Is Norton Using Semi-Active Suspension for the IOMTT?

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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