KIWI RIDER 05 2018 VOL.1 - Page 61

Did you see these other Classic features? with Japanese four-cylinder motors. I think it is fair to conclude that Europeans had been building suspension units since early in the 20th century and had become very accomplished at it. The revitalised Japanese industry, shattered by the Second World War, had the opportunity to start a new and revitalised motorcycle industry, and they began with innovative and extremely effective engines, but in many cases their suspension, and hence handling, was suspect. They did, of course, catch up with the Europeans eventually. Front suspension was used by most manufacturers before the First World War; notably the Belgian made FN4 of 1906, one of the first with telescopic forks, albeit with a rigid rear end. The American-made Pope v-twin had leaf spring suspension at the front and plunger at the rear in 1914. As machines became more powerful and faster after the war, handling and better suspension became a priority. The Brough Superior SS100 of 1925, which was capable of a genuine 160km/h, had girder forks at the front and twin springs at the rear. The ground breaking Triumph Speed twin of 1938, however, still had a rigid rear end, with girder forks at the front. This was the model that would pave the way for the Golden Age of British vertical twins that followed the Second World War. The plunger type suspension was the most common rear end after World War Two; this meant the vertical movement of the rear axle was controlled by plungers suspended by springs. This meant springing and damping in both compression and rebound. The 1950s and 60s saw an almost total shift  EUROPEAN TWINS  BRITISH TWINS Belgian FN 4 1912 Rensport Earls-type front fork to telescopic front forks and twin shocks at the rear. When in 1977 Bimota produced the SB2, the first mono-shock for the rear end on a production road motorcycle, the scene was set for almost universal use of Sharing your passion facebo /Caffein eAndCla ssics KIWI RIDER 61