Due to their gross advantages over many other manufacturing processes, CNC machining technology is soon becoming the focus of world industries. The motorcycle manufacturing industries, too, are into this trend. The best industries are now using machining motorcycle parts in designing their engine parts and wheels.
The unique features of CNC have caused its wide acceptability in several manufacturing sectors of the world. This article, however, focuses on how CNC machining affects the motorcycle sector. Let’s get right into it.
Why CNC Machining for Motorcycle Parts?
You may wonder why custom CNC motorcycle parts. The reasons for this are not far-fetched at all. So let’s give you an insight into why this is the new trend in the motorcycle manufacturing sector.
Replace Damaged Bike Parts
Two-wheeled vehicles motorcycles are more prone to accidents when compared with four-wheeled vehicles. In the event of an accident, motorcycle parts get damaged, and should you want to continue enjoying your bike, you’d need to replace these damaged parts.
Often, it is difficult to find an ideal replacement or at least something you like in the market. Here is where machined motorcycle parts prove their importance. Also, you get to decide precisely how you want the parts to look even up to their fine details.
Upgraded and Stylish Appearance
There are times when bikers choose to upgrade their motorcycle parts or give it a more stylish look. Again, CNC machining is the more realizable option for this. You get to design how and what kind of upgrade you want.
In the past, CNC machined parts seemed expensive. However, that is no longer the case, as they are now readily available at affordable prices. Also, irrespective of the sort of upgrade you are looking for, after an order in just a matter of days, they get delivered.
Precision and Accuracy
CNC machines carry out their operations autonomously without manual intervention., which means the reduced possibility of human errors. Moreover, machining motorcycle parts with almost no defects or flaws are achievable with CNC machining.
In addition, motorcycle manufacturers can always go on producing and customizing bike parts with 100 percent exactness. Provided companies use the same codes and materials. So they can produce motorcycle parts that are unique.
CNC machines work swiftly without having any detrimental effect on the resulting production process. What’s more, these machines could operate for extended periods making machining motorcycle parts achievable within a short period.
Less production time ensures quick detection of errors for proper corrections and improvements. Overall, manufacturers can quickly proceed to the next phase: post-processing operations.
Custom Motorcycle Parts Produced with CNC Machining
Virtually all the metal and plastic parts of a motorcycle are machinable with CNC machining. Below, we’d be talking about a few machined motorcycle parts.
Motorcycles’ wheels, unlike cars, tend to be more noticeable. Therefore, proper customization of these wheels will lead to enhancing bike aesthetics. After all, aesthetics is more than what easily catches the eye.
In customizing the wheels, the disks happen to be the target. They are mostly made of aluminum. Alloys of aluminum are known for their excellent machining properties. CNC milling operations are employed to achieve wheel customization.
The tires are another area for customization. Once you’ve got a customized wheel disk, it just makes sense to get a tire with an excellent design to go with it.
The engine of a vehicle (motorcycle) is the most crucial part. Some refer to it as the heart of the vehicle. However, the camshaft, cylinder head, and pistons tend to be complicated and call for high-precision designs. CNC turning is the go-to technique in designing the engine parts of motorcycles.
The cylinder head is often made of aluminum, and it controls fuel combustion by regulating the mixture of fuel with air. Moreover, the mixture passes through a combustion chamber at a specific angle. More acute angles lead to greater fuel combustion, which results in increased propulsion of the motorcycle. Let’s not bore you out with the mechanics. The cylinder head is an essential part of the motorcycle. The valves that aid in regulating the fuel intake in the cylinder head are products of CNC machining.
Camshafts control the engine cycle. They are made of CNC-turned components with different angles. The shaft in the engine revolves, causing cams to allow the opening of fuel intake and exhaust valves. However, these shafts can be modified to allow increased opening periods of cams. Hence, greater fuel combustion for more power to be generated.
The modification discussed above ensures an increased workload on pistons. Hence, CNC customized pistons, too, become essential to keep up with the stress and temperature the modification of other engine parts would cause.
The lights are another intricate part of customization. However, you need to use high-quality products, as these lights, other than aesthetics, is key for the safety of riders and other road users, especially in the dark. Motorcycle lights consist of the light source – mostly a bulb, the lens, and a cover. Notably, the lens and cover are the parts we focus on for customization.
The lenses are metallic – often made of aluminum alloys. Milling operations with a perfect finish would cause the lenses to appear shiny, almost mirror-like. The cover, however, is made of tough plastics, which can also be machined to bring out delicate shapes.
