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When Did the Evolution of Suspension Slow Down?

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Dirtbike tech has def stagnated...its just a year after year refinement of the same basic tech.....the same Telefork front with some variations.....this being the mainstay of all the manufacturers.....they all are of the same basic configuration.
And why not it works and works well.....but can it be better?

I am presently having a go at doing it a little differently and see what evolves.
Stock dirtbike telefork tech is good...its hard to beat.....its one of the most efficient ways to get long travel suspension on the front of a dirt bike....its compact ...relatively light with low unsprung mass and it gives the right suspension geometry or geometry change needed to have a good steering bike with good stability.
 

I am taking an approach of  keeping the telefork and its good traits whilst also incorporating the benefits of a link type suspension design.....so the best of both worlds with less compromise....so my design is a Hybrid between a telefork and a Hossack design link type suspension.....its a dual suspension...and so has two different wheel paths working together to give variations in wheel control depending on the forces acting upon it ( like when landing from a jump or hitting a steep sided rut or traversing a rock garden.)

I wont bore people with the details but so far its working quite well.....I have built a design as a working MX bike with the idea to get a better level of tuneable  bottoming control whilst not compromising on plushness and midstroke compliance....... and it works very well and proves my design criteria.
I am currently working on a next evolution of this concept and now building a bike ( just finished the frame ) that will be aimed at more trail /Enduro side of things.....the idea here is to build a front suspension that will possibly be able to better handle larger bumps/ruts etc whilst also incorporating the  benefits of the previous MX bike design.

 

 

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2 hours ago, EnglertRacing said:

apparently you are unfamiliar with rule books.

Lite have to run commercially available "A kits"

And 450s have to run unmodified frames.

The rule book has and will always be a road block in the way of innovation

Are you saying this applies to MXGP bikes as well? No it doesn't.... and an MXGP bike is not going to dramatically improve on what Eli is getting from Factory Kawi...even with the frame changes. 

The manufacturers are certainly not standing idly by and ignoring the potential to develop a ground breaking new suspension. For Formula 1 the rules can strike it down... but they will still develop the wild stuff, but their rules are to control COSTS being they are already out of wack so severely.  But in MX IF there was some cool thing that would bring a large advantage to a team in terms of Suspension it would be brought forward.  The team manager are always looking for an edge and so it the manufacturer.  B  It does no good whatsoever for manufacturers to sit on their hands and not develop certain products for the future.  This is not some conspiracy, its a reality of the product.  

Is there still improvement to be had on brakes or a pipe or motor? Not really alot.  A pipe just moves the powerband around, the motors are plenty powerful enough. At this point in time it about refinement.   They don't have anywhere to go dramatically.   The brakes are great and Brembo can't make a better brake for the traction on dirt... dirt varies.  It all about refinement now.... not massive break throughs... so you won't see that so much. 

MTN bikes have a clean sheet of paper to do what ever they want since they are not limited by as much as a dirt bike is.  HOw about the one fork of Cannondale at that time.. can't do that on an MX bike... ever! There are limitations on product design on heavier applications. 

MTB should not be even compared to MX bikes in production designs.   I do agree better levers and controls could be nice.  I just think over all MX has reached it peak and its about refinements.  Maybe some electronic suspension, but the fact is the terrain changes to fast to even incorporate that at the real time pro speed. You go from big hits to tiny chop in a second then go to big jumps.  The fact is it mostly about the rider, and the bikes are freaking plenty good now. 

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On 8/23/2019 at 10:17 AM, Robert S said:

Another area where moto components has stagnated or stopped improving is in braking components.  vis a vis mt bike brake components, moto is decades behind!!  The biggest area where mt bike brakes have improved leaps and bounds is in `braking modulation` and `lever design`.  I have searched high and low, far and wide for  moto braking levers (and clutch lever too) that could offer the adjustability similar to whats available for mt bikes......nothing comes close.  Yes.....moto brakes have pure power and are strong......but when it comes to modulation of that power, and the ability to fine tune the lever to your hand/finger size and level pull preferences; moto braking components fall far far short.....and its a disgrace quite actually.  

 

Agreed. I have a ARP master cylinder on My old road bike that has adjustable reach and leverage ratio, never seen the same on a dirtbike.

As for suspension, I'm with Piney on this, some of the old 80's stuff is as good as a lot of the newer bikes, The old '87 CR500 I've got has fantastic forks, and they aren't even upside down.

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I have an Ohlins ttx 22m shock on my ebike. The design is nothing new but i'd bet over the moon if my dirt bike soaked up trail trash like it does.

