It’s been decades since Bilstein built suspension for motorcycles, but the European manufacturer is preparing to re-enter the segment, starting with a focus on the BMW S1000RR.
DriveTribe is reporting Bilstein has been developing its new line of motorcycle suspension for five years, aiming to start with the superbike market. It’s been testing its technology on Japanese and Euro machines, says DriveTribe, and will enter the market with suspension designed for the BMW S1000RR.
Jumping into the performance motorcycle scene may not seem easy for a premium product like Bilstein, as cautious bikers are often likely to stick to products they know, like Ohlins. But, Bilstein has two things going for it: decades of high-profile usage in the car world, where Bilstein is a noted aftermarket provider, as well as an OEM source for auto manufacturers building sporty cars. Bilstein isn’t an unknown.
The second thing going for it: Bilstein is also reportedly running its technology in this year’s British Superbike race series, whenever that gets off the ground. If you want to prove you can build good suspension, the best place to do so is a racing program.
The Bilstein suspension is supposed to hit the market later this year, after final certification is complete. No doubt the COVID-19 crisis has delayed roll-out a bit, but we’re sure we’ll know all the details by the time of the Intermot show (pricing has not been revealed yet).
Although Bilstein is starting off with sportbikes, it’s hard to imagine it won’t move into the ADV market. There’s lots of money to be made there, and the GS and its kind are some of the best-selling bikes in Europe. No doubt we’ll see some sort of roll-out for the adventure bike scene eventually, as Bilstein does build shocks for off-road 4x4s already. However, given the trickiness involved in building good dirt suspension, don’t expect this to happen overnight.