A snapshot of the latest news in regards to this bike for those curious about ordering one.
– new Brembo caliper design with 2 pads, not 4
– forged wheels
– titanium exhaust with quiet insert 5.5lbs lighter
– same frame, triple clamps, swingarm and linkage as the 2012 model
- Dynamic damping control
– suspension adjustments made every 11 milliseconds to forks and shock
– effective for high and low-speed damping
– data from 2 gyros and engine sensors accessed before suspension changes occur (not an independent ECU just for suspension)
– all damping occurs in the left fork leg connected via wiring to the suspension ECU
– right leg is spring preload
– rear shock has a spring travel sensor, optional for the forks (should be required in my view)
– braking force is 7.5m/s for rain and sports modes and in a race, a mode is 9-10m/s (155-0 in 229m)
– the damping control ECU is located with the ram air duct in the front fairing
How does it work?
– an electromagnetic coil actuates a plunger back and forth over a series of holes changing oil flows dynamically in the left fork leg and rear shock
– the shock retains piston and valving shims with the plunger below that
– it is unclear if both fork legs have pistons and valving or just the left leg
– rain and sports focus on comfort opening compression more by slowing down the plunger movement to a minimal amount
– race/slick modes cue stiffer compression based on higher forces put through the suspension by sensing fork and shock speed and travel area moving the plunger more rapidly.
– for each of the 3 modes, there are further fine adjustments from +7 to -7 (minus being softer)
– slick mode activates the front brake race-developed ABS
– there is some overlap on the settings between each mode but that may be on the last 2-3 on each end of the +/- adjustment
DDC was developed by Dr. Uwe Schatzberger. The principle design focus is a soft suspension for comfort and safety for the street but then the system quickly ramps up when compression and rebound and needed once you get aggressive with the bike in the twisties through to track use. Clearly, the focus is on the street in creating a high-quality ride experience that is ultimately safer in many ways. What does that mean in real terms?
– damping optimized every 11 milliseconds means you can’t get lost with rebound and compression adjustments and create handling problems for the forks and shock
– chassis balance should be optimized creating absolute stability at lean
– braking performance should be increased to reduce braking distances by managing weight transfer and fork dive
– you still need to set sag and spring rates may have to be changed based on body weight (no spring rate data available)
Now things get interesting…..
The optional data logger can divide a race track into sections allowing the tuner/engineer to tailor the suspensions performance for each section to optimize suspension action for braking, balance and edge grip. Therefore in a braking zone, you can set shock rebound to -6 or 7 to keep the rear wheel on the ground creating much more chassis stability or in a drive/exit corner the shock compression can be increased to +5 to cope with the load from torque and peak power in conjunction with the engine and suspension ECU.
That, in turn, creates more questions…..
– how does the ECU deal with chassis changes in fork position and shock length based on different tire circumferences and individual rider needs?
– how will the suspension react with different fork and shock springs?
– can the length of the shock be altered or do we have just the reversible insert?
– for club and national race use, will riders prefer to use an independent fork and shock valving and fork and shock length along with swing arm pivots and linkage arms to optimize the chassis and suspension or use the onboard computer to solve all their handling concerns by using the data logger?
One team in Germany will use the DDC system only for racing in the IDM Superbike series as a control to see how it measures up against the handmade and tuned HP4 superbike. THAT should be interesting to follow.