Norman Hossack decided to show us what a trellis frame Ducati could look like by engineering a front suspension with trellis uprights. You get all of the performance advantages of a hossack suspension plus lighter weight. One glance at the finished product and the visual symmetry of the combination makes you wonder why Ducati didn't build it like this to begin with.
If you remember Norman's earlier projects shown here on The Kneeslider, like the front drive system he designed specifically for a Hossack front suspension and his "out of the box" square piston two stroke engine, you won't be surprised to learn he's been busy building even more working examples of his design ideas. He's just not the kind of guy to sit around doing nothing.
Norman has always liked Ducatis and used to race one back in the 60s, so, starting with a Ducati 800 he began looking at the trellis frame to see what would need to be done to adapt a Hossack suspension in place of the telescopic forks. It turned out, quite a bit of work was necessary and most everything in the front half of the frame was rebuilt. Interestingly enough, the frame modifications alone saved eight pounds.
Then came the uprights and wishbones to replace the forks.
The upright and wishbones are both made from one inch diameter 4130 tube and everything is TIG welded. The upright complete with axle came in at 7 lbs although it could be lighter with thinner wall tubing but as this was a first off 7 would do. CAD analysis shows that a further 1.5 lbs can be removed from the upright with ease. The axle and upright at that weight will quite significantly beat the Ducati in unsprung weight numbers too.
A single Ikon shock handles damping, steering lock has been increased from 26 to 30 degrees and Norm set the handlebars 1.5 inches higher than stock, just Norm's preferences since he rides the bike to work every day. Overall weight loss is about 30 pounds.
Very nice work, Norman! I like it a lot, but I wonder what the Ducati purists will say.
Link: Hossack Design