Honda Goldwing - Details of New Suspension Revealed

Honda recently has filed a few detailed patents which reveal a clever front suspension system for possible future Honda Goldwing...

The complex but clever front suspension concept is designed to increase rigidity while improving control and comfort. Most importantly it eliminates changes in trail during suspension compression and is specifically aimed at the heavy Honda Goldwing which puts huge stresses through its forks.

As with conventional leading-link systems, there's a vertical structure running down from the steering head to the rear edge of the front wheel. This is connected to the handlebar, and when turned it moves a swingarm which runs from its bottom end to the hub of the front wheel. Where Honda's idea differs from similar designs is in the vertical element, which isn't held firmly in the steering head but mounted on a ball joint with a scissor mechanism to provide a steering linkage from the handlebar. The idea eliminates the need for a bulky steering head, however, it does mean an extra element is required to locate the vertical link and stop the whole front end from flopping about.
That extra element is a wishbone mounted on the frame, just above and behind the wheel, similar to the one used on BMW's Telelever suspension system. It is attached mid-way down the main vertical link via a second ball joint and a rising-rate linkage. This allows the whole set-up to turn as well as transmit vertical suspension movement from the front swingarm to a single front shock via a connecting linkage.

It may be just as complicated as it sounds, but the advantages are clear. The rigid aluminum structures which hold the front wheel are able to withstand huge forces under braking, eliminating fork flex. The swingarm arrangement also allows for near-vertical front wheel suspensioon travel, keeping the wheelbase and trail constant.

Additionally, the system has a built-in anti-dive system thanks to a reaction linkage which connects the front brake caliper to the main vertical member. This creates downward force on the swingarm which increases under braking and pushes against the natural tendency for the suspension to dive. The linkage to the caliper is adjustable, and changing its length would alter the geometry of the anti-dive enough to tweak its effectiveness.

The new system could be a solution to handling the Honda Goldwing's ever-increasing heft while providing a more comfortable ride and reducing some of the massive stresses which currently travel through its front fork and headstock.
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