Tony Foale has always been fascinated by motorcycles. Besides successfully racing them on- and off-road, he soon started to design and build his own engines and frames. But unlike many of his co-designers, he also started to explore the subject scientifically.
He has made numerous contributions to the complex subject of steering geometry and motorcycle handling, both in practical experiments and mathematical models. Many of his ideas and findings are well documented in his books “Motorcycle Chassis Design” and “Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design” published 1984 and 2002, respectively, as well as numerous magazine aricles.
Some of his articles are also available through his web site.
Tony Foale built around thousand frames in total. He used a backbone design and a cantilever rear end for his Honda SOHC/4 chassis, from 400 to 750cc. for both racing and street use. Several hundred frames were built in that design, with the majority for Kawasaki Z1/Z900/Z1000 and Suzuki GS engines.
This race bike was the first Foale Honda built for Guy Sandell in 1975 who successfully used it in club races:
This is the very first Foale Honda 750 street bike. It was built for Tony's coworker Pete Selby:
This Foale Honda is owned by Paul Wilsea in the UK. Interestingly, this bike has never been completed yet, so Paul has a brand new Foale Honda now!
All 750 SOHC/4 Foale Hondas were using the spine tube as an oil reservoir. Tony also was experimenting with a leading link fork:
|Leading link fork|
Escaping the British weather, Tony moved to Spain in 1987 where he works as a consultant on vehicle projects, including the computer simulation of steering and suspension systems. He also gives seminars on these and other topics. For details, please see his web site.
Own a Foale bike?
Tony would love to know about the current whereabouts of his frames (not only Honda powered bikes). If you have a Foale bike, please drop Tony an email at firstname.lastname@example.org