LIVING WITH ELECTRONIC SUSPENSION
Dangerous cherry picked the Blade SP for his termer this season, which comes equipped with Öhlins electronic suspension. Here’s what he makes of it… So what’s it like living day to day with an electronically suspended sportsbike?
Well, if my Blade SP’s anything to go by, pretty fantastic. For me its USP is the ease of adjustment. On the roads, where surface conditions change constantly, having the luxury of tweaking your setup on the fly is nothing short of genius. Bumpy roads can be smoothed out and likewise, blisteringly fast bends can be optimized with a few presses on the switchgear, gifting you with a much more versatile and appropriate weapon at any given time. It’s also takes all the thinking out of the equation, negating any need to know what compression even means, or where you’d locate the rebound adjuster. It’s an effortless and effective tool to have on any bike, be it a focused sports machine or laden tourer with your pots and pans on board. The earlier systems were easier to criticise, but the spec of tech fitted to my Honda is hard to fault; it just knows what to do and when to do it. I’ve rinsed the thing on tracks and roads alike, and never felt frustrated by the electronic suspension being there.
I’m not so sure it’s made me faster on track, but it’s made the bike a lot more manageable on the roads, which inherently means I’ve ridden faster, and with less effort needed. There are loads of features to play with in the Blade’s arsenal, but I seldom alter anything other than the suspension, simply because it’s the thing that makes the biggest and most instant difference to the bike. If you’re predominantly a road rider, or even a pacey trackday regular, I’d recommend that you embrace electronic suspension. Especially if it’s the Öhlins Gen2 stuff that’s fitted to the Fireblade, which is nothing short of genius.