Autodesk Digital Prototyping Helps Motorcycle Enthusiast Kickstart a New Business

Carducci Dual Sport founder and president Jim Carducci had a dream: he wanted to convert a Harley-Davidson Sportster into an on-road/off-road motorcycle. So Carducci did what any enterprising engineer would do and leveraged technology to make his vision into a reality.

Carducci’s creation, developed with Autodesk Product Design Suite software, keeps passionate Harley fans from having to choose between a street-legal bike that can cruise openroads and highways and an off-road bike than can handle dusty trails and bumpy terrain.

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The Carducci Dual Sport conversion kit enables a Sportster to handle both scenarios with ease. Carducci’s innovative use of Autodesk Digital Prototyping software to design the conversion motorcycle components has earned the company the title of Autodesk October Inventor of the Month.

Carducci initially designed the conversion kit because it was something he was interested in for personal use but when he saw that the marketplace was missing a comparable offering, his new company was born.

“Even as a small business, we were able to afford the entire Product Design Suite, which includes tools that have enabled us to create a really professional-grade product,” said Carducci.

Motorcycles are dynamic machines, so one of the first tasks to creating the kit was getting the geometry of the parts correct so that there would be no vibrations or high-speed oscillations when a converted bike was in motion. Autodesk AutoCAD software allowed Carducci Dual Sport to explore all the geometry up front to get the architecture right.

Next, the company used Autodesk Inventor 3D design software as part of Product Design Suite to digitally prototype the parts within the conversion kit: the arms, forks and clamps that lift up a standard Harley Sportster and give it greater ground clearance and shock absorption. Using the structural analysis tool within Inventor enabled the company to come up with an optimal strength-to-weight ratio for the parts, so that they were lightweight but structurally safe.

Carducci Dual Sport was able to easily send its Inventor files to a locally-based machine shop for manufacturing, while Autodesk Showcase 3D visualization software helped the company create realistic and detailed renderings of the conversion kit for prospective customers.

“When I think of the new industrial revolution, I think about small, nimble companies designing and manufacturing specialized products and we’re definitely a part of that,” said Carducci.

A video of Carducci Dual Sport bikes in action can be seen here on the Autodesk YouTube Channel.

Carducci riding