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Suzuki eyes electronic suspenders | NEWS

Self setting static sag set for Suzuki’s big ’Strom?

A system that automatically sets up the front and rear suspension preload to suit the weight of a rider and luggage is under development at Suzuki, and appears to be slated for the V-Strom 1000.

Straightforward, clever and similar in concept to the self-levelling suspension used on some cars, it uses load cells to measure the weight on the bike before the start of any ride and then electrically adjusts the preload at both ends to suit. The patented system is illustrated fitted to the chassis of a V-Strom 1000 and, given the fact many of the bike’s rivals now feature semi-active or electronically-adjustable suspension systems, it makes sense the big ’Strom would be the first model to benefit from the arrangement.

There’s no reason this design couldn’t be used in combination with a semi-active damping adjustment system as featured on many of its rivals, the reason for Suzuki’s patent is the way this bike automatically sets up the preload before every ride. That’s often seen as the first step in adjusting traditional suspension, so it makes sense for an electronic version to do the same thing.

The idea is to use a load cell in the rear subframe to measure the overall weight of the rider, any passengers, and luggage. There’s a seat switch in the rider’s seat to make sure the measurement is taken when he or she is sitting down, and the system is also connected to the ignition, which commands it to turn on, and to a speed sensor to make sure that the measurement and adjustment only happens when the bike is stationary. All the information is processed by a central unit and then the preload of both the fork and rear shock are adjusted to suit the precise load.

The design also includes a dash read-out that tells you the total weight of luggage and rider and will even warn you if the load is higher than the bike is designed to cope with. Yes, this is a bike that tells you when it’s time to ease up on the cro-nuts (or just carry less luggage.)

Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000 was introduced in 2014 and will be looking for some revisions for the 2017 model year. Adding electronic suspension would make a lot of sense.

by Ben Purvis

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