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Published: 29 July 2001

Updated: 19 November 2014

IF you are not familiar with the term known as Feet Forward motorcycling, allow us to enlarge on it.

Take a group of highly intelligent, fiercely independent engineers and inventors and leave them to their own devices with not very much money. Then prepare for them to emerge with a device so alien to biking norms that it polarises opinion on alternative riding positions and chassis layouts for the next 25 years.

The reason why the Quasar looks like it was knocked up in a garden shed is because it was. And, in the great traditions of home-brewed British world-beaters, it also looked like a garden shed.

With CX500 power, the original Quasar was not at all bad to ride once you could get your head around the whole recumbent riding position thing. It had fantastic weather protection, people who rode it a lot could make it go fairly rapidly by early 1980s standards and it was robust – like a box girder bridge.

At a time when people were just about beginning to consider the visual qualities of machinery, the Quasar – built by engineer’s engineers, more interested in structural behaviour than styling cues and compound curves – was not so much out of touch with popular sensibilities as in another dimension altogether.

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