Roland Hoover Automotive Engineer, Motorcycle & Bicycle Expert

Roland Hoover, Automotive Engineer, Motorcycle & Bicycle Expert

Roland Hoover is a mechanical engineer with broad experience in automotive and motorcycle engineering. His career includes more than 20 years of engineering experience at OEM vehicle manufacturers, aftermarket parts manufacturers, racing teams, and specialty performance tuners. Roland applies his expertise to forensic casework involving automotive and motorcycle crash investigations, failure analysis of vehicle systems and components, vehicle crashworthiness, and issues involving driver/rider actions.

Prior to joining Robson Forensic, Roland was a Research & Development Engineering Manager at an aftermarket motorcycle parts manufacturer; in this role, he was responsible for the development and testing of wheels, drivetrain, steering, braking, suspension, and electronic systems components. In addition to new product development, Roland was also responsible for root cause and finite element analysis investigations into product failures and consumer complaints. Earlier in his career, Roland worked for a small performance tuning shop that specialized in the import and modification of motorcycles; in this role, Roland was responsible for the teardown, fabrication of custom components, rebuild, ride testing, and inspection of complete motorcycles including engines and suspension.

Roland's automotive experience includes chassis, suspension, brakes, steering, and electronic driver aids. As a Senior Engineer at Hyundai Kia, Roland was responsible for continuous improvement of vehicle handling and safety. He performed SAE and proprietary tests to discover and improve weaknesses in physical components and software designs related to Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Braking Dynamics, Anti-lock Brake Systems, and more. Roland's earlier experience in automotive engineering includes chassis and suspension development for Dodge Motorsports, design engineering with K&N Engineering, and suspension design for a small off-road racing team.

Roland earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from California State Polytechnic University and is a member of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). A consummate mechanic, Roland began repairing, designing, and building mechanical equipment at a young age on his parents' farm. To this day, Roland continues to repair and modify his own vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles.

Provide technical investigations, crashworthiness and engineering, and accident reconstruction analysis involving passenger cars, light trucks, SUV’s, motorcycles, ATV/UTV’s, and bicycles.

Vehicle Design, Development and Testing – validation and field-testing of complete vehicles, components, and systems of passenger cars and light trucks. Evaluation of vehicle or component design, manufacturing, and assembly processes for proper design, operation, safety, DVP&R and FMEA completeness, and failure analysis. Testing pre-production and production vehicles in all environments to determine premature failures and adherence to standards. Assessing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) and other regulatory requirement compliance. Total vehicle design, development, and testing involving the automated driving systems, automated braking systems; electronic stability control; traction control systems; driver dynamics modes; adaptive cruise control; lane keep assist; powertrain; suspension; steering; tires; fuel intake, storage, and delivery; emissions controls; electrical; and vehicle dynamic systems.

Motorcycle and ATV Design, Development, and Testing – validation and field-testing of complete motorcycles, components, and motorcycle aftermarket parts. Design and performance evaluation of braking systems, wheels, clutch, forks, shocks, frames, handlebars, and accessories to FMVSS, DOT, and TÜV standards. Evaluation of how motorcycle dynamic behaviors and rider interactions change with aftermarket parts and modifications. Testing motorcycle modifications and repairs with aftermarket parts to maintain safety compliance..

Bicycle Design, Development, and Testing – validation and field testing of bicycle suspension components for use in a wide variety of riding conditions. Participation in the modifications and evaluations of bicycle dynamic behaviors with varying riders and conditions. Writing of manuals for bicycle owners, component installation, and service.

Operator Training and Operator Actions involving Passenger Cars, Motorcycles, and Bicycles – Instructing riders and drivers of all skill levels to competently and safely operate a motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. Conditions include off-road, street, high performance closed course, and racing activities. Training operators to diagnose vehicle handling and response problems for engineering research and vehicle development. As a rider coach, participation in the evaluation of operator actions and skills development for the preparation of beginner riders in mountain bike racing.

Analysis of Vehicle Repairs and Dealer Services – Total vehicle diagnostics and repair, aftermarket parts, vehicle modifications, including the interaction between customers, dealers, and manufacturers involving Safety Recall orders and Repair Campaigns. Participated and trained technicians in the proper shop operation, service repair reporting, diagnostic methods, and repair procedures.

