Vehicle engineering

Vehicle engineering

Complete vehicle engineering programmes

Raising industry standards, improving efficiency and navigating complex technical, commercial and regulatory demands.

In addition to our core powertrain capabilities, we have complementary skills to cater for complete vehicle engineering programmes. Ricardo Motorcycle provides a total vehicle engineering capability.

We are also experts in new product development for the urban mobility sector, providing novel solutions in two- and three-wheeler designs, meeting future urban commuting, mobility and delivery requirements.


We start with market assessment and briefing and move through creation of concepts and consumer clinics. We take motorcycle styling through a traditional route via full-scale bucks, clay modelling, scanning and Computer-Aided Styling (CAS), or by a virtual modelling process where the CAS surface data for production are created without a clay model.


As leaders in motorcycle engineering and design, we know that success hinges on effective integration between sub-systems.

As such, we adopt an industry-specific perspective that allows us to take an open-minded approach to decision-making.

Testing and quality assurance

Through all the rigour of our design and development processes, testing and quality assurance remain the most important aspects of our work.

Following performance, fatigue, structural, noise and vibration bench testing, our experienced test riders put the built and assembled running prototypes through their paces in real-world on-the-road scenarios, documenting results against stringent test protocols.


Homologation compliance and regulatory compliance are cornerstones of our unrivalled expertise. We take time to ensure our engineering projects are completed in accordance with appropriate worldwide standards.

Noise Vibration and Harshness

We have been a leader in Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) development and optimization for over 40 years. Throughout this time, we have continually improved our analysis techniques, facilities and resources. From product concept development through to production, we deliver class-leading NVH solutions to meet the most exacting requirements, both of our clients and of product legislation.

Electrical engineering/electronics 

Conventional motorcycle:

  • Electrical system design accounting for; vehicle layout, load balance, robustness and fatigue, corrosion, electrical accessories, EMC and homologation
  • Harness and vehicle control systems integration
  • CAN communication
  • Lighting design (including headlight design, performance and homologation)

Hybrid-electric (HEV):

  • Battery pack design; cell selection, thermal design, battery management (BMS) 
  • eDrives sizing and control
  • Hybrid control units (HCU)
  • HEV functional safety

Chassis engineering

On every vehicle programme, we take a holistic approach to system definition and development, whole-vehicle layout design, packaging and system integration, vehicle and powertrain.

We have experience in the design and development of chassis structures; main frames, sub-frames, swing arms, including vehicle geometry, hard-point definition and refinement; structural-efficiency evaluation through CAE techniques and testing; and proprietary brake-system integration and performance development, including advanced braking systems.

We provide suspension system evaluation and design, using techniques including; CAD layout, multi-body simulation, rider evaluation; and whole vehicle and sub-system durability testing and evaluation.

Ride and handling

We offer expertise in ride, handling, NVH, evaluation and characterization through testing and simulation, assisting clients with existing products and developing bespoke platform-specific solutions.