REH — Ar­mac

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS - Ar­ti­cle: John Hulme with Dun­can Macdonald

It’s ex­actly a year since R.E.H. Forks were re­launched onto the clas­sic tri­als scene. Cre­ated in the 1960s by en­gi­neer Robin Humphreys, the front forks were re­vived in 2014 by Dun­can Macdonald of Ar­mac Design. It took two years of de­vel­op­ment with pro­to­types tested by tri­als rid­ers in­clud­ing Dun­can (Ar­mac Tiger Cub and 500 Ariel), Dave Thorpe (Ar­mac Tiger Cub), Mick Grant (Ariel and Ban­tam) and David Em­mott (500 Tri­umph Twin). The first forks were sold to a wait­ing list in sum­mer 2014. By Au­gust 2015 the ini­tial batch of 50 was al­most sold out with cus­tomers in Aus­tralia, New Zealand, France and Spain, as well as Bri­tain. Around 15 ma­chines ran the forks at the Scot­tish Pre-65 Trial this year and, like the forks, the new yokes are also el­i­gi­ble for Bri­tain’s most pres­ti­gious clas­sic trial.

DUN­CAN MACDONALD:

“We’d reached a stage in clas­sic tri­als where the only way to get a set of com­pet­i­tive forks was to do con­ver­sions, us­ing mainly 1970s and 1980s Span­ish and Ital­ian forks. It was al­ways a poor com­pro­mise so when we were of­fered the R.E.H. brand we knew it was the way for­ward. From the be­gin­ning we wanted to make a fork that was true to the form and ethos of Robin Humphreys’ orig­i­nal design while us­ing mod­ern en­gi­neer­ing meth­ods to pro­duce very high qual­ity equip­ment.”

Dur­ing the first year the forks were avail­able in two lengths: 30” and 32”. There has been enough de­mand for an in­ter­me­di­ate length so from Septem­ber 31” forks will also be of­fered. With three spring rates — soft, medium and hard – which can be used in com­bi­na­tions, plus the op­tion of dif­fer­ent oil weights, it means vir­tu­ally ev­ery weight of rider and bike is catered for. Feed­back from rid­ers shows that R.E.H. forks are be­ing used on Pre-65 ma­chines in

mod­ern and clas­sic tri­als. The most com­mon com­ments are about how much bet­ter their ma­chines steer and how eas­ily they ab­sorb rock steps and rough go­ing. Dun­can is known as a per­fec­tion­ist through his work with Ar­mac Design and never stops try­ing to im­prove the forks, but has found very lit­tle to tweak as the first year draws to a close. In­stead he has de­vel­oped new prod­ucts: R.E.H. yokes were launched this sum­mer, and a brake an­chor bracket com­pat­i­ble with hubs with an an­chor arm will be avail­able in au­tumn. He is es­pe­cially pleased with the yokes, which are de­signed to work with all clas­sic tri­als ma­chines with 35mm Ø stan­chions.

Dun­can added, “We use an air­craft-grade alu­minium and I’m con­fi­dent they are the strong­est, stiffest yokes on the Pre-65 mar­ket. Most, if not all, yokes are made from 6082; R.E.H. yokes use 2014A air­craft-grade bil­let, also used in R.E.H. slid­ers. This has a higher ul­ti­mate ten­sile strength and yield.”

It’s not an empty claim: there are sev­eral fea­tures that make R.E.H. yokes dif­fer­ent. The depth on top and bot­tom yokes is big­ger than other Pre-65 ‘slab-type’ yokes, to give a much larger sur­face area in the stan­chion clamp­ing zone. Par­al­lel with 40mm offset they fit vir­tu­ally all Pre-65 frames. The spin­dle takes a 24mm in­ter­nal-di­am­e­ter bear­ing, which is larger than most other yoke spin­dles and so is stronger and stiffer. The spin­dle is pro­vided over-length to suit any frame and is eas­ily re­mov­able. Yokes are the lat­est ad­di­tion to a prod­uct list that in­cludes ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary for a com­pet­i­tive front end.

Dun­can con­tin­ued, “Once you have as­sem­bled the fork legs ev­ery­thing else is op­tional but most peo­ple also take a spin­dle in 15mm Ø or 17mm Ø, mud­guard brace as­sem­bly, a set of brace clamps, fork leg guards to save the slid­ers from be­ing bashed and dam­aged and the brake an­chor plate. We also of­fer gaiters for the tra­di­tional look, and spare springs in three rates so you can tune the ac­tion for dif­fer­ent ma­chines and rider styles; plus sets of bushes, wear rings and dust/oil seals. The idea is to fu­ture-proof the forks: once you’ve bought into R.E.H. ev­ery­thing is avail­able to keep them work­ing to the best pos­si­ble level. Feed­back has been 100 per­cent pos­i­tive and sev­eral rid­ers have come back to buy mul­ti­ple sets. It’s fan­tas­tic for the brand and a re­lief for Judy and me, as it has been a very ex­pen­sive un­der­tak­ing to get ev­ery­thing right and to carry stock.” For more in­for­ma­tion on all Ar­mac and R.E.H. prod­ucts Tel: 01751 417371, email: re­hforks@gmail.com or visit: www.re­hforks.com

A com­plete R.E.H. front fork as­sem­bly.

The com­plete R.E.H. yoke as­sem­bly.

Prod­uct qual­ity is work­man­ship of the high­est stan­dard.

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