Yamaha GTS 1000 | Hub-Centre Steering

Yamaha GTS 1000

With Ian Falloon

The demise of the telescopic fork has been predicted for many years however regardless of its faults it nonetheless persists. Though the telescopic fork survives and endures, it has needed to fend off a number of makes an attempt at substitute by a hub-centred steering entrance finish.

Within the Nineteen Eighties the large French petroleum firm ELF sponsored an Endurance and Grand Prix bike racer with a entrance swingarm and hub-centre steering that was set to revolutionise bike design.

Even by fashionable requirements the GTS is a reliable tourer

The fruits of a decade of improvement was a Honda-powered 500 that British rider Ron Haslam rode to a depressing eleventh place within the 1988 500 World Championship. Regardless of the ELF failure Bimota was assured sufficient to launch their Ducati-powered Tesi in 1990. Whereas all this was happening James Parker within the US was quietly creating his RADD (Rationally Superior Design Improvement) entrance finish.

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum - Yamaha GTS1000
A Yamaha GTS1000 in The Barber Classic Motorsports Museum – Picture by Phil Aynsley

After unsuccessfully approaching Honda, Parker managed to promote his idea to Yamaha and between 1978 and 1991 work on the GTS progressed within the US and Japan. However it wasn’t solely a radical entrance finish that distinguished the GTS.

The Omega Chassis Idea was additionally groundbreaking

When it was launched for the 1993 Mannequin 12 months the GTS was supposed to create a brand new market section; Superior Sport Touring. Though the chassis carried a landmark entrance finish, the 1002 cc Genesis FZR1000-based engine additionally bristled with technical innovation.

The five-valve cylinder head design now boasted valve adjustment intervals of 40,000 km and the 4 cylinders had been fed by Nippon Denso Digital Gasoline Injection. Energy was restricted to 100 horsepower and the GTS was one of many first bikes with an environmentally acceptable three-way catalytic converter.

However whereas there have been loads of different four-cylinder 100 horsepower bikes obtainable none had a horseshoe-shaped Omega body encircling the engine and supporting a standard rear swingarm and single entrance arm.

The novel entrance suspension format

It made engineering sense to feed the stress-bearing a great deal of the entrance suspension decrease into the inflexible aluminium chassis and theoretically the GTS ought to have set the benchmark for stability and dealing with.

Definitely the braking was state-of-the-art for 1993, an enormous vented 330 mm disc on the entrance gripped by an opposed six-piston caliper and 282 mm disc on the rear. ABS was normal, an ECU sampling wheel pace at eight-millisecond intervals. The detailing was additionally spectacular, together with a hydraulic clutch and expansive cockpit that included two journey meters.

Pre digital instrumentation included twin journey meters

The place the GTS fell down was in its dimensions and value. The load was a substantial 251 kg dry and the value a staggering $22,600 in 1993. Because it wasn’t blessed with extreme energy anyway the GTS was a leisurely performer, seemingly not offering a lot “bang for the buck”.

Though hailed as motorcycling’s future, the press predicting a shiny future for hub-centre steering manufacturing bikes, the truth was far faraway from the hype.

Conveniently forgetting the failure of ELF challenge and Bimota’s Tesi, like many new fashions that obtained lavish reward within the press the GTS was a catastrophe within the showroom. It was rumoured that solely 33 had been offered in Australia and plenty of supposed for right here had been diverted to Singapore.

Although now thirty years old the GTS still looks very modern
Though now thirty years previous the GTS nonetheless seems to be very fashionable

Whereas the GTS is now higher obtained, in the end it was simply too totally different and couldn’t reach a conservative world. It could have been the one bike obtainable with twin journey meters, however this wasn’t sufficient and by 1996 it was completed.

5 various bike entrance ends

  • Earlier than the primary hydraulically-damped telescopic fork appeared in 1935 on the BMW R 17, the girder fork predominated. Most girder forks lacked damping and the height of its design was the “Girdraulic” fitted to Vincents after 1949.
  • The main hyperlink fork suspended the entrance wheel on hyperlinks, with the pivot level behind the axle. The most typical use was on the early ubiquitous Honda 50.
  • Earnie Earles developed one other sort of main hyperlink fork that prompted the entrance to rise beneath braking, the alternative of the telescopic entrance fork. Though designed predominately for sidecar use, Earles forks had been fitted to the BMW R-series from 1955-1969.
  • BMW has all the time been ready to experiment with various entrance ends, their most profitable being the Telelever design fitted to many present boxer twins.
  • One other BMW various was the Duolever designed by Norman Hossack. Additionally utilized by John Britten, this separated the suspension from steering forces.


The GTS is without doubt one of the 1990’s forgotten classics

Yamaha GTS1000 Specs

Yamaha GTS1000 Specs
Engine Liquid cooled, 4 stroke, transverse 4 cylinder, DOHC, 5 valves per cylinder, 1002 cc
Bore x stroke 75.5 X 56 mm
Compression Ratio 10.8:1
Induction EFI
Energy 102 hp (74.4 kW) @ 9000 rpm
Torque 106 Nm (78.1 ft-lb) @ 6500 rpm
Clutch Moist, a number of discs, cable operated
Gearbox 5-speed
Suspension (F) Single sided swingarm variable preload, compression and rebound damping
Suspension (R) Monocross variable preload, compression and rebound damping
Brakes (F) Single 330mm disc 6 piston caliper with ABS, (R) Single 282mm disc 2 piston caliper
Wheels Aluminium, 3.50 x 17 (F), 5.50 x 17 (R)
Tyres 130/60-17 (F), 170/60-17 (R)
Rake & Path 24°/100 mm
L x W x H 2170 / 700 / 1320 mm
Wheelbase 1495 mm
Seat peak 790 mm
Weight 278 kg (moist)
Gasoline Capability 20 L