If you’re not that familiar with BMW motorcycles then it’s likely you’re not aware of their BMW Motorcycle Telelever fork system. It’s a fork system, a wishbone mounted to the sliders above the wheel. Very unique stuff!
The BMW Motorcycle “telelever” system is easiest described as an “A” arm or “wishbone” that’s been mounted to the sliders just above the wheel, originated by design from British company Saxon-Motodd in the early 1980s. It’s really just a unique front fork, where the shock absorber is located between and behind the two primary tubes attached to a BMW telelever arm.
BMW Motorcycle Telelever System Is A Wishbone Mounted To The Sliders Above the Wheel
The BMW telelever fork system, from Saxon-Motodd’s original design, went one step further in chassis construction. The now patented telelever front wheel suspension has an extra swing arm mounted to the frame supporting the spring. This causes the rake and trail to increase during braking instead of decreasing as with traditional telescopic forks.
Along with the Yamaha GTS, BMW is the only other manufacturer to introduce an alternative to the telescopic forks, the standard forks that you’re most familiar with on your own motorcycle.
This system not only lowers unsprung weight as well as decouples wheel placement function of the forks from the shock absorption function – eliminating brake dive while providing superior traction during hard-braking situations! Yes, we like that! This system also improves rider stability and comfort while still delivering excellent sportive handling.
More Technical Stuff from BMW
The system separates the two functions of wheel guidance and damping / suspension in a simple and effective manner, thus significantly improving ride comfort. The function of wheel guidance is still performed by the actual fork, consisting of two bars with sliding tubes and fixed tubes providing maximum coverage. This construction with maximum overlap results in a high degree of stability. A trailing link attached at the front of the frame supports the fork and front wheel. A central strut is for suspension and damping. Unlike a conventional telefork, the fork of the telelever system reacts with low levels of bending when braking or going over bumps, therefore the fixed and sliding tubes cannot jam against each other.
Other BMW Motorcycle Telelever Points
Other benefits of this construction with a lower diameter of the telelever stanchions as compared to conventional teleforks are the weight advantage and an extremely responsive performance. The low unsprung masses and the quick reaction of the suspension make for excellent road contact over bumpy surfaces. The telelever system allows the geometry to be designed so that the fork bars and thus the front section only respond with minimal dive upon sudden braking, giving the rider improved feedback.
Data recordings have shown that releasing the front wheel from suspension effects provides better tire contact and therefore shorter braking distances. A further advantage of the telelever system: the electronic regulation of the anti-locking system (ABS) is more finely tuned. In spite of the pulsating brake forces, there are no pitching movements. All in all, the telelever system contributes to increased ride comfort, satisfies the riders passion for sport and speed, whilst increasing safety in critical situations on the road.
In the new generation of flat twin models, a revised and weight-optimised version of this BMW telelever system is used for the first time. Thanks to the altered kinematics (the branch of mechanics that deals with pure motion, without reference to the masses or forces involved in it), higher braking stability has been achieved and brake dive further reduced.
Just more reasons to ride BMW!
If you’ve not experienced this system, check in with your local BMW dealership and book a demo ride!