Interesting exercise in design. But I lean towards things with a proven design. I've built custom frames, rarely worth the trouble to do anything unusual, just build something light and strong and don't try to reinvent or rediscover anything.
Alternative front end designs have been tried for decades and I don't think one of them has ever won anything when competing against conventional designs. They are interesting, and look good on paper, but rarely work as well as highly developed telescopic forks.
Course at one time telescopic forks were a "new" design so I guess there's always room for experimentation. I don't really enjoy building bikes, just racing them. I try to do what is necessary to make them faster than the other guy. If that calls for something unusual I'll try it, but in general I want to take the route of least resistance.
some people enjoy a good challenge. todd was doing 123's on the rotax at summit with thier qualifying tires. and the bike hasnt been out that much yet. ask aaron about that. its pretty god damned fast. 66hp and 275lbs. and everything is tunable. chris even designed and built his own slipper clutch for it. so they had to build a starter for it to get it fired up. the front wheel is an rs125 rear. im not saying you should build one, just saying you should check this thing out. chris seems like an amazing guy. not interested in racing himself, just loves the process of designing building and developing a race bike. not a trailer queen but a bike he thinks can win. and judging by what theyre doing, i bet they win a few races with it after todd gets comfortable. and a real down to earth guy. he will tell you anything about materials and why he did what he did where. he was even nice enough to answer all of my dumb questions. you know, "what is that thing??" and "what does the computer tell you?" then chris m and i hawking all over it all weekend. its pretty cool. thats all i was saying. definitely check it out. its pretty impressive. although they probably wont be back at louden with it unless its for ccs or lrrs.
check it out.
not taking anything away from you there. so dont get all bitter on me.
...cantilevered forks? The big thing with that (if i recall correctly) was that the fork would'nt 'dive' as much under braking. Until it was understood that the dive actually helps by altering your steering angle.
...or someshit like that, mayhaps I need a midday coffee.
I'm not sure why people still mess with alternative fork designs. They never worked as well as modern telescopic forks and the fundemental design of all ancillary equipment like tires and brakes are designed to work with telescopic forks.
You can be sure that if an alternative design showed any prospect of being superior it would already be seen in MotoGP where there are gobs of money and PHD's to work on the problem.
that topic was brought up, and according to him, it has something to do with the fact that the telescopic forks are independent of each other and react to things in that manner. (i could see that being good and bad) so thats why he went with the one he did. i started to glaze over while he was explaining it thinking to myself that i dont know that id be able to tell and who really cares, but if you ask him, he has a full explanation of it all. theres an email link on his site, im sure hed be happy to discuss it with someone who actually understands these things. i dont. amd you have to remember, hes not trying to build 10,000 of these things. it was a project or experiment more than anything else i think. todd was talking about how it doesnt finish corners well. so they decided he should get on the gas earlier when finishing a corner. and that apparently worked. it probably has to do with the steering geometry. like i said, i dont know anything about those things though. the thing does go fast though. and is super cool looking.
although, jb, your comment does remind me of bmw. you know they didnt go to telescopic forks til the 70's. (maybe 72??)
The fork on the Roctaclar bike looks very similar to the fork on BMW's new K1200S
BMW went to telescopic forks full time on the /5 series in 1970 but some of the earlier /2 came with them on the "US" models.
I rode my 50S racer with the Earles fork in the morning at the Hawk School, my first ride on an Earles fork, and it was really wierd. My /5 will top out the forks with a loud clunk under acceleration due to the drive shaft influence and compress a bunch under brakeing. The Earles fork didn't do either. Just kind of floated along in a level plane.