Agree with previous comment, AER are a step in the right direction. If WP released them with a leaf mid setup they would be classed as the modern day SSS

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12 hours ago, bowser said:

I have an Ohlins ttx 22m shock on my ebike. The design is nothing new but i'd bet over the moon if my dirt bike soaked up trail trash like it does.

Agree with previous comment, AER are a step in the right direction. If WP released them with a leaf mid setup they would be classed as the modern day SSS

That's more down to the ratio of unsprung mass to sprung mass, and the wider variation in speed that a motorcycle must be valved to accomodate

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I have a...

01 KTM 520 with the full RACE tech setup = pretty good

18 Husky 501FE with MX Tech lucky system. = better than the 01, but it’s not huge.

The real difference to me is the handling and weight difference = night and day.

On the street..

I had a 07 KTM Superduke 990... suspension just ok.

I have a 14 Ducati Multistrada 1200 with electronic Skyhook suspension = a hole new world! Way better!

It could be a game changer when electronic controlled/actuated suspension becomes mainstream in the off-road world.

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I have a...

01 KTM 520 with the full RACE tech setup = pretty good

18 Husky 501FE with MX Tech lucky system. = better than the 01, but it’s not huge.

The real difference to me is the handling and weight difference = night and day.

On the street..

I had a 07 KTM Superduke 990... suspension just ok.

I have a 14 Ducati Multistrada 1200 with electronic Skyhook suspension = a hole new world! Way better!

It could be a game changer when electronic controlled/actuated suspension becomes mainstream in the off-road world.

Too heavy ?

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On ‎8‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 9:03 PM, Kinematics said:

Dirtbike tech has def stagnated...its just a year after year refinement of the same basic tech.....the same Telefork front with some variations.....this being the mainstay of all the manufacturers.....they all are of the same basic configuration.
And why not it works and works well.....but can it be better?

I am presently having a go at doing it a little differently and see what evolves.
Stock dirtbike telefork tech is good...its hard to beat.....its one of the most efficient ways to get long travel suspension on the front of a dirt bike....its compact ...relatively light with low unsprung mass and it gives the right suspension geometry or geometry change needed to have a good steering bike with good stability.
 

I am taking an approach of  keeping the telefork and its good traits whilst also incorporating the benefits of a link type suspension design.....so the best of both worlds with less compromise....so my design is a Hybrid between a telefork and a Hossack design link type suspension.....its a dual suspension...and so has two different wheel paths working together to give variations in wheel control depending on the forces acting upon it ( like when landing from a jump or hitting a steep sided rut or traversing a rock garden.)

I wont bore people with the details but so far its working quite well.....I have built a design as a working MX bike with the idea to get a better level of tuneable  bottoming control whilst not compromising on plushness and midstroke compliance....... and it works very well and proves my design criteria.
I am currently working on a next evolution of this concept and now building a bike ( just finished the frame ) that will be aimed at more trail /Enduro side of things.....the idea here is to build a front suspension that will possibly be able to better handle larger bumps/ruts etc whilst also incorporating the  benefits of the previous MX bike design.

 

 

DSCF3117.JPG

DSCF3134.JPG

DSCF3296.JPG

Nice job ! Now you need to work on the rear to add this extra travel too. Roczen would certainly enjoy it with his soft setting. No frame bottoming issue ?

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Because it works well for the price riders are willing to pay.

It's like any technology. Suspension today is fantastic. There are exotic and expensive improvements available that don't make enough difference to justify expense for almost any of us, including pros racing at the highest level. So we ride on the excellent suspensions developed and refined over the last several decades.

It's like can openers. You can buy a robot can opener for $25, or you can buy one that is identical to those used in 1870 for $1.25.

Suspension works very well, especially the SSS. Valve for your conditions and most of the modern suspension is very good. Air spring forks have been around for decades off and on. Still perfecting those but getting pretty good with those too (though I am very happy to run springs). For air, mainly they are working on improving reliability as far as I can tell, as performance is getting really good.

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Why does your design need forks and shock on the front? What does it offer as performance benefit for the weight gain?

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On 8/23/2019 at 8:03 PM, Kinematics said:

Dirtbike tech has def stagnated...its just a year after year refinement of the same basic tech.....the same Telefork front with some variations.....this being the mainstay of all the manufacturers.....they all are of the same basic configuration.
And why not it works and works well.....but can it be better?

I am presently having a go at doing it a little differently and see what evolves.
Stock dirtbike telefork tech is good...its hard to beat.....its one of the most efficient ways to get long travel suspension on the front of a dirt bike....its compact ...relatively light with low unsprung mass and it gives the right suspension geometry or geometry change needed to have a good steering bike with good stability.
 

