Designed in the mid 70’s from ideas worked out with a bent coat hanger nailed to a piece of wood, the first parts were made just to test the function.
Later they found wheels in a scrap yard and made it movable so it could be pushed down a hill to see what it would feel like.
Much later a friend bought the project an engine, a Honda XL500. It took some cunning but we managed to squeeze it into the frame and made it a runner. It ran first up and down the roads of the Slough trading estate late 1979.
At that time the only other innovation on bike front ends was the Defrazio system which deserved much more credit than it got, and later came the ELF fiasco which Norman blames for the demise of the ‘alternative suspension movement’.
Why? The question was asked could ELF with all their budget and influence not match the Honda they were up against in weight or stability.
Eventually it became a racer, which it had to be if it was going to go any further. It took time because we had no way to fund it properly and what funds there were, were stretched to cover 3 patents at the same time.
It showed in Motor Cycle News in 1980 after it had been round Brands Hatch a few times.
It made an appearance on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World in 1981. We raced it in 1981 but it didn’t attract much interest. Later a friend introduced us to Vernon Glashier who became its owner and then thanks to his skills, things began to happen.
VG won the Bemsee single championship in 1983 and in the same year the next HOSSACK, a 250cc Rotax engined machine, won the Bemsee 250cc championship.
Two out of two! VG went on to win the British Single Cylinder Championship in 1986, 87 and 88 and set lap records everywhere.
It won its last championship when it was almost 10 years old! Vernon retired it when the class changed to 600cc- a bigger engine would just not fit.