When Dean Reynolds left his job as a service manager at a machine tool company to set up Milton Keynes-based Reynolds Engineering in 1993 as a repetition turned parts business, little did he know that it would lead to him fulfilling a dream and building the ultimate in track day motorcycles - the DR Moto.
Initially Dean used his experience of repetition turned parts adding in machining centres as the business grew, which it did thanks to a range of customers that included, at the time, the world championship winning Formula One team Honda and before that Stewart Grand Prix. At one point Formula One, and motorsport in general, accounted for an unhealthy 80 per cent of Reynolds Engineering turnover and the demise of the Honda Formula One team brought this home to Dean Reynolds, who was forced into redundancies and selling some machine tools. However, his dogged spirit saw the business restored to rude health through the development of a more general engineering focussed customer base. The business now works for companies across many sectors, including many in the non-destructive testing and gas analysis fields.
Motorsport companies also remain on his customer list and through working with the then Kenny Roberts Moto GP team and through its chief designer Barry Ward, who now runs GPMS Technology a designer of high specification components for racing motorcycles, Reynolds Engineering began manufacturing chassis components to many of the teams competing in the World and British Superbike championships, and the blue riband Moto GP series. “Working with Barry rekindled an idea that I had to create my own MotoGP motorcycle and as we talked it became apparent that this dream could be realised. What we have created is the ultimate in track day bikes that is fully specified to be able to sit on the Moto GP grid without any modifications.,” says Dean Reynolds.
Central to the success of the DR Moto machine is its frame and swinging arm, which have been designed using finite element analysis to ensure optimum stiffness characteristics for short circuit racing with all areas offering adjustments for individual riders and tracks. While many similar frames are fabricated Dean Reynolds took the decision to machine from solid billets of 5083 type-0 grade aluminium, which benefits from good machinability and corrosion resistance and doesn’t require heat treatment after the numerous frame and swing arm components are welded together.
The downside of machining from billet is that the original material for the frame and swingarm weighs in excess of 500 kg, once machined the finished weight is just 15 kg, with machining time for the swingarm alone taking up to 65 hours to complete. Machining these complex forms also brings with it the problem of requiring cutters with extended reach and specific corner radii. It was here that Reynolds Engineering turned to its long-term tooling supplier, WNT (UK) and its range of W-HPC solid carbide cutters. The W-HPC range was specifically developed for the high volume machining of aluminium, but a major advantage in this particular application was the availability, as standard, of five different tool lengths, four of which can be combined with a variety of corner radii, from 0.2 mm through to 4 mm. Cutter diameters range from 2.7 mm through to 25 mm, although those with corner rads are only available from 3 mm diameter.
“The W-HPC range from WNT is perfect for this particular application as we have to machine some deep sections and the cutters are necked out to allow even better reach. The fact that we can order short, standard, long and extra-long cutters with specific corner radii and get them delivered the next morning is a fantastic service and is reflected in the fact that 90 per cent of all the cutters we use now come from WNT. The other positive thing is that our WNT technical sales engineer, Warren, has worked with us for the past 10 years now and we have built up a great understanding and along with the service provided by WNT, knowing that Warren is there if we need expert advice is reassuring. That said we are confident in the accuracy of the cutting data provided in the catalogue and, once we have the machine programmed we can make minor tweaks to the cutting data if required,” says Dean Reynolds.
The potential of the W-HPC cutters used at Reynolds Engineering is being maximised by the use of WNT’s Centro P collet system, which combines high cutter accuracy with impressive clamping forces. Cutter run-out when using Centro P is guaranteed to 3 micron, with each chuck balanced to G 2,5 at 25000 revs/min and U ≤ 1gmm as standard. Clamping forces with Centro P are up to 560 Nm giving the ability to maximise cutting data and metal removal rates. A further feature is the increased capacity for through tool coolant which can be supplied at 150 Bar to remove swarf from the working area extremely efficiently.
So, if high performance motorcycling is your thing the DR Moto may be the answer, but be prepared to invest a minimum of £90,000 for which you get a MotoGP specification machine with a 1000 cc Yamaha crossplane 4 cylinder engine delivering 200 hp at the rear wheel, controlled by a Motec M1 series engine management system with traction control, fly by wire throttle, anti-wheelie system and the option of full GPS track mapping. Gearchanges utilise a clutchless up and down system controlling the Nova Racing close ratio gearbox.
“While I live in hope that a race team will pick up on the bike and run it at Moto GP level, I believe the key market for this bike is as a track day machine. Car enthusiasts think nothing of taking a £250,000 Ferrari on a track day and, many motorcycle enthusiasts spend tens of £1000s on their track day bike, with the DR Moto, they would have the ultimate track day machine straight out of the box,” concludes Dean Reynolds.