Winglets are the most sought after bike accessories now a days. Everyone wants to buy and put it onto their ride. Even the designers , modders are also having some hard time to design and create new winglets.
Here I will try my best to inform our riders about winglets and what its functionality and its pros and cons…hehehe…again, there is no such thing as “winglet bible” so feel free to use your own mind and knowledge to figure out something even more.
- Creating Downforce Or we may think so….
Downforce is needed for any vehicle to have better grip in the straight line and also in the corner. Usually it comes from the vehicles’ weight itself but to get additional downforce, a front wheel driven car or FWD car can use frontend redesign or nose cone or something to create more front downforce and the same will be ridiculous for rear wheel driven car or RWD car. Because rear wheel driven car uses rear spoiler or rear wings or airfoil to create rear end downforce so that their wheels can get better grip as the speed has tendency to give us lifting force that can reduce contact patch size. So to fight this pressure variation like on any wings of a plane, car guys kept on lowering their ride meaning allowing less and less air underneath the vehicle. So, like cars, motorcycle use winglet to create downforce or so we think.
But first thing first, yes, with winglet comes downforce, more downforce means more grip.
Now let’s focus our attention towards some motorcycle winglet picture.
Think of the whole thing as a box or quadrilateral. The longest sides are at a certain angle or slope to generate that downforce. Now why those vertical side, which baffled me for quite some time but I think those sides has something to do with out of corner stability under acceleration. Moreover there is a phenomena called vortexes, when high pressure wind passes under wingtip, it curls around the tip, into the low pressure area above the wingtip, it creates a mini tornado which creates drag. So to stop that End fences or those vertical walls were created.
At certain corner, based on the wind direction, winglets will help you to turn your bike well, to be precise, tighter and can also happen the opposite; it can push you wide. That’s why different set of winglets is used thoughout the year. Again don’t hold me against it, I didn’t conduct any experiment to substantiate any claim.
To have any effect of winglets over performance, one must think of installing it with the chassis somehow, plus, it must be at an angle and must be positioned at a place where wind meets the bike quite early. Now under braking, bigger contact patch helps. Every fast riders know that whenever you sit up before braking, wind pushes against you, your whole body works as a sail and this phenomena alone reduces your speed, right?
Now we already talked about how to use downforce in accordance with power generation method. Here is a food for thought, now a Motorcycle is RWD machine, and all the winglets we see are to use in the front.
We all know about laminar airflow. Every pocket is created by rider or the design of the motorcycle is creating turbulent airflow. Variation of these flow actually creates “LIFT”. Like the behavior of our tshirt..hehehehe…now here is another food for thought, how do we counteract with this LIFT and why it is of such importance to do so..
Once I asked a person, do you follow formula 1? He was a car guy, so he replied, “Nope, I don’t; because It doesn’t benefit street cars in regular life”. I stopped asking anything more. Do you know, F1 first discovered using front wing generates more downforce and to prevent turbulent air getting under the car back again, they used End fences? Here is a F1 wing.
So here is a few question for our current winglets, (wish they can speak for themselves)
1) how much wind actually touches y
- Which direction those wind travels on?
- Do you create negative lift?
- Have you seen the inside of a winglet?
- Are you for show only?
I don’t know, hope winglets will grow up and make something useful out of her existence. Did it come out right?…craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapppppppp….