FORGOTTEN MOTOCROSS TECH: FORKS ARE UPSIDE-DOWN, SO WHY NOT ENGINES?

2009 Husaberg FE450

Motocross history is filled with examples of creative ideas that were heralded as groundbreaking, but, because of the rapid rate of change in development, sank into the swamp of forgotten technology. Although some are best left abandoned, others were truly innovative (if not ultimately successful). MXA reveals motocross’ tech trivia. Do you remember this idea? Jen Elmwall’s slant engine.

Centralization of mass has been a major concern for motorcycle manufacturers over the last decade, but no one comes as close to embracing the idea as Swedish designer Jen Elmwall. Elmwall believed that raising the crank up 100mm, moving it back 160mm, putting the gearbox beneath the cylinder and flipping the engine 70-degrees would reduce the effects of rotating mass on the Husaberg chassis. In essence, Elmwall turned the engine upside down.

Husaberg’s slant engine might have reduced rotating mass, but it was doomed by the 260-pound overall mass of the Husaberg and was dropped after four years (2009– 2012). Husaberg was closed after KTM purchased Husqvarna from BMW in 2013.

 

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