Reconstruction and Analysis of Motorcycle Crashes

The reconstruction and analysis of motorcycle crashes requires a specialized set of skills and knowledge beyond those required for typical four wheel vehicles. This seminar takes participants beyond the basics of crash reconstruction to physical models and analysis techniques that are unique to the reconstruction of motorcycle crashes, providing learners with a comprehensive summary of applicable reconstruction techniques. In addition, case studies will be utilized throughout the course to further explore crash causation, configuration, kinematics, dynamics, and handling characteristics, focusing on pre-crash, impact and post impact analysis.

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 7 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Upon completion of this seminar, accredited reconstructionists should mail a copy of their course certificate and the $5 student CEU fee to ACTAR, PO Box 1493, North Platte, NE 69103.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Identify motorcycle crash causation from field studies
  • Identify pertinent engineering design parameters affecting motorcycle dynamics
  • Describe motorcycle motions both in plane and cornering
  • Describe common characteristics and phases of motorcycle crashes
  • Identify, document, and analyze common types of vehicle and roadway evidence pertinent to motorcycle crashes
  • Use physical evidence to reconstruct the motion of a motorcycle involved in a crash
  • Estimate the rate at which a motorcycle decelerates during each phase of a crash
  • Calculate the speed a motorcycle travels during each phase of a crash sequence
  • Evaluate the steering and braking inputs a rider used before a crash
  • Identify factors leading to a single vehicle motorcycle crash

Is This Course For You

This course is designed for engineers or other professionals with a strong background in crash reconstruction, but new to or inexperienced in the specialized area of motorcycle crash reconstruction.

Materials Provided

This data is not available at this time

Course Requirements

This data is not available at this time


  • Introduction
  • Motorcycle Crash Characteristics
    • CDC Data, GES / NASS, NHTSA data, Hurt Report, Thai Report, MAIDS Report
  • Motorcycle Performance and Design
    • Motorcycle types - dirt, sport, touring, cruiser
    • Configuration - engine types, frame types, rake / trail, fork offset, C.G. location, wheel radius, suspension travel, clearance, technologies: ABS/TCS/ESC, tire types - multi-compound, multi-surface (DOT), knobbie, sport, touring
    • Rectilinear Motion - steady state motion, aerodynamic forces, braking / accelerating
    • Cornering - countersteer, lean angle, steady state, understeer/oversteer, roll motion, gyroscopic effects
  • Motorcycle Inspection
    • Damage, mechanical, and tire documentation
  • Scene Information
    • Scene inspection and evidence, tire marks, roadway evidence
  • Analysis Methodology - Motorcycle Single Vehicle Crashes
    • Terrain effects (edges, potholes, ridges)
    • Instabilities - high side crashes, kick back (lift off roadway), chattering, low side crashes, weave/wobble
    • Rider inputs leading to crashes
  • Analysis Methodologies - Pre-Crash Phase
    • Front braking, rear braking, overbraking, sliding
  • Analysis Methodology - Motorcycle Crash Phase
    • Motorcycle crash tests - ISO 13232, UCLA (Severy), IMMA, JARI, SAE, KEVA
    • Crash configuration
    • Crash partner energy calculation; narrow object crash analysis of vehicles
    • Motorcycle crash energy calculation
    • Component evaluation and/or testing
    • Computer simulation - SMAC, PC- Crash
  • Analysis Methodology - Motorcycle Post-Crash Phase
    • Motorcycle trajectory, sliding vs tumbling, sliding characteristics