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How we helped Öhlins Racing
OEM - Steering damper

Customer: Öhlins Racing

How we optimized the steering dampers.

Our joint work with the EC adjuster assembly steering damper for motorcycles began as early 2008. Together, we have developed and also further developed an optimal integrated solution. The damping is adapted in real time for the current driving situation, while the dimensions have been kept small for the best possible implementation.

Stegia and Öhlins share a passion for innovation and technical solutions and have a long collaborative relationship behind them, previously in the development of the pre-tensioner used on some year models of Ducati Multistrada. When Öhlins developed their electronic steering dampers for Kawasaki ZX10R, Stegia was once again chosen as one of the key suppliers in the project.

What was the background to you needing to develop the steering damper?

“It was when we developed various mechatronic systems,” says Geir Lindbland, R&D Engineer – Mechantronics Öhlins Racing. It was completely new to have electronics involved. Previously, a fixed value was set on the dampening which was not changed until one stood still again. With this solution, it changes in real-time while riding.”

“Öhlins Racing has been an integral part of the international motor sport and motor industry for more than 40 years. With high quality products and a quest to always surpass customer expectations, Öhlins is established as the world’s leading manufacturer in suspension technology today.”

Why did you choose Stegia as the motor supplier for the project?

“We were looking around among some different motors that could fit. We wanted to have as small a part as possible, especially on the motorcycle where there is limited space. Stegia has contact with manufacturers who are accustomed to working with small components, which we have been less good at ourselves. It was important that the solution could be integrated as much as possible. Instead of taking a motor from the shelf and trying to adapt it, together with Stegia we could develop a unique solution that suited us.”

How has the cooperation worked?

“It has always been easy to talk to Stegia. Most other manufacturers are abroad, making Stegia much more accessible and therefore easier to deal with. I have mainly had contact with them in development issues, where we always get good support and quick answers. The process of obtaining prototypes has also worked very well.

In this project, Stegia was involved in the following parts:

  • Design and development of step motor and the flexible connection to it.
  • Selection of suitable suppliers for manufacture of injection moulded and machined parts.
  • Manufacture of the motor package at our factory in China.
  • Development of test equipment used in final testing of the product.

What was the outcome?

“It worked well, we have come a long way. The solution has been developed over the years. There was a lot of work to make the steering damper weather and chemical resistant. We had some problems with grout that didn’t tolerate alcohol, but we solved them together. Based on Stegia’s suggestion, we also developed a flexible circuit board, the connection between the motor and the plug. Instead of many individual cables, four small wires are used instead.”