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Monocoque frame

Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin. Monocoque construction was first widely used in aircraft in the 1930s. Structural skin or stressed skin are other terms for the same concept.

Unibody, or unitary construction is related to monocoque construction, where the body is integrated with the chassis into a single unit, except that the body (or skin) is not stressed at all and is not part of the load bearing chassis.


A Grand Prix motorcycle racing monocoque motorcycle was developed in 1967 by Ossa, a Spanish motorcycle brand. Honda also experimented with a monocoque motorcycle in 1979 with its NR500. The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 sport bike was introduced for the 2006 US model year with an aluminum monocoque frame. See the Suzuki AC90 and Honda CL70 for additional examples.