Ricardo partners China’s Zongshen to develop new 650cc motorcycle platform

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 18 Jan 2019

The combined Ricardo and Zongshen Motorcycle teams.

Ricardo is to collaborate with China’s Zongshen Motorcycle, a division of Zongshen Industrial Group, in the design and development of a completely new large motorcycle vehicle platform.

Based in the heart of China’s motorcycle industry in the city of Chongqing, Zongshen Motorcycle is one of the country’s leading two-wheeler manufacturers, producing around two million units per year. To support the company’s ambitions for growth in product range and engineering capability, it has contracted Ricardo Motorcycle to assist with the development of a completely new platform to support a family of future large motorcycle products.

The new 650cc platform will use a Zongshen powertrain but will otherwise be a completely new vehicle, fully developed as a clean-sheet design. Ricardo will support the project from the early styling phase, assisting Zongshen with market research, benchmarking and target setting. Ricardo will also provide the engineering concept and design solutions required to develop and validate the product compatible with the local supply chain.

The Ricardo process and support provided will result in a combination of state-of-the-art features and flexibility of design that will enable Zongshen to develop a new family of vehicles derived from the base product. A key aspect of this flexibility will be that such derivative products will be able to be created with a high degree of component commonality and minimal design change requirements. 

“Ricardo is honoured to have been selected for this important new vehicle design and development project,” commented Paul Etheridge, Ricardo Motorcycle head of strategy and business development. “We have long and wide-ranging experience of large motorcycle development projects for leading brands in Europe and North America, but this is the first full vehicle programme that we have embarked upon in China. We look forward to working with Zongshen Motorcycle to help create what I believe will be the basis of a family of world-class motorcycles.”

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