Have you ever wondered how a motorcycle is made? Most peo- ple don’t give much thought to
the manufacturing processes required
to make pistons, swingarms, subframes
and every other conceivable part needed to achieve the overall objective—a
bike capable of rolling off the showroom floor. Millions of dollars are spent
on facilities that house uber-expensive
machines operated by well-trained specialists. So, while the sticker price of a
new motorcycle is thousands of dollars,
understand that it costs a manufacturer
an arm and a leg to produce that bike.
Outsourcing has become a popular
way for brands to cut down on production costs that would otherwise be
incurred due to high material expenses,
labor costs and strict government regulations. As a result, countries such as
India and China, which have lower labor
rates and loose production laws, are
booming with commerce.
Motorcycle manufacturers also choose
to purchase components from aftermarket companies, such as Renthal
handlebars or Takasago Excel wheels.
It’s a wise business move, because it
eliminates the need for a manufacturer
to R&D those components in-house.
Additionally, using aftermarket products
from well-known companies adds value
to the bike.
Aftermarket companies face the same
production hurdles as motorcycle manufacturers, only on a considerably smaller
scale. Take Moto-Master, for example.
The Netherlands-based company specializes in making brake rotors for a host of
applications, from motocross to offroad
to street motorcycles. Brake manufacturing is a specialized process that requires
expertise and constant attention. That’s
why Moto-Master chose to build every
part of its brake kits in its very own
facilities in Duizel, Netherlands. Eduard
Nolde and Rene Geerts, co-owners of
Moto-Master, spent millions of dollars
buying one dozen machines housed in
two separate buildings located within a
stone’s throw of each other. It would be
considerably cheaper for Moto-Master to
outsource some of its more basic
components, but that would prevent
the owners from keeping a close eye on
every step in the production process.
The people at Moto-Master are so
proud of the quality of their products
that when we dropped in on our way
to the Valkenswaard Grand Prix, they
threw open the doors to show MXA
how their Flame oversize rotor kits are
made. Below is a step-by-step tutorial
on the specifics required to create a
rotor good enough to be used by Ryan
Dungey, Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings