Forty years after the birth of one of motorcycling’s most recognised brands, Öhlins has released the all-new TTX Flow motocross shock
Dirtbike bits was where it all began for the high-end global suspension brand Öhlins exactly 40 years ago. Now the Swedish company is going full circle with the release of its latest shock, the motocross-specific TTX Flow.
Starting from scratch, the TTX Flow took two years and thousands of hours of development and testing to reach fruition and, as it coincides with the firm’s 40-year anniversary, it’s a product Öhlins is particularly proud of. The firm is citing unrivalled bike stability and greater traction as the TTX Flow’s two biggest improvements over both its predecessor and its rivals, effectively calming down the bike’s chassis to achieve better control and performance.
Effective suspension set-up has long been considered a dark art of turns and clicks and whatever else, but Öhlins has made a conscious (and clever) effort to simplify both the unit itself and the adjustment process to make its new star product more accessible to more people.
How’s it work?
A motocross-specific rear shock is arguably the hardest working piece of componentry in motorcycling. The latest one from Öhlins uses the TTX, or Twin Tube technology that the gold-coloured suspenders have become known for in recent years. The unique tube-within-a-tube design is employed by the firm in both its front forks and rear shocks and forms part of the secret behind the TTX Flow’s unrivalled recovery ability. The other part, according Öhlins, is the all-important technology surrounding the internal pressure regulation, but the fact the technology is still patent pending means the firm is coy on the gritty details. It is, however, claiming extremely fast recovery times – supposedly, these shocks ‘forget’ about a bump, a hit or landing in “less than one one-hundredth of a second.”
The Swedish brand says its quicker response makes for a more consistent and more predictable ride.
Less is more
The impressive recovery claims aside, perhaps the most innovative element of the new TTX Flow shock is that Öhlins has re-evaluated the overall complexity of the unit in a bid to make its coveted technology more accessible to more people.
Not only is the unit now made up of fewer parts, but a new spring clip design means springs can be whipped out and replaced far more easily and faster than before. The confusing-for-some twin adjusters for high- and low-speed compression have been replaced with a bigger, single adjuster. There’s a simple rebound adjuster, too, and while both now offer less clicks, the adjustment that is available has been made more refined. Each component can be individually replaced, which means a less-expensive suspension bill at the end of the season, and Öhlins has forecast that more people with a wider range of ability will be using the new TTX Flow shock and has therefore increased the amount of springs on offer.
By Kellie Buckley