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B.Tech. (Mechanical Engineering), 2010
Indian Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi



Guided by


KOLKATA 700032





------------------------------------ --------------------------------------
Thesis Advisor Dr. Sowmaya Sarkar
Dr. Debamalya Banerjee Head of the Department
Department Production Engineering Department Production Engineering

Faculty of Engineering and Technology
Jadavpur University



The foregoing thesis is hereby approved as a creditable study of an

engineering subject carried out and presented in a manner of satisfactory
to warrant its acceptance as a pre-requisite to the degree for which it has
been submitted. It is understood that by this approval, the undersigned do
not necessarily endorse or approve any statement made, opinion
expressed and conclusion drawn therein but approve the thesis only for
the purpose for which it has been submitted.


*Only in case the recommendation is concurred in.


I, hereby declare that this thesis contains literature survey and original research work
by the undersigned candidate, as part of his Master of Production Engineering studies.

All information in this document have been obtained and presented in accordance
with academic rules and ethical conduct.

I also declare that, as required by rules and conduct, I have fulfil cited and referenced
all material and results that are not original to this work.

Name: Lidiya Priyadarsini Korsapati

Examination Roll Number: M4PRD14-08
Class Roll No: 001211702010
University Registration: 121159 of 2012-13





I give all praise and glory to God for blessing me in every way and helping me
complete my work. I would like to express my warmest gratitude for the inspiration,
encouragement and assistance that I received from my esteemed guide Dr.
Debamalaya Banerjee in preparing this thesis. It is because of his patience, support,
encouragement and valuable advices since the very beginning of my work and at
every stage; I was able to keep my direction and perspective of my work together. I
am very much indebted to him and express my sincere gratitude to him for providing
me with the best guidance I could ever ask for.

I also express my deep respect to the faculty of Production Engineering Department,

J. U. I am greatly thankful to them for their constant motivation.

I express my heartiest thanks to my seniors and my all classmates for their

cooperation and support.

I am also thankful to the librarian and technicians of our department for their cordial

Finally, thank you, my beloved parents, brother and my friends as you always stood
by me, have given me unconditional support, caring least about the prevalent

(Lidiya Priyadarsini Korsapati)
Exam Roll No.: M4PRD14-08










1.1 Definition and importance of Ergonomics 1
1.2 Brief history: Biomechanics and Ergonomics 2
1.3 Domains and applications of ergonomics 3
1.4 Ergonomics in the field of design 6
1.4. 1 Common Workplace Postures 8
1.4. 2 Design based on Human Senses and Compatibility 9
1.4. 3 Ergonomics Design Rules 11
1.5 Anthropometry 12
1.5. 1 Range and strength of limb movement 13
1.5. 2 Kinetic Elements and kinetic chains 13
1.5. 3 Anatomical failure points in man-task system 14
1.6 Review of past research 15
1.7 Scope of Present Study 27



2. 1 Motorcycle Design and Classification 28
2. 2 An overview of the biomechanics of the hand 31
2.2. 1 Nomenclature of the hand and its movements 31
2.2. 2 Hand and finger Strength 39
2. 3 Motorcycle as a workstation 41
2. 4 Comparison of motor cycle handle and Moped Handle 43

3. 1 The Handle Design comparison study 49
3. 2 Problem description & methodology for Handle comparison 51
3. 3 Moped design with regard to women riders 55
3. 4 Grip Strength data collection 59

4. 1 The two wheeler handle design comparison 63
4. 2 Moped Handle Design with respect to women riders 63
4. 3 Discussion 64
4. 4 Conclusions 64
4. 5 Summary and Future Scope of Research 65



Many commuters in India prefer a two wheeler to the public transport system
or a four wheeler to wade through the congestion of roads in India. Although, there
has been constant noticeable changes in the design of two wheelers, the improvement
seems to be limited to only certain aspects like fuel economy, aesthetics etc. On the
other hand, certain design aspects which interface human interaction with the vehicle
need to be extremely accurate in order for the vehicle to completely meet its consumer
ends efficiently. Foreign collaboration accelerates improvement by facilitating sharing
and update of knowledge databases. But, when the above mentioned interface design
is done based on a database containing standards which are not relevant to the user
group aimed for, problems arise. . The more dangerous side of these problems is that,
while such vehicles are marketed claiming great design features, both manufacturers
and users get blindsided by the misleading design standards. the present work focuses
on design of handles of two wheelers with respect to their physical compatibility with
the certain population groups. The objective of the present work is to evaluate the
existing design with respect to the corresponding anthropometric measurements of the
riders. I hope that this work helps open different perspective towards two wheeler
design as well as riding.

1.1 Definition and Importance of Ergonomics
Ergonomics is a combination of various disciplines which studies Human
factors and assists in coming up with the best design possible with respect to human
usage. Ergonomics is about designing for people. It helps in designing to better the
human- machine interaction in terms of efficiency, comfort and safety. Although, the
object of any design is to meet quality requirements to the maximum, a work
atmosphere or a machine which interacts with humans directly has to conform to
comfort and safety of the user. In general, a good design is not noticed as much as a
poor one does, because it gives the user no cause to draw attention. The affect of any
interaction may be visible immediately or on the long run. The emphasis within
ergonomics is to ensure that designs complement the strengths and abilities of people
and minimise the effects of their limitations, rather than forcing them to adapt. Thus,
Ergonomics contributes to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products,
environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities
and limitations of people[1]. Ergonomics should be part of the design and
development of a new machine or equipment where there is engagement between the
product and its potential User. In other words, a machine design requires appropriate
interaction with the practice of ergonomics. The fulfilment of the requirements helps
increase the ergonomic comfort and ensures the correct use of the product, while
ensuring the safety of the user. The use of ergonomics also helps to minimize
constraints and human costs, optimizing the performance of the task, the performance
of work and productivity of the man-machine task. The ergonomics applied during the
design phase of a vehicle assures the easy and correct use, without any harm to the
driver. Most machines, especially the most complex, have attributes that make it
difficult to use. These attributes must be systematically identified and measured,
where possible, in terms of requirements for human performance. And the results of
such monitoring should be incorporated into the product design. Thus, ergonomics
help reduce the element of conjecture and increases the level of reliability in design
decisions regarding the consideration of important factors in terms of satisfaction,
safety and welfare of users. Thus one can effectively state that, ergonomics must be

present at all stages of development of a project. Ergonomics must be a part of the
whole design process.
Ergonomics derives from two Greek words: ergon, meaning work, and nomoi,
meaning natural laws, to create a word that means the science of work and a persons
relationship to that work. The International Ergonomics Association has adopted this
technical definition: ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline
concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements
of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to
design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.
1.2 Brief history : Biomechanics and ergonomics
Biomechanics is the discipline dedicated to the study of the living body as a
structure which can function properly only within the confines of both the laws of
Newtonian Mechanics as well as biological laws of life. The mechanics of
locomotion of many animals were researched in depth. In history, researchers had
mentioned that the first and most potent is the harmful character of the materials that
they handle, noxious vapours and very fine particles, inimical to human beings while
the second cause was believed to be certain violent and irregular motions and
unnatural postures of the body, by reason of which the natural structure of the living
machine is so impaired that serious diseases gradually develop from them. Since early
studies on physics of the muscle and their motions, positive and aggressive steps were
taken to develop various fields of scientific endeavour with regard to occupational
safety and health. The events of World War II and their social and economic after
effects lead to the strengthening of a number of fine subjects and unifying them into a
generally accepted independent discipline dedicated to the academics as well as the
applied study of a man at work, Ergonomics. In addition, the Ergonomics Research
Society was founded in England. Post-war years also saw a great deal of growing
interest in Ergonomics in the European countries where, as a matter of economic
survival, consumer goods industries had to be rebuilt fast. Till then workers were
generally undernourished and worn out from years of struggle and many of them
were physically handicapped. Thus, Ergonomics was most importantly applied to
overcome the serious and general problems involved in fitting jobs to the physical
and behavioural operating characteristics of individual workers. This involved a
broader study of the relationship between man and his environment, the design of
equipment and particularly the application of anatomical, physiological and

psychological knowledge to solution of problems arising from equipment and
environment. This new systems approach to problems common to occupational safety
and health as well as industrial efficiency required new and deeper understanding of
the mechanics of the living body at work. Thus Occupational Biomechanics was
added as a new tributary to the pool of general knowledge essential to the
understanding of the complex mechanisms of interaction between the worker and the
workplace environment. In other words, Occupational Biomechanics can be named as
sub discipline of ergonomics which can be applied by professionals active in health as
well as technological sciences for the purpose of achieving maximal physiological
and emotional well-being of the operator, while enhancing the productivity and
efficiency of the whole operation. Another important by-product of working
environment efficiency is Comfort.
Application of ergonomics in any field can be categorized into two types. One is
applying the principle on an existing work space in order to make it more
comfortable, safe and efficient. And the second is to design an item or a work space
with regard to the ergonomics of the user to begin with. In the present day, the second
option is becoming more prominent. The two steps in accomplishing a man-machine
interface are as follows
a) Make the Man Fit the Job
b) Make Job Fit the Man (or Woman)
Load Regulation
1.3 Domains and Applications of ergonomics.
The four domains of ergonomics are as follows [1]
1) Hardware Ergonomics: the Human machine interface deals with:
Control design and location parameters and functional aspects for
communication and easy operation
Visual displays, codes, scales and markings. Anatomical and
anthropometric (static & dynamic) mach establishment

Working posture, body supportive devices match along with context
ftit and workstation
Range of body movement characteristics and thus limitations of man.
2) Environmental Ergonomics: Human environment interface in regard with
human capabilities and limitations with respect to various situations are as
Ventilation and pollutants
Heat stress and Humidity
Illumination, glare etc.
Psychophysical quantification of sound level.
Vibration full or partial, self and/ or work items
3) Cognitive Ergonomics:
Human perception and information processing to reduce error, and
improve functional reliability and safety
Cognitive task analysis, qualitative and quantitative perspective to
human system reliability analysis
Users behavioral demands in designing consumer products.
Stimuli and effect reaction
Influence of cognitive demands and performance
User-centered interface computer simulation
Effect of psychological stressors on human performance etc.
4) Macro Ergonomics: It deals with application of ergonomic principles in organized
sectors for better productivity and safe operation, office and corporate ergonomics
and its cost effectiveness
Workstation design
Work process design
Work organization
Shift work
Manual lifting methods
Job design and work methods Management of occupation related
stress, safety and health hazard
Multiple Workplaces and workspace
Machine and tool design for multitude of functions

Design of public places
Envelope of postural orientations
Biomechanical efficiency assumptions
Risk and system safety
Ergonomics being all about mans interaction with a machine or a work space, it
is applicable to every sphere of his life. Most common applications are in design,
occupational health, and management aiming at efficient consumption of resources.
A multidisciplinary, scientific approach is required for various studies with respect
to physical, physiological and psycho-sociological capabilities of people. Besides, it
includes evaluation of facilities, environment, training methods, jobs and equipment
to check for the compatibility with the users. Thus, ergonomics has a vast area of
applications. A few examples of how ergonomics blends into the corresponding
departments of various fields are as follows
R&D sections for Industrial design activities
A section of Industrial Engineering which develops the plant layout aiming to
optimize the arrangement of individual components in workspaces in order to
improve performance links in shop floor design.
Industrial hygiene & safety and occupational health departments maintain the
work environment and work methods to eliminate the causes of health
problems and safety hazards that result from a faulty design use.
Sociologists, as well as anthropologists deal with cultural and sociological
relevance of design.
Behavioral sciences and industrial psychology are concerned with improving
the design features to enhance motivation, satisfaction and the product usage
attitudes by the users of different types of backgrounds.
Applications of ergonomics are mostly in the following fields
i) Occupational stress, health hazards and safety.
ii) Management
iii) Design

