The Marzocchi name is synonymous with premium manufacturers such as the Ducati and BMW. Despite the Bologna, Italy-based company’s elevated status, it continues to push the envelope. At EICMA 2021, Marzocchi presented its latest semi-active suspension with a new control unit and software. In the new year, the brand plans to launch the first fully-active suspension for motorcycles.
Unlike passive suspension, which employs springs and dampers to dissipate energy, semi-active and active suspension setups use onboard systems to control vertical movement. While semi-active units only adjust the shock absorber firmness, fully-active examples can store, dissipate, and add energy to the chassis. Of course, cars like Audi’s A8 already feature fully-active suspension systems, but Marzocchi’s project may be the first time the tech reaches motorcycles.
“We in the project have called it predictive fork,” revealed Marzocchi CEO Florenzo Vanzetto. “It already exists in the car world, what we want is to have a predictive fork that is able to read and anticipate road programs “
While many Formula 1 teams turn to active suspension to their performance advantages, Marzocchi will use the cutting-edge tech to improve safety as well.
“In both cases, but above all in terms of safety,” Vanzetto told Motociclismo. “Attention, the predictive fork is a bet, not everyone believes it. Not everyone even believes in semi-active, but we are convinced that we are moving towards this sector.”
Like all advanced technologies, we can expect to active suspension be available for high-end models first.
“Obviously today we are talking about the highest range: the prospect is that but to date the costs do not yet allow us to approach lower segments,” admitted Vanzetto. “It’s a bit like in the world of cars, you only find it on very few cars and there will be an extension tomorrow.”
We may not see active suspension on entry-level models for decades, but Marzocchi plans to introduce its first-generation system sooner than anticipated.
Let’s say at the beginning of the year, we will present our active suspension, that is the predictive fork we talked about,” concluded Vanzetto.