Electronic suspension has been around for a while now, notably with BMW’s ESA and ESA II and on the Ducati Multistrada 1200S. Those systems offered preset settings riders can select to meet different road and riding needs. This year, electronic suspension took a evolutionary step forward with dynamic damping which automatically adjusts itself while you ride.
Dynamic damping, also known as semi-active suspension is the biggest technological advancement introduced in 2012. Essentially, it uses sensors on the wheels and frames to collect data about riding conditions. An algorithm processes the information and the system activates valves in the suspension to optimize damping.
The technology is still very new and only offered on a handful of models. The 2013 BMW R1200GS and the S1000RR-based HP4 are available with Dynamic Damping Control while the 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200S offers its version of the technology, branded as Ducati Skyhook Suspension.
Suspension manufacturer Marzocchi presented its semi-active suspension technology at EICMA while Öhlins introduced a new semi-active “Mechatronic” suspension designed for the 2011-2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. Dutch firm Traction Suspension also offered its version of the technology. It comes equipped on the Ghezzi-Brian V-Twin motard kit for the Moto Guzzi Griso.