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Vote in our poll, do you prefer monocoques or conventional frames?

By Sarah Carnell -

New bikes

 26 March 2008 10:53

Sportscar manufacturer Lotus has revealed the design of a motorcycle design, which was set to revolutionise chassis.

The theory of a monocoque is to dispense of the usual frame and replace it with bodywork which takes most of the stress. The idea was pioneered before World War Two and has appeared on virtually every car made since the 1970's.

The bodywork for the Williams-designed motorcycle is made from two parts of carbon fibre, which clamp together around the engine. Once they are bolted together they form a stiff shell, providing all the rigidity the motorcycle needs.

Other monocoque motorcycles were the Honda NR500 GP motorcycle from 1979. The NR500 only managed a best finish of 13th, but this was due to its four-stroke engine.

Kawasaki followed suit in 1980 with their KR500 and briefly raced a monocoque motorcycle in GP.

Kawasaki's ZZR1400 and 1400GTR are the closest to a monocoque production chassis. They both feature semi-monocoque designs with the airbox incorporated into the chassis. The bodywork isn't structural.

Vote here to tell us whether you prefer a monocoque motorcycle or the more conventional frame.