Setting new standards
To design a reliable part, designers and engineers need to have data. In Aurora we firmly believe that changing the material or manufacturing method, means that the design should be different. Since the beginning, our towers do not mimic composite towers and for a good reason. By definition, if two towers have the same shape but they are made from different materials, one of them has to be poorly designed. That is mainly because there are data missing and designers and engineers have no ground to base their design.
Data logging has been around since the 60s when Formula 1 cars were logging engine data in analogue tapes.As years went buy, Formula 1 cars used this technique to optimize their engines by running virtual races in a laboratory facility in Japan knowing the exact time that the driver was downshifting, accelerating, breaking, air temp, air pressure etc.
It’s 2021 and we’ve moved on a bit, using a +/- 200g accelerometer, capable of measuring the G-forces on the bike up to 3500 times per second! We have been gathering acceleration data since 2016, and we’ve built an extensive library with millions of data points that needed to be analyzed to design a part that will be reliable, safe, easy to install and optimized for all possible scenarios. But the end result is the same.
All these data from our database are used by our engineers to create virtual simulations of the worst-case scenarios, based on values from out data logging activities. The parts are put through virtual testing before they even get manufactured. Static and dynamic analyses, impact, and fatigue tests, as well as topology optimization are all performed on high end PCs dedicated to Computer Aided Design (CAD). If the parts fail at this stage, there is no reason to even turn the CNC milling machine on.
Having optimized the parts, 3D printing commences. All the parts are printed in high quality Alumide (Polyamide with a low percentage of aluminum particles). This allows us to have a functional model to test on the bike and perfect he ergonomics, cable routing, and test the bike in real time without producing expensive aluminum prototypes. The designers make the final touches at this stage, as the printed parts can be drilled and threaded. For the tower alone, both the tower and the frame clamp, went through 12-15 iterations to get to the final, optimized design that you see in the pictures.
Traditionally spacers are used in all the navigation towers, not only to connect the pieces together, but increase the stiffness of the assembly. Optimizing the stiffness by designing each part individually in 3D, spacers are not necessary anymore. The main tower is only, 3 parts. Easier to maintain, access and service.
The new CNC tower is designed from scratch, and it has a characteristic, ‘crane’ like shape. Sheet metal towers have a different design. They are wider on top, in order to increase their moment of inertia. A property that defines the capacity of a cross section to resist bending or buckling. Although the above holds true, making any tower, wider on top will also make it more unstable and special design practices must be used to counteract that effect. The uniquely shaped CNC tower, allows the designers to keep the width of the tower to the minimum, resulting in a structurally stable assembly which will have higher resistance to bending or buckling.
There are different manufacturing methods in all the parts that we have on our motorbikes. Welding, Laser cutting, Sheet bent parts, 2D milling, 3D milling and others. 3D milling is one of the most complex, but also one of the methods that produce high quality parts. The head clamp and the navigation tower are produced by 3D milling, allowing us to optimize the thickness of the material, maximize the strength and minimize the weight of both parts. Machined out of a solid block of aluminum (40 or 50mm thick!) , these parts are strong where they need to be, while as the assembly is simpler for the end user.
All that homework comes with a warranty that is unprecedented in the rally sector. When we got involved in navigation tower design, as early as 2014, we quickly understood that this journey is not a walk in the park. We developed one of the first multi-material towers and the first 3D CNC clamp in the industry. And we backed it up with a lifetime warranty. Today, we are setting new standards in the industry.
The CNC tower parts and the CNC frame clamp on this kit are guaranteed for the life of the product. What is new? We always want our customers to be safe and reach the bivouac or their traveling destination and make repairs there. Even if they crash. Design with crash in mind is a whole different story. To that end, these parts are guaranteed against breakage. For the life of the product. Crash it, if you will. These parts will never give up!
Plug and Play
The CNC milled frame clamp has its roots in the legendary frame clamp that we designed back in 2016. With an unmatched record of zero failures since 2016, that clamp went onto win international races in Africa and Europe and went up to Alaska in round the world trips, giving the riders the safety and security that they need during long distance trips. The KTM/HQV/GasGas clamp is a two-piece design, machined out of a 50mm solid block of Aluminium. It is fully plug and play and the frame or other hard parts of the bike will stay intact. Two bolts are all it takes to install it. Quick. Easy. Reliable.
