Stock vs. Typical Aftermarket
Many riders make the argument that stock is good enough, and for many riders that's completely true. Riders who demand the absolute best though, turn to aftermarket components. While the OEM manufacturers have huge budgets and vast design resources, they must also produce a bike affordable for the majority of riders. Stock parts are designed to be “good enough”; OEMs can't extract the last 10% of performance out of each and every component, otherwise the bike's retail price would be astronomical. For this reason, nearly every component design on the motorcycle leaves room for improvement.
This is where the aftermarket industry comes in; aftermarket companies can focus on the full performance potential of a design... But they often don't! Many have limited capabilities, limited time, and/or limited experience. They're often machine shops that decided to make motocross parts. Take the triple clamps shown here for example:
The image shows a stock Honda lower triple clamp on the left and Xtrig's version on the right. See the similarities? Xtrig's version, aside from the split clamping and adjustable offset, is just a machined version of the stock component. Why? Because that's what they know works; there's no risk in machining the same design as little has changed from an engineering standpoint. They can offer a product with minimal design effort that they know will work. That's not engineering, that's just designing.
Most aftermarket companies use this approach. It's relatively easy to copy a stock design, machine it out of billet, anodize it a bright color to look good, and claim that it's high performance. In the Xtrig example, the split clamping does increase performance over stock, and the adjustable offset gives the customer some tuning capabilities not otherwise available with stock. But the rest of the design is essentially the same as stock and won't preform any better.
The stock clamps are typically cast (top clamp) or forged (bottom clamp), and their design is heavily driven by that manufacturing process. In general, most stock (and aftermarket) clamps are flat across the top and cored out on the bottom leaving ribs which function structurally. Also though, the ribs aid in manufacturing by maintaining a consistent part thickness and directing the flow of metal through the casting or forging tool. But CNC machined part design is not limited by these manufacturing requirements, so why are so many companies releasing product that follows unnecessary manufacturing constraints? Because the parts are copies of what's known to work, not highly engineered designs that increase performance.
When you see them, the difference is obvious... Luxon triple clamps (Yamaha model shown here) take full advantage of the reduced manufacturing constraints of CNC machining to offer a product with a substantial performance advantage, not just a machined version of the stock parts. Our process employs an advanced engineering technique: topology optimization.