Suspension systems in bikes are primarily used to provide safety and comfort to rider as well as pillion. Conventional suspension system on motorbike has a pair of fork tubes for the front wheel suspension. In operation, shock waves produced due to the displacement of the front wheel is dampened/cushioned by the spring and damper component of the fork tubes; thereby ensuring comfort and safety of the passengers.
Honda has recently filed a patent application (US 2015274249) titled ‘Front suspension structure for saddle riding type vehicle’, which appears to provide better suspension. Let’s check how it works.
The invention disclosed in the aforementioned patent application is as follows: the front wheel suspension mechanism (as depicted in the figures below) includes, a head pipe 12, a turning member 13, a rotary member 14, a plurality of link members 15, an upper rocking arm 17, a lower rocking arm 18, a cushion unit 20, a fork 19, a front wheel 9, a handle bar 8, a handlebar post 11, and a support member 2a.
Fig. 1: A perspective view of the front wheel suspension mechanism
Fig. 2: A partial front view of the motorbike.
In operation, the shock waves produced due to the displacement of the front wheel is effectively cushioned by the cushion unit such that compression of cushion unit is provided by the clockwise rotation of lower rocker arm and extending of cushion unit is provided by the counter-clockwise rotation of lower rocker arm. This new design proposed by Honda can absorb shock waves produced by the front wheel in a better manner, as compared to the conventional front wheel suspension mechanisms. Further, rigidity of the rocking arms is increased by providing the coupling members. Therefore, a safe and controlled driving pleasure is experienced by the rider.
Other advantages of the newly proposed design include:
- overall reduction in length of the vehicle
- high rigidity.
- easy handling of the motorbike while taking sharp turns/corners.
- effective cushioning resulting in safety and comfort to the rider.
Sources indicate that the aforementioned technology will be implemented in the upcoming model of Honda’s famous touring bike Gold Wing.
Authored by Dinesh Kumar
Contributed by Mechanical and Automotive Patent Division of BananaIP in India