Motorcycle Chassis

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 03/08/2023

Much like a car chassis, a motorbike chassis' main job is to hold all of the bike's moving parts together and keep them from falling apart. In other words, a motorcycle's frame is its primary structure or skeleton. It holds up the engine, fuel tank, seats, handlebars, and suspension. This is done with the help of a steering head tube, which also holds the steering gear in the front.

Before, most frames were made of steel. Now, though, manufacturers incorporate other long-lasting materials like titanium, magnesium, carbon fibre, etc., depending on the needs and costs of production.

Types Of Motorcycle Chassis

Your two-wheeler's chassis is an integral feature and a crucial specification to consider if you're in the market for a new bike. In the same vein, insurance for your bike is just as important. It helps to protect against damages during accidents or theft. A good bike insurance policy is an investment worth making because the last thing you want to do is spend more on repairs.

A motorcycle's chassis parts will depend on the specific type of frame. You can learn a lot about a 2-wheeler based on its chassis. It can indicate the class and category of the bike and the price range you can expect.

To expand on the last part, the cost of the motorcycle is highly dependent on the chassis. Steel has often been a popular choice. It's cost-effective and provides good stability and durability for low and mid-range performance.

In recent times, aluminium, along with other alloys, has been incorporated into 2-wheeler chassis to provide more lightweight vehicles while maintaining some rigidity to the structure. On the other hand, higher-end, expensive bikes use more expensive materials like carbon fibre, magnesium and titanium to enhance their performance and durability.

These are the different types of motorcycle chassis or frames you can expect to see in the current market in India.

Backbone Chassis

This is the most basic bike chassis frame. Its overall structure involves the engine being attached to the backbone frame, which is shaped like a spine and holds important bike parts in place.

This frame is easier to manufacture than other motorcycle frames, making it the least expensive type of bike frame. As a result, it's a good choice for low-powered vehicles. However, it's not many people's first choice because it lacks strength and torsional rigidity, so it's not a strong frame.

Single Cradle Chassis

It's similar to the structure of a bicycle. The single cradle chassis consists of steel tubes welded together that go down to support the engine. It's a simple and inexpensive chassis in motorcycles to produce and is used in many budget-friendly bikes.

A frame is considered cradled if the bike's engine is cradled in the chassis. This is done in some cases where the engine is attached to the chassis and works with it to share some of the stress.

Double Cradle Frame

It's similar to the single cradle chassis. The only difference lies in the engine support. In a single cradle, the engine is supported by one steel tube, but in a double cradle frame, it's got two tubes that support it.

A double-cradle chassis is stronger and more rigid than a single-cradle chassis. Still, there isn't a massive price difference. However, even though this type of frame is the most popular in India because it is strong and cheap, it is not the best in terms of performance and looks outdated.

Perimeter Chassis

The perimeter frame, also called the Twin Spar frame, is the most popular choice for high-performance sports bikes. This type of motorcycle chassis is less stiff because the distance between the steering head and the swing arm is as short as possible. The engine is surrounded by stiff, light beams that go into the steering head with the swing arm. Before, these were made of steel, but now almost all of them are made of aluminium, which is lighter.

Trellis Frame

The trellis frame is similar to a perimeter chassis in terms of functionality. The primary design here lies in connecting the steering bar to the swingarm. The main difference here is the way the connectors are made. As its name suggests, the steel or aluminium tube of the frame is welded together to form a trellis-like structure.

Monocoque Frame

The monocoque frame is the most expensive frame to construct. It requires top-notch production processes and a lot of fine-tuning, so it's not a viable option for many everyday bikes.

The motorbike chassis, in this case, is a single rigid structure made of lightweight, expensive manufacturing materials like carbon fibre and magnesium.

Overview of the Types Of Motorcycle Chassis

  • Conclusion

    To recap, a bike chassis is a bike frame or support structure. It holds all of the bike's moving parts together, making it the most critical feature of any bike. Even if you're not a bike enthusiast, it's best to familiarise yourself with this feature, as it can give a lot of insight into the bike's performance and capabilities. It'll also give a good estimate of how much the bike is worth.

    In addition, getting proper bike insurance online when buying your new bike is just as vital. Tata AIG's long-term two-wheeler insurance policies give you the best coverage and benefits so that you don't have to worry about renewals yearly.

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    Parameters  Backbone Chassis Single Cradle Chassis Double Cradle Frame Perimeter Chassis Trellis Frame  Monocoque Frame 
    Overall Structure
  • Lacks strength and rigidity.
  • It can’t be used in performance-based bikes.Easy to manufacture 
  • Combination of steel tubes welded together.
  • Looks similar to a sturdy bicycle frame.It can’t be used in performance-based bikes.
  • Provides more support to the bike’s engine. 
  • Preferred over single cradle frames.It has an outdated design.
  • Made with lightweight aluminium. 
  • The best choice for performance-based bikes.Some complaints of reduced power when compared to a trellis frame.
  • More lightweight compared to perimeter frames
  • The best frame type for most motorcycles other than a monocoque frame.
  • The best frame across all boards. 
  • A single rigid structure made of carbon fibre and magnesium.Incredibly expensive to manufacture
  • Manufacturing Cost 
  • Inexpensive.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Low.

  • It can be mass-produced
  • Mid to High 
  • Mid to High
  • Expensive.
  • It can’t be mass-produced
  • Types Of Bikes That Use This Frame Structure
  • Low-Performance Bikes, Lightweight Mopeds
  • Commuter Bikes And Cruisers
  • Budget-Friendly Bikes.
  • Race Bikes And Modern Street Bikes
  • Performance-Based Bikes
  • High-End Bikes, Hyperbikes