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

Your accessibility may vary due to other restrictions.