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Honda R&D Co.,Ltd.
Deciding CFD Tool Based on Thorough Evaluation of
Benchmark Model

The Honda Motorcycle R&D Center (R&D Center) is using SC/Tetra Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software for fluid analysis of key components of Honda motorcycles. The decision to use SC/Tetra was based on results of thorough in-house benchmark tests. Using SC/Tetra, the R&D Center improved the efficiency of the development process for the test case and is now extending its use to other motorcycle components.

Picture 1: Mr. Tomokazu Nomura
Assistant Chief Engineer, Department Two,
Technology Development Division Two, Motorcycle R&D Center,
Honda R&D Co., Ltd.

 The R&D Center is fully responsible for research and development of Honda’s domestic and non-domestic motorcycles. Within the Center, departments are divided based on their expertise, such as engine, vehicle, and fundamental research. Mr. Tomokazu Nomura (Picture 1), a Honda engineer using SC/Tetra, belongs to the Technology Development Department Two, which focuses on engine development. Their expertise is on the use and development of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) technologies. They initially used SC/Tetra to analyze engine intake and exhaust ports and subsequently extended its application to evaluate water-cooling flow and efficiency of pumps.

​ The motorcycle design process starts with development, which requires determining the capability of each component to satisfy the concept requirements. Evaluation of the specifications to achieve the targeted capability comes in next. This is followed by determining the configurations, prototyping and finally, production. In the time of ever changing demands, Mr. Nomura explains that they prioritize based on minimizing delivery time for the products that the market needs.

Identifying CFD Software through Thorough Evaluation

 The R&D Center first introduced SC/Tetra in 2005 to analyze engine intake and exhaust port design. Prior to the introduction of CFD, engineers repeated prototype production for many cycles during development to improve the design to ensure engine performance. Because of the amount of time this took, they wanted to reduce the number of prototypes, and make the process more efficient while retaining accuracy. Since Mr. Nomura joined the company around the same time, he took a part in reviewing CFD software.

Figure 1: Cross section of the engine model showing the combustion chamber
​(click to enlarge)

 As Mr. Nomura’s group incorporates CFD software into their daily tasks, they were looking for accurate software that is suitable for their analysis targets. To find out the software that embraces sufficient accuracy and suitability to their products, they drew comparisons between seven dierent analysis tools, performed analyses and undertook corresponding experiments simultaneously. Having carried out the two-year evaluation, they decided to introduce Cradle’s SC/Tetra.

Balancing the Cost, Accuracy and Analysis Time

 The R&D Center chose SC/Tetra for its high accuracy and the capability to analyze in short time. “Even if the analysis is accurate, it’s no use if it takes too long to calculate,” says Mr. Nomura. He was also pleased to learn that SC/Tetra was reasonable in terms of cost, for the speed and accuracy.

​ Another reason for choosing SC/Tetra was that it is all-in-one-package that includes mesh generating function, unlike other software that could only process the analysis calculation. Its automatic mesh generation feature was a remarkable characteristic at the time, allowing the generation of boundary layer meshes. Also, “we could choose from various visualization features. They were useful in presenting results to others,” explains Mr. Nomura. He felt the usefulness strongly because back then people were not as familiar with fluid analysis results as they are now.

​ SC/Tetra also scored very well for the software support in the evaluation; R&D Center was happy with Cradle staffs’ fast and in-depth response. Its version is regularly updated, which was a crucial condition R&D Center could not compromise; ideally, CFD software should be constantly improved to become more accurate and convenient. Convinced of the ability as well as its well-balanced features, R&D Center decided to use SC/Tetra.​


*All product and service names mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
*Contents and specifications of products are as of January 1, 2014 and subject to change without notice. We shall not be held liable for any errors in figures and pictures, or any typographical errors.

Company Details


Honda R&D Co.,Ltd.
Established 1960
Business Research and development of transportation machinery and appliances
Representative Yoshiharu Yamamoto (CEO and President)
Head Office Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan
Capital 7.4 billion JPY



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