Back in 2016 we glimpsed a unique French leaf spring-powered, hydraulically damped Motion enduro linkage fork, seeking investment backing. Well, their ambitious Kickstarter didn’t pan out, but adjustable travel, dynamic linkage fork development soldiered on. And now they’re almost ready to hit the trail…

Motion E18 & E18+ leaf spring enduro mountain bike fork

The E18 dynamic linkage forks claims to be a one-size-fits-almost-all enduro or all-mountain bike suspension solution. (They are actually coming out now with two – the standard width 27.5″ E18 & the plus-sized 27.5+ or 29″ E18+.) Both promise adjustable travel, no brake dive, and reduced maintenance needs, all with their linkage & leaf supported suspension design, plus hydraulic damping via a damping cartridge now pulled out of the steerer tube and relocated on a fork leg.

What’s new in the production forks?

All of the performance concepts we have covered from the prototypes before remain the same. You get the same anti-dive, linkage fork design and performance. The big change now is that the forks include a hydraulic damping cartridge on the non-driveside fork leg, pulled in tension as the fork compresses through its travel.

This update gave them more room for the damper, which gives it greater fluid volume and eliminates the risk of overheating. The new Flow damper also allows for more low-speed compression & rebound damping control adjustability .

Tech details

Two models of the tapered steerer mountain bike fork will be on offer. Both use a mix of 7075 alloy links, tubular carbon legs, & a single-sided carbon Wave leaf tension blade/spring for a claimed weight of 2100g.

Each fork is designed to work for riders from 50-100kg, and can be used with 15mm standard or Boost-spaced front wheels.

The E18 will work with 27.5″ wheels only, tires up to 2.5″ wide, and can be set at 150, 160 or 170mm of travel. The E18+ adds both 27.5+ and 29″ wheel compatibility, and dials back the travel to 140, 150, or 160mm.

The forks will come in four finish options – earth, wind, fire & water (standard green, stealth black, orange & blue, respectively.)

Pricing & Availability

The fork will now go on sale in just one week on June 1, via the Motion-France website, with pre-order retail pricing of $1890/1590€. Manufacturing is already underway, and Motion says they expect to ship the first forks in September 2018. They are even offering the possibility for priority delivery to those who get in touch with them now.

Motion also seems to have a recommendation/referral rewards program in the works (confusingly called a ‘sponsorship’ program) where you can get 100€ credited when someone you recommend buys a fork (they get a 50€ discount too.) More info on that on their website.

A shorter travel all-mountain/trail version of the dynamic linkage fork is expected to be announced in the fall. And short travel XC & long travel DH versions are slated for spring & summer of 2019 debut.

Motion-France.com

26 COMMENTS

    • I disagree.
      Dive is mainly an issue because of the effective geometry changes that occur when a fork undergoes compression. One tends to get a steeper head tube angle at the very time most people want it to remain slack (braking on downhill tech sections).
      The terrain drives the travels needs and the terrain and travel needs somewhat drive the HT angle to compensate. It is true that brake dive eats up travel, but I think many would be surprised at how little real travel is needed in those situations if their slack geometry remained slack through full fork travel. Obviously there is a moment component on slack enduro/DH bike in that the farther you push the front wheel forward the harder it is to go OTB and instead plow through.
      If one lived in a world where for some reason DH was a smooth fire road endeavor, a steep XC bike (probably with really long CS’s) would be what DH/enduro bikes looked like as XC bikes are really just as stable at speed and ironically easier to weight the front end for grip – caveat being no technical terrain.

      • I should clarify that short travel XC bikes just don’t see significant geometry changes due to short travel, plus their springs rates are more progressive as they don’t have the travel to work with, hence they run higher in their travel naturally.

  1. I loved my AMP..unfortunately the material in those days were not up to the task. I would like to see a 29er 120mm from Motion but 29 isnt the rage in France 🙁

  2. Last time I used an Erector Set to build a fork it didn’t pan out well. Im willing to bet the same result for this monstrosity.

  3. this thing is sick. linkage allows you to dial in wheel path/ leverage ratio in a way a linear telescoping fork cannot, and if done correctly, this could be game changing.

  4. Seems like a lot of additional maintenance for not much benefit (to this rider at least). Glad its out there though and kudos to them for bringing it to market.

    • Actually there is NO maintenance required on this fork. Get on youtube and watch the Singletrack Magazine interview with one of the dudes from the company. It goes over maintenance.

  5. Honda had a similar prototype design in the 1980’s called RIBI named after the designer, (at the time) test riders said it was the best front suspension they had ridden…but it was a monster too and never made production.
    Very surprised to see a company go this direction considering the cost to launch a completely new design that’s pretty far out of the box.
    Going to take a lot of convincing to sell this at $1890.00, just don’t see it being $1000.00 better than a top of the line current fork.
    However, I would like to ride one.

  6. If you do clobber something stationary with the front wheel, or even a big, sharp-edged hole while braking hard, it looks like that spindly rear link is going to buckle, allowing the fork and wheel to travel back, colliding with whatever gets in the way, frame, crank, legs, etc. That’s a bit of a new consideration, compared to telescopic, even if it’s not a massive concern.

    I do recall Girvin claiming the cornering benefits of their design, which did have some dive, but kept the Trail dimension pretty constant. One reviewer suggested that some dive is good for cornering by steepening the HA and reducing Trail. Anyway, I look forward to reading full reviews of this fork.

  7. I’m not an expert on flex and its effect on handling, but this thing looks like a recipe for flex in every possible axis.

  8. I love that Motion is getting closer to market with this design. It’s not pretty so its performance must be worth it.
    But once you have the damper located externally, I wonder if it would make more sense to incorporate a more tunable, more adjustable air spring rather than the carbon leaf.

    • Design it around a metric shock and give customers the most tunability possible. Run a coil for a more linear feel, an air shock with lockout for racing, et cetera….

      I hope there’s some way to tune offset. That would make this a useful fork just for mules and tinkerers.

  9. While this is great and all, take a look at Adroit’s linkage fork. Similar pricing, aesthetics closer to market standard, offers better tunability by utilizing the current rear shock designs, and still offers anti-dive capabilities. It even has an integrated stem, so no more looking around for a stem that will fit your fork, or your bars. Instead, you just get the fork, and find bars that will fit. Adroit also has a lefty fork with the same linkage design, just for you Cannondale riders.

    If you want something integrated into the frame that both looks wild and sexy, take a look at the Structure SCW1. This bike has a rigid fork, a specially designed steering linkage, and a suspension linkage built into the frame. Under the little brake dive that this bike experiences, the front wheel actually winds up extending out in front of the bike, making for a more stable experience. During its travel, that same mechanism reduces ‘tracking’ of the wheel while you are going over rock gardens or roots. From the looks and what i’ve read of other’s experiences, this fork also boosts confidence with its small bump tolerance and responsive nature. I personally would buy this bike in a heartbeat if I had the cash. The bike will be demo’ed this fall, and will soon after be available for purchase. In the meantime, I’ll be doing what I do with a Marin Mountain View.

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