This kit would be nothing without plug and play electrics. All the cables are included in the kit, such as rectifier extensions, light harness and even a fully waterproof fuse box with a pre-wired harness for ease of use. This fuse box is the first available fuse box in the industry that is fully waterproof and for a good reason. Traditional fuse boxes are completely exposed on their rear side. Allowing moisture and dirt and other debris to reach the electrical connectors, slowly corroding them over time. Since these are not visible, it is a real challenge to trace the errors once they start. The fuse box that is included in the kit seals all the cable entries and the cover with proper, rubber seals, much like the waterproof connectors on our bikes. You can add up to four fuses and if you combine them with the long cover fuse box and with automatic fuses you will get unparalleled long-term reliability.
Dakar Proven Reliability
Dakar. The toughest rally in the world by far. KTM. A brand with 18 wins in that very race. A rally bike like no other. The pinnacle of rally race engineering. OEM parts from that winning rally bike are installed on our kit. Screen, fully legal LED lights, Light mask, stone guard for the screen accessories are all taken from the KTM Rally Factory Replica. Not only you will be safer, but if you need spare parts, you will be able to get them from a local KTM dealer worldwide! We went a step further. We ditched the plastic Nylock safety nuts from the tower. Why? Because the Nylock nuts can be used only once and usually these directions are not followed. There are special clutch-like washers and new safety nuts that will make sure that the parts will go through the toughest of conditions without moving from their pre-defined position!
EASE OF USE
Nothing is easy when you are in the middle of Africa, North America, or Saudi Arabia. For rally riders time is vital. Racers and Travelers are very similar. A racer in the middle of nowhere, a traveler in the land of Mongolia. They all need to be safe and fix any issues as quickly as possible to reach either the daily bivouac or their daily destination. The KTM rally screen is not attached to the bike in any way, allowing you to remove it with two ¼ turn bolts. You can add the tank of your choice and the kit will not interfere with that. In addition, contrary to our 701/690 kits where the bike panels are changed to minimize the undressing time, in all the enduro bikes the side panels are a breeze to remove. So there is no need for a quicker system.
In the dedicated rally bikes, cabling goes through the tower. Once the rider needs to trace an electrical issue, he must undo half the bike to trace it. This is not only time consuming, but prone to error when things are put back. Because the tower is spacious, and cabling can be routed easily, while the rider has full access to it for trouble shooting.
Adding parts on your bike, means adding weight. But when the parts are designed with that in mind, the effect of this added weight is negligible. The assembly’s center of gravity is chosen carefully so that (1) it is as close as possible to the bike and (2) if you add anything to the dedicated position, it will have a minimal effect on the bike’s behavior. To optimize that behavior the assembly is analyzed as a system, comprised of different parts. A very light tower with a heavy tablet or Navigation gear on top, will have the opposite effect. An unstable structure.
All our tower configurations were analyzed to perfect the system’s center of gravity. Add the iritrack or a full navigation setup, the center of gravity of the system will stay low and as close as possible to the bike, minimizing the effect, allowing you to reach your destination stress-free and race with confidence. The KTM screen is further optimized. It is positioned lower and further back, making the cockpit slim and more ergonomic due the adjustable main ‘snake-like’ part. The main aluminum parts of the tower (sides, light support, and middle rib) weigh 1.4kg!
More and more people choose their enduro bike for traveling. Longer suspension travel, lighter and with better off road capabilities than their adventure equivalents, more and more enduro bikes are equipped with soft luggage to conquer the Trans America Trail (TAT) and the Trans Euro Trail (TET). Occasional racers also choose their enduro bikes to race. Some of them even run the Dakar. In sheet metal towers it is not advisable to add weight on them. With the new CNC tower, it is a whole different world! Leave it light and simple. Add your toolbag with a full set of tools. A small adventure raincoat? No problem. Need an emergency kit? Done! All of these, or a combination of the above can be installed in the CNC tower. Below you can see the 12 configurations that we came up with, and that is without the digital setups and the full racing modes. This tower can take you from Dakar to Mongolia, and then back. Just choose your personal configuration and off you go!