Faculty Advisor

Scarpino, Christopher


This project is about the stability of a motorcycle with a side car, and a two-wheel bicycle, under various dynamic conditions. For the motorcycle with a side car, conditions were obtained that guarantee directional, lateral, and rollover stability. The self-stability of a bicycle was studied with gyroscopic effects removed. The values of parameters were found that maximize the velocity range for uncontrolled stability. To study the controlled stability of a bicycle, we viewed it as inverted pendulum. The main idea is to operate the handlebar so as to create force identical to the force that appears due to vertical oscillations of a pivot stabilizing an inverted pendulum. As a result, the bicycle can be stabilized for forward velocities above certain limit.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

May 2012


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering