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Suspension

BMW's Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system - active suspension for motorcycles.

The trouble with setting up the suspension on a motorcycle is that you're constantly compromising. If you want a nice firm ride that's suitable for hard cornering on fast, smooth roads, you're sacrificing comfort on the highway and optimal roadholding on a bumpy surface. Electronic suspension adjustment goes some way towards addressing these concerns - at least you can change your suspension settings without having to get down under the bike with a c-spanner and a screwdriver. Now, BMW is looking to eliminate this fundamental compromise using automated, active suspension adjustment - a system that works out exactly how you're riding the bike at a given moment, what the road surface is like, and automatically adjusts the suspension to make sure you've got the perfect ride at all times. The BMW Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system is said to be hitting the market "in the near future."  Read More

The SR Suntour Swing Shock is a suspension fork designed for use on lightweight commuter b...

OK, so you’ve got the single-speed, skinny-tired messenger-style bike for bombing around town while also looking hip ... that’s a good start, but what piece of functional bling can you add to further identify it as the urban assault vehicle that it is? Well, the folks at SR Suntour would probably tell you to swap your old school rigid fork for their Swing Shock suspension fork for commuter bikes. Depending on whether you’re more of a gadget-lover or a purist, you’ll either think it’s clever, or an abomination.  Read More

The Zerode G-1 mountain bike incorporates a mid-bike-mounted internal geared hub

It wasn't all that long ago that things like air-sprung shocks and hydraulic disc brakes were just being introduced on mountain bikes. Since then, we've heard about electronic and hydraulic shifting, microprocessor-controlled shock forks, and continuously-variable sealed gearing systems. What's next? Well, how about a bike with two chains and no derailleurs that is claimed to be better than a traditional MTB in four key areas? According to its New Zealand designers, that's what the Zerode G-1 is.  Read More

Eindhoven University researcher Bart Gysen and a test car fitted with the new suspension s...

Last December at the Future of Electric Vehicles conference in San Jose, a representative from The Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology presented research that his institution had been doing into a novel type of electromagnetic vehicle suspension. Now that a test car equipped with the suspension is about to appear at the AutoRAI exhibition in Amsterdam, the university has released some more details about the technology. For starters, it is claimed to improve the overall ride quality of cars by 60 percent.  Read More

The Vyrus 986 M2 Factory

Boutique Italian motorcycle company Vyrus is hoping to cause a real shake-up in top-level racing by entering its radically unorthodox Vyrus 986 M2 Factory in the heavily standardised Moto2 competition. With the same weight, engine, tyres and electronics as its opponents, the Vyrus bike is more or less a controlled experiment in the racetrack effectiveness of hub-center steering. It will be the first time in decades that we've seen a machine enter top-level racing without a set of traditional telescopic forks at the front end. If it succeeds, it has a real chance at causing a suspension revolution in the sportsbike world. Oh, and there's streetbike and kit versions available too. Very exciting news.  Read More

Lamborghini introduces pushrod suspension to series production

One of the highlights of the upcoming Geneva Motor Show will be the unveiling of Lamborghini’s Murciélago successor – a V12 range-topper bristling with the technological candy demanded by the marque’s aficionados. Earlier today, Lamborghini released further details of the new vehicle and true to form, some of the componentry is very special: the electrically powered parking brake; the 400mm carbon ceramic discs with six cylinder calipers ; and the separation of wheel control and damper via an aluminum double wishbone pushrod suspension. The F1-inspired suspension offers race-car precision yet long distance comfort and further strengthens the bleeding-edge brand values of the Volkswagen-owned super sports manufacturer.  Read More

Use the force Lu.. ah, Magnetic Suspension Device

Ever wanted to levitate a can or bottle inside an illuminated ring? Of course you have. Well, this device from Chinavasion uses the force to do just that. Unfortunately it uses force of the magnetic variety and not the Jedi kind, but the snappily named Magnetic Suspension Device is sure to be a conversation starter nonetheless.  Read More

Diagram of the regenerative shock absorber and the cross section of the magnet assembly

Only 10-16 percent of the fuel energy is used to drive the car during everyday usage – that is, to overcome the resistance from road friction and air drag and actually transport the vehicle forward. That amounts to a lot of energy being wasted. Hybrid cars recapture some of the energy usually lost in braking but the dissipation of vibration energy by shock absorbers in the vehicle suspension remains an untapped source of potential energy. To harvest this lost energy, researchers have designed and tested a shock absorber that can be retrofitted to cars to convert the kinetic energy of suspension vibration between the wheel and sprung mass into useful electrical power.  Read More

The Pronghorn mountain bike frame with APLS - the suspension unit is mounted on the top tu...

Serious mountain bikers are always looking for a competitive edge. Often, that can mean extracting every ounce of energy from their bodies and their equipment. Danish high-end mountain bike builder Pronghorn has designed a bike frame the company calls its Anti-Power-Loss-System (APLS) where the rear shock absorber is mounted on the top tube. This, says the company, better utilizes the rider’s energy by delivering power more efficiently to the back wheel when the rider needs it - climbing uphill or negotiating technical courses - while performing like a full suspension model on the downslope.  Read More

Cannondale's prototype Simon computer-controlled suspension fork

After five years of development, Cannondale has unveiled a new proof-of-concept prototype that could revolutionize bicycle suspension. Called Simon, it’s the newest member of their offbeat Lefty line of one-legged shock forks. According to Cannondale, Simon’s onboard microprocessor will allow users to customize their ride like never before. If that isn’t enough, it can also send the fork from being fully-open to fully-closed in just six milliseconds.  Read More

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