KTM says it’s bringing in a new generation of semi-active suspension for its street and ADV bikes, with improved performance over previous generations thanks to faster-working electronics.
The press release calls it KTM’s SAT (semi-active technology), but it’s integrated with WP’s hard parts, since both companies fall under the same ownership umbrella.
Semi-active suspension uses onboard electronic sensors to react to changes in the road surface, making micro-adjustment to the suspension’s settings as the bike accelerates, moves over bumps, or leans. Obviously, you need fast-acting electronic components for such a system to be effective. If the suspension is reacting in real-time, delayed reaction reduces performance.
KTM says the updated suspension comes with new valving, new programming, and the sensors refined. The hard parts are updated as well; the actual fork and shock are WP’s latest-generation components. The result? The press release says “The combination of this technology brings sensitive real-time readings from the road or path directly to the heart of the suspension control unit and the bike re-aligns instantaneously, depends on what the rider wants from their KTM.” In other words, it reacts more quickly, resulting in improved performance.
KTM’s press release explains it this way:
Focusing on the hardware in particular, the WP APEX SAT fork boasts more ‘conventional’ damping but still with all the advantages of the range offered by an electric valve. This has been made possible thanks to the new design that permits faster relay of signals and the deployment of more efficient pulse-width modulation sensors. The WP APEX SAT shock spans 140 to 200 mm of travel depending on the KTM model and has an oil/gas body construction. Another new sensor optimizes the self-preload adjustment, which is key in the setting and regulation of the sag and balance geometry.
With onboard electronic controls, riders can change the suspension’s height and behavior to match road conditions, and achieve desired performance characteristics. In stock form, bikes with semi-active technology have Comfort, Street and Sport damping modes, as well as 10-way adjustable spring preload on the rear shock.
Riders can update to the Suspension Pro package, which adds Track, Auto and Advanced modes, and for adventure bikes headed to the dirt, there’s an Offroad mode, which substitutes for Track mode. Again, as per KTM:
The sophistication of the system means that the SAT will use the fantastically fast readings of the 6D lean angle sensor, the suspension control unit, and various other sensors to react instantly and smoothly to the rider’s demands in AUTO. ADVANCED allows the rider to flick through 8 levels of front and rear damping on the TFT.
SUSPENSION PRO provides three preload auto-leveling settings which are LOW, STANDARD, and HIGH. The suspension will consider the weight of the rider, a pillion, and any baggage, and then self-adjust. It will also conveniently recreate three defined geometries. STANDARD is neutral and balanced. LOW is less aggressive and relaxed. HIGH is more aggressive, loading the front for an ‘attack’ setting and even more agility.
The technology’s ability to make its own calculations and adjustments is one prominently cool facet of the new SAT. It can all be done on the move and while in the saddle.
KTM also says the new Suspension Pro option offers anti-dive functionality, keeping the front end from compressing too far while braking, and keeping the passenger more stable and comfortable.
No doubt we will see this new technology on new-for-2022 bikes unveiled at the EICMA show next week.