CFMoto's active suspension tech scans the road with cameras

CFMoto is developing a new form of electronic suspension that would be able to read the road ahead and adjust accordingly

CFMoto 1250TR-G

The Chinese motorcycle manufacturer CFMoto is developing a new system of predictive electronic suspension.

Electronic suspension is hardly a novelty in motorcycling by now, but it generally remains reactive in its nature: the wheel rolls along the road, and as it rolls over particular inconsistencies in the road surface the suspension adjusts itself to cope with that inconsistency.

The new system from CFMoto would bring forward the point at which the suspension adjusts for an inconsistency in the surface by using a front-mounted camera to survey the road surface ahead of the motorcycle and prepare the suspension in anticipation of arriving at a bump or a hole, for example, it detects. 

The patents which show CFMoto’s new system were published last week by Cycle World, which notes that it is shown on a 1250 TR-G - CFMoto’s high-capacity touring bike using an engine derived from the KTM LC8 V-twin that is mostly built for use by police.

The filings describe the system as a “shock absorber control system, which includes a camera”. The controller is fed information from the camera, and makes adjustments to the damping of the front and rear suspension based on that information. 

It is not an especially new system, if you look over at the four-wheeled world. There, Mercedes has been working with this kind of predictive electronic suspension since the middle of the 2010s. 

In motorcycling, however, it is quite distinct. Although an increasing number of production motorcycles are now being marketed with cameras built-in to them, the most common uses for these cameras are for riding assists like cruise control or for blind spot warnings, for example. Using them for preemptive active suspension makes sense, but is something quite new to motorcycling.

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