It seems only fitting that having been formed in the paddock of Swedish MX racing, Öhlins Racing celebrate their 40th Anniversary with a radical new product for the MX market, the TTX Flow rear shock!...
Using the massive experience massed from the many off-road engineers at the company, they started with a clean sheet of paper to create something truly different to what had gone on before. Extensively developed and tested for over two years, TTX Flow was launched to a fanfare of praise. To the rider the new shock offers unrivalled bike stability and traction, plus its complete redesign has been aimed to make it extremely easy to maintain and set-up.
Öhlins founder Kenth Öhlin was a MX rider of some skill in his own right and has always held ‘scrambling’ as it used to be known close to his heart, so maybe it’s no surprise there was desire throughout the company to create this new shock at this milestone year, also as Kenth readied to step aside as CEO.
So what makes TTX Flow different to previous shocks? The technology is quite involved but in basic terms it features patent pending pressure technology combined with an all new ‘spool’ check-valve system. This essentially helps the shock cope with multiple forces at once and ‘forget’ them extremely quickly, retaining chassis balance. To the rider this equates to vastly improved handling in whoops, braking bumps (so the rear wheel doesn’t go light) and absorbing harsh hits where the bike needs to remain settled for a large jump. Bottoming resistance is also improved through the introduction of a new bump rubber cup unit.
Öhlins R&D Engineer Eric Hansson has been working on TTX Flow for several years after a watershed MX test where the riders gave some very indepth feedback which lead to a complete rethink on suspension technology within the department.
Erik explains; “In simple terms, a motocross shock has to deal with a complex, simultaneous set of forces which it struggles to cope with. From our early analysis we built a crude prototype which showed our new theory to work and gave us direction for a production unit. A motocross shock has ‘hits’ which disturb the system and therefore destabilizes the balance of the bike. It needs to ‘forget’ about each of these very quickly (in less than a 100th of a second). An example of this would be as a rider goes up the face of a big jump and also hits small, rough bumps at the same time.
We retained our TTX (Twin Tube) Technology but worked extensively on a new ‘check-valve’ system to balance wide valve openings and quick open/close actions to handle a large volume of oil flow. This required a new spool valve system as opposed to the more conventional shim-valve type. Basically it has been redesigned for each force upon it to be dealt with and ‘forgotten’ as quickly as possible, for fast recovery and keeping the stability of the bike.
The new system cancels out the smaller hits and keeps the chassis stable for the big jump. The test riders found that this was one major improvement, as was the stability of the bike over ‘braking bumps’ which absorbs the harsh hits and does not make the rear wheel go light. There were also big benefits under acceleration, filtering out bumps at the rear end.
Another major design criteria of the new flow shock was to make it much more rider/mechanic friendly. Maybe our previous shocks were a little complex for the average rider so we looked afresh at every component. The result is a shock with far less parts and complexity, which we have achieved without sacrificing any performance or functionality.
It is a nice feeling to be responsible for an all new motocross shock in this, our 40th anniversary year, when our first product and our heritage was created for dirtbikes!”
But don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself!! More details at www.ohlins.com/ttx-flow