The steel body of the bushing gives it high mechanical strength, while a Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-based self-lubricating sliding layer imparts low friction. To protect the bearings from corrosion, the steel backing is copper-plated. In addition, a thin, intermediate bronze layer creates a strong bond between the backing and sliding surfaces. This helps to dissipate the heat that is generated during operation.
The PTFE-based sliding surface reduces friction, to deliver a smooth riding feeling. During a short run phase, some PTFE material will transfer from the sliding contact surface to the counter face. This material transfer then gives the bushing its characteristic low-friction, low-wear properties.
Nicolas Berruet, business development manager at SKF, said: “Motorcycle front forks typically require regular maintenance in order to ensure proper functionality. This bushing helps to overcome that and cuts maintenance to a minimum.”
The bushing offers a range of other benefits, including high load-carrying capacity, stability across a range of operating temperatures, small operating clearance that allows improved guidance and dimensions marking for product identification.
The fork bushings are supplied as a kit, which allows one fork leg to be serviced completely. The current SKF bushing range is aimed at premium motorcycle applications across the world and is used by OEMs, after-market service centres and end users.