Case Study

The Kotodama Sport Spirit team designs a beautiful 125cc racing motorcycle

Polytechnical College of San Sebastian

Students acquire invaluable real-world design and manufacturing experience using Solid Edge

24 teams tackle motorcycle design

Kotodama Sport Spirit began as a team of 27 technical engineering students from the Polytechnical College of San Sebastian. The profiles of the students who make up the group are quite diverse, with the participants specializing in various areas of mechanics, electronics and electricity. The aim of the team was to participate in the MotoStudent competition.

The MotoStudent competition is a challenge between 24 teams from different Spanish and European colleges. The objective of the contest is to design and fabricate a prototype of a 125cc, 2-stroke racing motorcycle. For the purpose of this competition, the team must develop and manufacture the prototype under certain technical and economic specifications. Each year the competition is sponsored by the Moto Engineering Foundation ( Institutions such as the Government of Aragon, companies like Dorna (organizer of the MotoGP World Championship), and the General Council of Industrial Engineers participate in this foundation.

Ultimately, the team of 27 students was trimmed to a highly passionate seven, who completed the design and prototype development of the motorcycle. The team received help from educator and mentor Professor Joaquin Albisua of Polytechnical College as well as from master technicians – Manuel Larramendi from the welding workshop and Garikoitz Goikoetxea from the machining workshop.

“The project has been a great challenge for all the members of Kotodama Sport Spirit,” says Albisua. “They had to inventively apply their acquired knowledge, demonstrating and testing their creativity, sense of innovation and ability to collaborate.”

Three phases

The team divided the project into three phases: research, design and manufacturing. For the first phase, the students performed extensive research. Their conclusions enabled them to define how the design would perform and which materials would be used in the motorcycle’s manufacture.

The second phase, which included the most important task of the MotoStudent project, was the design. The project’s key advisor, Professor Albisua, notes, “One of the key ingredients to success was using Solid Edge software from Siemens PLM Software to design a virtual model of the bike in 3D.” Albisua has used Solid Edge® software for computer-aided design (CAD) instruction for more than 10 years. He explains, “Solid Edge has many outstanding features. Among these, it’s very easy to learn. That is crucial for students, so they don’t have to spend much time learning CAD, but rather can focus on their design skills. Solid Edge also enables the easy exchange of information between software with different file formats. In fact, the synchronous technology capability of Solid Edge allows students to modify files imported from other CAD systems with the same ease and functionality as if designed directly using Solid Edge. These capabilities were quite beneficial to the students throughout the competition.”

The students completed a beautiful, virtual design of their 125cc, 2-stroke racing motorcycle on time and according to contest specifications using Solid Edge. They then immediately began the final project phase: manufacturing. After nearly two years of applied learning, their work was done, their motorcycle ready for review.

A great finish

The final challenge took place at Alcaniz, Teruel in October of 2010. The MotoStudent competition judges assessed all motorcycle entries using a series of technical tests, which were designed to assess industrial creativity, knowledge and execution. As part of the evaluation, all prototypes were subjected to a dynamic test at Ciudad del Motor de Aragón, a race circuit located near Alcañiz, Spain.

Polytechnical College of San Sebastian’s Kotodama Sport Spirit completed the competition among the top-ranked teams in the field of 24. Albisua and students were pleased with their high ranking, especially as their team finished ahead of a significant number of very prestigious colleges.

Albisua concludes, “The students built a very fine racing motorcycle. They gained invaluable real-world design and manufacturing engineering experience. They finished high among a very strong field of competitors. Importantly, the students not only were successful in the contest, but in the process used a top CAD technology, Solid Edge, that will serve them very well once they enter the job market.”

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