm totally happy with my YZ400 and could care less if it weighed less. I can still clear all the jumps on my local tracks with the weight and when I hop on my friends YZ250 I honestly fell that it's too light, and it doesn't stick to the ground cause it's always in the air. I like my bike on the ground except for when I'm hitting jumps not when I hit ruts, bumps, and any other small obsticle.

------------------

Khris

When in doubt, GAS IT!

What are you, YELLOW?

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My main reason for preferring the steel frame over aluminium is one that hasn't been mentioned so far on this thread, and that is that aluminium frames dont age well at all.

Anyone who has had a late CR, and has given it plenty of use will know how the soft aluminium gets eaten away by sand and dirt abrasion, and further worsened by corrosion to worn areas.

I have repaired numerous aluminium subframes where the areas where the seat and airbox make contact, and grit has got in there, combined with the vibration, erroded the walls of the tubes almost right through.

My opinion is that aluminium isnt particularly suited to dirt bike frame applications where the life of the frame is deemed as an important factor to the user. I can imagine that most of us will fall into this category.

As most us also agree, that Titanium is a very sexy material, but costs in manufacturing with Titanium pretty much rule it out for a production bike.

Maybe a moderate use of 4130 in the WR/YZ would be a viable means of reducing weight, but would also mean a total redesign of the frame, I'm sure.

Del

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