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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I`m currently in talks with a couple of manufacturing companies regarding the production of a carbon fibre swingarm for the 2016 onwards bikes.
I did approach BST but they want around $200000 as they claim they could only do it as a new product in their range.
Anyway, I`m just gauging interest because if enough people are interested then the engineering/development costs could be absorbed and make it less of a ridiculous cost in proportion to the cost of the bike its self.
I`m told that due to the different properties of carbon the design wouldn`t look much like a stock swingarm in terms of shape etc. but obviously would be engineered to fit the bike exactly with everything lining up as it should.
If anyone would be interested in one of these please let me know. Obviously the more people, the cheaper it becomes.
 

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It's an interesting concept for sure. CF is awesome stuff! It's not really surprising to me that BST would expect that much for a swingarm like that. It takes a lot of engineering to design a significant part like that to understand how it will affect the handling, not destroy itself under the power, what benefits there on are on it, how many they can produce and sell, and what the market could bare on something like that.

Without knowing more about it, throwing money at it doesn't really seem reasonable. Why would you want a CF swingarm? What advantages are you envisioning from that? Lighter weight is great, but if the thing flexes laterally midcorner, what good is the lighter weight? If the rear axle disintegrates the CF strands when you launch the bike hard from the starting line, what good is that? There are a lot of fundamental questions that need to be answered to figure out if it's even feasible and worth it to create a part like that to retrofit to some older bikes just for the sake of it being "cool". Thoughts on that?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are no compromises on movement on ANY axis. This is proven by BST`s small range arms they make already. The company I spoke to have already stated that to do it right they need to make a lot of study with this. I guess that why the cost is in the development.
For me I want one because I got my bike down to sub 180kg and the difference is amazing. The reduction in unsprung weight is definitely amplified through the improvement in ride and handling so what more if I took a big chunk of weight from the rear. Plus I`ve changed out a LOT of parts already for carbon and I think it would look really cool as well as being a major performance upgrade.
 

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Remember though, it's not just about rigidity. Aluminum offers different levels of flex and that is designed into it from the factory. The suspension works only in the up and down direction. When the bike is leaned over and there is an uneven surface that activates the suspension, the frame and swingarm have to flex to help absorb all that since the suspension can't. It's angular momentum on the suspension at that point. So, a CF swingarm may actually be too stiff and that will affect how the bike handles. It's that sort of thing I was trying to describe.

If a CF swingarm could be made for $1000-$1500, it might be worth it. If it would cost $5,000 then not many people would spend that on the bike on the bike. So getting people to buy in initially without knowing that is going to be a problem. So what is your target group on this? How many people do you need to start this off and for what price on that? How much is the cost reduced at the next tier group?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I dont have any exact figures yet because to get that I will have to invest in a OEM 2nd hand swingarm. However that said, the designer I`m talking to thinks that its looking at approx development cost to produce 1 arm = 20000GBP. After that around 3000 gbp as all the tooling and development is already done. Shared between 20 orders this would be 3850gbp or if 30 people were interested then it would be around 3500gbp on so on.
Again, these were inflated estimates so that I wont get any surpises when the actual price is quotes so it could be a lot less
 

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Well, I dont have any exact figures yet because to get that I will have to invest in a OEM 2nd hand swingarm. However that said, the designer I`m talking to thinks that its looking at approx development cost to produce 1 arm = 20000GBP. After that around 3000 gbp as all the tooling and development is already done. Shared between 20 orders this would be 3850gbp or if 30 people were interested then it would be around 3500gbp on so on.
Again, these were inflated estimates so that I wont get any surpises when the actual price is quotes so it could be a lot less
That helps. At the 3500GBP rate, that's about $4,500 USD per swingarm. A brand new OEM aluminum swingarm is $1,250 from Kawi. While I like the idea of a CF swingarm, the price difference on it is the cost of a set of BST CF wheels and a Penske or Ohlins rear shock. I think there's no advantages to putting that same money into those items than a single swingarm on a bike that's 3 times that cost. I applaud your effort to get something like that going, but it's hard for me to justify jumping in on that. I'll be interested to see how it all turns out though and reevaluate the decision at the time. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes I hear you. And I can understand there will be lots of people with the same mindset. I just hope there will be a handful of guys out there looking for that extra edge after already doing everything else on the bike.
 

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There's so little be gained for that amount of money. Not to mention no one on this forum is in a real position to understand changing fork offset, much less the rigidity of the swingarm.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes I`m feeling that. Anyway as someone pointed out the other day to me for the cash I had set aside I could have had a Gen2 (which is my favorite) to add to my collection. So I bought one yesterday LOL.
I`m still holding out some hope that this project could work as you never know
 
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