BMW virtually invented the hydraulically damped telescopic fork, putting it into production in 1935. Today the majority of motorcycles use variations of this fork, with the exception of BMW, who have developed alternative designs.
The first production motorcycle with hydraulically damped telescopic forks was the German BMW in 1935. However, undamped telescopic forks were used on bikes made by The Scott Motorcycle Company from the beginning of production in 1908, and the Danish Nimbus used them from 1934 on.
A telescopic fork uses fork tubes which contain the suspension components (coil springs and damper) internally. This is the most common form of fork commercially available.
The main advantage of the telescopic fork is that it is relatively simple in design and therefore relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture and assemble. It is also relatively light compared to older designs based on external components and linkage systems.
- Inverted fork (Variation that is simply upside down)
- Wilson, H. The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle p. 166 Dorling-Kindersley Ltd. 1995 ISBN 0 7513 0206 6