CDC - faster and safer in any situation

Safer riding: with CDC on two wheels

Up until now, the screwdriver had to be used to adjust the motorcycle chassis to the various terrain conditions. This is now done conveniently at the push of a button with the CDC damping system from ZF. The winding route through the valley. The motorcycle smoothly follows the bending tarmac strip. Changing the inclined position with many braking and accelerating maneuvers means hard work for the chassis. It has to compensate for road break up, and at the same time provide for comfort and a buffer when driving with passengers. If motorcyclists knew in advance where they wanted to go, they would first use a screwdriver on high-quality chassis components to adjust the damping characteristics of the fork and shock absorber and found the best compromise among the variety of setting options available. However on a conventional damping system, this does not eliminate the conflict between driving comfort on the one hand and stability on the other. A push of the button is all that is required of a motorcyclist riding a motorcycle with an adaptive CDC system from ZF.

CDC - a success story since 1994

The CDC adaptive damping system from ZF has been a standard element in vehicles for many years: ZF has built to date 18 million units. As CDC deploys sensors and processors to calculate the damping force required in realtime and can adjust it just as quickly, this system is also attractive for other kinds of vehicles and road users.

Motorcyclists can also profit from the advantages of CDC. Instead of rigid damping characteristic curves, CDC offers a wide characteristic map for damping control with several advantages.

ZF has therefore focused on adapting CDC for motorcycles. The on-board electronics stores various set-up versions for the chassis to help the motorcyclist preselect the basic settings. Regardless of whether the motorcyclist prefers a "sport", "comfortable", or "with passenger" ride: the rider has a control element in near reach to set the basic chassis characteristics either before setting off or during the ride. Valves in the CDC dampers automatically adjust the damping of the fork and suspension strut. This means that the screwdriver is now redundant. A motorcycle chassis with integrated CDC also offers other advantages, particularly in terms of ride comfort, safety, and stability:

  • Effective vibration damping
  • Improved contact of the tire contact patch
  • Enhanced compensation of unevenness of the ground
  • More stability when braking, accelerating, and cornering
  • Greater flexibility with added load (when carrying passengers)
  • Less front fork dive when braking

CDC interacts particularly effectively with other electronic control systems in the motorcycle: the braking distance is noticeably reduced when used in conjunction with an antilock braking system or ESP. Tire wear is also reduced in the long term as a result of the permanent contact of the tires to the road. These advantages have also convinced the manufacturers. Aprilia, BMW, and Ducati now also offer semi-active chassis based on CDC.

The proportional valve restricts or increases the flow of oil in the damper.

Technical base of the system is a proportional valve in the damper. It narrows or widens the oil flow within the damper, which results in a sporty firm or comfortably soft damper setting. When the motorcycle is running, sensors constantly send information about the spring elements to the on-board electronics. These enable the control software to analyze the driving situation via sensors and calculate the ideal damping force within milliseconds, to subsequently adjust it with the valve. CDC delivers maximum comfort and constant safety with the ultimate objective of "skyhooking" the bike. CDC is an ideal response to the challenges of driving dynamics and the complex vibration behavior common to all motorcycles – from a powerful supersport bike to a comfortable long-distance enduro.

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