Guy Tilkens son of Lucien Tilkens, airs out the prototype
RH71 Tilkens Monoshock
In 1971, while Roger DeCoster and Sylvain Geboers tested the Tilkens monoshock CZ,
they were actually going faster in the rough sections of the
track with the overweight CZ, than they were on their
works Suzuki's. After their test sessions on the CZ, they
asked Mr. Tilkens if he would convert a works Suzuki into this
new design. Tilkens agreed. Sylvain then supplied Mr.
Tilkens with enough spare parts to build a complete bike.
Once the bike was complete, it worked much better than the
original CZ mostly because of the weight advantage. Suzuki was
then approached about purchasing the patent from Mr. Tilkens.
Even though DeCoster and Geboers highly recommended the design
to Suzuki, Suzuki declined to purchase the monoshock patent
because Mr. Tilkens could not mathematically prove the advantage
of the monoshock to the Suzuki engineers. What is so
ironic, is that the extra travel was not considered at the time.
Mr. Tilkens initial goal was to transfer the rear suspension
load to the steering head. The extra travel was actually an
accident that wasn't discovered until later. The bike
was later sent to Japan for evaluation and it is assumed that it
was destroyed. A much more detailed story will come later.
The above photo is the only known photograph of this bike to
additional information read Torsten Hallman's account of the
monoshock in the interview section. Photos of the CZ are
also in "The Bikes" section.