Integrating Design with Human Engineering

A product brochure for Honda's Dream CB750 FOUR explains the various mechanisms that combine to make the ideal motorcycle.

<< 1. A Direct Descendant of Grand Prix Machines
<< 2. Integrating Design with Human Engineering
<< 3. The First Motorcycle to Offer Disc Brakes
<< 4. Employing an Idle Facility to Produce a Large Motorcycle
<< 5. Creating the Nanahan Boom

The objective of Honda's basic development plan was to make long-range, high-speed touring safer and more comfortable, while achieving superior output. Therefore, the emerging science of human engineering-called "ergonomics"-was to be incorporated structurally, right down to the finest detail. To facilitate the collaborative process among design engineers and production personnel, common engineering targets were established for product development. These included the following:

[1] Ensure stability during high-speed cruising (between 140 and 160 km/h) on highways, yet retain an ample margin of output for effective maneuvering in traffic.
[2] Provide a braking system that is reliable and resis tant to high loads by anticipating frequent rapid decelerations from high speeds.
[3] Minimize vibration and noise in order to reduce rider fatigue during long-range cruising. Provide an ideal riding position for comfort and the proper operation of controls based on human-engineering principles, and design the mechanisms so that the rider can easily learn how to operate them.
[4] Ensure that various ancillary devices, such as lights and instruments, are large and reliable. They must be designed to help the rider make sound judgments and ensure sufficient visibility for surrounding vehicles.
[5] Extend the service life for each device and ensure that it provides for easy maintenance and servicing
[6] Create original designs that also are easy to mass produce by utilizing newer, better materials and production technologies. This applies particularly to cutting-edge surface-treatment technologies.

The satisfaction of these requirements meant that the team would have to utilize the vast reserves of engineering information Honda had accrued in the manufacture of Grand Prix machines. Moreover, computer systems would be introduced in order to streamline the various steps involved in development. However, computerization ultimately did more than that. It increased the efficiency of numerous development tasks, including plan modification in the prototype phase, design changes, hardware modifications, and testing. It even reduced the time needed to plan a line for mass production of the CB750 FOUR.
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