Tag Archives: suspension

Touratech launches new adventure suspension

The biggest improvement you can make to just about any motorcycle is to update the original suspension.

Most motorcycles are built with bargain suspension as standard. 

Even “exotic” or “luxury” brands tend to come with compromised suspension components and only special models have high-grade forks and shocks.

While many riders tend to replace mufflers and engine management systems to get greater power, the biggest improvement they can make to a bike’s performance is via the suspension.

We all know that better suspension will improve the bikes handling, but what does that actually mean?

Good handling isn’t necessarily stiffer suspension. 

It can result in “plusher” suspension that makes the bike corner better, steer more precisely and ride smoother over bumps.

It means the forks and shocks will respond faster to bumps keeping the wheels in contact with the ground which translates as better acceleration and braking.

This is no more important than on adventure bikes that travel on much more demanding terrain.

Even if you like the standard suspension on your adventure bike — and some of it is quite good — adventure riding on rough roads can take a heavy toll on suspension which could need updating in just a couple of years. 

In 2014, German adventure accessories company Touratech started producing a range of high-end suspension tailored specifically for adventure riders.

Touratech Suspension already has the Travel range for adventure bikes and dual bikes and Black-T series for custom bikes, scramblers and new heritage bikes. 

Now they have introduced a new E1 series of adventure suspension so their brand now covers more than 400 motorcycle models.

Touratech E1 suspension
Touratech E1 suspension

Touratech Suspension’s E1 adventure series includes mono shocks, twin shocks and replacement spring sets for the fork and the original shock absorber. 

The step-less progressively wound springs are claimed to combine sensitive response with high puncture resistance.

And there are replacement spring sets for some models to lower the bike for shorter riders.

The base parts are milled from the solid and a “generously dimensioned” damper rod made of 16mm thick chrome-molybdenum steel. 

The big damper tube ensures optimum heat dissipation so the temperature balance of the damper remains stable, even under heavy use.

Rebound damping of the shock absorbers can be adjusted over 50 clicks and the springs have a progressive rate that offers a plush ride on harsh bumps without bottoming out.

The preload of the spring can be adjusted manually.

The E1 series spring elements are manufactured in Europe and come with a two-year warranty. 

But don’t expect them to come cheap. A rear shock alone can cost up to $A2000.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

WP Suspension to suit more models

Esoteric Austrian suspension company WP Performance Sports GmbH which is owned by KTM Group has announced it is branching out into units for other models.

In Australia, WP Suspension is sold through KTM and has been available only for KTM models.

However, a recent release from the company about its street suspension says WP Suspension plans to “expand its portfolio with suitable products for a large number of other manufacturers”.

It’s good news for riders as the suspension units are among the best in the world.

The range includes on and off-road competition-focused Pro Components, such as Cone Valve forks, Trax rear shock absorber, triple clamps and steering dampers, as well as t-shirts and stickers.

KTM Australia adds WP Suspension and gear

WP Suspension history

The Dutch company launched as White Power Suspension in 1977 and has been heavily involved in motorsport, winning more than 300 FIM World Championship titles.

Its unfortunate name was based on its iconic white coil springs.

The company went broke in 1991 and relaunched the same year as WP Suspension.

KTM gradually took over the company from 1997 and re-established the factory right next to theirs in Mattighofen.

Championship winning KTMs

Their combined engineering has helped the company develop their off-road and now road racing motorcycles.

Meanwhile, their street-oriented APEX PRO COMPONENTS feature a growing selection of cartridges, forks, shocks and steering dampers for KTM motorcycles.

New products include the APEX PRO 7500 Cartridge, APEX PRO 7746 Shock and APEX PRO 7117 Steering Damper for the KTM 890 DUKE R and KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda Goldwing forks extended

Honda has filed a patent that indicates it may be planning to extend its Goldwing double-wishbone forks to other bikes in its range.

Two patent drawings show the suspension being used on a neo retro CB1100 and a C125 Super Cub scooter.

Patent drawing for forks ion a CB1100 Patent drawing for forks ion a CB1100

So anything in between could be suitable for the suspension.

To us, it looks similar to BMW’s duolever suspension which is expensive, heavy and lacks feel. However, the advantages are a lack of dive under brakes and the ability to soak up big hits.

Honda’s Goldwing suspension uses a similar system invented by Scot Norman Hossack.

