Hub center steering, as alien as it may look, has been around for a long time. There have been numerous attempts at building a hub steered motorcycle by manufacturers and custom motorcycle builders alike.
Tier Motosports, based out of Sunnyvale, California, plans to sell front swing arm-suspension kits for Yamaha off roaders. These kits utilize hub steering in tandem with Tier’s patented four bar steering mechanism. One huge drawback of hub steering, is that the steering angle is relatively less compared to a front telescopic fork setup. The four bar steering mechanism comes to the rescue by giving a much smaller turning radius for the same steering angle.
Tier Motorsport’s founder, Jean-Michel Thiers has worked as a senior engineer at Yamaha. They have been in the news for their hub steered, single side front swingarm Yamaha R1 concept. Riot Engine has been following their progress since, and we have to say, their off road kits are very interesting.
You can follow the development of the offroad kits at www.hiters.com They use Pro-E to create renderings. They have also put up some well made analysis videos comparing the hub steered setup to conventional front forks, which should excite the enthusiast.
There are such interesting bike builders in India, who abhor building fibre glass kits for Pulsars and Apaches and instead prefer building supercharger kits and alternative suspension for motorcycles. Riot Engine will be featuring them in the coming months.