EARLES, an alternative front suspension

Throughout the history of motorcycling, there have been several attempts to replace the usual telescopic front suspension with solutions whose main objective is to reduce the variation in the wheelbase (which implies a critical change in mass distribution) during operation. In practice, it has been verified that the solution to this problem is not easy and it is also not evident to measure the dynamic performance of these proposals since the pilots with the level to be able to evaluate have all their learning done with conventional suspensions. The EARLES suspension was one of the most used alternatives. Its creator, the Englishman Ernest Earles, started the patent process in 1951.

Its major advantages include less variation in the distance between axles during braking or other compressions and greater rigidity when subjected to lateral forces, an obvious advantage for motorcycles with sidecars, which is why it is still widely used in this segment today.


Several brands, such as BMW, MV AGUSTA, DOUGLAS, DOT, HODAKA and many others, have used this solution as standard. BMW used the EARLES suspension on all motorcycles produced between 1955 and 1968. Interestingly, there is a street (in Sturgis, Mississippi) where the headquarters of BENCH MARK WORKS, a company that sells parts for classic BMWs, named after this suspension is located.

Over time, there were several attempts to take advantage of this solution in competition, however, today its use is practically reduced to sidecars.