The suspension system is similar to those on some sportscars, but instead of a hub-carrier and wheel attached to the end of the wishbones, it has a solid front fork attaches to the front wheel.Forks CB1100

While it may provide great traction, comfy ride and precise steering, it doesn’t really suit the retro styling of the CB1100 and we think the weight may defeat the advantages on a Super Cub.

But it could have advantages on some other bikes in their range.

Forks patents

Aprilia anti-dive forksAprilia anti-dive forks

It follows recent patent by Aprilia for anti-dive forks and is one of many patents Honda has lodged in the past 18 months, including one for suspension that works via artificial intelligence to predict and adjust damping.

While some of the other Honda patents are fairly wild ideas, this seems much more sensible and could come to market in the future.

This new patent joins the following recent Honda applications:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda patents artificial intelligence suspension

Several motorcycles have electronic suspension that adjusts to the terrain, but Honda has applied for a patent on suspension that works via artificial intelligence to predict and adjust damping.

Their patent application shows a CRF450R trail bike, so it is obviously designed for trail and adventure riding where the terrain can vary substantially.

Some BMW adventure bikes have accelerometers to scan the road surface and electronically adjustable the suspension to suit.

Artificial intelligence Honda patents artificial intelligence suspension

Honda’s patent is similar, but it also anticipates what will happen.

For example if the front wheel comes off the ground, it will compensate for the landing.

We are not sure how the artificial intelligence interprets the terrain, but it does include reference to time, so it can predict what is about to happen.

Maybe it softens the suspension to ease your sore back after you’ve been hitting the trails for several hours!

It uses sensors to measure the fork movement and automatically adjust compression and rebound.

Honda patents

honda patent drum brakes variable riding position emotions
Honda patent for variable riding position

This is one of many patents Honda has lodged in the past year.

While some of the others are fairly wild ideas, this seems much more sensible and should come to market in the future.

This new patent join the following from Honda over the past year:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Öhlins develops Royal Enfield suspension

Premium Swedish suspension company Öhlins has developed special suspension for Royal Enfield motorcycles for the first time.

The first models to get the Öhlins adjustable shock absorbers and fork springs with adjustable pre-load caps are the new and very popular 650cc twin-cylinder Interceptor and Continental GT.

They will be followed by full suspension for the 400cc Himalayan adventurer.

When I tested the Interceptor and Continental GT, I found the standard American-made Gabriel shocks a little on the soft side for my 80kg frame.

I pumped up the rear preload to the fourth of five settings but it still managed to bottom out over some big bumps, bounced around at the rear and wobbled a little over mid-corner irregularities.

Ohlins developed on harsh roads

“Öhlins takes the bike to another level, especially for those that will ride pillion or push their bike to the limits,” says ASEAN Business Development Executive Dale Schmidtchen in Thailand.

“The suspension was developed this year here where the roads are similar in quality to roads in Australia.

“The rear shock option for the Himalayan will be a great option for resolving two concerns with owners.

“Access to the spring preload is very hard on this model, so Öhlins will offer a shock absorber with remote preload adjustment, which in turn allows the rider to quickly adjust for varying load weights and road conditions.

“With Öhlins suspension, firstly you now have the option to adjust spring and preload for varying rider, pillion and loaded equipment. This is not just a comfort feature, but also safety.

“Dynamic ground clearance will be improved, as well as stability through corners. And last but not least, with most of a bikes braking control being a by-product of the compression stroke of the forks, this will allow for better braking, especially over bumps.

Öhlins has not yet released prices, but say they will be a “surprise”.

They come in either black or yellow with interchangeable springs.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

WP Pro Components Suspension Brings Championship-Winning Tech To The Masses

WP Suspension has new fork and shock options for off-road riders looking for a competitive edge. WP Pro Components will be available starting mid-May 2019 and the first wave of products include three fork setups and two shocks.

The WP Xact Pro 7548 and WP Xplor Pro 7548 forks are equipped with Cone Valve technology derived from the factory racing division, providing superior damping characteristics for any type of terrain. They also offer more stroke and top-spec material construction aimed to greatly improve bottoming resistance.

There’s also the WP Xact Pro 7448 Air Fork, which also comes with Cone Valve technology along with the AER spring system. The Xact Air Fork provides a 2.2-pound weight savings. The Air Fork system pairs the Cone Valve damping leg with the AER spring leg and provides nearly unlimited configuration setups.