1.4 Ergonomics in the field of design
Ergonomics should be part of the design and development of a new machine
or equipment where there is engagement between the product and its potential User.
In other words, a machine design requires appropriate interaction with the practice of
ergonomics. The fulfillment of the requirements helps to increase ergonomic comfort
and ensure the correct use of the product, while ensuring the security of User. The use
of ergonomics also helps to minimize constraints and human costs, optimizing the
performance of the task, the performance of work and productivity of the man-
machine task. For example, the ergonomics applied during the design phase of this
door assures the easy and correct use, without any harm to the driver.Most machines,
especially the most complex, have attributes that make it difficult to use. These
attributes must be systematically identified and measured, where possible, in terms of
requirements for human performance. And the results of such monitoring should be
incorporated into the product design. Thus, ergonomics help reduce the element of
conjecture and increases the level of reliability in design decisions regarding the
consideration of important factors in terms of satisfaction, safety and welfare of users.
For all that, ergonomics must be present at all stages of development of a
project. Briefly, one must emphasize the understanding and the contribution of
ergonomics to the management of the design. Ergonomics needs to be a part of the
whole design process. But, this contrasts with the performance of some market
professionals who see ergonomics as something separated from the central process of
design. This also implies the acceptance that the responsibility for design decisions
should be divided among the various experts who participated in the work and the
decisions should take into account all aspects involving the product and its potential
usersIn contrast, the present scenario, especially when Indian market is considered a
major fraction of market professionals see ergonomics as something separated from
the central process of design. It is essential that the design decisions should be divided
among the various experts who participated in the work and the decisions should take
into account all aspects involving the product and its potential users. In short, the
understanding of ergonomics and its contribution to the management of the design
needs to be emphasized.
When it comes to the types of population groups, the equipment suitable for
women workers might be easier for men workers as the ergonomical characteristics

like strength; aerobic capacity and anthropometry of women are different from men.
Thus, the use of separate male and female population data is a conservative approach
that results in more inclusive design dimensions than the same percentiles would from
a composite population. A part of the present study focuses on suitability of the
current design of two wheelers for women riders in terms of their physical
capabilities. Anthropometric data should be appropriately used in ergonomic design to
specify the physical dimensions of workstations, as well as should be applied to new
product development. The integrated applications of aesthetic techniques and
anthropometric data are critical factors for industrial designers to develop a satisfying
product. Since motorcycles are regarded as a popular and most convenient form of
transport in India and also considered a constrained workstation, some ergonomic
problems should be taken into consideration when designing one. From the viewpoint
of physiology, a rider is performing a monotonous task at a nearly static posture
affected by various physical parameters including eyesight, noise, vibration, and
climate factors, so that he/she must pay more attention to keep riding safely. In
addition to safety requirements, riding comfort regarded as a qualitative aspect of
ergonomics is one of the important issues for designing a satisfying two-wheeled
vehicle. Comfort is associated with a relaxed and less stressful situation where it is
not necessary to think or concentrate on the task. Given the constrained nature a
workstation, comfort is relevant to the physical fit and posture of a rider. It can be
analyzed by proper anthropometric measurement of the population of riders. Riding
posture is more relevant to riders stature, which is one of the important ergonomic
problems in anthropometry as well as an important consideration in the design of two-
wheeled vehicles. In addition to the aesthetic application of golden section proportion,
anthropometric data should be appropriately used in ergonomic design to specify the
physical dimension This study was undertaken to provide an indication of the physical
dimensions of motorcycle riders which are relevant to the design of motorcycles and
in particular of features of the riding package, such as fairings or crash protective
devices which depend on the relative locations of various parts of the rider for their
effectiveness. The motorcycle presents an interesting problem to ergonomists in that it
is a constrained workstation in which there is very limited available adjustment to suit
the different needs of riders.

1.4.1 Common Workplace Postures
There are common postures found in the office environment that can be
considered when designing workplace products or space. This section reviews
guidelines for these postures:

Fig 1.1 An example of ergonomic analysis of Sitting posture

1.4.2 Design based on Human Senses and Compatibility
Of the five human senses, three are used to convey information to the user,
namely seeing, hearing and feeling. The other two, smelling and tasting, are for several
reasons not considered apt to be applied in human machine interfaces. The most
important sense is the visual sense. About 80% of the incoming information is received
by the eye. The auditory sense is of a similar importance, it is better suited for certain
information and warnings. Haptic interactions complete the human-machine-interface in
a modern car.
Visual Design
The aspects of visual design and ergonomics are very versatile. The vision during
night, the vision conditions limited by different window designs, the ability to identify
the instruments and the vision through mirrors are main topics when designing the
interior. For example the vision conditions to the front, the rear and the sides were very
bad in the cars of the early 20th century. The panorama windows of the 1960s produced
ideal proportions for looking out of the car, and later developments foiled this
development with the need to integrate a number of safety functions.
Acoustical Design
Auditory signals can convey information. Such signals can intentionally be used
to improve human-machine interaction when designing a product. Cars are one of the
most interesting products auditory signals are used in. In the last decades the majority of
the in-car auditory signals were very similar: easy sinusoidal signals with rectangular
envelopes. They do not have a meaning or a character to recognize. Only a few signals of
very new models have an instrumental timbre which is more pleasant. However, none of
the existing signals convey information. The consequences of good or bad designs can be
very far reaching,e.g. the drivers can be frightened or the signals could cause confusion.
According to experiences with medical equipment and robotic systems, this can be
improved in the future. New improving technologies like modern sound-processing
digital signal processors (DSPs) or flash memory are upcoming possibilities to transmit
data to the user. With an increasing number of driving assistant systems the need for
signals that inform the driver is growing. These signals have to be different to allow them
to be connected to a single event. The timbre of the signals should be appealing. Two

groups of signals can be distinguished: warning signals and informational signals. Those
signals can improve a human machine interface when conveying information and have an
esthetical quality. Considering established design methodologies, the creation of the
signals should be structured and methodical. Therefore, main elements are the meaning of
a signal, which should be recognizable auditory, and the urgency, which should be
determined in detail. The frequency of the signals defines other acoustical parameters, as
well as the form of modulation (none, repeated, repeatedly changing). The other main
aspect of a sound signal is the aesthetic shape of the sound. More research has to be done
for the informational as well as the warning signals. The warning signals must be
determined through specific instructions for how to form the signals, containing signal
levels, frequencies, envelopes, signal to-noise-ratios and influences on other acoustical
systems like navigation or radio. For the second group a methodically structured
handbook, which the designer or engineer can use to create such signals, has to be
developed. Questions regarding the frequency of use, the length of the signals, interaction
with other auditory systems or the use of modulated signals have to be answered.
Possibilities to group a higher quantity of signals or how to code the urgency are
problems not yet solved either.
Haptic Design
The third sense applied in human machine interfaces is the haptic, more
specifically the tactile sense of the skin. The human tactile sense can deliver information
on pressure and vibration of objects in contact with the skin. Although this type of
sensory input is processed very fast, it is still rarely used in the automobile setting. Some
modern systems use vibrating seats or steering wheels to inform the driver if he
unintentionally leaves his lane (Lane Departure Warning).Apart from receiving
information from in-car systems, the tactile sense contributes strongly to the quality
perception of the car. This is valid for the exterior (design of surfaces, gaps) and the
interior (design of actuators like control wheels and buttons). It is important to pay
consideration to the design of all elements the driver touches or uses to interact with the
car. Modern cars commonly have a reduced number of actuators due to the integration of
different systems into one user interface. Therefore, this reduced number of actuators
gains significance in respect to the drivers perception of the car and needs a more refined

design than before. Research has shown that force-deflexion-diagrams of rotator
actuators only partly describe their haptic perception and that the integral of the torque
over the rotational angle strongly correlates with the haptic perception of actuators like
the turning wheel in the BMW 7 series.
Body size and ability
The geometry of a product/ workspace and user's body dimensions (Assorted
human body shape, size, anatomy, biomechanics and movement, and growth pattern)
while operating must fit each other to ensure safety as well as better functioning.
1.4.3 Ergonomic Design rules
Biman et al. 1996 [2] discussed a systematic approach in a workplace design. The
following table gives a brief outline of their conclusions.
i) Obtain relevant information on the task performance, equipment, working
posture and environment through direct observation, video recording
and/or input from experienced personnel
ii) Identify the appropriate user population and obtain the relevant
anthropometric measurements or use the available statistical data from
anthropometric surveys
iii) Determine the range of work height based on the type of work to be
performed. Provide an adjustable chair and a foot rest for a seated operator
and an adjustable work surface or platform for a standing operator
iv) Layout the frequently used hand tools, control and bins within the normal
reach space. Failing that, they may be placed within the maximum reach
space. Locate control or handle in the most advantageous position, if
strength is required to operate it
v) Provide adequate elbow room and clearance at waist level for free
vi) Locate the displays within the normal line of sight
vii) Consider the material and information flow requirements from other
functional units or employees
viii) Make a scaled layout drawing of the proposed workstation to check the
placement of individual components

ix) Develop a mock-up of the design and conduct trials with live subjects to
ascertain operator-workstation fit. Obtain feedback from the interest
x) Construct a prototype workstation based on the final design
1.5 Anthropometry
Anthropometry is the scientific measurement and collection of data about human
physical characteristics and the application (engineering anthropometry) of these data in
the design and evaluation of systems, equipment, manufactured products, human
environments, and facilities. Cockpits, air traffic control work stations, maintenance,
passengers, and other crew stations. In most cases anthropometry is concerned with the
measurement of relationships between visible anatomical surface landmarks. In industrial
practice, most data are obtained by direct calliper measurement. The data gathered are
statistically evaluated and made representative of the range of body measurements
typical for the working population under study. Due consideration should be given to the
substantial differences in body dimensions as well as skeletal geometry of movement
between males and females. Anthropometric data should be appropriately used in
ergonomic design to specify the physical dimensions of workstations, as well as should
be applied to new product development. There are two basic types of Anthropometry.
They are
i) Functional Anthropometry which considers human capabilities to
perform a function. E.g., reaching to grasp an object.
ii) Static Anthropometry which considers the dimensions of human body.
E.g., length of a persons forearm.
The use of anthropometry in any field is done is the following steps
Measuring the Human Size on should be
Determining Workplace Locations
Verifying Required Forces and Physical Loads

