Motocross history is filled with examples of cre- ative ideas that were heralded as groundbreak- ing, 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? Front forks
as rear suspension.
THE RISE AND FALL OF REAR-FORKED RACERS
When it comes to motocross bikes
with forks in the rear instead of
shocks, all conversations turn to
the 1975 Harley-Davidson MX250.
It had Showa forks up front and
cut-down Kayaba forks in the rear.
The Harley can lay claim to being
the only production bike with this
odd setup, even though Harley only
built 62 machines—but, the Harley-
Davidson MX250 wasn’t the first nor
the last. While Harley was introduc-
ing the 1975 Harley-Davidson MX250,
Bengt Aberg was racing a rear-forked
Bultaco to seventh overall in the
1975 FIM 500 World Championships.
Then, a year later, Suzuki made a
small splash with the rear-forked
RM125 ridden by Koji Masuda at the
Canadian GP. All three bikes disappeared after 1976. ❏
The 1975 Harley-Davidson MX250 is the
best known of the rear-forked bikes,
but both Suzuki (below left) and Bultaco
(below right) had prototype race versions.
Bengt Aberg raced
the 1975 500 World
Championships on the
Koji Masuda raced
the unique 1976
RM125 at the
Canadian Grand Prix.