French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Claude Fior Motorcycles

A brilliant motorcycle designer, Frenchman Claude Fior built GP racers and high-end sports motorcycles, collaborating with the likes of Boxer who built a Lamborghini based on his work. His 500cc GP machines were equally exotic, one of which was raced in Japan by Swiss rider Marco Gentile in 1988. He also built the chassis for the ACS Siccardi.

Fior achieved a credible 8th at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1979 on his Fior-Yamaha XS1100 fitted with his forks, and took 3rd place in the 1980 Austrian 1000km FIM championship on a motorcycle built around his own chassis, again with the new forks. [1]

He collaborated with Norman Hossack of Zimbabwe to fit an unusual front end which proved very successful. The same design was earlier fitted to John Britten's machines, and was adapted by BMW for their K-series Duolever models.

Modern Brough Superior models also use these forks, which they describe as "the Fior Design wishbone fork system".

Hossack, a motorcycle racer himself and mechanic for McLaren F1, patented the idea in 1984 but after the demise of Britten allowed it to expire. BMW then took it up.

Claude Fior died at the controls of a light aircraft in 2001, aged 46.

N.B. Phil Aynsley writes that the 79 Fior XS1100 was damaged in practice and that it was a relatively standard machine on loan from Yamaha with which they achieved 8th place at Le Mans.

Sources:, François-Marie Dumas, et al.

Claude Fior article

Claude Fior article (French)

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