1.5.1 Range and strength of limb movement
The absolute range of limb movement is limited by the mechanical configuration
of the joints. For example, it is impossible to extend the angle between fore arm beyond
180o. Likewise, the location of the point of insertion of the brachialis tendon into the ulna
makes it impossible to flex the joint to an angle of less than 15o. This results in a total
range of 165o. In practice, however, not the total but only the effective range of
movement is of significance during an operation. This can be understood be comparing
muscles to extension springs. A spring can exert no force when fully contracted and exert
maximal force when fully extended. Between these two states, potential force varies
linearly as a degree of extension. The application of this idea gets more complex in
practice, because the mechanical advantage of a system varies with the degree of joint
flexion. Mechanical Advantage is defined as the ratio of the weight of the actual load
raised to the force input required to perform. The mechanical advantage with which the
potential force of the muscle can be applied does not vary linearly, but changes in
proportion to the sine of the angle between the bony elements of the lever system. This
results in a narrow angular range within which limb movement is strong as well as
precise and outside of which not only effectiveness of motion decreases, but individual
differences increase to such an extent that performance becomes virtually unpredictable.
Some of the compilations useful in estimating range and strength of limb movement for a
given work situation are available in tabular form. Most anthropometric reference works
were developed as aids in the design of specialized man task systems such as the
operation of motor vehicles, or military aircraft etc. The information needs modification
to a degree in order to be applicable for generalized work situations. For the application
of these data to a specialized working population, it needs to be reduced to the effective
range for a specific task. This reduction or modification can be done with the help of an
anatomical atlas or for better results an articulated plastic skeleton.
1.5.2 Kinetic Elements and Kinetic Chains:
The functional aggregate of all anatomical structures involved in producing a
simple movement of a joint about one of its axes is called kinetic element. The basic
structure of each kinetic element is a lever system consisting of at least two bones
connected by a joint. The levers are moved by the contraction of muscles are arranged to

oppose each other. The action muscle is termed protagonist and the oppose,
antagonist. Contraction occurs in response to stimuli from the specific nerve supplying
each muscle. A kinetic chain consists of a number of serially interacting kinetic elements
reacting to inputs and feedbacks perceived from within and without the body by sensory
organs connected with the kinetic element in such a manner as to form a cybernetic, or
self-regulating system. The first bio-mechanical evaluation of a workplace is normally
the identification of the kinetic chain which links sensory inputs or feedbacks from the
workplace with the muscular output required to perform a specific task. To enumerate all
anatomical structures of a kinetic chain is not only cumbersome, but often unnecessary.
Therefore, in work environment the description of a kinetic chain includes only major
sensory organs and key kinetic elements. And only the simplest and most basic of all
motions such as reflex reactions, involve only one kinetic element. Correct identification
of the kinetic chain permits the spotting, often the elimination, of potential anatomical
failure points in a man-task system.
1.5.3 Anatomical failure points in man-task systems
An anatomical failure refers to a situation where a kinetic chain is structurally
overstressed making it impossible for the operator to perform the task without impairing
his/ her emotional or physiological well being. The kinetic element under consideration
becomes an actual or potential anatomical failure point. The principle of work
simplification and other work measurement and design techniques recognize five
different classifications of motion. They are
i) Finger;
ii) Fingers and wrists;
iii) Fingers, wrists and forearm;
iv) Fingers, wrists, forearm and upper arm; and
v) All of the above (1 to 4) plus a body motion or a change of posture.
In addition, it was concluded that required motions should be performed within
the lowest classification possible. Any motion beyond the maximum for 4th class should
be avoided if at all possible. The shorter the motion, the less time and effort it will take to
perform it. This approach has been proven to be quite important in the case of two
wheelers, the object of the present study.

A kinetic element is a potential failure point when:
i) The degrees of freedom of movement required exceed those available from the
lever system employed
ii) The lever system has to perform for extended periods of time at mechanical
disadvantage or under conditions of high stress concentration at the joint surfaces;
iii) The muscles employed are too small to maintain performance for prolonged
intervals of time;
iv) The blood supply to the muscles in impaired; and
v) Sensory feedback is defective or equivocal.
1.6 Review of Past research
Ole Broberg (1997)[3] performed a case study in a large company producing
electro-mechanical products for industrial application. The study elucidated conditions
and strategies for integrating ergonomics into the product development process thereby
preventing ergonomic problems at the time of manufacture of new products.
Narelle Skepper et al.(2000) [4] investigated the use of ergonomics information in
an engineering design company's design process. They Interviewed engineers and
designers in the company to establish their knowledge of the design process and use of
ergonomics in design. Several of the company's installed designs were also evaluated to
identify if the end product of the design process met ergonomics best practice. They
found that the engineers and designers had poor knowledge of both the formal design
processes in use in their company and how to apply ergonomics principles. The installed
designs revealed several serious ergonomics problems that could impact on the operators'
ability to work.
Eberhard Haug et al. (2001) [5] presented a short overview on the emerging ESI
Group comfort and ergonomics models of the human body, that are developed to study
the activation levels of the skeletal muscles, needed to sustain various load conditions.
They presented examples to indicate the wide spectrum of potential fields of application.
They developed a numerical model used to calculate the skeletal muscle forces.
Robin S. Sharp et al. (2001) [6] used Auto Sim, an automated model building
platform for modelling the dynamics of motorcycle. This code was used to generate a

variety of linear and nonlinear models in symbolic form. The relatively complex
geometry of the steering system and the front tyre force system is discussed in detail and
a new method of checking the self-consistency of the model is described and exploited.
Sample results in the form of root-locus plots for small perturbations from straight
running and cornering equilibrium states are presented. These are used to reproduce
important findings from the literature.
R.S. Sharp et al. (2004) [7]. Developed a new model for steady turning, stability,
design parameter sensitivity and response to road forcing calculations. Their results
showed the predictions of the model to be in general agreement with observations of
motorcycle behaviour from the field and they suggest that frame flexibility remains an
important design and analysis area, despite improvements in frame designs over recent
years. Motorcycle rider parameters have significant influences on the behaviour, with
results consistent with a commonly held view, that lightweight riders are more likely to
suffer oscillation problems than heavyweight ones.
David ONeill(2005) [8] presented his personal experiences of practicing
ergonomics in industrially developing countries (IDCs), particularly in the rural sector
and within the remit of Development Aid Programs. Some key differences between IDCs
and industrially advanced countries (IACs) were outlined and their relevance to
ergonomics was indicated. Examples of both indigenously and exogenously generated
ergonomics research and development projects in IDCs were given. Analysis of these
projects indicated a considerable overlap between ergonomics and occupational health
and the issues that raises were discussed some projects, clearly requiring an ergonomics
input have not involved a qualified ergonomist in the project team. As a subject,
ergonomics fits in well with the sustainable livelihood approach and is well suited to the
participatory processes needed to identify appropriate interventions for the alleviation of
poverty. The paper concluded that ergonomics has more to offer IDCs that is currently
being taken up, and that ergonomists may need to become more involved with
occupational health initiatives in IDCs.
Ren G. Dong et al.(2005)[9] developed a method to estimate the average
absorption density in the fingers and to investigate its basic characteristics. Ten healthy
male subjects were used in this study. The biodynamic response of the fingers in a power

grip subjected to a broad-band random excitation was measured under three grip forces
(15, 30, 50 N) and three push forces (35, 45, 50 N). The response was used to estimate
the total finger energy absorption. The response, together with the finger volume, was
also used to estimate the amount of tissue effectively involved in the absorption. Then,
the average vibration power absorption density (VPAD) under constant-acceleration,
constant-power density, constant-velocity vibration spectra, and 20 tool vibration spectra
were calculated. The correlations between the VPAD and the unweighted and weighted
accelerations (ISO 5349-1, 2001) were also examined. The VPAD depends on both the
characteristics of the vibration spectrum and the biodynamic response of the finger-hand-
arm system. The biodynamic response generally plays a more important role in
determining the VPAD in the middle frequency range 31.5 to 400 Hz_ than those at the
low and high ends. The applied force significantly affected the VPAD. The finger VPAD
was highly correlated to the unweighted acceleration. The average VPAD can be
determined using the proposed experimental method. It can serve as an alternative tool to
quantify the severity of the vibration exposure for studying vibration-induced finger
Jyh-Rong et al. (2005) [10] described the product design and prototype making of
an electric scooter is described, which was the outcome of a collaborative project for new
product development. The final product was satisfactory, and was designed according to
the aesthetic principle of golden section proportion, and subsequently outer housings
were produced with fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) by hand lay-up process. Not only the
product appearance was created, but a prototype of anelectric scooter was also built using
various traditional modeling and engineering techniques.
Monica Carfagni et al. (2007)[11]developed a numerical tool (CAD/FEM) to
assist the designer willing to take comfort into account as a primary requirement for
saddle design. This paper briefly illustrates the basic steps of the methodology. They
obtained a set of parametric CAD models of both saddle and rider and simulated the
contact occurring between these components by means of a FE solver, thereby obtaining
a comfort level estimate. The results, validated by a set of experimental tests, can be used
both to evaluate the comfort level of an existing saddle and to improve the saddle design.
The work demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed approach, capable of providing

useful hints for a comfort-oriented design, already from the early stage of stylistic design
of motorcycle saddles and, possibly, of other products.
K.A. Ward et al. (2007) [12] studied and documented the ethnic variation in areal
bone mineral density (BMD). They compared bone geometry, mineral content (BMC)
and BMD in two ethnic groups, and study the influence of body size, physical activity,
reproductive variables, 25 hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) and parathormone (PTH) status
on any observed differences. The data were from a population-based, cross-sectional
survey of peak bone mass in South Asian and European women, the population consisted
230 pre-menopausal South Asian (n=118, mean age 28.64.6 years) and European
(n=112, mean age 304.3 years) women of UK origin. Women who participated
completed an interviewer assisted questionnaire, had blood taken for assessment. The
study concluded that, there are differences in bone geometry, BMC and BMD at the
radial diaphysis between UK South Asians and Europeans which are not explained by
differences in body size. Polar stress-strain index was similar, suggesting no important
differences in bone strength.
Hsien-Chung Lai et al. (2003) [13] analyzed and simulated the stability and the
perception of riding comfort of the ridermotorcycle system in different riding conditions
and parameter designs considering the rider upper body lean control system as the only
control action. The equations of lateral motion of an electrical motorcycle, which
includes the rider upper body leaning motion, were derived first from Newton mechanics.
By the analysis, it was found that the tendency of the stability is the same under the
straight-line and the cornering motions, but shows significant differences for different
design parameters of the electrical motorcycle. They discussed the effect on the
perception of riding comfort issue for changing mass centre position, total weight of the
motorcycle, the wheelbase, the front fork rake angle and the front wheel trail distance of
the motorcycle. On the premise of the stability, we use the maximum damping ratio to
represent the riding response of the motorcycle to find the best perception of riding
comfort. Their results suggested, the mass center be moved forward, the wheelbase be
shortened, the front fork rake angle be steepened and the front wheel trail distance be
shortened for the current design of electrical motorcycles in the market o achieve a better
perception of riding comfort.

