Insurance Industry Offers New Motorcycle Design Guide


The Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR) has finalized and launched a design guide aimed at reducing overall crash repair costs without compromising safety and other statutory design requirements for motorcycles.

RCAR is an international organization consisting of individual national insurance research centers. The organization's objective is to improve the safety, security, quality, design and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles in order to reduce ownership costs, including insurance costs. The new design guide is the culmination of work by motorcycle insurers in the United States, Australia, England, Spain and Germany over the past 18 months.

In recent decades, motor vehicles have evolved to incorporate features that enhance performance and occupant safety while reducing running costs and environmental impact. International insurance companies have played a major role in influencing modern car design with the aim of reducing repair costs and increasing vehicle security and occupant protection.

Unfortunately, motorcycles have evolved along different design parameters, the emphasis being predominantly on styling and performance. Modern motorcycles often feature unrepairable exotic materials and finishes, expensive composite bodywork and highly vulnerable major components.

Each year, insurance companies throughout the world pay large sums of money in motorcycle damage claims. Many insurance claims involve motorcycles which have simply fallen over while stationary. Insurers frequently write off these motorcycles as total losses, due to excessive damage. Several factors influence the cost of these claims, including design features, manufacturing materials, surface finishes, pricing of replacement parts and available methods of repair.

Given the international nature of motorcycle design and production, the purpose of the design guide is to assist manufacturers everywhere to optimize their products by incorporating design features that enhance low speed crash sustainability.

View the guide at

—Submitted by Guido Ebert