PoliMi Motorcycle Factory (PMF) is a legitimate racing team, which began in the Mechanical Department of the Politecnico di Milano. It currently participates in Motostudent, an international competition where universities from all over the world contend every two years.
A small group of students, with a passion for motorcycles, created the team in October 2015. Nowadays PMF is made up of more than 80 students, studying a range of different majors at Politecnico di Milano. Not only are there both male and female students studying “classic” courses such as mechanical, energetic and aerospace engineering, there are also those studying “less common” majors such as management, electrical and civil engineering, including students from the school of Design and Architecture. Last but not least, there is the tutor of the team, Alan Facchinetti, who is the only member that is not a student. The rules of the competition require each team to have a tutor who is tasked with supervising and moderating them.
The purpose of the project is to allow students to apply the knowledge that they have acquired during their time at the university to a real situation. In fact, once a team signs up to the Motostudent contest, they only receive the engine (Honda 250cc 4t up until the 4th edition, Ktm 2500cc 4t thereafter), a set of slick tires and the braking system (calipers and pumps). The other components (frame, suspensions, exhaust, fairings, electronics,…) are developed, designed, built and assembled by each team, according to the official competition regulations. Finally, each team will present their prototype to the official jury, which will test and evaluate it based on different aspects. After the static and dynamic tests, if the jury proves the absence of anomalies or irregularities, the final event is a race against the other universities in the Aragòn FIM Circuit, Spain.
The tasks and problems that the team members have to overcome are the same problems that are faced by every professional team racing in international competitions. For this reason, the ability to organise time and to manage materials and space efficiently is essential for success. The team also needs good organisation and logistics during events and presentations of the prototype, effective collaborations and relationships with sponsors and suppliers as well as promoting the team image and the prototype on social media.
The results are very positive and encouraging from the first time Polimi Motorcycle Factory participated in Motostudent (edition IV, 2015-2016). In just a few months, the team developed the first official prototype, the “Cinghiala”. The “Cinghiala” successfully passed all of the static and dynamic tests ranking 10th in MS1 and 24th in MS2.
The experience gained through working on the “cinghiala” enabled the team to start working on a completely new prototype called “scighera”, a project which started in October 2016. Over the next two years the team showed extreme dedication which resulted in the performance of “scighera” outdoing all 40 motorcycles in the competition.
“Scighera”, the pilot Luca Campaci, and the team won many events throughout the competition and placed very highly in others:
1st for acceleration
1st for top speed
3rd for best innovative component with the “Barrel”
2nd for best industrial project
1st in the timed test of assembly (fairings and anterior wheel)
2nd fastest qualifying lap (2’23’’456)
1st fastest race lap (2’22’’898)
1st position in the 8 lap race
1st in the general ranking of dynamic tests
1st in the general ranking (MS1+MS2) with a score of 879/1000, which is also the record score ever made in all the editions of motostudent.
After this exceptional achievement, the team is already working for the new season.
By starting from further development of the “Scighera”, the team members are trying to improve their skills and are trying to acquire new knowledge and experience, which they will need for the new prototype.
To do that, the PMF has already started with a new and intense season of tests on racetracks, with proper track-days to try new solutions.
The aim is to mark out the road towards Aragòn 2020, where the MotoStudent VI will take place and where the PMF will have to meet the expectations that surround these young and exceptional students.
If that isn’t enough, starting from the next Motostudent edition, the team is going to present a second, 100% electric prototype, increasing the student’s know-how and predisposing them to future competitions.