Over 10 million motorcycles are on the road in America. A subset of those are known as dual sport bikes – motorcycles you can take pretty much anywhere you want off-road or pavement. Jim Carducci and Sherry Cordova are co-founders of a limited production, dual sport motorcycle called the SC3 Adventure.
The concept of a motorcycle that is functional on both dirt and pavement is not new. Most bikes can manage a hard packed dirt road, but what Jim and Sherry have built, as you can see in the photos looks like it could run the famous, and brutal, off-road Baja 1000 race that traverses Mexico’s Baja Peninsula each year in November. The SC3 Adventure is elegant and rugged, no matter how you look at it.
Jim has been riding dual sport bikes for decades, and finally decided to build his own. Everywhere he went people loved it, so he decided to open a business: Carducci Dual Sport, LLC. He purchased the full Autodesk Product Design Suite to do all the modeling and simulation. Some might say that for a startup, such an investment is significant, but he states it was a good value and has allowed him to be more productive and build his business. His company is located within a precision CNC machine shop, Lux Manufacturing in Sunnyvale, and he hires that team to turn milled parts around quickly and professionally.
I spent a few hours with Jim and Sherry and received one of my first lessons in how 3D design is not just changing design, but making the impossible possible. Jim believes that the tools of the "new industrial revolution" are what make it possible for him to build the bike of his dreams and he hopes the dreams of others, too. Jim is a mechanical systems design engineer and senior engineering director in the semiconductor industry. Sherry has an electrical engineering control systems, software, and operations background.
Jim walks me through how he uses Autodesk Inventor and Showcase to model many aspects of the bike. In fact, they’ve built this bike from the ground up. They transform (convert) a Harley Davidson (model year 1993-2003) HD® 1200 or 883 Sportster® into the SC3 Adventure to create a true on/off road dual sport motorcycle. From my conversation and via their website, all components are designed using CAD software for precision and analyzed as required with FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software for structural integrity and reliability. I pulled that last bit off of their website – Jim knew better than to try and educate me on all the technicalities! But thankfully, he spent a few minutes showing me how he uses Inventor – check out this short 90-second video on the swing arm. Layman’s terms, my style.
Jim has a fair number of photos that show his motorcycle in various stages of production and detailed, high resolution photos of the different aspects of the SC3 here on the site gallery, but also more action shots on the Instagram feed. As you saw in the above video, Jim brought the SC3 Adventure out and I was amazed at how unlike a Harley Davidson the bike sounds – but that likely has to do with the proprietary exhaust system Jim has built for it.
You can see another video that showcases more of how Jim designed the motorcycle with Autodesk products here.
One might argue that Jim has a small market to build a business around, but that doesn’t bother him or Sherry – they want to build high-end, semi-custom dual sport adventure motorcycles for the men and women who appreciate the look as well as the rugged functionality and thoughtfulness to a bike designed to handle rugged trails and perform on the highway, too.
You can find custom bike builders who will turn your street bike into something unique (even Harley Davidson offers that service) and you can find shops that will turn your dirt bike into a street legal machine. But you won’t find anyone designing or building a dual sport bike like the SC3 Adventure – a bike lovingly handcrafted thanks to the power of 3D software and hardware (thanks HP and Nvidia).
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