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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:00 pm 
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ATVing Is My Life
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I am an R&D engineer and will tell you that prototyping cost a ton! I read an artical on their set up and it listed some of the time they had in it. There were a lot of problems that had to be worked out, the steel axel flexed in the center but the carbon fiber did not and that caused binding in the center section so a new swing arm and carrier had to be hand built. Trut me nothing cost more than one off parts. It takes a long time to set up a machine for milling so if you make 1 part all of that time is in the 1 part if you make 300 then you only have to set up once so the cost is spread over 300. Also to make 1 part you need to make a jig to keep everything right, that cost money. The Cf axel was being tested for I think 4 months, so you have salery for all the people involved, facility dedicated to it, 2 or 3 ATV's that cost money on and on. There is no such thing as cheap reserch.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:15 am 
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I got the idea that there was a rod in the center from an engineer at Cannondale. There is a core that the carbon fiber was wrapped around. I am a member of both cdaleriders and cdalers and the issue is that I race. If I just rec rode then I would have kept my dales but I couldn't wait a month or sometimes longer for parts. There were organizational issues with everybody who sold parts for dales with no end in sight. I just needed a reliable parts stream. I still feel that the dale is the best quad out, which is why we rode the only cannondale at the 2003 12 Hours of ATV America, but I ride a Yam now because I can get parts in 2 days. If I break something on a weekend I need to be able to replace it by the next weekend.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:37 pm 
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quadracer310 wrote:
I ride a Yam now because I can get parts in 2 days. If I break something on a weekend I need to be able to replace it by the next weekend.

Unless you have a local dealer you can get them direct from ATK in less than 3 days. I've ordered several parts on either a Mon/Tues before and got them before Friday always.

As for the R&D issue. I remember when the carbon fiber axle was first mentioned. They gave a number up in the millions for the price. They broke a couple in testingf to find the right strength and I believe there are 2 left out there, but only 1 accounted for.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 8:52 pm 
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daimon1054 wrote:
I am an R&D engineer and will tell you that prototyping cost a ton! I read an artical on their set up and it listed some of the time they had in it. There were a lot of problems that had to be worked out, the steel axel flexed in the center but the carbon fiber did not and that caused binding in the center section so a new swing arm and carrier had to be hand built. Trut me nothing cost more than one off parts. It takes a long time to set up a machine for milling so if you make 1 part all of that time is in the 1 part if you make 300 then you only have to set up once so the cost is spread over 300. Also to make 1 part you need to make a jig to keep everything right, that cost money. The Cf axel was being tested for I think 4 months, so you have salery for all the people involved, facility dedicated to it, 2 or 3 ATV's that cost money on and on. There is no such thing as cheap reserch.


I have read this several times, and still don't know how to respond to it.

If there are articles that state what they had into it, I would like to see it. Most companies only let the top executives Know actual cost. 90% of one of my best friends busness was prototype work. I have handed him a hand drawing of a attachment tool, he ran some CAD program to make it within OSHA safety margins. Then he had to hire a welder for just that one item. and it didn't even come close to 100g

If your setup is that bad, you need a new machinist. I have watched my friend set up a very complex (many tapped holes, finish bores and flanges) casting he had to set it on the machine with a forklift and only took him an hour or so before he started machining, so even at $100/hr., you got a long way to hit millions.

I would admit if they were setting up to go into production it would have been allot of money, but hardly think a few prototypes would be all that much cash out of pocket. they had all the equipment.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:51 am 
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If I remember correctly, prototype work was done and they were setting up the tooling and machinery to start production on it. All I know is the figure was quite high and unbelievable when it was published long ago but still can't recall it. The 04 Moto was to have it but only 2 were produced.

I actually happen to have the arms and shocks off of one of the 04 Moto pototypes. They're bulkier and stronger than the previous arms, different color slightly, and the shocks have different springs. I've got them setup for my size and they feel better than any suspension I've ever ridden. Zero bumpsteer w/out a steering stabilizer.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:51 pm 
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ATK has no machineing equipment of any kind. They are an assembler of parts. Always have been always will be. They do test out parts, but they are at the mercy of others when it comes to cost to machine a new prototype part. ATK is a very very very very small place. The shop space is only around 3000 sq ft. The majority of inventory of parts they bought is in another building..


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:26 am 
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Quadcrosser we are talking carbon fiber and other items. But just to do the carbon you need a special machine to roll it into an axle then you need to put it under a lot of pressure then into an oven while under pressure at some pretty high temps, remember you are creating a carbon carbon bond (that is the bond that holds a diamond togther). So the equipment alone is well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then you had the how many swing arms they had to go through to find what works as well as how large the axle needed to be. Time is money and R&D taks time. I can have a part drawn out and built for cheap but it it has never been done before then it has to be tested. Then the 10 hours problems fixed then the 20 hour problems and so on. I built a hydrolic system that many thought would be simple but the conditions it had to run in were very bad. The initial designe and prototype was not much but in the end we spent right at 2 million dollars and that was not including any production set ups. Another company had a head start by a year on us and spent just under 14 million and in the end said it could not be done so my cost were pretty low when you figure they spent more and got nothing. R&D is not cheap and on something like and axle that you could get suied and loose everything you had better make it right and that cost even more. As for setting up a CNC machine? Most of the time is making sure the program is right but any set up is min 1 hour and when you change set up 50 or 60 times it adds up.


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