BMW brings out new suspension technology


All these bells and whistles should make for a smooth ride across third-world pavement - but good luck finding a shade-tree mechanic in Botswana who can fix it.

Motorcycle technology just took another step forward, with BMW’s announcement of their Dynamic Damping Control technology that enables your bike to adjust to road conditions on the fly.

BMW has long been known for bringing fly-by-wire electronic controls to motorcycles – they were one of the first companies featuring ABS on their machines, and more recently they brought out the electronic suspension adjustment systems (ESA & ESA II) that other companies are copying.

The Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system is sort of the logical next step from that ESA technology. Instead of the rider simply pressing buttons to change his bike’s engine mapping and suspension settings, as the Ducati Multristrada does, the new DDC system ties the suspension into the machine’s traction control and ABS. You can still select pre-set riding modes such as sport or touring with the DDC system, but every time you hit a corner, a pothole, or 160 kph, the onboard computer is calculating adjustments for your suspension damping, then electronically adjusts the valves at the suspension to adapt – fine-tuning is in the hands of the machine.

Supposedly we’ll see DDC technology on the new BMW R1200GS that’s coming out this fall.


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