In 2016 I was contacted by a company called Curbeater who were interested in getting some of my help with new products they were developing. Curbeater is a company built by two Norwegian brothers and they wanted help to prove some theories they had on how certain products could benefit racing and street motorcycles.
They have several very exciting products in the pipeline but the first to market is their RR50W Suspension pre heaters.
The characteristics of oil changes as it heats up and depending on the viscosity it very often becomes thinner. This is no different in a motorcycles suspension, as a bike completes laps, the suspension heats up and the suspension moves as initially intended. Curbeater wanted to solve the problem of "slow" and less precise feeling in your suspension for the first laps of a race or practice and started investigated ways to heat the oil up to its optimal temperature. After several prototypes were made the products were ready to be tested away from the test bench.
First Test - Karlskoga (Sweden)
An early prototype was made and we made the trip to Karlskoga track in Sweden. This was a perfect place to test that effects of the heaters as it's normally quite cold, bumpy and is also the main test track for Ohlins.
Lucas Backstrom (ex Swedish Champion) was the test rider for us and the plan was for him to make multiple, consistent, fast runs which is something he achieved by making 10 laps all within a few seconds of the lap record at this track. He did this on the first day without the heaters and then after the suspension had cooled the heaters were added before running a 10 lap test again.
These were impressive results and we've spent a lot of time now confirming these results with various moto3, supersport & superbike teams.
We've even had the honor of working with Kalio racing who are using the heaters in their world championship campaign to win the World Supersport Championship.
I have prototypes available that anyone is able to test and you are able to pre-order your fork heaters on the curbeater website www.curbeater.com. The first batches will start shipping in June :)