Sunday, July 03, 2011

BMW Motorrad explains Dynamic Damping Control and other moto-technologies

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We wouldn't be surprised if the 2012 BMW S1000RR also gets Dynamic Damping Control, in addition to its ABS, ASC and traction control systems...
BMW Motorrad BMW Motorrad BMW Motorrad

For us, the best ‘innovation’ that has come from BMW Motorrad in recent times is their newfound inclination towards building all-out ultra-high-performance motorcycles. After all, until as recently as three years ago, who would have thought BMW would ever build something like the S1000RR, a machine that blew its Japanese and European competition out of the water when it was launched last year.

One of the reasons why the S1000RR has been so successful against the competition is because it’s so packed with technology. With its ABS, stability control and traction control systems, the bike is better able to harness the 193 horsepower that its four-cylinder engines produces. And now, BMW are talking about a raft of new technologies that could soon make their way to the company’s streetbikes in the near future.

The first of these new technologies is ‘Dynamic Damping Control’ (DDC), a semi-active suspension system. BMW have always been at the forefront of alternative suspension technologies – their Telelever, Paralever and Duolever setups and ESA/ESA II electronic suspension adjustment systems have shown that BMW are more than willing to do things differently. And DDC, a system that would allow the bike’s suspension to automatically adjust to varying road surfaces, and react to sudden, sharp manoeuvres, is one more step in that direction.

Such semi-active suspension has been available on high-performance BMW cars like the M3 and M5 for many years and now BMW Motorrad are working on adapting the system for motorcycle use. BMW’s earlier ESA II, with comfort, normal and sport modes, can already adjust the firmness of the bike’s suspension at the push of a button. DDC takes that a step further, with the suspension reacting automatically to manoeuvres like braking, accelerating, and cornering on various kinds of road surfaces. The system actually analyses situational parameters provided by its sensors and automatically selects the correct level of damping via electrically actuated damping valves in the suspension.

As you would expect, DDC is linked to the bike’s anti-lock brakes and traction control system, recognising these systems’ electronic input and adapting the suspension’s damping characteristics accordingly.

We will not get into a detailed technical explanation of how DDC works – those who may be interested in that can read about it on BMW’s official website here. The bottomline is that BMW claim DDC will make high-performance bikes safer and more fun to rider, and we’re inclined to believe that would be true. After the S1000RR, how can we not believe that technology really does make bikes better!

Also read about BMW’s ConnectedRide advanced safety concept here

BMW are using technology to make sure their bikes stay a step ahead of the competition
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