Matteo Corno et al. (2008) [14] discussed the optimal braking strategy in a high-
performance motorbike. Their study highlighted the role of aerodynamics and focused on
how to select and modify the control objective during. They analyzed the individual roles
played by the front and rear brakes. Lastly, they studied the damping ratio of the front
suspension and proposed a policy for semi-active control during braking.
J.P. Frederik Diederichs et al.(2009)[15] designed a system named the
SAFERIDER (Advanced telematics for enhancing the safety and comfort of motorcycle
riders) project outline and focuses on the new HMI (Human- Machine Interface) concept
and haptic interface devices that are developed within the project. SAFERIDER was a 3-
year research project, launched in January 2008, funded by the 7th Framework-
Programme of the European Commission under the DG Information Society & Media.
The SAFERIDER consortium is a group of 20 partners from industry, organizations,
research institutes and universities scattered in Europe. It aimed to study the potential of
ADAS (consequently called ARAS Advanced Rider Assistance Systems) and IVIS
integration in PTW and develop an efficient and rider friendly HMI concept and new
HMI elements for riders comfort and safety. The SAFERIDER approach followed a
methodology based on 8 development phases and would enter phase 4 of the process
following the paper. Based on the assumption that visual information is inappropriate for
PTW riders the SAFERIDER HMI was based mainly on haptic HMI elements which
were presented in the paper and was to be accompanied by visual and acoustic stimuli in
order to achieve a multimodal and organic information message that is able to be more
user friendly.
Mau-Roung Lin et al. (2009) [16] reviewed the some injury patterns in the case
motorcycle riders and categorized some risk factors. They shed some light on various
modifiable protective or risk factors comprise in experience and driver training,
conspicuity and daytime headlight laws, motorcycle licensure and ownership, riding
speed, and risk-taking behaviors. They also discussed features of motorcycle use and
potentially effective prevention programs for motorcycle crash injuries in developing
countries and made some recommendations for future motorcycle-injury research.
M. Marina et al. (2009) [17] studied the fatigue in the right hand flexors
considering ten adult riders, aged 32.5 5.5 years. During the 24 h race each rider, on

completion of a relay stage, visited the assessment box to do the following handgrip test
sequence: (1) 10 s of EMG recording at rest, (2) one 3-s maximal voluntary contraction
(MVC), (3) 1 min rest interval and (4) 50% MVC maintained during 10 s. EMG
amplitude (MP: lV) and median and mean frequency (MF and MPF: Hz) over the
superficial finger flexors were recorded during the whole handgrip test sequence with
adhesive surface electrodes. MVC values were maintained during the first two relays
(5060 min duration in total) and dropped gradually thereafter (p < 0.01). During the
monitoring of the 50% MVC, mean amplitude increased (p = 0.024) while median and
mean frequency tended to decrease. These results suggest fatigue is produced in
motorcycle riders in a 24 h race. Owing to a large variability in the data, the expected
reduction of EMG frequency was not confirmed.
Alessandro Fasana et al. (2010) [18] investigated the possibility of designing a
vibration absorber tuned to the frequency of maximum discomfort for the biker. They
described the guidelines for designing of an absorber based on the shear deformation of
visco elastic materials. The concept of dynamical absorber was briefly summarized and a
frequency response function was expressed as the ratio of vibration amplitudes
(transmissibility). Some practical hints on the tuning strategy were also suggested in
order to correctly define the absorber and then achieve the most effective vibration
reduction. They designed a model based on damping properties of visco-elastic material
undergoing shear deformations. An experimental verification of the performances of the
absorber was given on the basis of both a modal analysis of a motorbike and the testing
of its handle on an electro dynamical shaker.
Ole Broberg et al. (2011) [19] introduced the concept of boundary objects in order
to better understand the role of objects in participatory ergonomics (PE) design processes.
Based on two case studies, they identified eight characteristics of boundary objects and
their use, which make them particularly useful in PE design processes. They insisted that
the selection of boundary objects in PE processes is of great importance, since different
objects enable workers participation and collaborative design in different ways. The
framework developed in the study may serve to provide criteria to guide practitioners and
intervention researchers in the selection of objects to facilitate a PE process. They made a
list of recommendations for ergonomic practitioners that are based on the framework.

S.P. Singh et al. (2012) [20] developed a hand operated maize dehuskeresheller to
be operated by farm women using ergonomics. The key terms of their study were
anthropometric, strength and physiological workload. Axial-flow maize dehuskeresheller
with 540 mm cylinder length and 380 mm diameter required 3.03 N-m torque on cylinder
shaft while operating at 5.6 m s1 peripheral speed and 100 kg/h feed rate by feeding cob
one by one. This torque was 30% of isometric torque obtained at front position of handle
(greatest distance) with lowest crank length. The heart rate of subject while operating the
maize dehuskeresheller at 54 rpm (5.6 m /s) was 142 beats per min. The output of 60 kg/h
was obtained at the feed rate of 80 kg /h. Two subjects can operate the machine for an
hour with a rest pause of 15 min by swapping the operation.
Patrick Seiniger et al. (2012) [21] discussed the prominence of motorcycle
stability control systems in maintaining balance of a two wheeler. They emphasized on
the further development, evolution and optimization of Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABSs)
and Traction Control Systems (TCS) and suggested that Anti- Lock Brake systems
(ABCs) should be mandatory on powered two wheelers.
N. Haworth (2012) [22] discussed in his paper, the challenges and opportunities
involved in the field of powered two wheelers or motorcycles. He presented a detailed
overview of PTW diverse styles, their uses and operating environments. He described
various challenges with respect to the riders, other road users and the road environment in
terms of safety. He strongly suggested that necessity of proper implementation of the
known knowledge while pressing on to study in depth about PTW.
S. Agostoni et al. (2012) [23] studied the design of a footplate, and developed a
footplate model modifying the geometry to minimize a nodal displacement of the footrest
beam bending. They used numerical and experimental procedures to indentify local
vibration modes of the surrounding components in order to detect the characteristics of
all the excitation resonances caused in the chassis. The proposed model of the footplate is
compared against the existing model by placing the vehicle on the test bench simulating
real work conditions.
Zanetti, E.M., et al. (2013) [24] analyzed blunt abdominal trauma produced by
driverhandlebar collision, in low speed two-wheeler accidents. They developed a
dynamic model, by estimating the parameters the based on cadaver tests, in order to

calculate the peak impact force and the abdominal penetration depth; therefore the
likelihood of occurrence of serious injuries can be estimated for different masses of
contacting bodies and different speeds.
Samuel Aupetit et al. (2013) [25] attempted to describe the real educational
content of training in motorcycle schools and analyze to what extent this content was
related to riding after licensing with the help of a case study of all the training process of
one trainee (38 hours) was carried out in real world. They collected audiovisual
recordings and interview data of the rider and instructors at each session. This study was
supplemented by ethnographic observations of the educational content provided in three
motorcycle schools throughout the instructors working days. The results that merged
from both studies showed (1) the riding skills that were fostered (i.e. control skills, and
especially emergency skills, in stable and restricted environments) and undervalued (i.e.
hazard perception skills, everyday skills) during initial training, and (2) the poverty of
observed training settings: learners spend almost all their training time riding in the same
setting that is used in the test. In addition to being repeated to excess, these settings are
quite different from the real traffic. They discussed the results with respect to the
scientific literature and recommended a public policy in order to design a future rider
training system.
F. Cheli et al. (2013) [26]proposed an innovative vision based system able to
measure the six degrees of freedom of the driver with respect to the vehicle. The core of
the proposed approach was an image acquisition and processing technique capable of
reconstructing the position and orientation of a target fixed on the riders back. The
presented results showed the capability of the technique to correctly describe the drivers
dynamics, his interaction with the vehicle as well as the possibility to use the new
measuring technique in the comparison of different driving styles.
Aurlie Moskal et al. [27] studied and attempted to quantify the effect of factors
related to the riders of powered two-wheelers on the risk of injury accident involvement.
They conducted case- control study based on national data held by the police from 1996
to 2005 with responsibility for the accident as the event of interest and estimated the odds
ratios for accident responsibility. Categorizing all the riders as non-responsible for the
accidents, they identified risk factors for being responsible for injury accidents. The

studied factors were age, gender, helmet wearing, alcohol consumption, validity of the
subjects driving licence and for how long it had been held, the trip purpose and the
presence of a passenger on the vehicle. Moped and motorcycle riders were analyzed
separately, adjusting for the main characteristics of the accident. The results showed that,
for both moped and motorcycle riders, being male, not wearing a helmet, exceeding the
legal limit for alcohol and travelling for leisure purposes increased the risk of accident
involvement. The youngest and oldest users had a greater risk of accident involvement.
Among motorcycle users, riders without a licence had twice the risk of being involved in
an accident than those holding a valid licence. The number of years the rider had held a
licence reduced the risk of accident involvement. One difference between moped and
motorcycle riders involved the presence of a passenger on the vehicle: while carrying a
passenger increased the risk of being responsible for the accident among moped riders, it
protected against this risk among motorcycle riders. In conclusion, they identified the
major factors contributing to excess risk of injury accidents, some of which could be
targeted by prevention programmes.
R. Miralbes (2013) [28] developed a design methodology, based on the use of
finite elements numerical tools and dummies in order to study the damages and injuries
that appear during a motorcyclist collision against a motorcyclist protection system
(MPS). For the study, a Hybrid III dummy FEM model was used as a starting point and
some modifications were included. A new finite element helmet model was developed
and later added to the dummy model. Some structural elements affecting the simulation
results such as the connecting bolts or the ground were adequately modelled. Finally,
various types of motorcyclists protection systems were analyzed in order to perform a
comparative numerical-experiment study to validate the numerical results and
methodology of the developed model.
Ioannis Symeonidis et al. (2012) [29] conducted experiments with volunteers to
find out effect of autonomous braking for motorcycles on the stability of the rider in
comparison to manual braking. The motorcycles braking conditions were simulated in a
laboratory with a motorcycle mock-up mounted on a sled. The motion of the rider was
captured in autonomous braking scenarios with and without pre-warning as well as in
manual braking scenarios. No significant differences between the scenarios were found

with respect to maximum forward displacement of the volunteers torso and head. By
performing clustering analysis on two kinematic parameters, two different strategies of
the volunteers were identified. They were not related to the braking scenarios. A relation
of the clusters with the initial posture represented by the elbow angle was revealed (p <
0.05). They concluded that autonomous braking at low deceleration would not cause
significant instabilities of the rider in comparison to manual braking in idealized
laboratory conditions. Further research into the development and implementation of
autonomous braking systems for PTWs was recommended.
Matthew Millard et al. (2012) [30] studied the link between foot placement and
balance restoration using a simplified mono pedal model that has a circular foot, coined
the Euler pendulum. The Euler pendulum provides a convenient method of studying the
stability properties of three-dimensional (3D) bipedal systems without the burden of large
system equations typical of multibody systems. The Euler pendulum has unstable regions
of its state-space that can be made to transition to a statically stable region using an
appropriate foot placement location prior to contacting the ground. The planar foot
placement estimator (FPE) method developed by Wight et al. is extended in this work in
order to find foot placement locations in 3D to balance the 3D Euler pendulum.
Preliminary experimental data shows that the 3D foot placement estimator (3DFPE)
location corresponds very well with human foot placement during walking, gait
termination, and when landing from a jump.
J. Y. Kim et al. (2013) [31] considered driver EEG activities free of vehicle
engine secondary vibration in order to develop a method that analyzes the driving
workload with high statistical reliability. By using the analytical method developed in
their study, standard values of driving workload for straight and left-turn driving that has
statistical significance could be calculated.
Songyi Chae et al [32] conducted a study to find the relationship between body-
seat pressure distribution and driver comfort ratings of dynamic seating experience. A
total of 38 participants performed four short-term driving sessions in a commercialized
vehicle. These sessions involved two driving environments (lab vs. field-based). Body-
seat interface pressure data were recorded continuously during driving, and the comfort
ratings of the whole body and local body parts were measured after each session. With

