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Motorcycle Comfort Test

Comfort Analysis Test -Triumph Daytona 955I, Standard Foam Seat v Triumph Gel Seat

By Interface Force Measurements Ltd, U.K. distributor of XSensor Technology Pressure Mapping Systems

The Test- The objective was to measure and map any difference in pressure distribution between the standard foam filled seat and the gel seat available from Triumph as an aftermarket accessory. Equipment used for this test is the XSensor PX100:36.36.02 pressure sensor. This sensor is a very flexible design  < 1mm thickness with 1296 sensor points and conforms well to the various shapes motorcycle seats can be. The sensor offers a spatial resolution of 1.27cm, active area of 45.72cm x 45.72cm and pressure range of 10-200mmHg (0.2-4psi). The sensor is connected to the X3 display, a ruggedized PDA type device, operated via a touch screen display.

The X3 display uses XSensor’s own dedicated software and recorded data stored on a 2GB compact flash card. Data can then be reviewed or down loaded onto a PC for later analysis, using XSensor’sPro V6 software. Using this equipment, tests can be conducted in either static or dynamic situations

For both test runs the sensor was taped down to ensure conformity to the shape of the motorcycle and the X3 Display carried in a rucksack on the riders back. The motorcycle was then taken for a short ride at speeds up to the national speed limit. For analysis on this occasion pressure is measured in mmHg and area in cm2, other units of measurement can be selected.

Results – As can be seen from the 2D pressure maps  below, there is a very significant increase of approximately 30% of sensor points in the lower pressure ranges of the gel seat (bottom image) when compared to the standard seat (top image), indicating a larger contact area. It should be noted that when we examine the higher pressure (red) areas, absolute peak pressure is not reduced in the gel seat when compared to the standard seat but the total area of high or peak pressure is reduced.


Conclusion - The XSensor pressure mapping systems is a robust and sensitive system which does not require regular re-calibration. Calibration is very stable, offering the design engineer a valuable tool with repeatable results.

Based on the measurements carried out, the gel seat does offer better pressure distribution and fewer high pressure points than the standard seat. However, closer analysis reveals that peak pressure measurements remain very similar. These high pressure points could cause blood flow restriction and hence discomfort. While it’s very difficult to eliminate high pressure points totally, better spread of pressure over the complete contact area, lowering of peak pressure and a reduction in the total area of peak pressure may extend the length of time before blood restriction occurs and hence the rider’s perception of comfort.

Application page last updated: 2014-10-08 10:34:11

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