Custom Aesthetics Parts
Other customizable parts of a motorcycle include the body covers and the rider’s seat. They often possess complex geometries with intricate details. Motorcycle manufacturers often cast these parts, but for custom parts. However, CNC machining is the go-to process for custom parts. Modern 5-axis machining is the way through creating any design form.
CNC machining can map out all the curves and art decorations to suit customers’ tastes. The process banks on the ability of mill cutters to work out nuanced and complex angles properly.
Pick RapidDirect for your custom motorcycle parts! We promise beautiful and stylish parts manufactured and delivered to make your motorcycle unique.
Materials Used for Custom Motorcycle Parts
Aluminum and steel alloys are the common metals for fabricating most custom CNC motorcycle parts, with each having advantages over the other. However, brass and copper motorcycle parts also exist amongst other materials used. Below are some of the metals used in machining motorcycle parts.
Aluminum and its alloys remain the most used material in CNC machining due to their easy machinability. It is a highly versatile metal and generally easy to work with. Its lightweight yet high strength makes it the go-to metal for machining motorcycle parts.
Manufacturers that deal in the manufacture of custom motorcycle parts use aluminum to manufacture most parts. In the past, we designed engines using cast iron. However, there is now a switch to aluminum, primarily because of its lightweight. They are also effective in designing wheels.
Zinc is another relatively light metal with a good mechanical strength that gives it excellent machining properties. This material is highly malleable and has good dimensional stability. They are good enough even for critical components that call for high precision. Therefore, they are suitable for the manufacture of engine parts for motorcycles.
Magnesium is another metal highly used in fabricating CNC custom parts. It is one of the lightest metals available yet with nice machinability properties and strength to suit its lightweight. One of the shortcomings of magnesium is that its dust is highly flammable. Therefore, working with magnesium requires excellent care.
Stainless steel has excellent machinability and welding properties, making it an ideal alloy for CNC operations. Also, they have a high aesthetic appeal and high corrosion resistance. Their use in fabricating many motorcycle parts includes mostly fixtures – screws and bolts. Their high resistance to rusting is a critical reason for this use.
Machining Processes for Motorcycle Parts
There are various machining processes used in industries to fabricate various motorcycle parts. CNC turning and milling appear to be the basics. Although, there are other methods like drilling. Let’s take a detailed look into some of these machining processes.
CNC turning is a subtractive manufacturing process. Moreover, it involves holding bars of material – plastic or metal mostly, in place, and upon rotation (turning), a cutting tool removes parts of the material to reach the desired shape. This technique is used when fabricating the engine parts of motorcycles, such as pistons, camshafts, and cylinder heads. These engine parts are critical components that require accuracy and precision.
Milling operations involve rotating cutters moving at great speed. They shape out materials to the shape or form coded into the machine. However, like turning, it is a subtractive process that utilizes various tools to reduce materials, usually plastics or metals. CNC milling is often employed when customizing motorcycle wheels. When dealing with asymmetrical products, milling is the go-to process to ensure the proper design of curves with the necessary precision.
Other Machining Process
Beyond CNC turning and milling, there are other machining processes for fabricating and customizing motorcycle parts. These methods are equally essential and yield parts with great precision and accuracy. They are:
Grinding involves using a rotatory wheel to cut parts of a metal with high precision. The machines are used to finish processes used in fabricating metal motorcycle parts like ball bearings, transmission shafts, camshafts, etc. In addition, grinding is best for parts and workpieces that have a cylindrical shape.
Drilling involves the boring of holes in a material. A rotatory cutting tool moving at high-speed bores holes into the material to be machined. It could be metals, alloys, plastics, and polymers. The drilling process is essential to allow for assembly purposes. The holes in these materials give room for bolts and screws, which can fit different parts of the motorcycle together after fabricating the different parts.
Laser cutting involves using a laser beam, essentially removing parts of material by melting it off or vaporizing it. The process occurs at high thermal conditions to melt off the parts of the material. Just like other aspects of CNC technology, laser cutting is super effective and efficient when you compare it to manual cutting. The windscreen, skid plates, light mouths, luggage carrier, etc., are all easily fabricated with laser cutting services.
Surface Finishes for Motorcycle Parts
Surface finishes include post-processing operations performed after machining. The operations aid in improving the general features of the machined motorcycle parts.