the results, they recommended several body-seat pressure distribution variables to
improve sitting comfort.
V. Balasubramaniam et al. (2014) [33] studied physical fatigue due to motorcycle
riding for an hour using surface electromyography (EMG) and seat interface pressure.
Twenty healthy male participants performed 60 min of motorcycle riding in a low traffic
density environment. Muscle activity was recorded bilaterally from extensor carpi
radialis (ECR), biceps brachii (BB), trapezius medial (TM), sternocleldomastoid (S)
latissimus dorsi (LD) and erector spinae (ES) muscle groups. Interface seat pressure
distribution was monitored using a pressure mapping system. Results showed that
participants have significant (p < 0.05) physical fatigue in TM, LD and ES muscle groups
during 60 min of motorcycle riding. Seat pressure distribution was found to be non-
uniform during the course of motorcycling. Results implied that the impact on local
physical fatigue and seat discomfort are probably due to static seating demand and
prolonged sitting posture balance required to ride the motorcycle for an hour.
Leena Norros (2014) [34] discussed internal challenges that the human
factors/ergonomics (HFE) research faces when wishing to strengthen its contribution to
development of work systems. Three established characteristics of high-quality HFE, i.e.,
HFE takes a systems approach, HFE is design-driven, and HFE focuses on two closely
related outcomes, performance and well-being, are taken as a starting point of a
methodological discussion, in which conceptual innovations, e.g. adopting the
technology-in-use perspective, are proposed to support development of HFE towards the
high-quality aims. The feasibility of the proposed conceptual choices is demonstrated by
introducing a naturalistic HFE analysis approach including four HFE functions. She
asserted that human factors/engineering has great potential to act in an active role in the
shaping the future living and working environments and to act in this role requires
capability for cross-disciplinary work, which should basically be natural for HFE: With
psychology as the core discipline, HFE is ontologically diverse. HFE has connections to
physiology, neurosciences, social sciences, and technology. HFE already has a long
tradition of interplay with these sciences and their practices, and new partners for
collaboration can be named, e.g. media research or design research. Thus, in conclusion,
through the gained experience of the use of this approach in a number of complex work

domains that the most difficult target to reach for HFE in any work system is to becoming
Ross A. Blackman et.al [35] compared the crash risk and crash severity of
motorcycles, mopeds and larger scooters in Queensland, Australia. Comprehensive data
cleansing was undertaken to separate motorcycles, mopeds and larger scooters in police-
reported crash data covering the five years to 30 June 2008. The crash rates of
motorcycles (including larger scooters) and mopeds in terms of registered vehicles were
similar over this period, although the moped crash rate showed a stronger downward
trend. The crash rates in terms of distance travelled were nearly four times higher for
mopeds than for motorcycles (including larger scooters). More comprehensive distance
travelled data is needed to confirm these findings. The overall severity of moped and
scooter crashes was significantly lower than motorcycle crashes but an ordered probit
regression model showed that crash severity outcomes related to differences in crash
characteristics and circumstances, rather than differences between powered two wheeler
types per se. Greater motorcycle crash severity was associated with higher (>80 km/h)
speed zones, horizontal curves, weekend, single vehicle and night time crashes. Moped
crashes were more severe at night and in speed zones of 90 km/h or more. Larger scooter
crashes were more severe in 70 km/h zones (than 60 km/h zones) but not in higher speed
zones, and less severe on weekends than on weekdays. The findings can be used to
inform potential crash and injury countermeasures tailored to users of different PTW

1.7 Scope of present study
As seen in the past research, work has been done in the area of various risk factors
involved in the safety and comfort of driving which lead to some in depth study of certain
parameters associated with a running vehicle as well as a quantitative description of the
riders experience such as vibrations, braking, vehicle dynamics, muscle flexures in the
riders hands, seating comfort etc. So far, very little work has been done in area of
physical compatibility between a two wheeler and its rider. And even little attention has
been given to female riders. Although, recently various manufacturing companies have
been improving design features in order to increase customer satisfaction, this has
majorly been to increase market. As a result, variety of riders and the number of models
motorcycles have been increasing at a fast pace in the world especially in India. In
contrast no evaluative studies have been undertaken to review the present design with
respect to various classes of riders. Personal encounters of some troubles with riding a
two wheeler and also conversations with other two wheeler riders have inspired the
authors to focus their study of the design flaws of the vehicles in the light of
anthropometric data and hence, the objective of present research.
The present study is concerned with the application of anthropometric
measurement to motorcycle design handle design and its evaluation of its compatibility at
a practical level. The study takes advantage of the proposed methods to measure some
anthropometric dimensions with respect to riding postures. These anthropometric data is
used to evaluate present design in regard to various groups of riders.

2.1 Motorcycle Design and classification
The most easily affordable motorized mode in India is powered two wheelers i.e.
scooters, motorcycles and mopeds. Two wheelers are accessible round the clock, offer
reliable door-to-door service, require little parking space, can be parked securely inside
the home, and can carry passengers as well as luggage. Motor vehicle ownership and
activity is growing rapidly in India and other low-income Asian countries. The various
impacts of this include rapidly growing congestion, air pollution, energy consumption,
traffic accidents, noise, and transport wastes. Indian cities are growing rapidly, and many
people have been forced to live in the periphery, in areas poorly served by public
transport system, due to the high cost of living. As a result of congestion and the lack of
convenient transit, they have been forced to purchase and use personal motor vehicles.
Though these vehicles contribute to congestion, they can cope with it as no other
motorized mode can, because of their size and manoeuvrability. In short, they provide
mobility equal to that of cars, at a fraction of the cost. While the poor majority rely on
bicycles for personal mobility, the middle classes, for whom cars are out of reach, use
buses only as long as unavoidable, and purchase two wheelers as soon as possible. It is,
therefore, not surprising that these vehicles play a vital role in urban transport in India
and other low-income Asian countries. In India, two wheelers have been the most rapidly
growing vehicle type, doubling the two wheelers industry in India has its origins in 1945,
when Bajaj Auto Limited, one of Indias largest motor vehicle manufacturers, came into
existence as a trading company. In terms of two wheelers in India, the predominant need
for a vehicle used by families is for daily commuting. Due to the constrained
infrastructure, the low road speeds of constrained road infrastructure, low engine capacity
and low powered two-stroke engines are preferred in India. Besides, they are
characterized by simple design, high power/swept volume and power/weight ratios, and
their low ownership, operation, and maintenance cost. In contrast, two wheelers in India
are largely used for recreation in North America and to a lesser extent in Europe, and
have had much larger engine capacities and power ratings. Until the 1980s, two wheeler
industry comprised a small number of manufacturers, catering for a modest,

predominantly domestic market, characterized by government restrictions on production
capacities, tariffs, and low levels of competition. Given this situation, along with the lack
of concern related to fuel economy and emissions, there was little incentive to develop
and adopt new technologies. The time and resource intensive nature of industrial R&D,
and the reluctance of two wheeler manufacturers to see their dominance diluted through
foreign collaborations, contributed to very little technology innovation and almost nil role
of users choice in determining vehicle technology. Though the current scenario in India
in terms of technological innovation and number varieties of models suited to diverse
customer choices seems to be improving at good rate with respect to the previous
decades, there are a few areas of design which have been completely left out of research
and need immediate attention.
There is as great a variation in the use to which motorcycles are put similar to that
in cars. The different designs deal with different user requirements (for example, leisure
vs commuting journeys), together with styling exercises not necessarily related to
functionality. The varying nature of use together with vehicle characteristics allows some
broad classifications of motorcycle types to be made. The following broad classifications
of types of motorcycle were selected as being relevant to the world wide motorcycle
market broadly with respect to the observed differences in riding position as well as the
use to which the motorcycle is put.
Tourer: Generally with a medium to large engine capacity and fairly upright riding
position, this type of machine tends to be used for long distance journeys (greater than 50
miles), although it is sometimes used as a commuting vehicle. Fairings may be fitted and
provision made for carrying luggage. Fairings on this type of machine are designed for
protection from the weather. Smaller versions of the touring motorcycles, usually without
a fairing but with a similar riding position, are known as commuter machines and tend to
be used for shorter journeys. For the purpose of this study, commuter and touring
machines were categorized together.
Sports: These are also general purpose motorcycles with more emphasis on performance
rather than comfort. For example, any accessories or fairings that are fitted are mostly
meant to reduce wind resistance than to protect the rider from rain. The engine capacity
of these machines may be of any size.

Race-replica: This is a high performance machine with a design that emphasizes both
performance and image. The race-replica looks very similar to racing motorcycles.
Examples of race-replicas may be found in all engine capacity classes.
Chopper/feet forward: These machines are characterized by the footrests being forward
from the seat, long forks and low seat height. The handle bars may be high in relation to
the seat which is frequently low. The riding position is usually such that the legs of the
rider are extended forward.
Trial: This type of motorcycle is nominally dual purpose in that it was originally
designed to be used on rough tracks as well as on tarmac. It is characterized by wide
handlebars, high mounted front mudguard and is usually narrow. Traditionally engine
capacity is usually small to medium and these vehicles are generally light weight. They
are easy to maneuver at low speeds, and not so suitable for long distance work due to the
upright riding posture and small fuel tanks. Recent years have seen the introduction of
large capacity trail bikes which are similar style to desert racing machines. These
machines have less ability to go off road.
Step-through: This type of motorcycle is a small capacity machine designed primarily
for short distance commuting. The most noticeable characteristic is that there is a gap
between the front of the seat and the handlebars which on a conventional design would be
occupied by the fuel tank. This gap allows the rider to mount the machine without lifting
the leg over the seat. It is thus more suitable for a female rider wearing a skirt or a
saree(as opposed to trousers). These types of vehicles are majorly divided into two
categories depending on their basic operation. The step through design is characterized
by small wheels and the replacement of footrest by a platform on which the feet are
i) Scooters: they include a hand operated gear system.
ii) Mopeds: Although, the actual definition of moped suggests it as a power-
assisted bicycles or motorized bicycles, for the purpose of present study, a
moped is considered as a scooter operating on gearless transmission
system. The clutch is replaced by the rear brake lever.

