This paper examines the influence of frame flexibility on the optimization of an engine mounting system for enhanced vibration isolation in motorcycles. A theoretical model is developed to represent the structural dynamics of an engine mount system in motorcycles. The model consists of the power-train assembly, modeled as a six-degree-of-freedom (DOF) rigid body; the swing arm assembly, connected to the power-train through a coupler shaft assembly; and the frame, connected to the power-train by elastomeric mounts and to the swing-arm through the rear suspension. Two models of the flexible frame are developed for analysis. The first model uses an equivalent stiffness matrix of the frame, derived from its finite element model, in terms of the nodes connecting the frame to the other subsystems. The second model is based on a dynamic model of the frame as well as the swing arm derived from their respective finite element models. The optimization procedure minimizes the load transmitted to the frame while constraining the engine displacement due to imposed loads within prescribed limits. The mount stiffnesses, locations and orientations are used as design variables. Examples are presented to demonstrate the influence of frame flexibility on the force transmitted to the frame.

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