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Jon.Hall's picture

TRX850FF - the motivation...

Hi I just spotted the posts about my TRX850 based FF that nearly/partly was...thought I would fill in some gaps. First I wholly agree with Royce, if you can find a ready made FF, 'don't try this at home'. I am still waiting for that mass produced serious FF, ICE or electric would be just fine. It was only the absence of other options that led me to design and build a cheap cut and shut alternative. In truth I did have the chance to buy a Quasar, from John in Lancing, around 2007. Red, good condition (ought to be, it only had a few k on the clock after nearly 30 years). Trouble was, my very long back (see the photo in the post) meant I just did not fit, and just paddling it around its garage had alarms going off in my lumber region. That said, the Quasar design is brilliantly elegant, a tribute to Ken Leaman as well as Malcolm Newell. For example look at the front end; just a leading link design but made from stock sections and components, few parts, simple, light and effective.

Alex is right, I did have a full on job running Strachan & Henshaw in Bristol (still a thriving part of Babcock International Group I'm happy to say) so the TRX850 got limited time, actually built during 2007. For what it's worth, it was a good (written-off) donor, good components, easy to modify/attach to steel trellis frame, and pretty much "modular" rear assembly so easy to set ride height (ground clearance) of the FF bike. Following Royce's early articles I went for just over 100mm ground clearance, the seat height was about 22" (my dodgy lower back was a consideration there). The steering lock issue is a bit of a red herring - late in the day I got a BMW bottom joint cheap from Bath Road m/c so I used that (cutting a BIG thread in the fork cross piece) instead of the special rod end I designed. But for speed I still used the lower wishbone I'd already made, and backed off the adjustable top wishbone length to keep the same geometry. It put the fork closer to the wishbone than designed, but all I had to do later was extend the 'tongue' to compensate and wind the top wishbone adjusters out again. It actually rode pretty well on the B roads near me "on the way to the MoT centre".

The two real issues were...Length...I had in mind space for a passenger, and allowing for a sliding seat back mounting like Voyager. But the extra length of the fuel tank was very noticeable. Space for rider only and simple adaptor plates to raise the rear swing arm assembly relative to the engine/gearbox assembly, would have been better and kept the wheelbase down. And put me nearer the front wheel which I think does help with the feeling of agility, if not necessarily the reality. Secondly, bodywork! Big work, and not my forte at all. So I was facing a load more work for a compromise solution. I think that's when Alex and his brother and Jan called round. At that point, by happy coincidence, Monty appeared and gave me a better option (part 2 follows)


Jon.Hall's picture


Dominic apologies, I meant to say you and your brother of course. Cheers, Jon