Reasons for surface finishes lead to increasing the mechanical and chemical resistance of the products. The durability and aesthetics of the machined parts are other main criteria for applying surface finishes.
Anodizing is the electrochemical process that involves coating a metal with another, which usually has more mechanical and chemical resistance. It is one of the most used finishes in engineering. It improves the density and thickness of these motorcycle parts.
- Enhanced aesthetics and durability.
- Improved chemical and mechanical resistance.
- Not ideal for surfaces with critical dimension control.
- Metals must be conductive.
- The final product after finishing may be brittle.
In powder coating, the surface of metals is coated by applying dry, free-flowing powders. Moreover, it acts as a unique form of coat that resembles painting the metal surface. Although, instead of liquid paints, it uses powders.
- Improved mechanical resistance.
- Suitable for all kinds of metals.
- Increased durability, with greater aesthetics.
- Allows for color experimentation – color combinations are possible.
- Not ideal for internal surfaces and parts with small compartments.
- There is less control over precision.
Bead blasting involves the blasting of machined parts with tiny pieces of glass beads under high pressure. In general, motorcycle parts subjected to bead blasting develop an improved resistance to stress. However, bead blasting, too, is not ideal for small components with critical dimensions.
- Bead blasting aids in sealing up all pores and cracks, giving a consistent surface finish.
- Improved mechanical resistance to stress and wear and tear conditions.
- Enhanced aesthetic appeal.
- Unsuitable for small and internal components of motorcycle parts.
- Unsuitable for high-precision components.
Electroplating is one of the most adopted processes used to improve machined products. It is an electrolytic process that creates a thin non-corrosive film on the surface of metals. Also, it allows for customization to suit customers’ special requests, such as the case of a gold-plated motorcycle.
- Enhanced mechanical and chemical resistance.
- Products of electroplating are more durable and aesthetically appealing.
- It allows the production of pure substances.
- Plating may be asymmetrical.
- Disposal of by-products may pose problems to industries which could, in turn, lead to extra expenses.
Polishing is the process of smoothening and creating a shiny surface by rubbing or adding chemicals to the surface of an already machined product. Also, it involves ridding the surface of processing and tool marks, thereby improving the surface features. However, polishing has less mechanical and chemical importance.
- Polishing improves product appearances.
- It promotes products’ cleanability.
- It diminishes surface adhesion.
- It may not be suitable for critical components that call for high precision.
Benefits of CNC Machined Motorcycle Parts
Below are some of the benefits and applications of CNC motorcycle parts.
- CNC machining is probably the most suitable for designing complex and intricate designs. Also, machined motorcycle engine parts and internal components follow the standard of high precision and accuracy.
- Lightweight metals like aluminum and magnesium have excellent machinability. That is, it yields the production of lightweight motorcycle parts.
- It is a quick production process. So fabrication of parts is quick and practical to suit customers’ desires.
- Overall, CNC machining is cost-effective and affordable. By purchasing machined motorcycle parts, you will get value for money spent.
- Additionally, CNC allows for experimenting with different designs to boost the aesthetic appeal of your motorcycle parts.
- CNC is one of the fastest methods to go about it when designing prototypes. After all, we refer to the process as rapid prototyping. They are an excellent means to go about making research into new designs for motorcycles.
How to Make Custom Machined Motorcycle Parts with RapidDirect?
RapidDirect is one of the leading providers of CNC machining services. You probably have an idea of what you want your motorcycle parts to be. Still, you can’t proceed with fabricating these parts yourself. Hence, it would be best if you had the assistance of an experienced and highly knowledgeable company in this field. That is where RapidDirect comes in.
All we require of you is to upload your CAD files and then configure your order details. With this platform, you get an almost instant quotation for the cost of manufacturing motorcycle parts. After receiving the quotations, you can then proceed to place your order.
We produce the parts you’ve ordered using high-quality materials. Once your parts are fabricated and pass our quality inspection, they are packed for delivery. More so, we have a 30-day quality guarantee.
The importance of CNC has made it so that custom machined motorcycle parts are now the trend in the motorcycle manufacturing sector. Therefore, the article provides insight and gives reasons for the wide acceptability of CNC machining in motorcycle manufacturing industries.
When money isn’t a barrier, everybody wants a product with a great aesthetic appeal. With CNC services, that isn’t a problem at all, and of course, be rest assured of product quality as that’s another main point.