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Old 01-08-2013, 08:10 PM   #4246
Moronic
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Sock, I've read everything I can find on Skyhook and from what I can gather, oalvarez has it pretty much covered.

A bit I might add:

The key to "getting" Skyhook is to accept that the valving can react so quickly that it adjusts as the wheel encounters each bump/irregularity, and the adjustment is done as the bump is being handled. That is the "active" part. The claim is that an adjustment from full-hard to full-soft takes 10 milliseconds, or 1/100th sec. The computer reads axle acceleration and position from sensors and tells the valves at each end what to do.

That's how it does what no passive system (e.g. current tech Ohlins for bikes) can do. Run along in full-soft and hit something very hard and the Skyhook valving firms up as the suspension handles that particular hit, preventing it bottoming out. Run along in full-hard and hit the same something and the valving softens so that you're not thrown out of the seat.

The point (for the computer) always being to keep the chassis as stable as possible within the limits of suspension travel and springing.

Within that, you have the four "modes", set by the rider as with the Ohlins set-up. Essentially, these seem to adjust the feel coming up from the road surface. Sport, you feel all the bumps; Touring, less so; Urban and Enduro, as little as possible.

Within each of these four modes, as stated above, you have the option to further refine the feel level. So when running in "Sport", you can choose from hard, medium or soft. Same in Touring, etc.

Whether Sport "soft" is the same as Touring "hard" etc, or whether all increments in Sport give more feel than Touring "hard", I don't think anybody has worked out at this point.

But even if there is overlap on the bump side, there is still the other aspect of Skyhook, which is its auto-adjusting the damping to resist chassis pitch under brakes and acceleration. How much it does this will be affected by what mode you are in.

Finally, there is the question of rear spring preload. It is not clear whether Skyhook offers the same 16 preload steps as the Ohlins, or whether it is just four steps (i.e. rider, plus luggage, plus pillion, plus luggage) similar to BMW. From early reports, is starting to look like it may be just the four.

I think there is no doubt the Skyhook takes away some control from the rider/owner. You can't take it to a suspension shop and change valving etc. Anything like that would happen via updating the software. And whatever you have set it to, the suspension makes up its own mind as to how appropriate your setting is for the conditions. But as long as Ducati/Sachs has done a good job with the software, that will be absolutely fine for most people.

BTW: Also not quite clear at this point, but at least one press report has claimed that within each mode, you can also set comp and rebound independently - e.g. comp to 'med' and rebound to 'soft' - if you want.

Hope that helps some.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:39 PM   #4247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ten.98 View Post

So 4 modes with 4 levels of settings per = 16 "clicks", but as the article suggests, it is "re-zeroed" based on what mode you're in with only 4 levels of adjustment per mode.

So, yea, not AS customizable as the Ohlins, but pretty close.
well, to be fair, it may not be as close as you think. in each of the four (4) different DES modes on the 2010-2012 MTSs, there are 31 clicks for both compression and rebound, and 16 clicks for preload, respectively.

think of the number of combinations.....it's a bunch
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:46 PM   #4248
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Originally Posted by oalvarez View Post
well, to be fair, it may not be as close as you think. in each of the four (4) different DES modes on the 2010-2012 MTSs, there are 31 clicks for both compression and rebound, and 16 clicks for preload, respectively.

think of the number of combinations.....it's a bunch
Agreed, however they still make reference to the new system having a much wider range of dampening than the old DES.

"Because the damping is entirely electronically controlled it’s possible to have a much wider range of damping settings than with a conventional system, or indeed Ducati’s previous passive electronically adjustable system, DES."
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #4249
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Agreed, however they still make reference to the new system having a much wider range of dampening than the old DES.
Yes, another important aspect of Skyhook. The "wider" is dramatic, as illustrated:



Graphic from the excellent tech feature at ashonbikes.com.

So, Skyhook damping can be much harder but also much softer than, say, Ohlins. One reason why I think it would cope better off the tarmac.

One other thing perhaps worth mentioning: there is no reason why Skyhook would not make multiple adjustments per "bump". It is not just a matter of it picking a particular setting.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:10 PM   #4250
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Interesting stuff. Thanks guys for the replies.

So....with Skyhook, you have the 4 riding modes as before, but now with 3 "suspension modes" for each: Soft, Medium, and Hard. Then for each, you may (or may not? Is this confirmed yet?) have the 4 "pre-load" settings (Rider, Rider + Luggage, etc). Interesting.

Moronic, you and Oalvarez touched on a really good point. While Skyhook may not be as configurable as the Ohlins/DES setup, it's likely more "noticeable" to the average Joe because let's face it, most current MTS12S owners have NEVER touched their stock settings, and may not even know how (at least that's the impression I get from reading various board posts). If Skyhook is doing all the "work" of figuring this stuff out for you, then you don't need to muck with it yourself. Arguably that won't give the "fast guys" the exact ride they're looking for (i.e. the guys who know how they want their bike set up for track days, touring days, etc), but it should be "good enough" for their target market, who according to the demographics are the middle-aged (plus) guys who want 150HP, but in an ergonomic package that won't have them hobbling into the office on Monday morning.

Also, interesting comment re. BMW. I had forgotten that BMW was also using the new SACHS active-suspension technology in their new ESA-clad machines. So.....is Ducati with Skyhook catering more to the Starbucks crowd, or is BMW getting their freak on and feeling all sassy with their new 125HP waterhead?

