Tilkens Monoshock Suzuki

1971 Suzuki 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 exist.