Ricardo motorcycle expertise helps charity deliver essential blood supplies to hospitals

Ricardo motorcycle expertise helps charity deliver essential blood supplies to hospitals
25 January 2022
Blood Bikes

Ricardo has a long track record in using its engineering expertise to protect those who protect us. Recently, Ricardo has been proud to continue this long-standing tradition by supporting SERV-OBN, one of the volunteer UK Blood Bike groups which transports blood, plasma, tissue samples and milk for premature babies out-of-hours for National Health Service (NHS) hospitals. It serves the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Northamptonshire in the UK.

Blood bikers are charity volunteers whose selfless work saves the NHS a considerable amount of time and money on private hire taxis, couriers or, in exceptional circumstances, emergency services. There are 36 Blood bike groups in the UK who actively work towards parity with other front line emergency services in terms of legislative support and recognition by various government departments and agencies on national topics.

SERV-OBN has a fleet of 16 motorcycles and three 4x4 response vehicles to provide a potentially lifesaving service. Blood bikes are modified through the addition of the special carrying container on the rear of the vehicle, so it essential these bespoke motorcycles are fit for purpose. Therefore, the SERV-OBN team sent its newly converted BMW R1250RT to the Ricardo motorcycle team for a high-speed stability and handling assessment.

The Ricardo motorcycle team based in our Leicester Technical Centre used a bespoke series of quantifiable dynamic tests – very close to those used to develop production bikes - to validate the various operating conditions to which blood bikes are subjected. Measurement equipment – which was stored unobtrusively in a tank bag on the bike - had been calibrated in advance and once the data recorded had been confirmed as robust, the series of tests began. Through high-speed, hard acceleration, maximum deceleration, and a road-based mileage assessment the blood bike performed faultlessly, and the Ricardo team was pleased to sign-off the bike and have it returned to SERV-OBN.

Kamran Irani Chairman of SERV-OBN said: “Our motorcycles are modified to transport products in support of the NHS. It is therefore vitally important the bikes perform faultlessly; we chose Ricardo to perform high speed stability and handling assessment of our newly modified BMW motorcycle because of Ricardo’s proven record in specialist testing of vehicles. We are very pleased with the detailed report of the various elements of the high-speed stability and handling test and the fact the bike performed to a very high standard through out the test.”

Paul Etheridge, Head of Business Development and Strategy at Ricardo Automotive and Industrial EMEA said: “Ricardo was honoured to support the life-saving work of SERV-OBN. Our testing team is renowned for our validation capability supporting all the major motorcycle brands around the world. Ricardo’s added edge for our customers like SERV-OBN is that all our experts are not only engineers but bikers themselves, and it’s this ability to combine personal and professional knowledge, skills and experience that makes products we work on the very best they can be.”

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