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WAD suspension element

WAD refers to travel-related damping - a principle which has its origins in off-road sport. BMW Motorrad adopted this principle and developed it further. This innovative damping system is currently used in the rear suspension strut of the R 1200 ST, R 1200 RT, R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure. The luxury touring bike K 1200 LT also uses the WAD suspension strut. Due to this feature, chassis comfort and safety in extreme situations have been significantly improved.

Wheel suspension systems in motorcycles essentially perform two tasks: they must react to the slightest unevenness in road surfaces and bumps, keeping any risk of impact as far away as possible from the chassis. This particularly applies when the motorcycle is completely upright and takes the weight of the rider and equipment. Here, about a third of the total spring travel is used. The suspension and damping system must react harder when the rider is accelerating powerfully - as it must for bumps and uneven surfaces. Even if the spring travel is almost completely used up, the suspension element should not bottom out. This is described as a progressive suspension and damping curve. BMW R and K Series motorcycles take this into account by using progressively wound springs and a strut which is connected obliquely to the paralever. The spring tension is conveniently adjustable by means of a dial for varying load weights. The adjustment is continuously variable and effected hydraulically.

The WAD suspension strut also has a damping system whose power increases in the compression stage, i.e. with increasing deflection. It also allows the damping curve at both the rebound and the compression stage to be adapted precisely to the vehicle type and use. The design potentially allows an increase of compression by more than 100 per cent, rebound can be increased by 50 per cent. This patented BMW Motorrad damper system is clearly distinct in its function from conventional systems. Parallel to the main piston of the damper system there is an auxiliary piston inside the hollow piston bore which provides an additional damping system. Both the WAD suspension strut and the struts without travel-related damping allow the rider to adjust the rebound characteristics to his riding style and the use of the bike either on or off the road.