Is Norton Using Semi-Active Suspension for the IOMTT?

04/09/2013 @ 12:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Is Norton Using Semi Active Suspension for the IOMTT? norton tt racer semi active suspension

Norton Motorcycles is gearing up for another entry into the Isle of Man TT, and while the British company’s project has been sequestered in Donington Park during the off-season, the team has released one very interesting photo of the now named Norton TT Racer.

Giving us a glimpse of the bike’s front wheel area, we can see that Norton is using BST carbon fiber wheels, six-pot ISR calipers, Dunlop tires, and Öhlins suspension.

However, the interesting thing with the Öhlins FGR forks is that they are clearly beyond WSBK-spec, and there appears to be electrical connections going to the forks’ rebound and compression damping adjusters.

The electrical leads can only mean one thing, a racing setup with semi-active suspension.

With Öhlins a little late to the semi-active suspension game in the two-wheeled world, it wouldn’t surprise us to see the Swedish company working with Norton and other partners to get its system developed and ready for mass consumption.

Öhlins has already partnered with Kawasaki to develop aftermarket suspensions pieces with semi-active technology for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, and we suspect owners of other makes are anxious for a similar opportunity.

Able to adjust its damping settings rapidly and on-the-fly, semi-active suspensions have the ability to offer dynamic and variable suspension setups for riders.

This means a bike with semi-active suspension can have a softer settings going over bumps and long straights, while also having a firmer suspension for cornering — thus in theory eliminating the compromises often made in suspension setup.

For the Norton team, this means that their race bike will be able to adapt to the wide variety of road conditions found on the Isle of Man TT course, and with the Senior TT over 225 miles in length during competition, that could mean valuable seconds gained for the Brits.

Source: Norton

Comment:

  1. monkeyfumi says:

    Or, just another thing to break and put you out of the race (or worse)

  2. Ha, I love that Luddite philosophy. Get back in your cave!!

  3. proudAmerican says:

    I look forward to this technology trickling down to everyday CBR’s, YZF’s, ZX’s, and GSXr’s available in the showroom.

  4. Stanford Crane says:

    I so look forward to setting my needle height and float level on my carbs…not! Bring on the technology! Imagine race bikes are behind Cadillacs!

  5. Gutterslob says:

    So, is it really a Norton this time?
    Or is it still a Spondon-Aprillia with a Norton badge?

  6. paulus - Thailand says:

    I wonder if there will be any Norton parts in this years model?

  7. 2ndclass says:

    Given that electonic suspension is legal in WSBK now (page 5: http://www.fim-live.com/fileadmin/alfresco/006_CCR_SBK_SS_SST_2013_Rules_Modifications.pdf) I’d say Ohlins would be pretty keen on getting as much data as they can to get their system developed and ready for OEMs to start using.

  8. monkeyfumi says:

    Oh, I’m not against the technology, I just think Norton have a few basics to get right before bothering with fancy forks.

  9. smiler says:

    Some justifiable criticism of Norton. Way behind with deliveries, dumped the rotary in favour of Aprilia and using a (Gartner owned) Spondon frame. Purchased massive new stately home for their HQ.
    Wish they would focus on getting the road bikes built and sold first.
    However those forks look good enough to lick.

  10. John D'Orazio says:

    Honestly, does anybody care what “Norton” does. I use quotes because Norton is a long, long way from being a real motorcycle company. Truth be told, it appears to be little more than a custom shop turning out a limited number of retro bikes. No problem with that at all, but the rhetoric that the operation’s management spouts has grown very tiresome. Norton will race Moto GP, Norton will be introducing a modern 4 cylinder model, Norton will begin delivering bikes in the US, etc. Really… How ’bout getting the manufacturing process down. returning deposits (without having to be sued) to those who have grown tired of waiting for their bike, and adjusting your press releases to your actual abilities. Might get some respect at that point.