-SM
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:40 PM   #4251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moronic View Post
Yes, another important aspect of Skyhook. The "wider" is dramatic, as illustrated:



Graphic from the excellent tech feature at ashonbikes.com.

So, Skyhook damping can be much harder but also much softer than, say, Ohlins. One reason why I think it would cope better off the tarmac.

One other thing perhaps worth mentioning: there is no reason why Skyhook would not make multiple adjustments per "bump". It is not just a matter of it picking a particular setting.
I'm no engineer but, would there be diminishing returns as you move further out on the damping curve due to the limitations of the spring itself (it also has a finite operating range)? Or maybe conventional damping even on the Ohlins is operating in an envelope smaller than is ideal
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:02 AM   #4252
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Originally Posted by JNRobert View Post
I'm no engineer but, would there be diminishing returns as you move further out on the damping curve due to the limitations of the spring itself (it also has a finite operating range)? Or maybe conventional damping even on the Ohlins is operating in an envelope smaller than is ideal

I think it's the latter. Only so much you can do via forcing oil through a hole past a bendable shim. So the conventional damper is valved for the expected conditions and the performance required. The range shown on the "traditional" chart could be moved up or down the force scale (Y-axis) by changing components, but the range of adjustment would remain narrow.

BTW: the X-axis represents the axle deflection rate (or speed) in metres/second, while the Y-axis is the resistance from the damping, in Newtons. You will notice that max compression damping at max deflection rate is about the same on either side: i.e., the charts show similar capacity to soak up really big hits.

Where the contrast is greatest is in the capacity to control the lower end and middle of the deflection-rate range, and also in the ability to show very little compression resistance across the board - including to a very sharp but low-amplitude hit.

That is where the Skyhook can control braking and acceleration forces much better (using a lot of damping at the low-speed end), and also where it can allow the wheels to float over sharp corrugations and the like that want to shove the axle around fast but not very far.

On those sharp little hits, the conventional shock would be working in the upper (right) end of the speed range, and so will be working hard to resist them, however it is adjusted, and throwing the rider around. Skyhook (in theory anyway) has the option of letting the wheel move easily until it works out whether the hit will be sustained.

One thing the chart doesn't tell us tho is whether by "traditional" suspension it means the commonly used de Carbon system, or the TTX system Ohlins specced for the rear of the Multi. Ohlins claims that the TTX also has a much wider adjustment range than conventional de Carbon style shocks. So perhaps that is part of why the Ohlins bike stood up so well in those MCN tests.

I am looking forward to hearing more as owners try these. And of course, there remain also the serviceability, longevity, replacement-price and spring choice (if any) questions. Those charts suggest there is plenty of rebound capacity to cope with a stiffer spring, should one be needed for some applications.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:10 AM   #4253
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Great info along with well thought out explanations and comments. Thanks, Moronic.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:45 AM   #4254
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Has anybody yanked one of these things apart yet? I am wondering how hard it is for a regular guy to perform an annual oil change in one, (like I can with all of the other re-buildable shocks...) Or is this something that has to be sent off to "The factory" for servicing?
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:49 AM   #4255
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Has anybody yanked one of these things apart yet? I am wondering how hard it is for a regular guy to perform an annual oil change in one, (like I can with all of the other re-buildable shocks...) Or is this something that has to be sent off to "The factory" for servicing?
And we have a winner, great post gplassm !

I can rarely afford to buy new and do all my own servicing for the last 40 years, I'll probably consider a used ABS equipped bike someday, but that's about as far as I'll indulge, in all the new wave mc electronics.

To those with the financial clout to indulge in all these beauties, all the more power to them,
I'll just live vicariously through their web postings...

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:08 AM   #4256
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LOL. It was pretty much all I could think about when I was at the Ducati/KTM dealership 2 weeks ago. My wife and I sat on a new Multistrada S, and a new KTM 990 SMT. FWIW - My wife found the SMT more comfortable for her in the passenger position. For me, the Mutli was beautiful, but the raw simplicity of the SMT drew me away from the Multi. The SMT still has a fuel pump, and ABS, and I do not like (or want) either. The Multi has all kinds of electronic wizardry. Seeing a wire bundle going into the top of one fork leg really just struck me as *wrong*. The $7k price difference was worth noting as well. If only the KTM had another 200cc's...
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:20 AM   #4257
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Originally Posted by gplassm View Post
LOL. It was pretty much all I could think about when I was at the Ducati/KTM dealership 2 weeks ago. My wife and I sat on a new Multistrada S, and a new KTM 990 SMT. FWIW - My wife found the SMT more comfortable for her in the passenger position. For me, the Mutli was beautiful, but the raw simplicity of the SMT drew me away from the Multi. The SMT still has a fuel pump, and ABS, and I do not like (or want) either. The Multi has all kinds of electronic wizardry. Seeing a wire bundle going into the top of one fork leg really just struck me as *wrong*. The $7k price difference was worth noting as well. If only the KTM had another 200cc's...
I think maybe you should look at a KLR.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:33 AM   #4258
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I think maybe you should look at a KLR.
I probably would, if it had another like-sized cylinder tacked on its motor, and everything else stayed the same - but then, it would be an SMT, with a 21" front wheel.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:46 AM   #4259
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I think maybe you should look at a KLR.
Let's not drag this into yet another KLR vs DR debacle.

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:51 AM   #4260
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gplasm, the new KTM ADV doesn't do it for you? Plenty of motor and little to no gadgetry....
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