German suspension brand, Bilstein, wants to make forks and shocks for motorcycles. Those into four wheels may be familiar with the brand that supplies original suspension to Porsche, Lamborghini, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Lotus, and Mercedes-Benz. It also supplies aftermarket replacement and upgrade kits to nearly all automotive brands.
This new direction has been five years in the making, with Bilstein conducting extensive testing on a wide variety of street and track motorcycles. This is not the first time, as Bilstein has made shocks and forks for bikes back in the 70s and 80s. It has been making suspension exclusively for four-wheels until now.
For now, Bilstein will begin with German motorcycle brands first. As expected, BMW will be the first one to get Bilstein kits for its S1000 RR, for models 2009 to present. Bilstein has yet to announce if they will be fitted as Original Equipment Manufacturers.
Its first lineup of motorcycle suspension models and kits will be unveiled later this year.
Thanks to their official photos, we at least get a peak of what they could look like and work. Bilstein front forks will employ a gas-pressurized monotube design. Quite unusually, damping will be handled on a single-side of the system. It will come with adjustment knobs at the top so it can be adjusted on the fly, even if the rider is wearing gloves.
For the rear, the shock employs a coilover design. Compression and rebound adjustment is at the end of the unit.
Another reason to get excited is the lighter weight of Bilstein suspension. Bilstein claims it is 2 lbs (0.9 kg) lighter than most of its competitors.
Bilstein has a lot of catching up to do with Swedish brand Öhlins, Honda-owned Showa, and KTM-owned WP already with a strong foothold in the market. Yet if it’s success in the four-wheel market is anything to go by, Bilstein has reason to be confident.