I am taking an approach of  keeping the telefork and its good traits whilst also incorporating the benefits of a link type suspension design.....so the best of both worlds with less compromise....so my design is a Hybrid between a telefork and a Hossack design link type suspension.....its a dual suspension...and so has two different wheel paths working together to give variations in wheel control depending on the forces acting upon it ( like when landing from a jump or hitting a steep sided rut or traversing a rock garden.)

I wont bore people with the details but so far its working quite well.....I have built a design as a working MX bike with the idea to get a better level of tuneable  bottoming control whilst not compromising on plushness and midstroke compliance....... and it works very well and proves my design criteria.
I am currently working on a next evolution of this concept and now building a bike ( just finished the frame ) that will be aimed at more trail /Enduro side of things.....the idea here is to build a front suspension that will possibly be able to better handle larger bumps/ruts etc whilst also incorporating the  benefits of the previous MX bike design.

 

 

DSCF3117.JPG

DSCF3134.JPG

DSCF3296.JPG

That is wild looking! I'm with bowser - the performance benefit would have to be immense for how much weight it's adding. I'm very curious to see/hear how it works though! Innovation always starts somewhere! 

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My kids always liked the VMX events, they were amazed at the different approach each brand took.  That lasted through the early 80s where everyone had a different concept for a powervalve and a rear linkage.  Since then, not so much.

Wasn't Pete's Novation suspension in essence a cone valve?  Most people at the time just wanted to play it safe and run what the pros were running. I think the stagnation is due to the culture of expecting all innovation to come from the factory.

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Actually when you break it down we have had many different setups recently

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There is no stagnation.... I think its crazy people are paying more for MTN bikes than MX bikes...  So we complain about MX bikes being expensive, and the manufacturers try to keep cost down so some components aren't as good maybe... but damn a MTN bike at 10k is crazy.  No motor/transmission.... yet same cost.  I don't want to argue the reasons.  I"m just sayin.

Last MX bikes kick ass now.  Reliable, excellent suspension.  Freaking going over whoops and ruts at speed cannot really be accounted for, it is 90% rider skill at speed.  You can take the same line 20 times and hit it mildly different... suspension cannot correct that all.  It not like you are going over a perfectly created bump...at the perfect angle, and those bumps can be 8" and the next one 24" tall.... then if you hit the side of that bump its at an angle that will kick your bike sideways.... so the suspension can only do so much.... what needs to happen is all of you critiquing it need to ride more and get better.... not expect the suspension to do it all.  I include myself in that.  Just sayin'...

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On 8/26/2019 at 12:41 AM, Knightly said:


It could be a game changer when electronic controlled/actuated suspension becomes mainstream in the off-road world.

Really,

Having the ecu crank and uncrank your lsc adjuster is a game changer?

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Really, Having the ecu crank and uncrank your lsc adjuster is a game changer?

 

ACTIVE suspension, not servos turning up the Compression (passive). Google “skyhook suspension”.

 

IMG_3048.thumb.JPG.e98fb875c88feb903ab83ee75b467b9e.JPG

 

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On 8/27/2019 at 1:47 AM, Icerink5am said:

That is wild looking! I'm with bowser - the performance benefit would have to be immense for how much weight it's adding. I'm very curious to see/hear how it works though! Innovation always starts somewhere! 

Its a work in progress and yes the weight is the big issue......the weight is what is felt most when people ride it....other than that its very favorable.....it adds about 5kg currently in its crude form.......my next current build is addressing the weight issue and should be about 2.5kg lighter ....because I am using the Showa TAC air forks they are 1.4kg lighter then a equivalent coil spring set so the weight should be close to a regular coil sprung bike.
Hopefully it will have a superior front end for most situations to make it worth it.
Where this is going is providing a better method of separating small/mid bump compliance and bottoming control......this next design is looking at using the two wheel paths that this gives to better handle larger sharp edged bumps ruts etc with less compromise on the overall setup.......
 

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On 8/26/2019 at 9:06 PM, texasthierry said:

Nice job ! Now you need to work on the rear to add this extra travel too. Roczen would certainly enjoy it with his soft setting. No frame bottoming issue ?

No problem so far......

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On 8/26/2019 at 9:39 PM, bowser said:

Why does your design need forks and shock on the front? What does it offer as performance benefit for the weight gain?

It better separates and allows better tuning of small/mid bump compliance and bottoming control.....so it allows the bike to work well over a wider range of conditions and riding styles....my next design is looking at using a method of wheel path control never before tried.....and see what happens 🙂

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