“Working as a team to achieve solutions to challenges is part of our DNA.”
Here, we meet Stefano Granvillano, Head of the Rimini Technical Centre who explains how a true customer focus, honed in the competitive world of motorcycle racing together with a truly organised, flexible and open-minded approach ensures the Ricardo motorcycle team helps customers address challenges or opportunities with success.
What are the key challenges and opportunities for motorcycle customers?
“Motorcycles are getting more and more complex, and with complexity comes more cost for manufacturers. New bikes must ensure high performance together with great stability, control and high expectation in terms of safety, so manufacturers also face the technical challenges of integrating new systems which have sometimes never been on motorcycles before. Of course, manufacturers also have to develop products which meet new legislation and regulations, for example around emissions and noise. So they have a lot of technical challenges to address, while also maintaining a profitable business.
“The motorcycle market is very mature and there are lots of players and OEMs but it’s not growing. Instead, there is an increasing interest in new sectors such as light urban mobility or last mile delivery – largely covered by all the vehicle type belonging to the L-category – and OEMs are looking very hard at how they can move into these sectors and develop new type of products that meet a new demanding.
“These sectors are complicated, fast moving and there are lot of variables around consumers’ behaviours and needs, new players, new vehicles, new electrified products. So many of the well-established OEMs don’t know what the right answers and solutions are in terms of what are going to be the best products to develop for these new markets.”
How is Ricardo helping customers to meet their challenges and opportunities?
“Where Ricardo is uniquely placed is being able to cut through some of the confusion and offer our customers real clarity and guidance through all the complexity.
“Ricardo not only offers world-leading engineering and technical consultancy but also market research: not just a classic market report but real understanding of products and markets shaped by a genuine ‘family feeling’ for OEMs products and what’s right for their brand.
“The Ricardo value for customers is offering that full range of services under one roof. We have not only the in-depth knowledge of the motorcycle sector and market from our motorcycle team but also reaching back to access the extensive multi-transport sector knowledge of our engineers and analysts across the Ricardo Group. We can offer a genuine source of knowledge and a solution tailored to an individual customer, not just a ‘copy and paste’ answer.
“At the heart of everything we do is a scientific approach. Every solution that we develop, is firmly underpinned by science considerable experience, rigorous testing and expertise.
“An undoubted asset for our customers is our speed and agility. Our very well organised internal processes mean that we are often asked to develop a new product for an OEM because we can mobilise our experience and expertise in a rapid and very concentrated way to achieve the objective. This speed is something that our customers really appreciate and value in us – they are being challenged all the time to bring their products to market quicker and more efficiently and we can really help them achieve this."
What are Ricardo’s technical capabilities to support the motorcycle sector?
“At the Rimini Technical Centre in Italy, the team has a strong specialism in industrial design and styling, vehicle design and development both for internal combustion engines and xEVs. Our teams in our German and Czech Republic. Technical Centres focus on powertrain and analysis, and at our Leicester and Shoreham Technical Centres in the UK the teams focus on powertrain, chassis and manufacturing.
“As a company, we are very well known for powertrain and transmissions, but OEMs are often very surprised that we have world-leading expertise in chassis and industrial design, plus the development on the field of new vehicles.
“We are very good at integrating all the different services together and combining all the different talents of our different specialists so that they combine their expertise effectively to develop the optimum solution for each project.
“The capability that we are most proud of is our ability to mix creativity with engineering expertise. Our strength is in combining accomplishment in project management, including very effective, efficient internal processes, with great flexibility and a ‘thinking outside the box’ approach to achieve our goal on-time and on brief for our customers.”
What is the Ricardo difference for customers?
“Our team at Ricardo is organised, flexible and open-minded when it comes to finding solutions to often incredibly complex challenges or opportunities for OEMs.
“Some of us spent big part of our careers in racing, working in MotoGP. Even when you have left that world, racing and a competitive spirit remain a part of your DNA. We are very committed to meeting the challenge. No matter how complex the issue, we are focused on finding the best possible solution for an OEM. That very positive, natural problem-solving mentality has been adopted by everyone at Ricardo, whether they worked in racing or not, and this means that our customers have at their disposal a very positive, focused team all pulling in the same direction to achieve the best outcomes for the customers they are proud to serve.”