I honestly thought Yamaha’s 1993 GTS1000 heralded the beginning of the end of telescopic fork front suspension. Yet here we are, 22 years later and besides BMW’s Telelever and Duolever technology (and the Bimota Tesi… -Ed.), the telescopic fork remains de rigueur for motorcycle front ends.
Depending on who you ask, the telescopic fork made its first appearance in undamped fashion circa 1908 on a Scott motorcycle. The experiment didn’t last, as later models used the more contemporary girder suspension. BMW and/or Nimbus, circa 1934, are credited with producing the first motorcycles with a hydraulically damped telescopic fork. Using that date as an anchor, hydraulically damped telescopic forks have been in development for 81 years.