Machine Design

Software helps design a motorcycle “canopy”

Motorcycle-accessory company Roof For Two in Boston used 3D design as well as simulation software to design a bike canopy that mounts on motorcycles to shield riders from inclement weather. The roof is will be marketed to motorcycle riders in India, which has the largest percentage of motorcycle riders in the world. Relying on open-air transportation in that country is dangerous during monsoons, when riders risk low visibility and harsh weather SolidWorks Professional, Simulation, and Flow Simulation from reseller Fisher/Unitech, Troy, Mich., provided the engineering software.

The collapsible, detachable roof can be set up in a few seconds. The mount is made from of several metals including steel and aluminum. Roof For Two designers used the SolidWorks programs to define the shape of the canopy and prepare it for fabrication.

“We created a sleek portable canopy that easily attaches to a motorcycle,” says co-founder and head of product development for Roof For Two David Chen. “When taking on a project like this, it’s important to weigh all factors, including air flow. This consideration made SolidWorks Simulation critical for us in determining how the roof would stand up to wind and rain while remaining safe to use.”

SolidWorks Flow Simulation helped designers determine how air flows around different parts of the canopy to keep the design aerodynamic. SolidWorks Simulation let designers test stresses and the impact of load on the mounts to see if reinforcements were needed. In addition, the software let engineers visualize the roof in 3D, crucial to fine-tuning the overall concept.


The Roof For Two canopy is currently in beta testing and is expected to go to market in Spring 2013,



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