Monday, 30 December 2013

Yamaha GTS 1000 - The Future is Forkless

Yamaha GTS 1000 Motorcycle

If you've spent any amount of time here on OddBike, you’ll be aware that I tend to favour independent thought and unique approaches to the design and construction of motorcycles. The mandate for this site, such as it is, is to profile rare and unusual machines – with a particular eye towards unique technical qualities.

One element I have touched upon in the past is the proliferation of unique front suspension designs that are arguably superior to the “traditional” telescopic fork. There are a few brave engineers, designers and inventors who have dared to question the hegemony of the fork and propose a better solution. One of the most prominent, and perhaps the most misunderstood, is James Parker. Parker was one of the first inventors to achieve what many backyard tinkerers only dream of – to have his design adopted by a major manufacturer and put into mass production. His efforts are thus one of the best-known contributions to alternative front suspension design. Unfortunately Parker learned the hard way that the difference between conception and production can be significant, and that the design process within a major manufacturer is far from straightforward.

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Yamaha GTS 1000 Motorcycle Brochure
Image Source

James Parker's GSXRADD P3
Photo credit R. David Marks