Japanese suspension specialists Showa, has recently unveiled its new EERA Heightflex suspension system – which can automatically reduce the seat height of your bike. Clever stuff.
Fitted to a Honda Africa Twin at EICMA, the electronic suspension system works to make it easier for the vertically challenged to swing their legs over the big behemoth adventure machine. Admittedly, height-adjustable suspension isn’t a new development. The old Suzuki DR350 with SHC was capable of hydraulically lowering its chassis – and of course, Ducati’s skyhook suspension system is capable of changing suspension height with the click of a button.
The electronically controlled Showa EERA Heightflex suspension not only provides an automatic level control that adjusts the chassis to the load condition, it also automatically lowers as the bike comes to a standstill. According to Showa: “During movement, when the optimum height of the motorcycle must be maintained, the electronically controlled hydraulic valve is activated / deactivated to hold the hydraulic cylinder in a fixed position, the oil then circulates between the body of the damper and the tank as in traditional dampers. This system is designed so that the height is lowered just before the pilot’s feet reach the ground, which takes about a second. The height is completely raised after having travelled several hundred meters from the start on normal paved roads. This system is set so that during movement, the travel sensor detects motion and, regardless of driving conditions, solo, duo or duo loaded, the height of the motorcycle is automatically adjusted to an appropriate position.”
At this stage, Showa has made no official announcements about availability – but we reckon it’s fairly likely that the system will start appearing on Adventure bikes in the not too distant future. Our money’s on the Honda Africa Twin’s – particularly considering Honda’s pre-existing relationship with Showa.