Carbon fiber, magnesium, titanium, ceramic thermal coating, cryogenics: These materials and processes of high quality and elegance are becoming more frequent in today’s society. But those of us who live in the real world have to ask ourselves how much they are worth, if they are worth anything.
These materials and processes can serve something when it comes to motorcycles. Advances such as anti-lock brakes and fuel injection have been around for years and are considered common in today’s cars. They have recently begun to apply to motorcycles.
To produce titanium, the basic mineral must be heated and charged with gaseous chlorine, then crushed and melted to form an ingot. Sometimes two or three fusion sessions are necessary to obtain the appropriate characteristics for the intended use.
Features of Titanium
Titanium unsurpassed strength-to-weight ratio often brings titanium to mind when a piece needs to be strong and light. The use of Titanium pipe fittings can save weight in crucial areas compared to Steel components and still offer more strength and better handling. If some of that non-suspended weight is removed, the force on the suspension and the chassis multiplies less. Less force means a lighter spring and damping rates, and its effect relative to the weight of the chassis is minimized.
For internal engine components, the theory is similar: light and force work better. Connecting rods and valves accelerate and decelerate at an alarming rate in today’s high-speed engines. The lighter the inside of the engine, the faster the engine will spin through the revolutions and reduce the stress on the related parts.
It started in the aerospace industry because of its superior strength-to-weight ratio. The less a bicycle weighs, the faster it will accelerate and decelerate, and the better it will drive. Do you remember Newton? Force = Mass x Acceleration. If you want to accelerate, you have two variables to work with: strength and mass. We know that you will increase strength or horsepower anyway, so the mass is left makes the thing lighter.
Some are designed exclusively for corrosion resistance, but the resistances are not so high. The Ti normally used in motorcycles is as strong as steel as and a bit heavier than aluminum, a long-lasting piece with excellent service life. Titanium flanges also transfers heat poorly, which means it is a good insulator. Steel exhaust pipes are occasionally wrapped to keep the internal temperature high and the speed of the exhaust gas high, the titanium tube will put the energy wherever you want without wrapping.
Titanium, however, does not make sense for all applications. It has less torsional stiffness than steel, which means it is twisted. It would not make sense as a drive shaft, for example. It also does not work well as a support surface (such as a wrist pin or a bushing), since it does not respond well to friction; although Renz explains that titanium can still be used as a rear brake rotor. In these high performance applications, not much energy is injected into the rear rotor.