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Dec 12, 2012

Öhlins Develops Semi-Active, Electronically-Controlled Replacement Shock

An Öhlins Mechatronic TTX36 MkII shock for the Kawasaki ZX-10R.
An Öhlins' World's First (and Kawasaki Exclusive): Mechatronic Shock for a Motorcycle Manufactured without Electronic Suspension

Hendersonville, North Carolina: Öhlins extends its lead in the development of Advanced Suspension Technology with the launch of the first electronically controlled (EC) shock absorber for the "hypersport" motorcycle segment. This Mechatronic shock for the Kawasaki ZX-10R is the first-ever EC shock offered for a motorcycle that wasn't manufactured with EC suspension.

The Superbike damper used in this Mechatronic application is the latest, multiple-championship winning Öhlins TTX36 MkII shock absorber, which has just added the 2012 WSBK and AMA Superbike Championships to its laurels. The TTX36 MkII is a twin-tube design, featuring totally segregated compression and rebound damping, allowing precise tuning. Just updated for 2012, the TTX36 MkII has steel tubes to resist deflection, and a redesigned piston band for improved bump absorption.

The Öhlins Mechatronics system has been in development for a number of years, winning a World Superbike event in 2007 at Donington Park. With the evolution of the sophisticated electronics of modern, hypersport bikes, the time has come for Öhlins to launch the first EC aftermarket application for the fastest motorcycle segment, providing street and track-day riders their own, personal, professional, suspension tuner.

The first application for the hypersport Mechatronic shock is the 2011-2013 Kawasaki ZX-10R, the bike that in 2012 achieved the most pole positions and podium finishes for a rider in the WSBK series, missing out on the title by a record-setting, impossibly small margin of half of a point behind another Öhlins TTX equipped rider: Max Biaggi 358; Tom Sykes 357.5, (nine poles, four wins, 13 podium finishes).

The Öhlins Mechatronic suspension for the Kawasaki ZX-10R includes a TTX36 MkII shock absorber, fitted with Öhlins EC actuators that are wired to an Öhlins ECU. The system is connected to the ZX-10R's ECU, using signals from it to determine rider intentions by monitoring the way in which the bike is ridden: throttle position, rpm range, wheel speed, etc.. The Öhlins Mechatronic system reacts to the rider's quantitative needs, as revealed by the actual riding dynamics. The semi-active Mechatronic suspension continuously changes the damping settings dependent on the aggressiveness of riding style. All of the Mechatronic's adjustments occur while riding, but the system also detects the rider's choice of Power Mode, selected with the OEM-supplied button on the bike, automatically changing the suspension to sportier settings.

Programing upgrade possibilities will be offered in the future, and, as with any Öhlins shock absorber, the TTX36 MkII Mechatronic shock is serviceable at Öhlins Service Centers worldwide and, as with all Öhlins shocks, is completely rebuildable.

Peter Andersson, Product Manager Motorcycle, at Öhlins Racing AB, commented: "Our hypersport range is already mightily impressive, and with this first EC aftermarket application for the hypersport segment we've created a new product that's in a category of its own. Just a few years after our racing success in World Superbike with Mechatronics technology, and with the successful launches of the EC systems for the Ducati Multistrada and the Mechatronics aftermarket system for the BMW R1200 GS, this is another significant step forward for our technology. The ZX-10R is a fantastic bike to debut this system on, enhancing the bike's already great performance with the combination of Öhlins' TTX36 Shock and Mechatronic technology."

The Öhlins Mechatronic system has exclusive application for the 2011-13 Kawasaki ZX-10R: 2011-12 ZX-10R, Part #:KA 035; 2013 ZX-10R, Part #: KA 040.

Öhlins USA distributes and services the world's leading performance suspension components for automobiles, motorcycles, and ATVs. Öhlins develops its trend-setting suspension components, steering dampers and oils, at the highest levels of racing from open-wheel car racing, to Moto GP, to off-road competition on two and four wheels. Öhlins USA also provides training for service centers and dealers. Öhlins USA can be contacted at: 828-692-4525; www.Ohlinsusa.com