Where the boundaries between engineers and fans become blurred
If, apart from motor racing, there is any branch of the mobility industry that goes far beyond technology and stands for passion, love, speed, freedom and adventure - for some of the strongest feelings that technology can induce - then it has to be the motorcycle sector. And the longer you think about it, and the closer you look at the people in the motorbike scene, the more you realise that they are passionate about their jobs. They are fans of their vehicles, love to travel, and above all, enjoy the feeling it gives them. For them, mobility is not just a function; it is a statement.
"As a motorcycle engineer, you need a different kind of mindset - we have to have different skills than a vehicle engineer, and more than anything else, be mad about motorcycles!" This statement was made by Marc Dongus, head of the constantly growing team of EDAG engineers that have been handling motorcycle business since 2012. Even if the EDAG Motorcycles department, founded in 2012, is still very young, we nevertheless look back on a very long history: for 42 years now, motorcycle development has had a place in EDAG's programme, though in those days, this know-how was mainly used in small-scale projects. Meanwhile, the department has grown and there are now almost 40 employees working on the development of new motorbikes - not just for the racing track, where some of the Enduros and super bikes belonging to the famous racing teams have expert backing throughout the entire racing season, but also for the road and fans of high-tech machines.
The shift in mindset is not the only difference between motorcycle experts and their colleagues involved in classic vehicle development. Carrying out on-road tests on EDAG's input under extreme conditions such as racing calls for a great deal more then just passion on the part of the engineer: he must also have a wide knowledge of his subject. Even if the team is an interdisciplinary one, composed of vehicle body, chassis, powertrain, electrical system and process management experts, the motorcycle experts must keep an eye on much more than just their own subject, because component support is generally provided from the initial design sketch through to the production part - which means the developers are involved in the entire process of creating new motorcycle bodies, chassis and separate components. Suddenly the developer is a whole lot more: he becomes the designer, computational engineer and process manager of his own idea. It is no wonder, then, that most of the developers in the EDAG Motorcycles department have a design background and are, of course, enthusiastic motorbike fans.
Motorcycles have special demands, so it goes without saying that we look for appropriately qualified junior staff. And because EDAG is nothing if not goal-oriented, we combine our search for young, motorbike-mad engineers with a corresponding project. We have called it "EDAG Moto2". This project gives students the unique chance to join the experts in developing a chassis for the prototype racing series of the same name, and then putting it onto the track at the beginning of the season. It is fairly obvious that the important thing here is not so much to come first in the race as to benefit from the hands-on motorcycle development training the project offers. What sets this training course apart from other courses is the fact that passion for motorbikes and racing is essential. There does not appear to be any lack of this amongst the younger generation: the project is already fully booked until the end of this year. But this doesn't mean that we will not be continuing in the coming year. On the contrary: EDAG Motorcycles continues to grow at an astounding rate - and one of the reasons for this is that enthusiastic motorcycle developers have not just technology in their veins, but also a love of speed.