How does Ducati’s clever Skyhook suspension work?
Answered by John Burrows, Ducati Coventry Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) is a semi-active suspension system that automatically adjusts its damping according to the road surface. The technology is found on the Multistrada range and was introduced between 2012 and 2013 to replace the old Öhlins set-up. The idea is to keep the bike in contact with the ground at all times – filtering out any surface bumps and preventing the bike from pitching under acceleration and braking.
The bikes have accelerometers at the front and rear that pick up information from both wheels. This is then fed into the ECU, which levels it all out. It also communicates with the traction control and ABS constantly. If you think about it like a large coat hanger – there are points A, B and C. It is constantly trying to keep A and C (the wheels) in contact with the ground through B (the ECU). The rider chooses from a menu of damping settings and can go into these and dial in more compression and rebound damping if they wish.
The most useful thing with this suspension is that the rider can adjust it to suit whether they are riding alone, with luggage, with a pillion or with a pillion and luggage. The suspension will soften or stiffen up depending on what is required. Choose the preload yourself, and the rest is done automatically.
Electronics tweak the suspension to suit your ride