2.2.0 An overview of the biomechanics of the human hand
2.2.1 Nomenclature of the hand and its movements
The hand is made up of the thumb, metacarpals, and phalanges. The digits are
numbered (with the thumb being #1 and the small finger being #5). The digits can also be
referred to as: thumb, index (or pointer), long, ring and small. The thumb and fingers
have essentially the same bone structure, however the thumb has only 2 phalanges and
the fingers have 3. The hand, made up of the thumb and 4 fingers, has:
i) 5 metacarpals
ii) 5 proximal phalanges
iii) 4 middle phalanges
iv) 5 distal phalanges
There are no significant bony landmarks on these bones. The proximal end of the
metacarpals and phalanges is called the base, and the distal end is called the head. Each
of the 5 digits contains 1 metacarpal and a group of phalanges. The nomenclature of hand
joint structure is given below
i) A ray: one metacarpal and its associated phalanges.
ii) Carpometacarpal (CMC) joints: articulation between proximal end of a
metacarpal and the distal row of carpal bones.
iii) Metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints: articulation between the distal ends
of the metacarpals and the proximal phalanges.
iv) Each finger has 2 interphalangeal (IP) joints: a proximal interphalangeal
(PIP) and a distal interphalangeal joint (DIP).
v) The thumb has only 2 phalanges and therefore only one interphalangeal
joint (IP joint).
vi) Distal Interphalangeal Joints (DIP).
vii) Interphalangeal Joints (IP).
viii) Proximal Interphalangeal Joints (PIP).
ix) Metacarpophalangeal Joints (MCP)
x) Carpometacarpal Joints (CMC)

Fig 2.1 Skeletal structure of a human hand
For the purpose of the present study, the structure and movement of the thumb alone are
discussed. The Thumb Joint Structure is given briefly in the following [36]
i) The first digit, the thumb, has 3 joints:
ii) The carpometacarpal (CMC) joint
iii) Articulation between the trapezium and the base of the first metacarpal
iv) Saddle joint: each articular surface is concave in one direction and convex
in the other (much like a pringles potato chip)
v) The metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint
vi) The interphalangeal (IP) joint

Fig 2.2 Thumb Joint Structure
Possible movements of a Thumb Joint are given in short below,
CMC: flexion & extension, abduction & adduction, opposition &
MCP: flexion and extension
IP: flexion and extension
i) Flexion / Extension: Occur in a plane // to the palm (frontal plane)
ii) Abduction / Adduction: Occur in a plan perpendicular to the palm (sagittal
iii) Opposition / Reposition: Opposition is a combination of flexion and
abduction, with accessory rotation. Reposition is the return to anatomical
Movements in fingers simply put are as follows
i) Flexion: Making a fist
ii) Extension: Straightening the fingers

Fig 2.3 a) Flexion of fingers and thumb, adduction of metacarpophalangeal joints,
opposition of thumb; b) Extension of Fingers and thumb, abduction of
metacarpophalangeal joints.

2.4 Degrees of freedom of fingers

Movement that occurs at the wrist
i) Flexion: palm bends towards arm
ii) Extension: palm moves away from arm
iii) Abduction: side movement; thumb coming towards arm
iv) Adduction: side movement; thumb moving away from arm
v) Pronation: palms down; also occurs at the elbow

vi) Supination: palms up; also occurs at the elbow

Fig 2.5 Flexion and extension in Wrist

Fig 2.6 a) Wrist abduction( radial deviation); b) Wrist adduction (ulnar deviation)

Fig 2.7 thumb movements

Despite the dexterity of the human hand, there are limits to the independent
movement of the digits. This limitation to independent movement may be caused by
anatomical connections between muscle compartments and between the tendons of the
multi tendon extrinsic hand muscles, flexor digitorum profundus (FDP), flexor digitorum
superficialis (FDS), and extensor digitorum. The limitation may also be caused by central
factors such as the large, overlapping territories of neurons in the primary motor cortex
that provide outputs to different spinal motoneuron pools. Furthermore, motor cortical
neurons commonly diverge to innervate the motoneuron pools of several forearm and
intrinsic hand. Indications for central factors are the synchronization between pairs of
low-threshold motor units, which act within one compartment or between two
compartments of FDP During attempted flexion of one digit, low-threshold motor units
acting on neighboring fingers are recruited in FDP. Furthermore, in maximal voluntary
efforts, flexion of one finger induced involuntary forces produced by the other fingers
(irrespective of the precise combinations of muscles that were involved), a phenomenon
termed enslaving [37]. Yet, manual dexterity also requires precise finger extension, not
only to position the tip of the digit as in typing and piano playing, but also to balance
forces across the joints of the fingers. Although some enslavement would be useful toco
ordinate tasks such as grasping, high levels of enslavement would limit the independence
of digit use. Despite many studies on the interaction between forces produced by the
thumb and fingers only one assessed the force enslavement at the thumb in flexion [38].
There was more enslavement when the thumb opposed the fingers than when the thumb
was parallel to the fingers, but the precise interaction was not given. In a study, even
though subjects were not able to generate flexion and extension forces with their digits
independently, individuation of the digits was better in flexion than that in extension
tasks. This may reflect daily hand function, in that selective flexion of the digits is more
common than extension. We propose that there is a balance of spillover to neighboring
antagonist muscles and neural drive to antagonist muscles. This would link measures of
force enslavement and limits to force production in multidigit tasks [39]. Muscle
ligaments of a hand are shown in figure 2.8 and described below
Wrist Flexors:Flexor Carpi Radialis, Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, Palmaris Longus, Flexor
Digitorum Profundus/Superficialis,

Wrist Extensors: Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus, Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, and
Extensor Carpi Ulnaris
Finger MP Flexion: Lumbricales and Interossei
Finger PIP and DIP Flexion: Flexor Digitorum Superficialis and Flexor digitorum
Finger MP Extension: Extensor Digitorum, Extensor Indicis, and Extensor Digiti
Finger Abduction: Dorsal Interossei
Finger Adduction: Palmer Interossei
Thumb MP and IP Flexion: Flexor Pollicis Bravis and Flexor Pollicis Longus
Thumb MP and IP Extension: Extensor Pollicis Bravis and Extensor Pollicis Longus

Fig 2.8 muscles and ligaments of the hand

Thumb MP and IP Abduction: Abductor Pollicis Bravis and Abductor Pollicis Longus
Thumb adduction: Adductor Pollicis
Thumb to little finger Opposition: Opponens pollicis and Opponens digiti minimi
Thumb adduction: Adductor Pollicis
Thumb to little finger Opposition: Opponens pollicis and Opponens digiti minimi
2.2.2 Hand and Finger Strength
Hand and finger strength is needed to be considered essentially during industrial
design of hand intensive tasks to minimize discomfort and the risk of upper extremity
injuries and their associated costs. Occupational risk factors for upper extremity
musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) include repetitive and forceful exertions, mechanical
stresses, extreme postures, vibration and extreme temperatures. Many hand intensive
tasks require extreme levels of force exertion, often in combination with non-neutral hand
and wrist postures. Safe force levels for hand intensive work have yet to be determined.
Instead, measures of capacity (e.g. strength) are often provided as a basis for comparison
to task demands during design and evaluation [40]. Extensive past research has focused
on whole-hand grip strength and the effects of variables such as gender and handle width.
There have also been a few reports of hand strength in couplings with handles and levers.
Relatively few investigations, however, have specifically addressed finger strength,
particularly in practical situations such as pinching and poking. Acquisition of strength
measures in general, and finger strength in particular, can require specialized equipment
that is not easily integrated into a working environment. A practical question thus arises
as to whether force capability in specific finger couplings can be predicted from other
more accessible measures, thereby allowing the practitioner to estimate strength.
Accessible or easily obtainable measures are considered here as those that can be
determined using simple measuring devices or commercial gauges. Past research
regarding the prediction of hand strength has been limited to grip and multi-digit pinches.
Rice et al. (1998) [41] predicted grip strength from various anthropometric and strength
measures and found that forearm circumference was a moderately accurate predictor
(R2=0.80). Angela Didomenico et. al determined the inter-correlations within and among
finger strengths, simple grip strength, and anthropometry, and to evaluate whether finger
strength could be estimated from other measures, particularly single digit strength which

has yet to be investigated. Strength test were done extensively for many population
groups such as males and females at different age groups and occupations. The strength
tests are performed using equipment which simulates the target work condition. The
equipment that could be suitable for the task under present study is Jamar Hydraulic
Dynamometer shown in figure 2.

Fig. 2 9 a).Measuring devices used for strength tests; b) strength test using the Jamar
Hydraulic Dynamometer
The handgrip strength test is a simple and economic test that gives practical information
about muscle, nerve, bone, or joint disorders. In adults, handgrip strength has been
proposed as a possible predictor of mortality and the expectancy of being able to live
independently. The measure of handgrip strength is influenced by several factors
including age; gender; different angle of shoulder, elbow, forearm, and wrist; posture,
and grip span. Another important factor affecting handgrip strength is hand span. Several
attempts have been made to find the optimal grip span that results in maximum handgrip
strength and that increases reliable and reproducible handgrip strength in adult and
elderly populations. Hrknen et al [42] showed that handgrip strength varied with
handgrip position and was slightly affected by hand span. We have shown that there is an
optimal grip span at which the maximum handgrip strength is obtained in adults.
Moreover, the optimal grip span has been shown to be influenced by individual hand
span in adult women, but not in men. This can be explained in terms of the smaller hand
span and/or less grip strength in women compared with men. Thus, strength test should
be combined with optimal grip span in order to understand the effect of the span on the

strength. This understanding is essential in designing the positioning of brake levers on a
two wheeler handle.

2.3.0 Motorcycle as workstation

A motorcycle can be considered as a constrained workstation in which there is very
limited available adjustment to suit the different needs of riders. In anthropometric terms,
there are two issues to be addressed:
i) the need for riders of different sizes to fit the same workstation and
ii) The relationship between the posture of the rider on a motorcycle and
effectiveness of the riding task in the context.
Any aspect of motorcycle design which may constrain the user further and interfere
with the operation of the vehicle, whether it be for comfort (for example, a fairing) or for
safety (for example, crash protective devices), needs to take into account the physical fit
of the workstation to the user. Given the constrained nature of the motorcycle as a
workstation, any design work should take into consideration the anthropometrics of the
population of motorcycle riders.
While on the road, the handling qualities of motorcycles are often of great
importance. They affect the pleasure to be gained from the ridermachine interactions
and the safety of the rider. Self-steering action is crucial with single track vehicles and
rider control is primarily by steering torque. In this context, all the actions during riding
not only should preserve concentration of the rider but also should be physiologically
non-straining. Previously work has been done and also ongoing to analyze the major
contributing factors leading to road accidents. Experts study the incidents in terms of
every possible factor to understand the causes and ways to prevent a mishap. Most of
such work has been limited to driver behaviour or traffic analysis.
Among many risk factors that are accounted for the cause of a two wheeler accident,
the following are prominent
i) Speed
ii) Error by the other driver of a bigger vehicle
iii) Road condition
iv) Weather

i. Not having enough experience( i.e. lack of valid license)
ii. Too much or too little stress levels which cause the driver distraction
iii. Vehicle mechanical breakdown
iv. Vehicle design
Among the above factors vehicle mechanical breakdown and design of the vehicle
directly infer the physical parameters of the vehicle where the former relates to the way
of using the vehicle and the latter refers to suitability of the vehicle to the driving
conditions or the driver. When one tries to study the suitability of the vehicle to its driver,
one has to pay attention to the characteristics of that driver-vehicle interface. Every
vehicle is designed in such a way that the interface can be carried out in such way that all
the operations are performed smoothly and comfortably. To achieve this goal, the human
interface design of the vehicle is based on the corresponding human characteristics
namely anthropometric measurements. There are standards for every design which the
vehicle manufacturers adopt according to the potential user group they aim for. The
human's interface with other system components needs to be treated as objectively and
systematically as are other interface and hardware component designs. It is not acceptable
to guess about human physical characteristics or to use the designer's own measurements
or the measurements of associates. Application of appropriate anthropometric and
biomechanics data is expected. Anthropometric data are most appropriate when they are
derived from a survey of the existing worker population of interest.
There is very limited information regarding the anthropometric characteristics of
motorcyclists in India and of the location of, the various parts of the body when a rider is
seated on the motorcycle. Previous work indicates that, on the basis of self-reported
stature data, the population of motorcyclists has different anthropometric characteristics
from the general population, motorcyclists being rather taller. This study considers a
limited set of relevant body dimensions and quantifies the variation in the location of the
most forward part of the leg of riders on a static test rig. The latter measurement relates to
the design of fairings and of certain crash protective devices, and is an example of non-
standard anthropometric data required for such design decisions.
This study considers,
i) the dimensions of the user population for motorcycles and

ii) using few particular anthropometric measurements to evaluate the
corresponding aspects in the present design.
The common actions performed during the driving of various models of PTWs are
as follows
i) Right hand:
to control the accelerator at all time
to apply the front brake when required
switch on/ off the head light, required to do only once.
self-start button, required to be used once.
ii) Left hand
to control the clutch ( required the most part of the driving)
to control indicator switch, upon need
to press horn, upon need.
to switch between high/low beam
There are some exceptions to the above mentioned operations such as, some
models of motorcycles and scooters do not have self-start buttons, some motorcycles
have horn switch and high/low beam switch on the right hand side and some motorcycles
have a separate switch named pass on the left hand side. The pass switch upon
pressing results in one switch to and fro between high and low beam to indicate pass
2.4.0 Comparison of designs of motorcycle handle and Moped handle
Although the controls on the handles are almost similar in both motorcycles and
scooters, there is a huge difference in their basic designs. Figures 2.7 and 2.8 show a
motorcycle handle and a moped handle respectively.

