Case Study: Kawasaki Motocross

Gerard Daniel Adds Value to a Winning Oil Filter Design for the Motocross Team

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. is a U.S. distributor for motorcycles, side-by-sides, and watercraft. Their two-rider pro racing team, Monster Energy Kawasaki, competes in the AMA Supercross series and AMA Pro Motocross series with their KX450SR. The team needed a filtering solution for their addon oil cooler system, necessary when the engines are pushed to maximum performance.

Jeremy Robinson, the team’s Motocross Racing Technologist, searched for a domestic supplier that would be capable of providing development support. Ultimately, the Hanover HQ office of Gerard Daniel referred Jeremy to Conner Flack, a Gerard Daniel product engineer at their Fontana California plant who was able to make the filter he needed. As Jeremy was working through the design challenges, he learned that Gerard Daniel was more than simply a raw material supplier; they were, in fact, a manufacturer of specific filtration products.

Their expertise enabled a perfect collaboration with the team to achieve their objectives. According to Jeremy, “Gerard Daniel added value to what we were looking for. I already had a design in mind, I had already sketched it in CAD, and I was simply looking for the raw materials to put it together in our shop. It was going to be challenging for our people to connect the wire mesh to some sort of stainless steel housing to hold it all together. Gerard Daniel said, ‘This is our wheelhouse, this is what we do. What are your design parameters?’ They took our CAD model and modified it to make it manufacturable and to perform the best it could. They saved us a lot of time in trial-and-error. They even included a magnet in the design to pick up any steel debris that might be in the oil. Then they built the entire assembly so it was ready to go when it was delivered. Conner and his team were able to make a solution for us that worked well.”

Conner not only made several recommendations to Jeremy’s design to accommodate the flow rate and direction, temperature and installation method, but more importantly, he explained WHY he suggested these improvements, giving Jeremy confidence that the product would work as intended. Conner suggested that they:

  • Install the wire mesh on the outside of the housing to better support the mesh against the oil flow.
  • Recess the mesh to sit flush with the OD, allowing for more filtration surface area, an important factor to ensure sufficient oil flow when debris is present.
  • Fabricate the filter using resistance welding instead of epoxy, and incorporate a seal to eliminate leakage around the mesh.

Jeremy learned along the way that Gerard Daniel’s California office had quite a bit of experience in off-road motorsport categories, such as Baja truck racing and other 4-wheel motorsport racing. While its major market for oil filtration products is industrial vehicles and machinery, Gerard Daniel frequently makes filters for off-road motorsport applications like Kawasaki’s. “I would recommend anybody in a similar position to call Gerard Daniel. It’s an easy call to make,” Jeremy stated.

Gerard Daniel is a primary wire mesh solutions provider for the industrial vehicle market. With over 70 years of experience in wire mesh solutions, our applications engineers collaborate with our customers’ design teams to improve performance and reduce cost in a wide range of applications including air vents, grilles, and debris screens, plus numerous inline filtration and strainer assemblies in fuel systems and hydraulics. With multiple operations in the US as well as Canada and Ireland, Gerard Daniel Worldwide is a leading provider of mesh, filtration and separation solutions used in a broad array of critical OEM and MRO applications.