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Jul 17, 2010, 9:18pm




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Mr Moto
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 Thorks?
« Thread Started on Jun 20, 2010, 5:08pm »

RICH THORWALDSON'S THORKS: DON'T CALL THEM FORKS, CALL THEM THORKS
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Thor forks were a modern update on the Earles forks of the 1960s.

During the 1960s and early '70s, many motorcycles came with leading link forks, often called Earles forks. Unlike the typical telescopic fork, leading links had the uncanny ability to climb over bumps and obstacles by folding their shock absorber-suspended front link up and back with the force of the bump. Greeves, DKW, Sachs and even BMW were big supporters of leading link forks. Leading links eventually fell out of favor and were replaced by telescopic forks.

By the late '70s and early '80s, many racers from the early days of motocross believed that the idea of turning a swingarm around and using it to arc back towards the bike was the best way to make front suspension. One of these was former Team Suzuki racer Rich Thorwaldson. After his racing days ended, Rich started an aftermarket company named Thor Racing that produced a very popular line of aluminum swingarms for race bikes. And in 1979, he decided to build his own set of leading link forks.

Thorwaldson's forks, called Thorks (for Thor forks) were four pounds lighter than the 36mm telescopic forks of the day. The Thorks used two S&W Stroker II shocks and featured 11 inches of travel. Thorks retailed for $375 without shocks or $475 with shocks.

Unfortunately, Thorwaldson's leading link forks were too radical for the racers of 1979. Although they worked really well, the look was too weird for most. Rich eventually closed Thor Racing and became a successful Honda dealer in Nevada. (Big Valley Honda)He was tragically killed in a road race accident in June 20,2004.
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flynryandad
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 Re: Thorks?
« Reply #1 on Jun 20, 2010, 11:10pm »

great story Layne....
always nice to hear a bit of history
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264hrg
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 Re: Thorks?
« Reply #2 on Jun 21, 2010, 12:40am »

Sweet setup that's pretty cool bit of history on an amazing person thanks
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fallout
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 Re: Thorks?
« Reply #3 on Jun 21, 2010, 3:18pm »

I only had the chance to meet him a few times...built the most awesome stuff... Like the crf 450 NSR hybrid sport bike
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