What lies behind the semi-active suspension from WP.
As the flagship of the range, the new 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE meets all requirements for luxury and travelling comfort. Modern electronic rider aids help to improve riding pleasure and safety, thanks to MSC (motorcycle stability control) with cornering ABS and lean-sensitive traction control. The buzz is provided by a cultivated 160hp of peak power and divine acceleration throughout a wide rev range. Sebastian Sekira, Head of the Street department in KTM Development, adds: “This engine is a dream for everyone who enjoys pulling out all the stops or just travelling along lazily with next to no gear changes. Even climbing Alpine passes in fourth gear couldn’t be simpler or smoother.”
One special innovation in the extensive equipment is the semi-active chassis from WP. This makes the fine tuning of fork and shock absorber particularly easy, as the rider can choose between “Comfort”, “Street”, “Sport” or “Offroad” settings on the handlebar.
An electronic controller on the semi-active chassis ensures that the suspension is adapted to riding style and road surface while on the move. The necessary information for this is supplied by suspension travel sensors on fork and shock absorber plus accelerometers at the front and rear. Tuning is based on characteristic maps stored in the system.
The suspension reacts constantly in real time to unevenness or potholes in the road (or offroad track), subject to setting selection and speed. Suspension components use the integrated sensors to measure the speed of spring compression and the compression travel. The higher the value in each case, the harder the suspension reacts. The control unit regulates the damping of USD fork and shock absorber by opening and closing the hydraulic bores.
The semi-active suspension on the 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE has the greatest effect in comfort mode, because the basic setup is soft and the valves only close purposefully for harder, tauter damping when the road surface is really rough. The sportier the selected setting, the tauter the basic shock absorber setup, because the flow through the valves is reduced correspondingly.
Sebastian Sekira on the semi-active suspension: “This technology opens up new dimensions for riders. As with the riding modes, the chassis of the motorcycle can also be adapted to both personal taste and the respective situation, depending on whether you want to be travelling comfortably, normally, sportily or in an offroad manner. Especially in comfort mode, the semi-active suspension makes it feel as if you’re floating, but with very good road contact. You’re not decoupled, there’s always plenty of feedback and you’re completely safe. Even when vicious potholes or sudden unevenness crop up, the motorcycle remains dynamically stable.”
One positive side-effect is that the semi-active suspension provides a slight anti-dive when decelerating. Sekira: “We utilise that of course. Since this in turn allows more efficient ABS tuning, which helps to reduce the braking distance when it really matters. In addition, the pitch compensation reacts to the load. The sensors adjust damping accordingly. This means fewer pitching movements while riding two-up when accelerating and braking, with hardly any detriment to ride dynamics. Consequently, riding pillion is also more comfortable for the passenger.”
Photos: Buenos Dias | H. Mitterbauer | R. Schedl