How does Du­cati’s clever Sky­hook sus­pen­sion work?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

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

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