Motool Slacker motorcycle tuner
Our client, John Casebeer, came to Creative with an idea to improve the safety and performance of dirt bikes. He wanted to improve the process for adjusting the suspension on bikes so that riders could easily tune their bikes and race better.
The previous process for tuning suspension was a two man job. It required measuring the distance between the rear or front axle and the frame when the bike was unloaded and then measuring the same distance when the rider was on the bike in full gear. The suspension would then be adjusted until the difference between these two measurements was an ideal value.
The client knew that this process could be made easier with a tool which could be attached to the axle and the frame and zeroed at an unloaded state. The rider could then sit on the bike and read the sag measurement off of the digital readout that can be attached to the handlebars. This way, the rider doesn’t have to twist around to see the numbers, keeping their center of mass consistent for a stable reading.
John came to Creative with this idea and Creative handled all of the mechanical design while working with an electrical engineer and an industrial designer to create the electronic and aesthetic aspects of the product, respectively.
Creative came up with the idea of measuring displacement by winding a string around a spring loaded central ring gear. Using a through beam sensor to record the rotation, the displacement of the string was calculated electronically. One engineering challenge was to find a way to wind the string in such a way that it never overlapped itself. This was necessary to ensure precise measurements and was accomplished with a complex guide mechanism that led the string to the ring gear.
After the functional mechanical design was determined, Creative worked with an electrical engineer to develop the electronics. The remote device which attaches to the handlebars receives both power and signal from the main device through a stereo cable. Both LCD screens have backlit options for use in dark environments.
Creative worked with an industrial designer to develop the aesthetic look and logo. The housing was then reworked to fit the mechanical and electrical pieces nicely with the new look, and the tool was ready for production.
Since going to market, Slacker has been very successful and has been sold for use in street racing, off-road racing, sport touring, and flat track racing. Their website can be found here: https://motool.co/