Vehicle Accident Reconstruction – inspection of damaged vehicle and components. Site inspection. Review of police report, witness statements, scene photos, and other documents. Computational recreation of the accident using facts and scientifically accepted methodology to determine how the accident occurred, including elements within the accident. All to determine cause(s) of the accident, including the resulting severity.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2017 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving vehicle collisions, vehicle crashworthiness and engineering issues, mechanical defects and malfunctions, component failure analysis, and vehicle repair issues for passenger cars, light trucks, SUV’s, motorcycles, ATV/UTV’s, and bicycles.

Yucaipa Mountain Bike Team

Certified Level 3 Coach – National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA)

2016 to present

Provide assistance to the head coach and team director in the training, evaluation, and preparation of 50+ high school and middle school students for mountain bike racing in the SoCal High School Cycling League series. Participated in fitness evaluations, skills evaluations, rider development, and bicycle maintenance and repair training.

Performance Machine

R&D Engineering Manager

2016 to 2017

Led a team of engineers designing and developing new components and accessories for motorcycles, ATV’s and bicycles. Provided R&D services and manufacturing supply chain to OEMs like BMW Motorad, Harley Davidson, Victory, Indian, Roland Sands Design, Burly Brand, Progressive Suspension, and all the aftermarket wheels and components for Performance Machine. Worked with other design companies for developing electronics and phone apps for suspension systems and other accessories for motorcycles, ATV's, and bicycles. Led a team of R&D Engineers to develop new shock and fork products with multiple patents for the motorcycle and bicycle aftermarket and introduce more development component projects in UTV and Truck applications while meeting strict TÜV, DOT, and CPSC standards. Trained engineers in all condition ride handling and durability test riding of motorcycles, ATV’s, and bicycles. Participated in product evaluation studies to improve product performance and customer response.

Hyundai Kia America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI)

Senior Chassis Engineer

2010 to 2016

Worked for continuous improvement of the ride and handling by tuning the steering, dampers, bushings, brakes and tires in many Hyundai and Kia models. Performed SAE and FMVSS dynamics testing and creating new specialized vehicle dynamics tests to discover vehicle weaknesses in physical suspension components and software designs of the ESC, EBD, ECS, ABS, FCW, AEB, LKAS, ACC, and more. Provided detailed analysis and solutions to improve the components, hardware and software design of the vehicle systems to enhance the driving experience and safety for our customers. Benchmarked competitor vehicles and brought new models from initial prototypes to competitive production vehicles that won awards. Trained vehicle engineers with no prior driving experience how to drive on the public streets and in high performance closed course facilities for vehicle dynamics test driving and evaluation of vehicles in various roadway conditions and surfaces.

Wildwood Calvary Chapel

FOH Audio and Video Engineer

2004 to 2012

Applied engineering understanding of vibration optimization to Sound Systems, Video Systems, and Live Sound Mixing for concerts and festivals exceeding 5000 people. Mixed sound for a variety of artists, and would live broadcast weekly through podcasts and the web. Mentored four others to assist in the duties and eventually run the production themselves.

Sorenson Engineering, Inc.

Engineering Manager

2003 to 2009

Led a team of engineers and participated in the design and development of CNC, Robotic and computer controlled machines and attachments for machining operations. Directly involved in the design and development of custom automated machine centers and highspeed assembly machines. Designed machinery with laser light curtains, two-hand, and other machine safety guards and interlocks that meet OSHA requirements. Developed manufacturing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for the safe practices of machine operators, service technicians, and workplace employees in a machine shop environment.

Dodge Motorsports at Daimler Chrysler

NASCAR Chassis and Suspension Engineer
(Contracted through Ghafari Associates)

2000 to 2003

Dodge Motorsports Racing Division providing factory engineering and services support to the top Dodge teams in NASCAR and NHRA. Supported Dodge Teams for Multiple Wins and Championships.

