FORGOTTEN MOTOCROSS TECH: THE BUMPY ROAD OF THE ADB AVENGER
Built for the British market, the Horst Leitner-designed Scott/PBH four-stroke was not an extension to Horst’s ATK Motorcycle company. Scott/PBH went bankrupt and sold the design to an American group.
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 ideas are best left abandoned, others were truly innovative (if not ultimately successful). MXA loves to reveal motocross’ tech trivia. Do you remember this idea? The 1996 ADB Avenger.
As with most innovative bike designs of the 1990s, this story starts with Austrian-born, but American-based, Horst Leitner. Horst founded ATK Motorcycles in 1982, but left ATK in 1990 to start AMP Research. The new ATK owner sold ATK to an investment group in Utah. Meanwhile, Horst Leitner designed a new bike for the British PBH firm, who marketed it as the Scott, but they went bankrupt and sold the AMP design to American start-up ADB (American Dirt Bikes), which was owned by the guy who sold ATK to the Utah group). ADB changed the name of the Scott/PBH bike to the ADB Avenger to get even with the new ATK, whom they were suing.
By the time the dust settled, only 10 ADB Avengers were ever produced. Apart from designing all three bikes. Horst Leitner had no financial interest in ATK, Scott, PBH or Avenger; however, the 1996 Avenger was a classic Horst Leitner design—straight rectangular chromoly frame, AMP Link, countershaft disc brake, laid-down no-link shock and ultra-slim dimensions. Horst, however, did not endorse the plastic bodywork.