Our Motorsport Heritage
Competition improves the breed they say. Wise words, but here at Öhlins, competition created the breed. We are a company that has been clearly focused since day one, with a singular purpose: To win races. From Kenth Öhlins´ first simple design back in 1976, through to the computer designed and tested masterpieces that we now create, every Öhlins unit is designed to give you total control, even on the very edge of the performance envelope. As our engineers say ‘The ground gives better traction than air.’ so every Öhlins design has one clear remit: to keep the car, bike, ATV or snowmobile maximizing traction, cornering speed and control! That is how you win races.
We enjoy a two-way dialogue with all of the teams we support. Kenth Öhlin made a clear decision many years ago, that we would never give any product away free to teams in sponsorship. Not one thing. So, every team that you see winning on Öhlins is doing so through choice, not obligation. The fact that so many teams choose to decline free product to pay for ours perhaps tells you what you need to know about the quality and ability of Öhlins race suspension products.
Over 300 World Titles have been achieved on Öhlins, and many thousands of podiums. Every discipline from Touring cars, through to Indy 500. From the WRC through to World Superbikes. In every instance we work closely with the team’s technical division in a two-way flow of information that allows us both to analyze data and evaluate performance. This is then poured back into the design and creation of new products as well as the continual improvement of existing lines. Winning races has taught us a lot, and these lessons are directly transferred into our aftermarket programmes where the real enthusiasts can benefit from the very best in forks, steering dampers or suspension.
Motorsport means so much to us. We have over 30 employees solely dedicated to high-end racing support and service. This team regularly briefs our designers on their results ‘in the field’ to ensure that every Öhlins customer, whether they’re a Factory Le Mans team – or a single, discerning enthusiast gets the very best performance from their machine.
We test everything – and then we test again. But data can only tell you so much. At Öhlins, it has always been as much about ‘feel’ as it has been about the numbers. If it feels ‘right’ to the driver or rider, then that is even more important than the dry statistics. We’re drivers too, and once you have driven on the product, you’ll feel the difference.