Developed Shock Absorber improvements, Tire models, frame design and validation, and suspension components to improve the top teams. Provided instrumentation, test data analysis, and even test driving for various aerodynamics, engine, and chassis tests. Worked very closely with the teams, Calspan, Ohlins and Penske for damper and 7- post testing, and Bill and Doug Milliken for chassis software modeling/prediction tools. Trained highly experienced NASCAR drivers to diagnose ride and handling responses of race vehicles for chassis changes and adjustments.

K&N Engineering

Tool Designer

1999 to 2000

Designed aftermarket air filters, both the common injection molded type and the custom carbon fiber type for automotive applications. Designed the 3D injection molds and machining routines/ code and tooling for high speed molding machines by using SolidWorks. Participated in improving processes for safely manufacturing carbon fiber components.

Lance Gamma

Custom Motorcycle Builder/Designer

1994 to 1998

Custom Builder for street legal GP style motorcycles Suzuki RG500's and Yamaha RD500's. Rebuilt and modified four cylinder 2-stroke motors and transmissions for high performance and racing applications. Designed and fabricated custom fiberglass bodywork, re-tuned forks and shocks, and fabricated custom components for air filters, oil tanks, suspension and exhausts out of aluminum and titanium. Performed high performance ride testing and race preparation.

Education

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, 2000

Continuing Education

  • Instruction on the IDRR Software, Crash Safety Solutions, LLC, 2022
  • Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) Data Analyst, Collision Safety Institute, 2022
  • Advanced Crash Reconstruction Utilizing Human Factors, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, 2020
  • NICA Level 3 Mountain Bike Training, 2019-2021
    • CDC Heads Up Training for 2020 (Concussion in Sports)
    • Risk Management 1 for 2020
    • Risk Management 2 for 2020
    • Risk Management 3 for 2020
    • Athlete Abuse Awareness Training
    • On-the-Bike Skills Training
  • Motorcycle Crash Testing and Conference, IATAI Crash Team Member, Springfield, IL, October 2019
  • Reconstruction and Analysis of Rollover Crashes of Light Vehicles, SAE International, October 2019
  • Reconstruction and Analysis of Motorcycle Crashes, SAE International, October 2019
  • Interactive Driver Response Research Program (I.DRR) Instruction, Crash Safety Solutions, August 2019
  • Traffic Crash Reconstruction II, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, May 2019
  • Engine Failure Investigation and Analysis, SAE International, 2019 2019
  • IDRR User Forum and Training, Crash Safety Solutions, 2019
  • Automotive Tech.AD – 2018 (Automated Driving Technology Seminar), Detroit, MI, November 2018
  • Traffic Crash Reconstruction I, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, October 2018
  • Pedestrian Crash Testing, IATAI Crash Team Member, Lockport, IL, June 2018
  • Advanced Autonomous Drive Conference 2018, San Francisco, CA, February 2018
  • Vehicle Dynamics for Passenger Cars and Light Trucks, SAE International, 2018
  • Vehicle Crash Reconstruction: Principles and Technology, SAE International, 2017
  • Motorcycle Parts and Accessories Technical and Sales Training Clinic, Powersports University, 2016
  • Introduction to Brake Control Systems: ABS, TCS, ESC Seminar, SAE, 2015
  • Applied Vehicle Dynamics, SAE, 2013

Certifications

  • CDR System Operator
  • NICA Certified Level 3 Mountain Bike Coach

Professional Memberships

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
American Motorcyclist Association (AMA)

v. 04/6/22

Related Resources

See All of Roland's Published Content

Motorcycle Shimmy Phenomenon

By Roland Hoover
Expert Article

In this article, Motorcycle Engineer Roland Hoover provides an overview of the motorcycle “shimmy” condition and discusses the factors that contribute to motorcycle crashes. He examines…

Investigating Aftermarket Parts Performance in Motorcycle Crash Incidents

By Roland Hoover
Expert Article

In this article, motorcycle expert Roland Hoover discusses aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories. He examines the standard of care for vehicle manufacturers, part suppliers, mechanics, and…

Automatic Emergency Braking & Forward Collision Warning

By Roland Hoover
Expert Article

In the design of an automobile, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) systems are installed to increase safety by reducing the severity of rear-end collisions, or even…