Top 5 hub-steering motorcycles

Hub-steering. Whether you find it fascinating or a fad, it’s been around for years and there are still engineers out there willing to give it a go. Here’s our rundown of the top 5 hub-steering bikes

Top 5 hub-steering motorcycles

SINCE the first days of the motorcycle, engineers have been squabbling about the best way to hang a front end.

Girder forks, springer forks and telescopic forks all have pros and cons and have worked well, without too much effort. But the hub-steer method is a more complicated answer to the question, and more complicated answers sometimes take a bit more effort to get right.

Take a look through our top five hub-steer bikes, some good, some bad and some, that are just plain crazy!

5. Motoinno TS3 – Shockwave

As engineering solutions go, you could never describe the TS3’s front end as elegant! The stunning billet frame, carries a web of linkages and supports that look more like a product of Skynet than a bike-builder.

To be built in tiny numbers, the TS3 uses the air/oil cooled, 1200cc, Testastretta engine out of the Monster, giving it around 135bhp. There’s no mention of the price on the firm’s website, we can only assume that if you must ask the price – you probably can’t afford it.

4. Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner

Looking more like a missile than a bike and driven/ridden by Guy Martin, the ill-fated Triumph used a massively complex and heavy-duty, hub-steering design for its 2017 record attempt. Sadly, the nation’s favourite tea-drinking truck-mechanic was thwarted by soggy salt flats that meant the machines 1000hp engines couldn’t get enough traction. The team did manage to get some runs in hitting 274.2mph, although sadly that’s some way short of their target of 400mph+.

3. Yamaha GTS1000

The GTS1000 is probably the closest we came to a fully mass-produced, viable and reliable hub-steered bike. Built between 1993 and 1999, the GTS1000 used the 102hp engine from an FZR100 and a RADD Inc. front end. For the most part, the sports tourer looked like any other bike on the road, until you spotted that front swingarm. It’s possible its vanilla styling, when compared to most other hub-steered projects, could have owed to it almost breaking through into the mainstream.

2. Bimota Tesi 3D

Bimota are never a brand to shy away from designing something outrageously exquisite, and they certainly didn’t let us down with the Tesi 3D. You can almost picture that ‘Hold my espresso’ moment in the café that lead to its creation!

Powered by an air-cooled, Ducati lump that produces around 100hp, the Tesi 3D is more about corning prowess and stable braking, than acceleration that’ll set your pants on fire.

1.  Arc Vector

Teased for the last couple of months and seen in the flesh for the first time at the EICMA show this week, the Vector is the brainchild of UK based electric bike builder Mark Truman. Built around a carbon fibre chassis and using carbon fibre for both the front and rear swingarms, the Vector should give a, claimed, 200-mile range, 45 minute recharge time and 125mph top speed.

It also has something that nothing else on this page has – a front swingarm pivot below the level of the front axle. That means the Vector dives slightly under braking and still behaves like a fork the rest of the time too. Whether that transpires into a winning solution to the hub-steer question. We will have to wait and see – the bike is hoped to be ready in June next year and Visordown will be there to bring you all the news.

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