For the back end, there are the new Xact Pro 8950 shock and Xplor Pro 8950 shock. Each of these shocks comes with the WP-developed Supertrax system, which allows adjustment to high- and low-speed rebound damping via a TXN adjuster. WP promises this technology provides improved bottoming resistance, more reliable traction, and a smoother ride overall. There’s also a gear-driven preload adjuster made to allow for easy adjustment to your bike’s sag.

Pricing has yet to be announced for these new components, and when they are released later this month, they’ll be available through any WP Suspension authorized center.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

Tenneco ownership to boost Öhlins suspension

Riders looking for premium motorcycle suspension should welcome the new ownership of Swedish company Öhlins Racing by tech company Tenneco.

The American company has worked with Öhlins on their CES valves over the past 20 years.

It will lend technological and logistic support that should lead to more products for more models, more outlets, faster delivery and probably cheaper prices.

Öhlins boss Henrik Johansson has welcomed the “strong owner”.

“Tenneco has everything we need that we currently do not have,” he says.

“We have technology, engineering capacity and a global brand name. Tenneco has global production, technology and a distribution network.

“By using Tenneco’s capabilities in purchasing and product development, we can reduce cost, increase profit and increase penetration of Öhlins products.”

He says the ownership deal will also bring new products to market faster.

“Competition is getting stronger, lead times are getting shorter; technology is getting to market faster,” he says.

“Tenneco will benefit from our ability – as a smaller, more agile organisation – to act much quicker and more efficiently in bringing new products and technologies to market.

“My objective is to continue to develop technology, open new doors in some areas and keep them open.”

Öhlins ownershipDucati Monster 1200 R ownership

Öhlins is well known in racing and recreational circles as one of the world’s top suspension companies for motorcycles, mountain bikes, cars and in motorsport for the past 43 years.

It not only provides aftermarket suspension components but also factory-fitted suspension.

Manufacturers using Öhlins include Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Norton, Triumph and Yamaha who used to own 5% of the Swedish company before it was bought back in 2007.

Öhlins will be incorporated into Tenneco’s Aftermarket and Ride Performance company which will begin operations this year.

Despite the new ownership, Öhlins will continue to operate as a stand-alone business.

Tenneco boss Brian Kesseler says Öhlins will remain a premium product and there are no plans to bring it into the mid-market, mass-market motorcycle segment.

Tenneco also bought Italian motorcycle and bicycle suspension company Marzocchi in 2009.

Racing support

MotoGP Ohlins MotoGP auction aids Sydney girl Freya ownership
Ohlins Racing Moto 2 forks

The company will continue to play an important part in motorsport.

“Öhlins has never sponsored a rider or a team,” Henrik says.

“We actually sell what we produce for Formula 1, Formula E, MotoGP, Nascar and others because we make the best products.

“I’m convinced that Tenneco will continue with that strategy and we can work on further building the Öhlins name in racing.”

The ownership deal is yet to be approved by the EU.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Showa suspension lowers seat height

How clever is this Showa suspension that automatically lowers the seat height when the bike is stationary, allowing short people to mount and dismount easier!

No more tip-toeing at the lights or teetering over when trying to get the sidetone down.

The Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (EERA) Heightflex suspension system has electronically controlled activators in the hydraulic valve to control oil supply.

Showa has displayed the new suspension system on a Honda CRF1000 Africa Twin.

2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports shows
Honda Africa Twin

Tall adventure bikes are a natural choice for such a system. They are lowered for mounting and dismounting, but still retain good ground clearance for off-road duties.

However, Showa says it can also be fitted to other models.

Showa doesn’t detail how much it lowers the bike, but they say it will drop in about a second and will resume normal height a few hundred metres after you start again.

Not only does it lower when the bike is stationary, but it also levels out to adjust for the rear weight of a pillion or luggage, much like other systems used on some BMWs and Ducatis.

Sounds like a god-send for short riders.

Although, there are other, cheaper ways short riders can adapt to tall bikes.

Click here to read our tall tips for short riders.

Showa EERA steering

Showa has also announced an EERA electronically-controlled steering damper.

It adapts the damping force in real time to control tank-slappers, speed wobbles and other adverse steering inputs.

The system seems similar to the Swedish Ohlins electronic steering damper.

The Japanese suspension company says both systems were developed during World Superbikes, the Dakar Rally, the Motocross World Championship and the FIM Endurance World Championship.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com