Fig 2.10 A motorcycle handle

Fig 2.11 A moped handle

From a general observation, it can be seen that the motor cycle handles comprise a
metal pipe bent in into the required shape and all other controls including brake levers are
mounted on the pipe. Thus the design appears to be sleek. On the other hand, a moped or
scooter handle constitutes a casting assembly, which has provisions for locating various
switches and the handle pipe runs through the casting. In all, the handle looks much
bulkier than the one on a motorcycle.
Before attempting to understand the problem, it is necessary to overview the
present design and its working. The basic objective of the design of the controls is to

accommodate the riders hands while providing free and unstrained access to all of the
controls without disturbing balance. In practice, one or more controls are needed to be
accessed at a time while riding a two wheeler. For example,
i) Clutch and gear change
ii) Clutch and both the brakes
iii) Light application of brakes and horn etc.
In addition to the variations in sizes and shapes of the riders, the riding practices
and mannerisms change hugely from person to person. Although there is a general
posture for every two wheeler rider, when narrowed down, each rider has his/ or her own
way of interfacing with the vehicle. That means, from the way a rider seats himself on the
saddle to the way he/she positions feet on the foot rest varies among all the riders. For the
purpose of present study, the focus is limited to the analysis of the position and posture of
the hand gripping handle. This analysis can be better understood in the light of the
definitions of basic types of grips which are briefly explained below.
i) The Crush Grip (Power Grip) is the grip between fingers and the
palmthe one used for shaking hands or gripping an axe. The thumb is
used to provide extra support. In this, the hand's position is static.
ii) The Pinch Grip (Precision Grip) is another type of grip between fingers
and thumb. This can be further subcategorized into individual fingers +
thumb grip. Here, the hand's position is dynamic
iii) The Support Grip is the ability to maintain a hold on something for a
whilethink pull ups or long and productive shopping trips.

Fig. 2.12 various types grips [43]
In general, the above types of grips are used alternately or simultaneously during
riding. For example, the power grip is used when pulling brake or clutch. Support grip is
basically used while balancing the handle. Precision grip and support grip are used
simultaneously to control various switches. One important point to be noticed in the
context of riding is that, one cannot exercise a precision grip while already in a power
grip and vice versa. That means, when the rider is already applying brakes or pulling
back the clutch, he/she is gripping the handle between the fingers and the Carpus as well
as the thumb and this position inhibits the rider to use the thumb to reach the controls
such as the indicator switch or the horn switch. The exception for the above statement
will be discussed in the later sections.
As mentioned earlier, each user has his or her own style of riding a two wheeler. It
affects the way the rider use the various types of grips. After extensive observation and
interviews, it has been concluded that comfort and convenience are the major factors that
influence ones style and there is no text book rule for holding the grip. However, the
position of gripping on a handle of a two wheeler can be categorized majorly of two
ways. For the present study, they are defined as follows.
i) Position-1: In this position, the fingers and the thumb are wrapped
around the grip with the thumb pointing approximately in the direction of
vehicle motion. The handle is perpendicular to the carpal tunnel. Since all

the fingers are in complete contact with the handle, grip is secure with less
chance to slip. For the riders with smaller palms, the thumb acts as an
anchor on the grip during the application of brakes. Riders with this
position have been observed to place the hand toward the inner edge of the
handle grip. Position-1 is shown in Fig.2.9

Fig. 2.12 Gripping with the thumb pointing forward (Position-1)

ii) Position-2: In this position, the thumb is almost parallel to the handle
which passes diagonal to the palm. The thumb points towards the horn
switch making it also easier to reach the horn no excessive flexion of the
thumb. Brake/ clutch are easier to operate as the required force can be
evenly distributed among the fingers, resulting in a good power grip. As
most part of the force is applied by the palm, the thumb is freer to move.
In the case of straight handle bars, this position leads to an uncomfortable
wrist angle and elbow position. This position is used by the riders with
larger palms. Position-2 is shown in Figure 2.5.

Fig. 2.13 loosely held grip (Position-2)

Fig 2.14 Two Positions shown in action

3.0 Problem Description and Methodology
The present study concerns with two phases of problems. They are
i) A critical comparison of the design of handles in scooters and mopeds
with the design of motorcycle handles.
ii) An anthropometric evaluation of a moped handles design with regard to
women riders.
3. 1 The Handle design Comparison Study
As described earlier, the controls on the handle of motorcycle are manufactured in the
form of small casings which can be mounted the bar. One such module is shown in figure
3.1. An advantage of this type of mounting is that, the arrangement of controls is compact
and simple. The objective of this part of the study is to compare the design characteristics
of the control switches on the handles of motorcycles and mopeds in terms of finger
flexion and determine the suitable design. The problem with the present design especially
in a moped is that, the thumb is required to flex to an extreme level in order to reach the
horn switch. Also, in the condition of many Indian urban or semi urban roads which are
highly congested with pedestrians, cycle rickshaws and other type vehicles, the rider
needs to be on constant guard to apply brakes and blow the horn. An average rider finds it
easier to be ready for such tasks all time by spreading the fingers over the brake/clutch
and extending the thumb towards the horn. But this placement of hand demands
excessive stretching of the hand and fingers resulting in injurious postures in the case of
riders with average palms sizes. The present study checks quantitatively flexions
involved in the above mentioned actions. It can be seen clearly from the above picture
that the switch module is a simple mounting which occupies very less space. Although, it
cannot be seen to the scale in the picture, the overall diameter of the mounting is such
that there is very minimal flexion in the thumb while operating the switches

Fig. 3.1 handle switch mounting
This results in comfort for the rider. In the case of a moped the overall diameter at
the switches is almost double that of a motorcycle. The top view of the left side of a
motorcycle handle and a moped are shown in Figure 2.12. Though visible in the pictures,
the horn switch is not clearly distinguishable.

Fig. 3.2 Top view left side of a motorcycle handle and a moped showing various
The side view of the left side of the handles is shown in figure 2.2.3. the horn
switch is clearly visible in this view for both types of handles. Since the outer edge of the
grip forms a collar with a higher diameter than the grip cylinder, the actual point of
contact of the thumb root with the grip surface is not visible in this view.

Fig. 3.3 Front view of the left side of handle (from drivers side)

Fig.3.4 side view of the left side of the handles of motorcycle (left) and moped
3. 2 Problem description & methodology for Handle comparison
In order to analyze the flexion of the thumb while using the horn switch, two
positions of hand placement on the handle are first fixed basing on the users
convenience. A total of 30 male riders and 10 female riders were interviewed for this
purpose. A common pattern emerged as the riders try to operate the horn switch
comfortably. When the rider holds too close to the inner edge, the thumb rotation is
hindered due to the mounting itself. In addition, holding toward the outer edge of the
handle facilitates in higher moment on brake/clutch lever with a lesser force. This
compels the rider to place the hand away from the mounting, which in turn causes trouble
to a rider with shorter hand impossible to reach the horn as well as the brake/clutch lever.

After the anthropometric measurements were taken and the average was determined
separately for male and female subjects, the rider with measurements closest to the
average was asked to check for the most comfortable positions on both types of handles.
The two positions were marked on the handles and measurements were taken for the
deflections of the thumb in terms of angle between the handle surface and the edge of the
horn switch. Consider the points B and C of the schematic structure of the hand as shown
in figure 2.15. Point B is the root of the thumb placed on the surface of the handle grip,
while C is the point of application of force on by the thumb on the horn switch. The
metacarpal movement of the thumb (AB) gives additional two degrees of freedom. But
while applying brakes, the carpal region grips the handle along with the metacarpal part
of the thumb, leaving BC as the only moving segment of the thumb. Since there is no
relative motion between the thumb-carpus joint and the centre of the carpus for the
present analysis, both are named A.

Fig. 3.5 Schematic structure shown on a palm

B1, B2 and C are the positions for thumb root in position-1, position-2 and point of
force on the thumb to press the horn switch respectively. Y-Z plane is on the plane of the
palm with X-axis along the vector perpendicular to the palm of the hand. When the
thumb reaches for the horn and other switches, its movement is in Y-Z and X-Y planes.
The top view of the handle corresponds to the Y-Z plane of the palm and the side view.
In practice, thumb extension (adduction) in both planes combine to result in the final
position of the thumb. It has also been observed that the maximum combined flexions of
the thumb in both planes are more than the maximum flexions in individual planes.
Since the main objective of the present study is to evaluate the flexion required by
the design with respect to the possible working flexion of a thumb, other measurements
like inward flexion (in Z direction) were not considered.
Participants were not asked to sustain a maximum flexion, as is commonly
recommended [38], but only to provide a brief peak extension. This alternate procedure
was intended to duplicate the flexion of the thumb, which typically requires a brief
maximum or short burst of force. Participants were specifically instructed to stretch the
thumb to their peak capacity, sustain the effort for a brief time, and then gradually retract
each phase taking approximately 1 s. the readings taken were as follows,
i) flexion in Y-Z plane
ii) upward and downward flexion after extending in Y-Z plane i.e., along -X
and X axis
iii) maximum grip span
The angles from the vehicles were measure with the help of a protractor by
placing its base on the grip surface, and the arm rotated to the edge of the horn switch.
Examples of the angle measurement for both a motorcycle and a moped are shown for
top views in figures 2.6 and 2.7 respectively. It is important to note that the angles should
not be measured from the pictures, because the accuracy may be affected by the aspect

Fig. 3.6 Thumb flexion angles measured in a motorcycle handle

Fig. 3.7 Thumb flexion angles measured in a moped handle

In addition to motorcycles and mopeds, scooters were also taken into
consideration. It was observed that mopeds and scooters have similar handles and thus
moped dimensions are applicable to scooter for this particular analysis.

Fig 3.8 handle- hand interface

3. 3 Moped handles design with regard to women riders
As a result of a fast growing number of women riders in urban as well as semi
urban areas, various two wheeler manufacturers are releasing many models of two
wheelers specially designed for women. In contrast, the vehicles meant for women are
turning out to be unsafe for use by women. The reason behind this is explained as
follows. Any manufacturer would take steps to ensure to have the maximum marketing
possible. To achieve this aim, they try to design a product which can be used by the
maximum number population groups. To be specific, when a two wheeler manufacturer
releases a model which he claims could be used by women riders, he means women can
use it along with men. Thus he designs the model considering the 5th percentile of women
anthropometric measurements or 50th percentile of men anthropometric since both are
approximately the same. But when one considers just one particular user group say, only
women, the average changes and the suitability of that design to the considered user
group becomes questionable. This section of the study focuses on such issues where
women riders are being blindsided by certain design aspects at a serious level.

