Cycle News

Cycle News 2019 Issue 44 November 5

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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1984 CHEVALLIER HONDA RS500 RACER TEST P78 a still air box on his GP bikes. He was a pioneer in developing fully adjustable suspension, too, making his own forks and shocks, as well as in telemetry. The Chevallier workshop was a hotbed of innovation. Alain Chevallier's younger brother Olivier had be- come a top bike racer, winning the 1976 350cc Yu- goslavian GP with a bike prepared by Alain as chief mechanic for the Pernod-funded team. By 1980 he'd started making his own Yamaha TZ250/350- powered bikes for Olivier to race—but that April he was tragically killed at Paul Ricard. The distraught Alain was set to turn his back on racing before his friend Eric Saul persuaded him otherwise. Just six weeks after Olivier's passing, Saul put a Cheval- lier Yamaha on the rostrum for the first time in the 350cc French GP at Ricard, repeating that third- place finish at Silverstone later that year to finish sixth in the final points table. Japanese were following Antonio Cobas in build- ing aluminum chassis, Chevallier maintained his allegiance to tubular steel frames—but using cold-drawn steel, which, being 20% stronger than hot-rolled, offers an increased stiffness-to-weight ratio, plus improved rider feedback. Ducati would follow in his tire tracks later that decade en route to successive World Superbike titles with its tube- framed racers, and eventually, of course, to the 2007 MotoGP World title. ALAIN CHEVALLIER-A LATER STARTER But Alain Chevallier didn't stop there. As part of his drive to save weight to compensate for the less powerful customer engines in his bikes, he was the first to fit carbon disc brakes to a 500GP motor- cycle and the first to feature ram-air induction and

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