FORGOTTEN MOTOCROSS TECH: STEVE SIMONS CARTRIDGE FORKS
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? Steve Simons’ upside-down fork.
In 1974 suspension travel began to skyrocket up from its original 4 inches. As travel got past 10 inches, the simplistic telescopic forks of the day were ill-equipped to handle the loads. In the late 1970s, Steve Simons invented the anti-cavitation kit, hydraulic bottoming cone, sealed cartridge tubes and, in 1980, the revolutionary upside-down fork. This idea changed motorcycle suspension forever. Simons’ USD-60 forks were used by Brad Lackey to win the 1982 500 World Championship along with a bevy of other factory riders.
Steve Simons would later join forces with Paul Turner to develop the RockShox fork for mountain bikes.