Gender differences in muscles that relate to Grip strength were found to be
consistent through the studies performed by. Their studies in fact found that males are
stronger than females. The strength of a muscle can be expressed in kilograms per unit of
cross-sectional area, creating a ratio that corrects for differences in CSA. They found a
significant difference between the males and females in the ratio of the maximum
voluntary isometric grip strength to forearm muscle area (kg/cm2) [44]. In addition to the
strength differences, the average hand size also varies highly with gender. In order to
verify this, the anthropometric measurements of men and women were compared and
also against the design dimensions of a vehicle [45]. The male and female subjects for the
anthropometric data for grip strength have experience in motorcycle riding.
The force applied for brakes is exerted mainly by the middle and index fingers opposed
by the thumb. It is ideal that all the fingers be used in the application of brakes because of
the uniform distribution of force among all the four digits. But due to the design
dimensions, only two fingers can be used when the thumb is simultaneously reaching for
the horn. Thus users with small hands tend to use the second and third digits. When
women do the same, they are constrained to spend more energy in order to match the
required to pull force. Since females possess lesser hand strength, this task becomes more
and more tedious for them. In some extreme cases, female riders try to overcome this
problem by, leaving the left brake all together and focus on the horn switch. This exposes
the driver to the threat of improper braking and may lead to the loss of balance. As
discussed in the earlier sections, the distance between the brake and handle grip also
affects the force capacity of the rider which directly depends on the grip span.
i) Methodology:
The anthropometric measurements from the subjects are taken based on previous work
done [46] [47] [48].Based on the physical requirements of the driver for performing the
riding tasks simultaneously and independently are, the modified thumb crotch length
should be sufficient for relative optimum grip span, as defined by Mahmut Eksioglu [49]
and the thumb length should be sufficient enough for comfortable reach between the
thumb and the horn switch. On the left hand, as depicted in figures, 1 and 2
a. The modified thumb crotch length , TCLm [4] (Marked as A1 in Fig.3.9)
b. Thumb length (A2, as has been marked in Fig. 3.10)

c. Minimum hand breadth ,(A3, as has been marked in Fig. 3.10)

Fig. 3.9 Thumb Crotch Length TCLm (A1)

Fig. 3.10 Thumb Length & Hand Breadth

ii) Selection of the Subjects
25 women were selected for the present study falling under the age group of 18
to 35 years old, belonging to various states of India and who are presently studying or
working in Jadavpur University. All the subjects have an experience in riding a
Bicycle or a Motor Bike and do not have any physical disability.
Table-3 Anthropometic measurements of the subjects
n=25 Percentile
SL. No Dimensions(mm) Mean SD 5th
Modified thumb
crotch length (TCLm)
1 0.70557 6
A1 6.976
Thumb length
2 A2 6.072 0.44857 5.6
Hand Breadth,
3 7.716 0.60444 7

iii) Measurements from Vehicles

5 different models of two wheelers with gearless transmission are selected for
the present study. Measurements to be taken from each vehicle were decided by
determining the optimum position of the hand on the handle. After extensive
observation of two wheeler traffic, it was seen that every driver holds the handle
according to his/her own comfort. That comfortable holding position is such that the
effort required in applying the brakes is minimum while proper grip and balance are
maintained. Measurements depicted using the figure 3 are as follows: The mean hand
breadth calculated from the human subjects is used to determine the location of points
1and 2. The position of the hand is considered to be between the points 1 and 2.
Points 3 and 4 on an imaginary line passing through the middle figure show the length
of spread over brake and grip, and point 5 is pressure point on the Horn switch.

Fig.3. 11 Top view of left hand grip showing brake and Horn
i) The span of brake and handle with respect to the thumb crotch
ii) The operational distance between thumb root and the horn switch. The
distance between the points 2 and 5 (D2)
Table 4 Measurements taken from the vehicles
Vehicle Model Grip-Brake span Thumb root-Horn distance
D1 D2
Model 1 9.5 7.5
Model 2 8.8 7.4

Model 3 10.5 6.1

Model 4 8.4 7.2

Model 5 8 6.2

3. 4 Grip Strength data collection

Hand strength data for arm at bent 90o at elbow are considered for the study.
The data collected is represented in table 5.a and 5.b A total 30 male and 10 female
subjects were considered for hand anthropometric study. Since the study is concerned

with anthropometric compatibility of female riders with mopeds, only the average
measurement of the female subjects has been used to evaluate the handle design. For
the vehicle study, 5 models of mopeds from different manufacturers were taken into
consideration. Though, the selection of vehicle was based on the popularity or the
number of users all the models encountered were checked for driving experience.
Table 5 Hand strength data for subjects with elbow at right angle
Male Hand
Grip Major Minor
Strength Mean SD High Low Mean SD High Low
74 7 116 55 70 8 110 53

Female Hand
Grip Major hand Minor hand
Strength Mean SD High Low Mean SD High Low
18 8 33 15 15 8 25 12

A part of the data has been collected from previous researches for grip
strength and the rest of the data has been collected during the study. Following are the
data collected from previous research regarding grip strength [50][51]
i) Table 6.strength test listed by age group (100 subjects) in kg
Male hand Female hand
Occupation Major Minor Major Minor

Skilled 47.0 45.4 26.8 24.4

Sedentary 47.2 44.1 23.1 21.1
Manual 48.5 44.6 24.2 22.0
Average 47.6 45.0 24.6 22.4

ii) Table 7 Strength test listed by occupation (100 subjects) in kg
Male hand Female hand
Major Minor Major Minor
20 45.2 42.6 23.8 22.8
20-30 48.5 46.2 24.6 22.7
30-40 49.2 44.5 30.8 28.0
40-50 49.0 47.3 23.4 21.5
50-60 45.9 43.5 22.3 18.2

In another test performed by Jonathan R. Ruiz et al. [52] for the determination
of optimal grip strength for a grip span, the measured hand span was 21.0 1.3 cm for
males (n =100) and 18.7 1.1 cm for females (n =106). Males obtained higher values
of handgrip strength at each grip span than females. Figure 2.18 shows the results of
the optimal grip span measurements for each hand span for males and females.

Fig 3.12 Optimal Grip spans for males and females [51]

Fig. 3.13 Average Grip strength ( pounds) Virgil Mathiowetz et. Al [50]
Also pinch tests for with all usual combination of fingers produced the following
Table 8 Hand grip strength: (pounds) sitting elbows at 90 degrees and forearm in
neutral [53]
Grip type Sex Type Mean
Male Dominant 23
Thumb & index
and middle finger female Dominant 16
Thumb & index Male Not specified 19
finger Female Not specified 15
Thumb & middle Male Not specified 15
finger Female Not specified 10

4.0 Results and Discussion
4.1 The two wheeler handle design comparison
The angles through which the thumb extends from the surface of the grip were
found be 20o and 12.5o at positions-1 & 2 respectively for a motorcycle and in the case
of a moped 32o and 25o. But the working flexion of the thumb in the direction of horn
switch is found to be 15o in both genders. This clearly indicates that operating a horn
switch of a motorcycle is practically possible with or with minor hand movements
depending upon the rider. Whereas, doing the same on a moped is impossible unless
the hand is displaced significantly from the usual riding positions. This affect is not
seen in riders with larger palms as mentioned earlier. The huge overall diameter of the
handle at the switches which is the result of a bulky construction causes the flexion of
the thumb above 15o. In addition to the horn switch, operating all the other switches
also becomes strenuous due to this higher diameter.
4.2 Moped design with respect to women
Along with the data collected from the past research, the data collected during
the present study gave the following results regarding grip strength tests and hand
sizes. The average hand size of a female subject is smaller than the average hand size
of a male subject. And the grip strength is found to be almost 22% higher in males
than females. From tables 6 the grip strength of a female is found to be almost half
that of a male hand. The data for grip strength of various age grouped subjects shows
that the mean values of female grip strength is closer to low side of the male grip
strengths than to mean of male grip strength lower by almost 50 pounds.
The second type of data was, hand grip strength is tests with the thumb and
individual fingers, i.e pinch grip strength test with
i) the thumb & index finger
ii) the thumb & middle finger
iii) the thumb & index and middle fingers
Data shows that among all the pinch strengths results, male subjects have the
higher strength by more than 65% . One way to put this is, when the women riders are
required to use only middle finger and index finger opposed by thumb during driving,
they have to apply almost 65% of average of their strength. In order to approach the
strength problem in a more specific way, the study cold have included force

transducers placed on brakes of various mopeds to measure the actual force required
to pull the brakes. This data could be compared with the female hand strength data
obtained during the study.
4.3 Discussion
In the light of the present data, it can be clearly seen that, the mounting system
for switches in a motorcycle is much user friendly than the bulky design of moped.
For any group of users, mounting design is preferable since it produces safe flexion in
the hand.
When the design of moped is considered, the flexion problem is much more
magnified in the case of women riders. Although, the working flexion is same in both
genders, the smaller size of the palm means smaller thumb length which indirectly
increases the thumb flexion up to 32o or more by shifting the gripping position toward
the horn switch. This again causes a bigger problem because now the rider can only
reach the starting region of the brake lever requiring more strength to create the usual
moment. While male riders manage to overcome this by exerting more force, most
female riders fall short of the required strength.
The overall outcome of these design problems is that, the riders with
insufficient hand anthropometric measurements stay at a lower riding speed in order
to be able to safely operate the vehicle. This means the vehicle is not used up to its
potential which leads to energy wastage. Sadly, the accidents or mishaps that occur
due to a poor ergonomic design causes frustration in the riders making them believe in
some imaginary short comings in themselves. In the worst cases, smaller riders may
get into serious trouble sometimes even fatal, while trying to imitate the stunts
performed by others without realizing the suitability of the vehicle design to their
4.4 Conclusions
The conclusions that can be drawn as a result of the present study are as follows
i) The bulky design of a handle causes too much flexion in fingers
ii) Handles with sleek design are desirable.
iii) The present design of control switches is better in the case of
iv) The current design of mopeds is not suitable for majority of women
riders and has to be revised.

v) The gap between the handle and the brake levers along with the pull
strength for braking needs to be reduced in order to improve the
convenience for women in operating them.
vi) The use of separate male and female population data is a recommended
when designing for custom requirements.
vii) There is an urgent need for attention towards the dangers of a poorly
designed vehicle. Awareness about such problems has to be created
among new riders.
4.5 Summary and future scope of study
The purpose of the study is to bring some attention toward the aspects which
have been mostly overlooked so far. Until the required modifications or changes in
the design are achieved, the overview provided in this study will help riders to have
awareness and keep a lookout. There are still many design issues which need to be
addressed such as, comfort and safety of female pillion riders who sit sideways, a
complete design review of mopeds considering various other factors including height
of the rider, seat design etc.
The present research can further be extended to designing a novel handle
model with help of design software, by considering the factors including the ones
discussed in this study and also a more elaborate detail of biomechanical
characteristics of a hand. Such a study is aspired to be performed with more number
of subjects, and more number of population groups in order to come up with an
innovative design which is affordable by all classes of consumers.

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