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SKF Wheel Bearings Assist Prototype Motorcycle in Securing World Record

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Oct 12,2023


SKF has played its part in securing a new world record: the furthest distance travelled by a prototype motorcycle on a single tank of fuel.

The prototype bike clocked up 4,183.8 km on its journey from Albino in northern Italy to North Cape in Norway – without needing to refuel. SKF helped motorcycle components supplier Acerbis in its AC50 project to design the two-wheeler.

The AC50 project made several key breakthroughs – primarily by redesigning the fuel tank to hold 108 liters of fuel. In addition, SKF supplied a customized design for the wheel bearings and seals, to make the journey as efficient and comfortable as possible.

“When Acerbis described the AC50 project, we understood that behind this world record attempt was a sustainability challenge – which fits our sustainability strategy,” said Nicolas Berruet, business development manager at SKF.

Before vehicles such as motorbikes transition fully to electrical power, it is important to make them more energy efficient. Projects such as AC50 show that appropriate design can help to maximize fuel efficiency.

“For AC50, the main need was for efficient solutions to reduce the bike’s energy consumption,” said Paolo Giraudo, project manager at SKF. “The main efficiency losses we identified were the wheels – so we offered a customized design for the wheel bearings and seals.”

The bearings were designed to reduce friction without affecting reliability, while the seals combined low friction with high protection.

In June 2023, three riders took turns to steer the bike through a carefully planned route at an average speed of 70 kph. After traversing Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the team secured the record by arriving in North Cape on 15 June.

Guido Acerbis, CEO of Acerbis, said: “As a child, I dreamed of entering the Guinness World Records book. Today, the dream has become reality.”

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