To the uninitiated eye, powersports seem chaotic and out of control. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, with fast speeds and intricate movements only made possible through detailed engineering and manufacturing precision. From motorcycles and utility terrain vehicles (UTV) to snowmobiles and jet skis, operating safely in the exciting world of powersports requires an uncompromising attitude to the manufacturing process.
The powersports industry has experienced some dramatic changes over recent years, with industry growth followed by a contraction in 2020 due to COVID-19. Vehicle manufacturers continue to take decisive measures during the economic slowdown, with aftermarket businesses and retailers developing new ways of producing vehicles and selling stock. Now more than ever, powersports manufacturers depend on experienced investment casting partners to ensure production quality and consistent manufacturing results.
According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), “the industry’s retail momentum in March, coupled with other positive economic factors that preceded the pandemic, bodes well for an aggressive comeback into the 2021 calendar year.” To stay strong in this brave new world, it’s vital to place renewed focus on manufacturing agility and flexibility in the months ahead.
Quality investment casting is important for the future of the powersports industry in order to promote product consistency, manage large production runs, and stay profitable during difficult times.
Types of Investment Casting
The powersports industry is large and diverse, with the following vehicle categories well represented: motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), snowmobiles, sidecars, trailers, jet skis, and personal watercraft. All of these vehicles rely on intricate components and precision engineering for safe and effective operation. Investment casting is the best way to produce a wide variety of performance-critical machine components in a way that ensures tight tolerances and manufacturing consistency.
The investment casting process is based on lost-wax casting, one of the oldest metal-forming techniques known to man. Investment casting involves an investment “shell” made of ceramic, plaster, or plastic, with metal poured into a unique wax pattern based on the size of the component and its intended application. The following casting solutions can be used for different motorsport parts:
Advantages of Investment Casting in Powersports
Investment casting is an essential part of the production process for powersports manufacturers. Partnering directly with a proven investment casting company is an excellent way to take advantage of advanced manufacturing techniques and consistent production schedules. Powersports companies are likely to achieve the following benefits when they engage with a proven investment casting company:
- Improved product performance
- Complex high-precision components
- Precise configuration control
- Consistent production control
Whether you’re producing a motorbike or jet ski, vehicle manufacture can be costly, time-consuming, and risky without the right investment casting solution. The manufacturing process helps ensure high-quality results, with investment casting companies and other sub-suppliers absolutely essential for any business that needs to meet large production runs and complex performance requirements.
To ensure detailed manufacturing and time-critical supply, it’s critical to pay attention to the following issues:
- Access to quality materials
- Access to jigs and tools
- Advanced engineering capabilities
The KICastings Advantage
At KICastings, we produce high-quality investment castings with excellent physical and mechanical properties. Our castings offer a range of benefits for components and accessories across the powersports industry. Whether you’re producing a motorbike, a trailer, or a snowmobile, sports vehicles benefit from complex geometries, tight curves, operating strength, and corrosion resistance. From design and prototyping through to final production, our combination of expertise and experience ensures quality and consistency at every turn.