The development of a multibody model of a motorbike L-twin engine cranktrain is presented in this work. The need for an accurate evaluation of the loads acting on the main engine components at high rotational speed makes it necessary to take element flexibility into account in order to capture elastodynamic effects, which might have a major impact on the dynamics of the system. Starting from finite element descriptions of both the crankshaft and the connecting rod, the classical Craig–Bampton (CB) technique is employed to obtain reduced models, which are suitable for the subsequent multibody analysis. A particular component mode selection procedure is implemented based on the concept of effective interface mass, allowing an assessment of the accuracy of the reduced model prior to the nonlinear simulation phase. Bearing dynamics also plays an important role in such a high-speed engine application: angular contact ball bearings are modeled according to a 5DOF nonlinear scheme in order to grasp the main bearings behavior while an impedance-based hydrodynamic bearing model is implemented providing an enhanced operation prediction at big end locations. The assembled cranktrain model is simulated using a commercial multibody software platform. Numerical results demonstrate the effectiveness of the procedure implemented for the flexible component model reduction. The advantages of this technique over the traditional mode truncation approach are discussed.

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